Now Streaming: LIAISON, Compulsively Watchable, Incredibly Gripping

Vincent Cassel and Eva Green star in the superb suspense series from Apple TV+.

Managing Editor; Dallas, Texas, US (@peteramartin)
Now Streaming: LIAISON, Compulsively Watchable, Incredibly Gripping

Like a tightly-coiled string whose grip grows ever stronger.

The first episode is now streaming on Apple TV+. Subsequent episodes will debut weekly, every Friday. I've seen all six episodes.

Stakes are raised quickly, doors are smashed, and two Syrian hackers must run for their lives. And that's only the opening sequence!

Their first attempt to leave the country ends in a hail of gunfire, and so they abandon their would-be savior and manage to make it across the border into Turkey and then fly into London, where their uncle provides them temporary safe harbor at his place of employment. Their safe harbor does not remain secure for long, however.

But I'm getting ahead of myself and telling you too much about the details of the ingenious narrative, skillfully woven by co-creator and writer Virginie Brac, working from a story she devised with co-creator Oliver Butcher (Unknown, Message From the King). Brac is a novelist who started writing for television more than 20 years ago; her deft ability to create a suspenseful plot while also developing empathetic protagonists, irritatingly smug villains, and a variety of diverse supporting players drives the story ever onward, simultaneously making it increasingly absorbing as it plays out.

The first "Angle-French" production from Apple TV+ moves easily between French and English, as well as some Syrian, depending upon the setting, hopping from Damascus to London to Paris to elsewhere in Europe, with dramatic leads Vincent Cassel and Eva Green making me wish I had studied the French language so I could more easily appreciate their seamless, multi-lingual performances. Both actors dig deep into their emotional arsenal, especially Green, who has the much more difficult role to play, and is able to do so with pinpoint control of her emotions.

The thrust of the series builds on the opening sequence, once it's revealed that the Syrian hackers unintentionally uncovered a far more sinister, hidden agenda that involves all of Europe and, indeed, the world. Then it becomes a frenzied race to see who will win in global domination.

Green plays the second-in-command to a British government security agency, headed by the weary and wary Peter Mullan. Cassel portrays a weary security contractor with a private agency, headed by the wary Gérard Lanvin, that is hired by a French government security agency, headed by a truly vile individual (Stanislas Merhr) with his own merciless private agenda. Irene Jacob plays a French security agency counterpart who has reasons to be suspicious, while Laëtitia Eïdo effectively essays a rather thankless yet essential role as a lower-level government worker.

There's more, but that ventures into spoiler territory. It should be enough to say that a mass of coiled wire steadily unwraps throughout each episode, which kept me on edge throughout. Because all six episodes were made available in advance, I ended up binging over two evenings. Apple TV+ has chosen a more reasonable weekly release schedule, however, with only one new episode released weekly.

It's compulsively watchable and incredibly gripping.

Now Streaming covers international and indie genre films and TV shows that are available on legal streaming services.

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