TV review by
Marty Brown, Common Sense Media
Departure TV Poster Image
Flat mystery drama features mild violence, sexual content.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Departure is about a group of people learning to work with one another amidst tragedy and uniting for a common good.

Positive Role Models

Departure is filled with cliches and almost immediately stereotypes its characters of Middle Eastern descent as possible terrorists. The lead actor is of Indian descent. 


Departure begins with a plane seemingly falling apart in mid-air, which is investigated as a possible terrorist attack. Otherwise, violence is minimal.


Features some sexual content. A woman appears on screen in her underwear. Sex is talked about and alluded to.


Occasional mild profanity includes "damn," "bollocks," etc.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink alcohol, but not to excess. No drug use or smoking is shown.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Departure is a mystery drama about a flight that disappears over the Atlantic ocean. The show opens with the plane seemingly getting ripped in half mid-flight, and a team of investigators try to find the cause of the flight's disappearance. Terrorism is suspected, which leads to stereotyping the Middle Eastern characters as possible terrorists. Other than the initial plane crash, violence is shown sparingly, if at all. Departure includes some mild sexual content, including a woman appearing on screen in her underwear. Occasional mild profanity includes "damn," "bollocks," etc. The show is mostly a procedural along the lines of CSI or NCIS, the twist being that a plane's disappearance is being investigated, rather than an outwardly violent crime. 

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What's the story?

DEPARTURE is about a London-bound flight that mysteriously disappears over the Atlantic Ocean. Investigator Kendra Malley (Archie Panjabi) leads a team of experts to figure out what exactly happened. Was it a natural disaster? Terrorism? Pilot negligence? Malley must work through her own secret trauma to find out.

Is it any good?

Plot-driven mysteries tend to rely on awesome set-ups to hook people, and that's exactly where this series falters, right out on the runway. The set-up (a group of strangers board a plane that crashes mid-flight) is already very familiar, and the show does nothing to illustrate why this crash might be different. Instead, details about the plane's disappearance slowly pile up over time. Sure enough, each one is another cliche. It's almost as if Departure uses its plot points as shorthand, counting on viewers having seen all of the other procedurals they're taken from. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the disappearance of Flight 716. What do you think happened? What could have caused the crash or disappearance? How do you think the characters were involved, if at all?

  • Why is the team of experts brought in to investigate the disappearance? What are the various things they hope to gain? What do they think caused the disappearance? How do they go about investigating? How are they proven right or wrong in their theories?

  • What elements do mystery shows need to have to be compelling? How does Departure differ from other mystery shows you've seen?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love mysteries

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