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Treadstone - The Kwon Conspiracy Recap and Review




Second episode of the series starts off back in 1973 with John Bentley at the CIA base in Berlin. He's busy trying and failing to open his locker, until his partner steps in and gives it to him. The two chat, we learn that the men served in Vietnam together and that John let himself get caught to save his partner. They are then interrupted by another agent, who aggressively asks John if he's seen his partner before being kicked out of the area. The two go back to talking, to which John discovers he's been missing for 9 months and not a week as he thought. A now freaked out John is lead to an office where the station chief questions him on what happened to him while in captivity and his mission beforehand. Bentley revisits his memories; he had been sent on a mission to find Intel on Soviet program called Cicada. The Intel had led to the prison, that the program used hypnosis, drugs and electric stimulation to make Cicadas. John then talks about being captured when trying to kill the leader of the program.

He goes onto talk about being tortured and drugged by the red-haired woman (Petra) and the Doctor who he was sent to kill. Having listened to Bentley's tale, the section chief insinuates that John was actually turned and is now a double agent. The insinuation causes John to knock out a guard, grab his gun and try to escape the building. He takes his partner (Frank) as a discrete hostage and manages to leave the base before alarms go out. Not before knocking out two guards and his partner. The episode then jumps to Doug, who appears trapped and shackled under water. Noticing a key, he swims down to grab it but is attacked by a man in a similar situation. Doug manages to get the upper hand when.... he wakes up on a plane heading home, he checks his ankle where there are noticeable marks and bruising to be seen.

Cutting now to Edwards and Becker back at CIA headquarters. Becker informs Matt that Kwon is dead under suspicious circumstances i.e. assassination, Cicada once again comes up when it's revealed that Kwon used to be a Cicada Handler. Matt gets pissed off by this, mentions the events of New York and how a rogue agent tried to end Treadstone. Ellen and Matt decide to talk to Martin Wells, a specialist in behavioural modifications, to see if he can shed some light on the mystery. Before leaving Matt asks how far back the Cicada trail goes, Becker's response is "As far as the Cold War". Jumping now to Kursk, the elderly woman, who previously murdered her husband, calls an unknown number to which she finds is outdated. The next scene sees her leaving her house with a packed bag and look of determination.

The episode then cuts to Tara who is now in Paris, she pulls up to Kwon’s daughters’ college when her phone rings labelled unknown. Luckily, it's just Matt on the other end, the two bicker for a bit about Tara being in Paris, then Matt warns her two north Korean agents arrived at the Paris Airport suggesting she and the daughter are both in danger. Quickly hanging up the phone, Tara checks with the college, the daughter isn't there. However, using her journalism intuition and her phone, Tara manages to deduce where she might be from photos taken by the daughter recently and drives off to the location (Palace of Versailles). Jumping once again, this time to SoYun in N. Korea. SoYun is hiding in the bathroom, looking at/hiding her bruises from her fight with Kwon before taking her son out to the park. While at the park, the son reveals that a man gave him the illegal toy, threatening him not to say anything.

Flashback to 1973 KGB Headquarters, Petra is being loudly scolded by a solider in front of a tribunal, the episode cuts to Petra and the soldier (called Yuri) now in bed and laughing off the warnings and threats said at the trial. Yuri appears jealous of the escaped American (Bentley) but Petra shrugs it off and the camera fades to a blur. Back to present day Moscow, Petra calls someone from the station asking why she was disconnected, she’s given a time and place to meet and talk face to face.

Jumping back to Tara who has found the daughter, she has a difficult time persuading her to talk with her. After giving her the necklace, she informs the daughter that Kwon is dead, and she is in danger. The episode cuts to Doug now at home, his wife (Samantha) pulls a gun on him until she realises its not a robber. They then proceed upstairs to the bedroom… Later they talk about what to do now that Doug is unemployed before going to sleep. Back to SoYun in Pyongyang, talking with her husband she slightly hints about escaping to South Korea before someone at the door disturbs them. Colonel Shin, the husband’s boss, takes him out for drinks and the son identifies the Colonel as the man who gave him the illegal game.

Matt, who is in Las Vegas, walks into a show where Martin Wells is hypnotising a man to act like a chicken. After the show, Edwards approaches him at the bar and initiates a conversation eventually leading to Wells’ involvement in the Cicada program. He was part of the process to hypnotise the subjects with an image or sound to wake them up. A disbelieving Matt asks if it was possible, leading Martin revealing he’s hypnotised the bartender under a phrase which gets him free drinks. Together they look at security footage of a multiple homicide, the gunman appears ordinary until Matt takes a closer look, seeing techniques and skills that show when someone is a highly trained assassin. The two decide to visit the gunman, who is in prison.

Back to Doug, who is having trouble sleeping due to nightmares, searches up the address on the back of the photo he had woken up with in the previous episode. The address leads to a bar which Doug drives to and waits outside with a gun. While in N. Korea, SoYun learns her husband has been promoted because he exposed a traitor, General Kwon! He has SoYun promise to keep this info secret and to never to talk about leaving again. Clearly disturbed by this information, SoYun decides to sleep in her sons’ bed with him instead.

The episode cuts to Paris where Tara is driving the daughter to the Embassy, where a car chase ensues between them and unknown assailants. The assailants chase Tara and kill the boyfriend of the daughter before Tara decides to slam into the side of the gunman’s car causing both hers and theirs to flip over, leaving the episode on a cliff-hanger.

Well the writers are certainly not holding back; this episode was as full on as the last! And it was shorter too. I would say that this episode was better than the pilot, mainly because more background was given about Cicada, the episode gave us some character development for our Sleeper Agents and Bentley. When a show doesn’t give me/the audience any context or anything to help connect themselves to the main characters, it can be very easy to get bored or frustrated with a show, no matter how exciting the main plot is. I’m glad that everything is getting connected and coming together, if maybe a little slow for my liking. I am certainly looking forward to more information being revealed, maybe where John is now or Who is waking up the Cicada??

What were your thoughts about the episode? Did you enjoy it as much as the pilot? Any theories you would like to share on what’s been seen and said so far? The most important question being, who is your favourite character in the show at the moment? Please let me know what you thought in the comments.

-SarahR

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