Netflix’s Treason season 1, episode 1 recap: The Assassin is revealed

Treason starring Charlie Cox streaming December 26 on Netflix.
Treason starring Charlie Cox streaming December 26 on Netflix. /

Netflix has a new spy thriller for you this holiday season. It’s called Treason; a mini-series with five episodes, starring Charlie Cox of Daredevil fame as Adam, the new head of MI6.

This show is from the writers of The Bridge of Spies, so it looks like they might have another great espionage story for us. Treason opens up, like all good mysteries, in the middle.

We see an unnamed gunman tracking Adam and his family in their home. Something has gone wrong by the sound of the family’s conversation, but we can’t tell what.

As the gunman’s sight is set on Adam’s son, the show cuts to five days before.

Treason season 1 episode 1 recap: Five days earlier…

The current head of MI6 is meeting with the President of the Supreme Court in a fancy restaurant that has an air of exclusivity about it. It turns out that the meeting between these two important people isn’t a social one or even a work related one.

Its blackmail based. MI6 has evidence of the President of the Supreme Court’s mistress that he can make go away for a favor to be called in at a later time.

As the blackmailing is happening, we follow a mysterious woman who enters the same club under the guise of an employee. It turns out that she was there to poison the head of MI6, which she was able to successfully pull off by slipping something into his “usual” drink after the President of the Supreme Court leaves.

It appeared to be the perfect assassination attempt with one small hiccup. The getaway driver ended up hitting a biker during the getaway.

While the driver of the car tried to stop and check on the biker, the mysterious woman insisted that they needed to get away quickly, leaving the biker in the street. Adam, who is currently the second in command of MI6, was at his son’s school for a career day presentation when he got the news that the head of MI6 was poisoned.

He’s not dead but is in critical condition on the way to a hospital. Adam quickly leaves and begins his job of gathering intelligence to try and find who would want to kill the head of MI6.

This information is probably pretty important to him, since this has made him the acting head of the organization. The injured biker is the first clue as to who might be responsible for the assassination attempt.

He survived being hit and due to his proximity to the crime, his information may be relevant to their search. He has enough of a license plate and a physical description of the driver that MI6 is able to release the image to try and track down the possible culprit.

The mysterious woman discovering that her partner has been compromised, begins to cover her tracks by murdering him with another dose of poison. Adam, back at home, begins to explain his new role to his family.

Being the head of MI6 means that there will be a lot more security around the house, as well as whenever any member of the family goes out. Adam’s son thinks that it’s pretty cool given that the security will be armed.

As an eleven-year-old, he thinks that guns are cool. Adam’s daughter, being fourteen, is not as excited given that she wants to live a normal life, and Adam’s new job will make that even harder for her.

As Adam is talking to his family, he gets a notification that the head of MI6 has survived the assassination attempt and is awake.

Treason season 1 episode 1 recap: The assassin is revealed…

Adam visits the hospital room, where they have a brief discussion about the possible dangers they might face given the direct attack on their organization. The head of MI6 also thanks him for the books to read during his recovery, which is an odd thing to say, given that Adam hadn’t gotten him any books.

Adam takes a picture of the stack of books that weren’t from him and, using the titles and authors, realizes that the books are a code to a secret location. Adam follows the clues and meets up with the mysterious woman who we can now start referring to as Kara.

It seems that Kara and Adam have something of a past, though it’s not delved into in any great detail. Kara also claims that the attempted murder wasn’t actually an attempted murder at all.

She only meant to use enough poison to help Adam get into the top role. In fact, according to Kara, Adam’s entire career has been the result of her pulling various strings behind the scenes to make sure he was in the right place, at the right time, with the right information.

And now, she finally has him in control of the entirety of MI6. Adam is less than pleased with this proposed version of history and leaves the meeting.

Kara ends up calling him later with some more information about a possible bombing attempt that’s set to happen the next day. Her information turns out to be correct, and in return she wants information on an assignment where several of her comrades were killed.

Adam looks up the incident in question using his new top level access, and it appears that MI6 had no involvement. He tells Kara this over the phone, but notably doesn’t give her the information itself, just his word about the information.

He also tells her to not contact him again. Adam receives the briefcase from the previous head of MI6 and is instructed to remove any top-secret documents from the briefcase before anybody else looks at the contents.

It is then that Adam discovers the blackmailing information from the start of the episode. He is interrupted at this point, and is told that his daughter has slipped her security detail.

As he’s frantically using MI6 resources to try and find her, she calls him telling him that someone is following her, but she gets kidnapped before anybody can reach her. Adam calls Kara telling her to leave his family out of this, that it’s between the two of them, as the episode closes out.

Treason season 1 episode 1 recap: Setting up the twists and turns…

Like most espionage stories, this one requires a lot of set up, and that’s mostly what this first episode was all about. All of the information given in this first episode feels like a series of Chekhov’s guns set to go off at some point later in the series.

That’s not to say it isn’t a good episode, because it is. The story being set up is very compelling.

Enough information is being slowly dished out over the course of the episode, that you wind up wanting to know about the parts that are being deliberately kept hidden so far. There is a brief moment in the hospital scene where the head of MI6 tells Adam, “Trust nobody” and that line feels like it can be taken to heart in this show.

Every character who’s been on screen so far, feels like they could have hidden motives. Some characters we already know are hiding motives or details from other characters, but it feels like it’s just the first few steps on a path of twists and turns that the show is about to go down.

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What did you think of Treason season 1 episode 1? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

You can watch Treason season 1 on Netflix.