After the current MI6 boss Sir Martin Angelis is poisoned by former SVA operative Kara, MI6 agent Adam Lawrence is assigned the task of leading the MI6. Adam and Kara have both been involved in a botched-up operation in Baku a decade back. Adam is currently in a bind as a result of his new responsibilities coupled with his past catching up with him.
‘Treason’ is an obvious example of a guilty pleasure watch. You follow along with the narrative and love every minute of it, but once the series is finished and you start thinking about it, you realize it was hollow, fluffy, and lacking in depth. The series, written by Matt Charman, the writer behind the critically acclaimed Steven Spielberg directed ‘Bridge of Spies,’ is more concerned with providing twists and turns at regular intervals than delving deep into the realm of the espionage world, which by the way is never glamorous. This spy drama cannot be taken seriously, and not much time is to be wasted debating over the ifs and whys. Because if you were to ponder, you will miss out on the fun. It has all of the elements of a standard espionage thriller: the CIA, SVR, MI6, rogue agents, an assassination attempt, Russian businessmen, and blackmailing. If you don’t put the series through a scanner, it can turn out to be a thrilling ride.
The good thing about ‘Treason’ is that it summarises the spy tale in five episodes, and any further episodes would have caused a stutter in the trip. Russia is the flavour of the season, and this is the third series to capitalize on Russia’s newfound villainy on the world stage, following ‘Slow Horses’ and ‘’Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan,’ in a very short span. The villain in the spy drama is a Russian tycoon who has been banished from Russia and now desperately wants to do something to please Kremlin leaders in order to ensure his return to Russia, where most of his assets are blocked. This series also demonstrates how the Coen Brothers’ charm and humour shaped ‘Bridges of Spies’ into a superb film. In the absence of such nuances, it is clear that Matt Charman falls short when it comes to injecting subtle quirks into a screenplay.
One word to describe the series would be ‘ridiculous,’ as most of the events appear ludicrous and defy fundamental logic. There are so many of these sequences throughout the series that describing them all would be redundant and amount to filling pages. ‘Treason’, alas, lacks the cerebral appeal that most spy dramas have. ‘Treason’ is more of an indulgence that appears to be a fun ride only till the time you are not invested in it.