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Vanished: A Series Finale that Wasn't

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So LAist admits to being one of the five people to actually watch most episodes of the FOX freshman series Vanished. When it launched late in the summer, the promos tempted viewers with the promise of a mystery wrapped in an enigma, a la The Da Vinci Code with all the action of 24. But after watching the so-called “series finale” on the web this weekend--which was a real letdown--LAist would like to call FOX out on this false advertising.

The show centered around the kidnapping of Sara Collins, a powerful senator’s wife, by an unknown, yet powerful sect. Each week clues were revealed – secret codes, ancient ciphers and even the Dead Sea Scrolls made an appearance.

At first, the FBI agents on the case Graham Kelton (Gale Harold) and Lin Mei (Ming-Na) – then Agent Dan Lucas (Eddie Cibrian) who came on board after Agent Kelton was blown up – thought they were solving just another kidnapping, when they discovered they were into something much bigger. What that was, however, the agents on the case and the viewers will never know.

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FOX pulled the show from the schedule in November, and while the show held some promise, it moved along way too slowly and some of the acting really blew. Ming-Na, who we liked on ER and The Joy Luck Club, really didn’t have the chops to play a tough, kick-ass agent. She sounded so robotic during most of her lines that we could barely listen to her. And the perpetually scruffy Gale Harold wasn’t much better, so we can see why he was killed midway through the season.

So while we don’t blame FOX for canceling the show, we do have a bone to pick with them about pumping up the “series finale.” The last four episodes were made available on the MySpace.com/vanished page, and this LAist poster is the type to finish a mystery no matter how much it sucked. So when we sat down and watched three episodes this weekend, we realized we were duped. The last episode wasn’t a series finale. It was a last episode of a cancelled show. Absolutely NOTHING was resolved, and we’ll never get those 2.5 hours of our lives back. What a waste.

To the other four Vanished viewers out there, to be forewarned is forearmed. The series finale is anything but, so skip yourselves the aggravation.