Liaison – Season 1 Episode 3 “Manipulations” Recap & Review


Gabriel and Dumas sit in a bar to discuss the former’s findings from London as episode 3 of Liaison begins. It is revealed that Alison testified against Gabriel and started a new life leaving him in the lurches.

The red-headed woman, whom we see in the photo Gabriel zoomed in on Alison’s phone at the end of the last episode, was called Nathalie, and when she died her death was put on Gabriel by Alison. He ought to be more resentful but pleads that he only went to her for help.

Alison calms down Albert when he cannot sleep. Telkis has located Myriam in Brussels, who happens to be stuck in a refugee camp. Gabriel’s task for this episode is to retrieve Myriam and then also meet Sabine, Didier’s secret woman.

Dumas wants Gabriel to learn what Sabine knows about the energy and security deal. But more importantly, explore her relationship with Didier, Dumas’ client. Kim, who is still recovering from her injuries and the mental trauma of the collision, sees traumatizing news of the death of Luke, the boy sitting beside her that day. Alison and Albert comfort her.

Gabriel takes the same train as Sabine for Brussels and strikes up a friendly conversation. By the end of their journey, they have exchanged numbers and swear to meet again. Richard Banks asks Bolton and Alison to close the deal as soon as possible.

Gabriel goes to the RCSO and poses as Lounes Cordier, who informs Myriam falsely that her asylum has been granted. He asks Myriam to phone Samir and tell him about this new development. Gabriel’s end goal is to get Samir and the best way is through Myriam and Hachim. Myriam says they have a mechanism where she messages him and he calls from a different number. Gabriel says if she cannot accept to come with him immediately, the asylum will be revoked. Myriam prepares to leave but encounters two masked men who claim to be taking her for vaccinations.

It is clear they are from another group trying to take Myriam. A fight breaks out between them and the other refugees when Myriam resists. Gabriel protects Myriam and despite being tased, is able to make it out of the facility. But they cannot get too far away and Gabriel calls Alison for help. Sabine meets with Alison and Bolton, lying that the person they are set to close the deal with, is in Berlin.

Sabine is acting under Didier’s direction, who asked her not to let the deal happen. Bolton mysteriously goes his separate way but in reality, he has actually gone to meet Bob at the Antropa offices.

It is revealed that Bolton was paid hefty amounts of money to help with the breach at the Security Centre to make sure that Antropa gets all civilian and military contracts with the UK government. That is why Bob and Didier did not want the security deal between the UK and the Commission to happen. Bolton says that he has done what was asked and can no longer be of use to Bob. But it seems the shrewd businessman isn’t done with Bolton yet. Alison reaches the spot and picks up Myriam and Gabriel. She comes clean about her and Gabriel’s identities to Myriam. She promises to help Myriam if she takes shelter with the UK government.

Alison gets her a room at the hotel and Myriam embraces her in gratitude. Alison tends to Gabriel’s wounds and they almost have a moment of intimacy. Alison breaks down and confesses that she cannot be with Gabriel anymore. She wishes to marry Albert, with whom she has been for 5 years.

Alison expresses her regret for what happened and how she is a changed person. Gabriel accepts her plea to move on with their lives and not think about their previous episodes anymore. Richard calls Alison in the dead of the night to report another hacking attack where the hackers are now playing around with London’s power grid.

When Sabine’s answer does not change the next day either, Bilton argues with her. Alison takes the opportunity to barge into Vandermeer’s office and finds him there. She instantly recognizes that Sabine was trying to stop the deal. Vandermeer acknowledges that the terms of the deal remain the same and is ready to sign it that day itself. Sabine tells everything to Didier. She also tells Alison’s name but gets upset when Didier’s tone gets disrespectful and he calls Pierre, their baby, “a half-baked one.” Didier informs Bob, who pensively looks on. But it cannot be anything good for Bolton and Alison.

Sabine and Gabriel meet for drinks and later proceed to have sex at her house. Before they leave the bar, he has a longing exchange with Alison. It is clear she still has feelings for him but there is nothing they can do about it. Hobbs shows Albert the CCTV footage from the hospital where he learns that Alison and Gabriel were in the same room when Walid died. She did not tell the truth about it to Albert.

A beleaguered Alison calls and waits for Bolton to go for the deal. But he does not respond. At Vandermeer’s office, she goes to the bathroom and finds two men walking out from a stall. There, she finds the dead body of Bolton hanging from the pulling pipes with a tie.

The Episode Review

This was by far the best episode in Liaison’s season 1 up to this point; perfectly paced with a great balance of emotions and storytelling. We got to see some decent pacing and action at the RCSO, where Gabriel almost got caught with Myriam. It is clear now that Alison and Gabriel are on opposing teams but the two former spies cannot let go of their past.

Even though they agree to get the memory of their past out of their minds, it seems embedded permanently within. This episode also brought the first hint of doubt in Albert’s mind about Alison when he discovered her lie. Bolton’s death was not a shocker, given how dangerous Bob and Didier are.

Their seriousness and ruthlessness make them candidates to stay away from. The scale seems evenly poised for now, with no side having a clear stronghold over the Syrians. We don’t know exactly what the information is, but we do know the nature of it, which seems extremely important at his point of the story.

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

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