That with the female action heroines in the film and series world may have an undesirable side effect: every form of real double burden looks somehow puny next to the fictional one. Jenny, the main character of the series In from the Cold, can level half a dozen rather sinister guys in breathtaking fight scenes, but has to put off one or the other service to save western democracy in order to live up to her motherhood. Whatever it is, she tells her boss at the CIA, it will have to wait. The daughter comes first.
Why do series sometimes use whole episodes on twists that you can already see coming when the opening credits start? In from the Cold begins several assassination attempts in Madrid, a man greets guests at a cocktail party, then his eyes turn blue and he kills one of them; a woman is sitting in a café, suddenly her eyes turn blue, she grabs the knife next to her plate and stabs a woman with a baby. And then Jenny arrives: an American skating mom who accompanies her daughter to a competition in Madrid. You can kind of guess that she’s not an American housewife. In from the Cold but makes quite a fuss about the fact that the CIA suspects her to be a long-hidden Russian spy with special abilities, which she, of course, denies. How would this episode become a series, would that be true?
She’s really the Russian spy Anya, and the CIA man in Madrid has to put the thumbscrews on her to agree. She would much rather focus on Becca, her daughter, with whom she is having a hard time right now – Jenny has just broken up with Becca’s father. But there are suspicions that what happened in Madrid is related to her previous work.
Trailer for the series:
The previous story is worked into flashbacks, Anya in Moscow in the nineties – Jenny’s present would be confusing enough. The whole plot has a few double bottoms too many. However, one thing is always clear – the CIA is on the side of the righteous. Oh well. But at least: In from the Cold becomes more exciting and relaxed over the first episodes, maybe a second season would be really good (the first isn’t), especially since the somewhat simple distribution of good and bad, as you can see at the end, would have to be varied again.
The wonderfully choreographed fight scenes are really impressive though. And Jenny/Anya’s special ability, the result of a major otherwise failed attempt by Russian intelligence, isn’t a new idea, but it’s a really good one: In cobra, take over the series from the sixties, the original Mission: Impossible was called and lives on in the cinema to this day, the agents were, if necessary, hey presto, just someone else. Jenny can do that too, but the transformation is painful for her. It’s not nice to look at. But seems more conclusive.
In from the Cold, on Netflix.