Liaison – Season 1 Episode 1 “Storm Warning” Recap & Review

Storm Warning

Gabriel hosts a party at his Parmenter in Damascus, Syria as episode 1 of Liaison begins. On the same night, hacker brothers Walid and Samir Hamza manage to get their hands on valuable intel by hacking into Assad’s police servers.

The intelligence service attacks their hideout but the brothers were prepared and manage to escape. Before escaping, Samir also wipes all the data from the hard drives. There is a breach at the National Cyber Security Centre in London, where the Puss in Boots character is shown to be blowing up London Bridge. It might be an indication of what might come next. The veiled threat is taken seriously by Minister Richard Banks. Along with Alison, his close aide, he confronts Mark Bolton, the head of the Home Office.

According to Bolton, the damage is limited and the breach has been rectified. They still can’t trace who was behind it. But Richard makes sure he knows time is of the essence. Richard is pissed as millions were spent to create the infrastructure and it was easily bypassed. The brothers contact the French embassy for political asylum. Madame Sophie Saint-Roch, head of the DGSE (the secret service), and Didier Taraud, the head of a special task force, brief the President. Hackers have info about impending cyber terrorist attacks in Europe. The hackers managed to destroy the Syrian police’s severe data designed by the Russians. They’re good and are wanted by everyone. He gives the green light to Didier to extract the brothers, as his alternative is quicker.

Didier contracts Gabriel to get the brothers to Paris. He must prepare passports for them but does not know that the brothers have two more people with them; Myriam and her infant child Hachim. Gabriel waits for them in Ain Aksa. When the brothers reach the spot, they’re ambushed by Syrian intelligence soldiers and the hackers escape. Gabriel is arrested. Mitzia recognises Gabriel as he’s being tortured by the soldiers. We learn that Gabriel is a private contractor who works for Dumas, who in turn has been hired by Didier in this case. He confesses he wants a different life and he’s tired of this job.

Albert is Alison’s husband and a human rights lawyer. He is quite successful and well-reputed in the media. By bribing the soldiers, the brothers and Myriam make it across to Turkey. They leave her and Hachim to go to London, where their uncle works at Grensen Hotel. Alison convinces Richard not to update the PM about the breach and give Bolton more time. That night, someone overrides the Thames barrier system to cause flooding in London. The barrier can’t be raised anymore as the computer won’t allow it.  Bolton and Alison go to the site. The system was hacked into and it was intentional, say the operators.

Bolton says it is a software failure to avoid blame. Alison reports the findings to Richard. Gabirole meets Dumas, who makes him a false identity – Jean petit, a European diplomat – and sends him to London to bring the brothers to Paris. Gabriel is instructed to find a USB key with the intel. Samir tries to contact Bolton from the hotel, where his uncle has gotten him and Samir jobs. Gabriel reaches the hotel and finds the room where Walid has set up comms. Walid runs when he sees Gabriel in the room and a chase ensues. They’re corned in an elevator where Walid knives Gabriel but he successfully overpowers the hacker. Gabriel takes the USB key and Walid lies unconscious in the elevator.

But he later discovers it is password protected. Didier warns Dumas that if the Brits get the intel from the brothers, it’ll be disastrous for the French. The uncle asks Samir to escape as the police are interrogating staff. He will take care of Walid. Samir says they hacked the Assad’s files but they found something very dangerous. He says the information is gold and they will soon have a lot of money. Gabriel corners Samir on a bus. But he manages to escape at the next stop.

There’s a high-level meeting to discuss the suspicious attacks. Mark is still not ready to deem the Thames incident as a hack and says he only works on concrete data. DI Hobbs briefs the meeting. She is the lead on the Thames case. Walid is the subject of discussion but then Hobbs shows Gabriel’s face which immediately gets a reaction from Alison. It seems that she has a history with him.

When Richard says they have to find a way to revoke Gabriel’s immunity status, Alison tries to protect him. Understanding the situation, the least she can get done is to keep the information classified. Bolton tries to resign as he feels he is being serious as the fall guy. But Richard threatens to make life uncomfortable for Bolton if he does so. Albert says he was offered the Petit case by Richard but Alison says he was offered it for publicity. They have a fight about the case. We see Petit looking at Alison through the window of her house. They have a silent, longing exchange.

The Episode Review

The season premiere for Apple TV’s Liaison indicates that it is yet another run-of-the-mill spy series. Espionage has become an intriguing subject for viewers and conglomerates have scampered to produce such stories at a fast pace. There seems to be some contemporary relevance to the current political climate given its landscape and context that might be a refreshing change.

Vincent Cassel and Eva Green are star names and well-suited personnel for their characters. The unravelling of their past connection will definitely add an emotional entanglement that might be worth something. As of now, the elements of storytelling seem more or less generic given how much of the same stuff we have seen over the last three years.

However, Liaison might not be entirely unauthentic and might still have something unique to offer us.

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You can read our full season review for Liaison season 1 here!

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