Thursday, June 20, 2024

‘The Night Agent’ series review: A genre show that delivers exactly what it promises

(L to R) Luciane Buchanan as Rose Larkin, Gabriel Basso as Peter Sutherland in ‘The Night Agent’

(L to R) Luciane Buchanan as Rose Larkin, Gabriel Basso as Peter Sutherland in ‘The Night Agent’

Matthew Quirk’s 2019 novel, The Night Agent, is a slim, fast-paced thriller about shady shenanigans in the White House. The show based on the novel, while following the basic plot, has added many more jalebi-shaped twists and turns and we are not complaining.

The Night Agent (English)

Creator: Shawn Ryan

Cast: Gabriel Basso, Luciane Buchanan, Fola Evans-Akingbola, Sarah Desjardins, Eve Harlow, Phoenix Raei, Enrique Murciano, D. B. Woodside, Hong Chau

Episodes: 10

Runtime: 45–56 minutes

Storyline: An FBI agent on the graveyard shift at the White House uncovers a gigantic conspiracy

Peter Sutherland (Gabriel Basso) is the ultimate Boy Scout, believing in doing the right thing and helping people. He has a dark past though, with his father being suspected of leaking military secrets and dying in an accident before he had a chance to clear his name. Though Sutherland wants to serve his country, he has not been able to rise in the FBI because of the cloud around his father, who was also an agent.

The White House Chief of Staff, Diane Farr (Hong Chau), offers Sutherland an opportunity to make a difference working the Night Action telephone in the White House. It is the number agents call when in distress and the operator directs the calls to the relevant department. For over a year, Sutherland has been working the graveyard shift with nothing happening.

It all changes one night when a terrified woman, Rose (Luciane Buchanan), calls to say her aunt and uncle are being attacked and they asked her to call this number. That call opens a can of worms for Sutherland who cannot look away when someone is in need.

Also Read: ‘Daisy Jones & The Six’ series review: An easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy watch

Rose and Sutherland are on the run and bodies are piling up on cue. There is a turf war between the different three-letter agencies with Ben Almora (Enrique Murciano), the director of the Secret Service, locking horns with Jamie Hawkins (Robert Patrick), the Deputy Director of the FBI, as well as Farr. The President, Travers (Kari Matchett), and Vice-President, Ashley Redfield (Christopher Shyer), have their own agendas.

Redfield’s teenage daughter, Maddie (Sarah Desjardins), has a chip on her shoulder and a fraught relationship with her father. Secret agent Chelsea (Fola Evans-Akingbola), who is in charge of Maddie’s protective detail, is more of a friend to Maddie, a fact that does not escape Agent Monks’ (D. B. Woodside) eye, a secret agent who took a bullet for the previous President.

There are environmental activists, a metro bombing, cyber threats, a charismatic leader from somewhere-istan, Omar Zadar (Adam Tsekhman), who may be a patriot or a terrorist depending on which way the wind blows, shady military contractors, a stolen baby, a nanny cam with explosive footage, a royal crest, and little old ladies who are fairly handy with rifles.

Shadowing all these disparate pieces is a psychotic couple, Ellen (Eve Harlow) and Dale (Phoenix Raei). What is it with these weird assassin couples who have normal, everyday conversations about babies and houses while torturing people to death? By the time the twin makes their entry, you should not be blamed for looking for the kitchen sink in the hectic plot.

The Night Agent is that genre show that delivers exactly what it promises. While there are some pacing issues and it takes some time to shake off the sluggishness and hit its stride, The Night Agent ticks along busily enough to ensure you do not ask too many questions. You do not have time to wonder where Rose got the colour printouts for that impressive presentation to the President or why everyone is making big-big eyes at each other. That there is an Oscar nominee (Chau) and a Terminator in the cast, makes the show all the more fun.    

The Night Agent is currently streaming on Netflix

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