Episode 1 – | Review Score – 2/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 2/5
Episode 8 – | Review Score – 2/5
Warning! Spoilers for the episode 1 twist ending are discussed below.
With the allure of a modern-day cold war plot, lots of espionage drama and a neat little twist at the end of episode 1, all the ingredients are here for an enticing drama to really ignite 2022. But boy, does this show drop the ball in a big way.
The opening episode begins and ends like a hyperactive child hooked on too much sugar. It bounces all over the place, from one scene to the next, including an annoying stylistic tick where a blurred zoom whooshes us back and forth to the past and present. Unfortunately this disguises what an illogical, scatterbrained project this is.
Now, don’t get me wrong In From The Cold does have its moments and there are a couple of decent twists here that work really well. Unfortunately, it comes at the expense of competent writing and a consistent screenplay, both of which this show is in desperate need of.
The story centers on a suburban mum called Jenny Franklin. She’s in Madrid for her daughter Becca’s skating competition when she’s recruited by the CIA for a top secret mission. It turns out she’s actually a secret spy from Russia, known as “The Whisper” and initially known as Anya. She’s soon tasked with tracking down the ringleaders behind a mass-killing in Madrid, leading the past to collide with the present.
The premise actually isn’t half bad, and a twist at the end of the first episode reveals that Jenny actually has the ability to shapeshift into other forms. Normally I wouldn’t spoil such a big twist in a season review but it’s important because the one big hook for this show is used in the worst way possible. And it actually contributes to some of the show’s biggest problems.
The powers themselves have limitations (until the last episode) and to make matters worse, Jenny’s espionage skills while utilizing this are, well, terrible. She fumbles her way through big meetings, she almost gives away her cover on more than one occasion and it’s never utilized as effectively as it could have been.
It’s a real shame too because you can see there’s potential here for a really gripping espionage story with a superhero twist. Unfortunately there are way too many issues in this show to make it an enjoyable watch – even as a “so bad its good” watch. Episode 7, for example, sees Jenny use a defibrillator on her head and then awaken absolutely fine. And honestly, that scene pretty much sums up In From The Cold.
Logic is thrown completely out the window on numerous occasions and the flashbacks, while interesting, are sporadically dotted through the episodes which destroys the flow and pacing of this 8 episode romp.
This is another Netflix project that raises big question marks over exactly how a screenplay like this got green-lit. The writing is poor, the hook under-utilized and the editing leaves a lot to be desired. This could have been a really exciting, vibrant spy series but instead, this one will leave you feeling cold. Avoid.
Verdict - 4/10