‘Allegiance’ spy series delightful surprise

Posted on April 15, 2015


“Allegiance,” the spy TV series that debuted on NBC on Feb. 5, is a delight surprise. I do not normally watch spy shows since they are mostly full of violence and boring at the same time. However, “Allegiance” is different. It attracts you to keep watching and being constantly curious about what is next.

The show portrays a talented young CIA analyst Alex O’Connor who is assigned a job to assist in a joint FBI-CIA investigation of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Russia’s (SVR) plot against the United States.

Ironically, unknown to him, his parents and older sister are all part of Russian sleeper cell who have been asked to prevent the revealing of key files related with the plot. Starting from there, a complicated story of intelligence mixed with ambition, love and trust begins.

Alex is trying to find the secret file while his parents and other SVR members trying to get the file before him. It is a wrestle between Alex and SVR, and it is exciting and amazing to see how Alex finding clues and getting closer to the answer step by step in an absolute genius by paying close attention to subtle details and his incredible analytical skills. The show presents a big puzzle and calls on you to explore along with the character.

“Allegiance” does not have much violence; rather, it is more like a detective story. Actually, more than a detective story, it also includes loves between family members and the struggles to pay off past wrongdoings. With the mix of these complex flavors, “Allegiance” brings a much richer content to the audience. I am attracted by it after the first episode and keep watching since I am so curious about what is going to happen next. The plots of the shows are unpredictable, which makes it such a joy to be surprised.

“Allegiance” is actually an American adaption of the Israeli spy drama series “The Gordin Cell.” Having similar content as “The Gordin Cell,” NBC makes it through and Americanized it to fit the market and it seems like a success to me.

However, the ratings of the show are not that satisfying so far and NBC decided to move it online after five episodes. Now you can easily access the show through NBC or Hulu Web sites, which I believe is an awesome deal. For anyone who is interested in the show, you do not have to sit in front of TV and wait for the show anymore. The contents are all online and free for access at any time of the day now.

Production of the show seems sophisticated as well. The directing, editing and acting of “Allegiance” all perform well together in the show. Even it has been cancelled and moved online, the quality maintains and you can see the producer treats it seriously.

I particularly love the acting of Alex, played by Gavin Stenhouse and his mother, Katya O’Connor, portrayed by Hope Davis. Stenhouse, as an experienced actor who took roles in TV series including “Iconicles,” “Major Crimes” and “Person of Interest” addresses the audience with a calm, intelligent Alex. Hope Davis who has received several big awards nominations such as Tony Award and Emmy Award also presents audience with a struggling mother and experienced spy.

Each episode runs about 42 minutes and it takes a while to catch up with all nine episodes that are available through April 2, but if you like puzzle-solving series, you should enjoy it just like I did. Compared to sitcoms that are used to relax and kill some time when you are boring, “Allegiance” has a serious story to tell. It invites you to come along and attracts you to reach for the next episode.

Since it is available for free on NBC.com now, it is super easy to watch your computer, jump to the page and enjoy the show, just be patient with four to five half-a-minute long ads.

  • “Allegiance”
  • Spy drama
  • 42 minutes per episode
  • Hope Davis as Katya O’Connor, Scott Cohen as Mark O’Connor, Gavin Stenhouse as Alex O’Connor, Margarita Levieva as Natalie O’Connor, Morgan Spector as Victor Dobrynin, Alexandra Peters as Sarah O’Connor, Kenneth Chol as Sam Luttrell
  • Available online at NBC.com and hulu.com for free
  • Nine out of ten stars