31 January 2013 | mohan59
It is early days yet, but the pilot was so engrossing (and Fox infuriating with its endless barrage of commercial breaks), it deserved a review.
Set during the Cold War when relations between the Big Two are still ebbing and flowing, we are taken on an intriguing ride on the back of an American couple: Phillip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell). They make an everyday pair but there is something brewing from (and between) them. Their motives are ulterior, the tension palpable, the strain of a highly dangerous mission clearly burdening them. Despite two kids, Elizabeth has a singular purpose, a determination not as concrete in Phil's heart which is in a state of mental flux. He is getting weary of the masquerade but is a thorough professional, as his slick talents in hand-to-hand combat and imposture bear testimony. Not every step goes perfectly to plan, though. A tricky hurdle comes their way and as Phil and Elizabeth eradicate it, she begins to understand Phil's dilemma and choses to defend him from her superior.
Meanwhile, the FBI is hot on the trail of three people suspected of espionage, one of whom has a description. Through a cruel twist of coincidence, the Jennings become neighbors to one agent Stan (Noah Emmerich) whose sixth sense makes him doubt and investigate them, even as Phil gathers intelligence that the Feds have them on their radar. As the stakes in this fascinating game of cat-and-mouse rise, there are glimpses into who Phil and Elizabeth really are, what brought them here, and how they end up together.
It is an engrossing story, interspersed with great moments of tension, decadence, and charm (who would've thought Phil Collins and Fleetwood Mac could make such inspired choices for background score?). The writing is top-notch. Matthew and Keri are excellent casting choices, since portraying enemies as genuine people is not as easy as it looks. A very positive start from the show's makers.
Can't wait for the next episode!