Directed by Stephan Hopkins, “Liaison” tells a tale of power, politics, betrayal, and unrequited love. Every character has a past that they cannot delve into because embedded deep inside are secrets that have the potential to make or break a nation. These characters know what is at stake, which is why you see prominent lines on their foreheads, which tell us how much stress they are under at all times. The series was created by Virginie Brac, and the story was developed by Oliver Butcher. “Liaison” boasts of a star-studded ensemble that is helmed by Eva Green and Vincent Cassel. So, let’s dive deep into the world of human intelligence and understand what the conflict was that shook the nations and made them so apprehensive.
What Is ‘Liaison’ Episode 1 About?
The first episode of the Apple+ original, “Liaison,” introduces us to the perilous world of secret intelligence, and we witness nations going head-to-head behind closed doors. Two hackers named Walid and Samir had struck gold and gotten their hands on some high-level secret intel that made them a potential national threat. They had asked for political asylum from the French embassy. Dumas had been informed by his source in the ministry that the Directorate General for External Security would not meddle in the matter and give a free hand to the private contractors to complete the mission by themselves.
The President was intrigued as to why they had chosen France as their destination for asylum. They were operating from a dilapidated apartment in Damascus, and though they knew the dangers of doing such a job, they believed that the national forces wouldn’t be able to catch hold of them anytime soon. But they were wrong in thinking so, and the local forces found out about their whereabouts. They caught hold of Walid and asked him to tell Samir to open the door to his apartment. Samir realized that something wasn’t right, and he took all the data on a pen drive and deleted everything from the system. He had installed a bomb on the door itself, and with not a lot of options left at his disposal, he detonated it and escaped with Walid. In France, the president had a short meeting with Didier and Sophie, and they informed him about the Syrian hackers. They said that Samir and Walid had some priceless information about the impending cyberattacks on European soil.
Samir and Walid had been able to destroy the Syrian Police data servers, and that is why there wasn’t a lot of information about them on the portals. It was believed that these two were geniuses who could hack into any system in the world, no matter how protected it was. The French president was curious to know why the hackers had chosen to seek asylum from them when they could have gone to any other nation. Sophie was of the opinion that, probably because the elder of the two brothers knew how to speak French and had lived in the country for some time, they wanted to come there. Didier was very confident that if he got the permission, he would extradite them in a few hours, and they would have to wait for a couple of days for the DGES to do the needful. The president gave him a green signal, and that’s when he contacted his contacts and told him to start making arrangements to bring the hackers to France. The president only asked for one thing: he said that he didn’t want the Brits and the Russians to catch them before they did.
Who Was Gabriel? What Was His Task?
In the first episode of the series, “Liaison,” we are introduced to a character named Gabriel, who was a former agent and now worked for a private contractor named Dumas. He got a call from his boss, Dumas, and he was told that he would have to execute a high-level operation and illegally extradite two individuals out of Damascus, Syria. The hackers were told by Gabriel to come to the Syria-Turkey border, where a helicopter would take them to France. But to the horror of the hackers, someone ratted them out to Syrian intelligence, and before they got on the helicopter and met Gabriel, the Syrian forces arrived and started openly firing at them. Walid and Samir were able to escape from there, and Gabriel was taken into custody by the Syrian forces.
Fortunately, there was a person named Mitzia who Gabriel knew. Mitzia arrived at the right moment and told his colleagues that Gabriel didn’t work for French intelligence but for a private contractor named Dumas. Gabriel told Mitzia that he was tired of his life and was desperately looking for an out. The world of intelligence was the kind of swamp in which once a person entered, they couldn’t easily come out. Even a seasoned professional like Gabriel was finding it extremely hard to call it quits, and the angst of not being able to do so was evidently visible on his face.
‘Liaison’ Episode 1: Ending Explained – Did Alison Know Gabriel Before? Did He Get The USB From The Hackers?
In the national cyber security center in London, Mark Bolton told the minister named Richard that there had been an intrusion in their software the night before. Bolton was of the opinion that somebody had found a way to hack the buffer zone that existed between publicly available information on internet and an organization’s private data. Alison told Richard that because there had been concrete proof of its breach, it might be possible that Bolton was right in his assessment. Richard trusted Alison, but his intuition was telling him something else. Before Alison and Richard could think about what they could do about the existing situation, London was attacked once again, and the Thames barrier was breached, probably for the first time since its inception. Richard called Alison in the morning and told her that the computer had been jammed, which didn’t allow the barriers to be raised. Generally, whenever there was a tidal surge in the North Sea combined with heavy rainfall, the barriers were raised, but this time, due to some software malfunctioning, London suffered heavy flooding. It could have been possible that the flood defenses didn’t work because the system was not well maintained, but because two such instances had happened in such quick succession, Richard and Alison had reason to believe that both attacks were preplanned and connected to each other.
In the first episode of the series, “Liaison,” Mark Bolton was sent to look into the matter and talk to the duty officer, and Richard asked Alison to accompany him and get to the root of the matter. Mark was not ready to accept the fact that they were hacked because he knew that, ultimately, he would have to take the fall for the breach. But the duty officer said that the timing of everything that had transpired was so precise that he wouldn’t rule out the possibility that someone was inside the system. Bolton was trying to find all sorts of excuses, and he told Alison that they were unnecessarily wasting their time and resources investigating a malfunctioning gate, but she told him that he couldn’t run away from taking responsibility and that it was better if he started looking into the matter.
Gabriel was told by his employer that the hackers were in London as they had an uncle who worked at the Grenson Hotel. Gabriel flew to London under the alias of Jean Petit, a European diplomat, and he tracked down the hackers. He tried capturing Walid first, but instead, they entered a skirmish and ended up creating a ruckus in the hotel. The British police force was called to the scene to interrogate matters, and Samir’s uncle told him to flee from the hotel and go into hiding because he wasn’t sure what the intelligence agencies would do with his nephews. While departing, Samir told his uncle that, contrary to what the authorities were saying, he was not a terrorist, and the intelligence he had was worth a fortune. The British forces caught Gabriel on the CCTV footage, and they started finding information about his identity.
DI Hobbs was in charge of the investigation, and in her presentation, she told everyone that Walid Hamza, the Syrian hacker, was a prodigy who had hacked into Assad’s security services and gotten his precious intel from there. Hobbs told the team that Hamza’s attacker was using the alias of Jean Petit, a European ambassador, though she was still not able to find out who he really was. As soon as she showed the picture of Gabriel on the screen, the expression that Alison had on her face said a thousand words. We instantly came to know that she knew him from before, and they might have been quite close in the past. Because Gabriel was positioned as an ambassador, he had diplomatic immunity, so he couldn’t be arrested so easily. It was decided that Alison’s husband, Albert, who was a star lawyer, would be looped in to find a way to lift his immunity and make it look like the British government was acting strictly according to the laws.
There were two important developments that happened in the end that would probably decide the course of the narrative in the upcoming episodes of the series, “Liaison.” Firstly, Bolton said that he was going to resign because he knew that he would be made the target, and eventually, he would have to take the fall for the incompetence of the system and his superiors. Second, Gabriel came to visit Alison the same night she attended the team meeting, where she saw him in the CCTV camera footage. Their expression showed that they knew each other very well, and had things been different, they would have spent an eternity together. In the upcoming episodes of the series, “Liaison,” we would get to know how exactly Alison knew Gabriel and if the French government was able to catch Samir.