In From The Cold Season 1 Review – An illogical espionage thriller that’ll leave you cold

Season 1

Episode Guide

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.


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6 thoughts on “In From The Cold Season 1 Review – An illogical espionage thriller that’ll leave you cold”

  1. Is no one going to comment how bad Jenny’s acting is? There’s so much exaggeration in the sounds she makes with her mouth, her grimaces, her hand gestures, all to compensate for her lack of acting. Omg it was just too painful to watch

  2. I gave up after episode 3 as it didn’t look like it was going to get any better. A really dated mix of Russian spy thriller and enhanced super-soldier. Plus a bit of Mr Hyde. I felt sorry for the actors.

  3. At First I thought it was based on John Le Carrs novel “The Spy who came in from the Cold”. I was realy excited if it was but Nope, nada, and the writing in this show is deplorable. I have just sat through episode two and cliche lazy writing with horrible flashback’s.

  4. Agreed. The premise had some really fun tropes and setup but it did not deliver. In addition to the under-utilised shapeshifting, a particular disappointment of mine was the way the mother&daughter arc is resolved. Rebecca never finds out who her mother is and in the end, her own character development and the time the show spends on following her movements amounts to nothing and could have been skipped. Maybe they were saving it for season 2, but that’s a mistake in my opinion.

    Svetlana had great potential as a villain but was just extremely over the top and hammy.

    Such a shame all around.

  5. I watched two episodes and could not take any more. Who the hell writes these things? I have no problem with fantasy, but there has to be some internal coherence and logic. This is horrible.

  6. You’ve rated this too highly. I struggled through two episodes. That’s enough.
    This is easily one of the worst shows I’ve watched recently. A complete waste of time.

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