In ABC's Missing, Ashley Judd, 43, plays Becca Winstone, a former CIA agent who for the past 10 years has been living a normal soccer mom's life. Then the assassins start showing up — and, at Becca's hand, dropping like flies — as the setting changes from suburbia to Italy to France at a quick, action-packed pace.

Missing premiered Thursday night, and — much like her character — brings Judd out of what seemed like a years-long hiatus from the spotlight. Judd, the sister of country music singer Wynona Judd, gained notoriety in the late '90s for being a kind of female action star. Her big hit was 1999's Double Jeopardy, opposite Tommy Lee Jones. Many high-profile movie roles came afterward, including the Cole Porter biopic De-Lovely, which earned Judd a Best Actress Golden Globe nomination. After De-Lovely, however, Judd seemed to be taking fewer movie roles, possibly because she was busy studying for a Master in Public Administration degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, from which she graduated in 2010.

Missing opens with a shocking car explosion that kills Becca's husband and just misses her young son. Ten years later, that son — Michael, played by Nick Eversman — is 18, and ready to jet off to an architecture program in Rome. Not long after he gets there, however, Michael's texts and Skype calls abruptly end, and Becca gets word from the university that Michael has been absent from lecture. Becca's on the next plane to Rome.

That's when the action movie stuff, for lack of a better phrase, kicks in. Becca shows off her fluent Italian and hand-to-hand combat skills, as well as her colorful past with a former lothario, Giancarlo, played by Adriano Giannini, who helps her out. She's just trying to locate Michael, but when men with silenced handguns keep showing up, obviously Becca is in for a struggle.

CIA deputy chief Dax Miller, played by Cliff Curtis, is not happy with the uproar Becca has caused in Rome — running through crowded streets, killing henchman, riding a motorcycle through a store’s plate-glass window. With Miller hot on her trail, Becca is off to France on a new lead to Michael's whereabouts.

There's a confrontation on a train, then at a CIA sub-station in Paris. There's a gun battle and more clues, but no Michael. The episode ends with Becca, poised on a bridge above the Seine with photographs of Michael, suddenly shot. She falls into the river as the photos scatter.

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