3 October 2020 | Tweekums
This Russian series is centred on a group of 'deprogrammers' who rescue people from cults. Their operation is outside the law as they are employed by parents of adults and those they take don't initially think they need rescuing. Their latest job involves deprogramming Nika, a young woman who has fallen under the spell of a charismatic cult leader known as Berk. Once they have rescued her they take her to a remote house, here they are joined by our protagonist; a nurse named Lilya who we learn was once in a cult herself. Later they are joined by Lilya's young daughter, Kira. While the group try to get Nika to understand that she is better off outside the cult Berk is trying to find her. People from Lilya's past also prove to be a danger.
Before watching this I'd never seen a Russian TV series so had no idea what to expect... what I got was a taut drama with interesting characters, tense moments and a solid story. The characters are quickly and effectively introduced as the story gets started. These characters are impressive; especially cult leader Berk who is charismatic and intimidating despite not looking physically threatening. Lilya is a good protagonist, the character's backstory adds a depth and becomes important later in the series. Young Kira is rather fun with her sometimes grisly pronouncements. Svetlana Khodchenkova, does a fine job as Lilya; the rest of the cast are also solid, not reading Cyrillic I can't mention them by name! There are some flaws of course; a scene that takes place in a woods late at night is over-lit and the ending felt a little rushed. Overall a solid drama that I'd recommend to people looking for something a little different.
These comments are based on watching the series in Russian with English subtitles.