IN FROM THE COLD on Netflix is a new thriller, mystery series with a spy plot and a supernatural twist. Very much along the lines of Alias and Nikita. Margarita Levieva is perfect in the lead with Charles Brice as the sidekick. Read our full In from the Cold Season 1 review here!
IN FROM THE COLD is a new Netflix series in the thriller, mystery, drama, and action genres. Essentially, it’s a rather classic spy story, but with a twist. Many elements reminded me of series such as Alias and Nikita. I loved Alias (2001-2006), so that’s actually a huge compliment.
For me, it doesn’t quite reach the level of that iconic series. At least not here in season 1. However, I will say that Margarita Levieva is perfect in the lead. Also, Charles Brice ends up being a great sidekick. He’s charming, smart, respectful, and always nails his lines with just the right tone. These two actors alone make this a winner for me!
Continue reading our In from the Cold Season 1 review below. We’ve watched all eight episodes in the season for this review.
The cold war isn’t over!
Anyone who follows politics will know that the cold war really isn’t over. However, in this new Netflix series, part of the story takes place back when the historical “cold war” was at its peak. This part is only shown in flashbacks (where the dialogue is in Russian), while the present is mostly in English and some Spanish.
In the present, we meet Jenny (Margarita Levieva) who seems like a rather average American woman. She’s in Madrid with her daughter, who is a figure skater on the US national team. Shortly after they arrive, Jenny is kidnapped by people who claim to know she’s actually an ex-Russian spy.
Of course, they are absolutely right, and it’s the story of Anya (Jenny’s real name) we get in these flashbacks. All of this is the core premise of the series, so I’m not giving away spoilers. The main plot of the series is that her help is needed again. In other words, they don’t want to trap and punish her. They want to use her skills.
And since her skills include actual shape-shifting, she is very unique. The shape-shifting element works remarkably well, so don’t worry about it being a weird part of the plot. It really isn’t.
The cast of this Netflix spy series
As already stated, Margarita Levieva (The Deuce, Revenge) is simply perfect as the present-day Jenny. However, I also have to give a huge shout-out to Stasya Miloslavskaya as Anya. Remember, Anya is the young version of Jenny. So when we’re watching Anya on her first mission as a spy, we’re really getting Jenny’s story.
Stasya Miloslavskaya has a lot of heavy moments as Anya, and she delivers in every single scene. The same goes for the character of Svetlana (Alyona Khmelnitskaya) who plays the woman training her to become a spy.
Also, while Charles Brice (Watchmen, Homeland) is my favorite sidekick (tech wiz spy helper) as Chris in In from the Cold, there is another “contact” that Jenny is forced to work with. Chauncey (Cillian O’Sullivan) is the CIA special agent who ropes Jenny into becoming a spy (and shapeshifter) all over again.
I think I’m supposed to find him charming, but I don’t really. It should also be noted that Chris (Charles Brice) is just as much forced to help Chauncey, as Jenny is. Maybe that’s why the two also get along in a very special way. As a rule, however, Jenny doesn’t really have much patience with either of them.
Being forced into active duty, while trying to be there for your teenage daughter, isn’t exactly something she wants.
Watch season 1 of In from the Cold on Netflix!
Adam Glass (Supernatural, The Chi) is the showrunner, writer, and executive producer of this new female-focused spy series on Netflix. Directors include Ami Canaan Mann (the first two episodes) and Birgitte Stærmose (a Danish director).
While I did enjoy much of In from the Cold, I had a huge issue with the way language was used. I loved the fact that all the flashbacks scenes in Russia have dialogue only in Russian. And I can appreciate that both English and Spanish are spoken when American and other non-Spanish speaking people are in scenes.
However, I cannot for the life of me understand why they continuously have Spanish-speaking characters (native to Spain) speak English among themselves. It was the strangest thing and completely ruined the illusion for me. If you can allow Russian dialogue in some scenes, then surely Spanish dialogue makes just as much sense in others.
Also, there’s a side-story focusing on Jenny’s daughter. It doesn’t make much sense in the grand scheme of things, and I kept wanting to go back to the core spy story.
For me, the language issue was the one really bad thing about this series, while the side story was more of an annoyance. Otherwise, sure there are some plot developments that feel forced, but hey, it’s a spy story with action, thriller (and sci-fi) as well as drama. You have to allow for a bit of craziness.
The cast works and that’s why I’m truly hoping for a season 2 of In from the Cold.
In from the Cold season 1 is out on Netflix from January 28, 2022.
Creator: Adam Glass
Directors: Ami Canaan Mann, Birgitte Stærmose
Screenwriter: Adam Glass
Cast: Margarita Levieva, Cillian O’Sullivan, Charles Brice, Lydia Fleming, Ivanna Sakhno, Stasya Miloslavskaya
During a European vacation with her daughter, an American single mom’s life is turned upside down when the CIA forces her to confront her long-buried past as a Russian spy who was also the product of a highly classified KGB experiment granting her special abilities. After a mysterious string of manic and murderous incidents suggests someone with her exact abilities is targeting innocent people, Jenny (Margarita Levieva) is forced out of hiding to stop this villain or risk losing the family and new life she has built.