Starring: Richard Armitage, Rhys Ifans, Richard Jenkins, Michelle Forbes, Leland Orser, Tamlyn Tomita.
Humpo Show Rating | 4.5 / 5
We are Thomas Shaw…
Thomas Shaw, an Edward Snowden-esque whistle-blower, has decided to target the CIA’s Berlin Station by leaking some of the station’s secrets to the press, and thus, creating a multitude of problems for the various players of the station. Each of the main characters display signs of shiftiness and secrecy concerning their actions which makes for intriguing viewing as their is a underlying sense of unpredictability throughout the season. For those who enjoy Homeland and Spooks, Berlin Station delivers an interesting and exciting spy thriller that ticks all the boxes as well as conveying a modern day message concerning espionage and the institutions.
Rhys Ifans gives quite simply an outstanding performance as the enigmatic and brooding case officer Hector DeJean. His acting performance rivals that of Anthony Hopkins’ in Westworld, especially as the season went through the gears after the half-way point. At the heart of the series is Hector’s ideals that are central to his actions and work, despite many of his actions being deemed to be indefensible to his co-workers, while his meets with “sources” are questionable to say the least, as he continually delves into the murky underworld of Berlin. His moral compass is ever-present throughout, constantly questioning the why he does things for an institution that Miller (Armitage) describes as “imperfect”. Ifans brings enormous depth, simmering anger and a wounded yearning to a role which depicted him as utterly untrustworthy, but reliably captivating.
Daniel Miller (Armitage) flies to Berlin for the sole mission of discovering the identity of Thomas Shaw and shutting him down. He arrives at his workplace, Berlin Station, and thus comes into contact with Hector, a friend from their time together in Chechnya as field agents, where there is some lasting mental scars for Danny. Armitage cuts the standard CIA man very well, determined, chiseled and determined to get the job done for his country, and he brings his usual high level of intensity to the role. The contrast between the company man Danny and the idealist Hector is striking and it appears as a root of tension between the characters and their various debates many times throughout the season.
Berlin Station has been able to deliver a strong and enticing twenty-first-century spy thriller based upon the whistle-blower events of Snowden, Assange and WikiLeaks. The events of this show are presented in such a way, that the viewers are clamouring for the next leak to see what clues are left to the identity of Thomas Shaw. Each episode brings us nearer to the situation concerning his identity, but we are also delving deeper into every character’s personal and professional lives as they are all suspect to say the least. With everyone having shady aspects of their character, Berlin Station keeps us entertained and transfixed for all ten episodes, but the second half of the season far outshines the first, with the final few episodes being spectacular, with Ifans delivering scene-stealing performances which should see him receive some acting recognition for sure.
The Humpo Show | Richard