The Night Agent | Smooth, Exciting, Familiar and Layered

Created by veteran showrunner Shawn Ryan, who has created and co-created some great TV dramas The Shield, Timeless, or S.W.A.T., The Nigh Agent is his latest conspiracy action thriller based on a Matthew Quirk novel of the same name. Starring Gabriel Basso (Hillbilly Elegy) and Luciane Buchanan (Sweet Tooth) in the leads as Peter Sutherland and Rose Larkin, with Hong Chau (Watchmen, Big Little Lies, Artemis Fowl), D. B. Woodside (Lucifer, 24), Fola Evans-Akingbola (Siren), Eve Harlow (The 100, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Bitten), Phoenix Raei (The Heist), Enrique Murciano (Panic, Briarpatch), and Sarah Desjardins (Impulse). 

Premise: FBI Agent Peter Sutherland is thrown into a vast conspiracy about a Russian mole at the highest levels of the United States government. To save the nation, Peter plunges into a desperate hunt for the traitor, while working with the terrorized CEO Rose Larkin, and protecting her from the people she called her aunt and uncle.

Review: I happened to have read the book, and this adaptation is pretty good. It’s great that they’ve started the show with the catalyst event that the whole conspiracy can be linked back to, it allows for a lot more showing than telling, and for a clear line of events. The series itself deviates in many ways from the source material, but those changes makes sense when you consider the possibility of a second season, and the book readers.

The Night Agent like many shows and movies in the spy thriller genre has many familiar tropes at first glance, but if you watch more than the pilot you’ll quickly realized that it subverts expectations in many ways while, I’ll admit, also using some of the better tropes of the genre. Yes Peter and Rose are at the center of the plot but enough background and time is given to the other actors in this story to understand their action and motivations. Peter is not the unstoppable guy with ilimited skills, Rose isn’t a total damsel in distress in need to be rescued, the antagonists are not mustache twirly, and the investigators are not drones. Most of the characters here are balanced with justifiable skills and intellect. They seem real enough that the whole conspiracy this season seems plausible. If you’ve read the book they do enough of a good job to muddy the water to make you doubt what you know, and surprise you.

The show has a good production value, a solid cast, and it remained entertaining throughout.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.

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