Based on the 2019 thriller, The Night Agent, by Matthew Quirk, Netflix’s newest hit series has undeniably proven to be a triumph for the streaming giants. Residing at the top of Netflix’s viewership rankings since its release on March 23rd, the gripping drama has already been renewed for a second season after only one week, an unprecedented early renewal by the company who almost always wait at least 4-5 weeks to reveal any news of this variety; however this is hardly surprising given the show achieving the status of Netflix’s third biggest debut on record.
This begs the question, what is so captivating about this newest political thriller? To start with, the ten episode story benefits from a talented collection of actors, who all play their roles to perfection. Gabriel Basso, previously starring in films such as The Hive and The Whole Truth, as well as being a regular in Showtime’s The Big C between the years 2010 and 2013, is outstanding in his portrayal of Peter Sutherland, capturing the character’s troubled yet patriotic personality in an inspired, potentially career defining performance. Basso’s ability to excel in this role was only aided throughout by the evident chemistry between both Sutherland, and his accomplice from episode one, Luciane Buchanan’s Rose Larkin. The Beyond the Veil actress works incredibly well alongside Basso’s Sutherland, capturing the character’s development excellently whilst raising the stakes for the FBI Agent tasked with her protection. It is difficult to truly review the performances of all actors involved whilst preserving the countless twists and turns that this story entails, however an honourable mention must go out to Hong Chau’s portrayal of Diane Farr, who navigates the ever-changing persona of her character not only convincingly, but seamlessly.
In relation to the underlying story, no doubt highly accredited to Matthew Quirk’s source material, but also as a result of showrunner Shawn Ryan, the tumultuous plot twists and shock reveals are executed to perfection throughout the course of all ten episodes. Without revealing too much, a storyline that begins seemingly two dimensional effortlessly breaks off into layer upon layer of subplots, that all converge on each other by the end of the story to answer all of the nagging questions that had arisen thus far; the quality and flow of the story was sublime from start to finish. Although season one’s story was full to the brim with tension and episode to episode cliffhangers, Ryan made the correct call by wrapping up all storylines by this instalment's conclusion when considering the future of the franchise. To leave questions unanswered would only strand the audience who had invested themselves in this story feeling frustrated, and perhaps more to the point, ending in this manner allows for a great deal more scope when curating the events of the highly anticipated second season.
In terms of what to expect going into the second season of this political thriller, as of today the future is unclear. In an interview with Collider, Ryan breaks down that his intention has always been to create standalone stories as opposed to a continuation of season one, suggesting that with the exception of Basso’s Peter Sutherland, the future of any current characters is firmly in doubt. This season's focus was the White House, and an undiscoverable mole within their ranks, and it is not beyond the realm of possibility that going into further seasons of the show there will be a new focus, with a mostly fresh roster of talented actors to bring the new storylines to life. It is safe to assume that Luciane Buchanan’s Rose Larkin will retain some sort of role, however whether she will be nearly as pivotal in the events of the upcoming season remains to be seen. Without any pre-existing source material from Matthew Quirk, should the showrunner not call on his services to write this new script, Shawn Ryan will play an even bigger role in the composition of this newest iteration of the author’s characters; however this is far from a reason for alarm. Ryan made it clear in his interview with Collider following the release of the first season, that although the series adheres closely to Quirk’s literary works, the author was very amicable when it came to changes to make the story suitable for the silver screen, and that he afforded the showrunner a great deal of creative licence. A prime example of this was the introduction of lethal assassin lovers Dale and Ellen, who’s inclusion was at the request of Ryan, believing that their chemistry and backstory would add another dimension to the story as a whole, as opposed to the older Russian assassin who operates alone in the book; it is safe to say this gamble paid off immensely.
In short, Netflix have proven victorious in the production of this latest political thriller, providing audiences with a gripping and compelling story that is only aided by an accomplished cast who allow for Quirk and Ryan’s plot to flourish. The success that has been observed over the project’s opening week and beyond is extremely encouraging, and despite most factors being unknown regarding the already confirmed second season, it is transparent why audiences are already eagerly awaiting this next instalment; The Night Agent has everything one could desire from a show of this genre and is a must watch if you have not done so already.
By Joseph Baker
Share This Post On
Leave a comment
You need to login to leave a comment. Log-in