“The Paradox Andropov” began to bring some plot strands and characters together, as the broader shape of Treadstone begins to reveal itself.
This recap of Treadstone Season 1, Episode 7, “The Paradox Andropov”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
The theme of the week in Treadstone Episode 7 is… haircuts? That seems to be the case, anyway. Doug (Brian J. Smith) returns to see Sam (Tess Haubrich) and discovers she has cut and coloured her hair, and also prepared go-bags full of passports and other useful items for fleeing fugitives. Has a woman ever packed a bag so quickly? I wouldn’t have thought so. But before their exile begins, Doug has some things on his mind. He explains to Sam about Treadstone Guy, and the conversation he overheard about Marcus Sachs, who Sam discovers is a geologist specialising in rare-earth metals. What’s his relationship to Patty Vernon (Charlotte Palmer), and why is a pharmaceutical company trying to take over her market share? It’s all very confusing. But since an asset has been activated by Treadstone Guy with the mission of eliminating Sachs, Doug wants to help. He and Sam look up his address in Arlington, and it takes the entirety of “The Paradox Andropov” for them to get there. When they do, it’s a cliffhanger. Sam watches Doug walk inside, and the whole place explodes.
Treadstone Episode 7, like its predecessor, devotes plenty of time to the 70s, where Petra (Emilia Schüle) is holding Bentley (Jeremy Irvine) at gunpoint. He remembers everything now, including their ill-advised sexual relationship, which Petra claims was quite genuine on her part. As if to prove it, when one of their men finds them, she shoots him dead. Bentley, though, wants to know about Matheson (Oliver Walker). Petra says he’s still alive, but rescuing him, as Bentley would like to, is impossible. Their conversation is cut short by the arrival of more KGB goons, and they fight them off together in a romantic trigger-happy double-act.
Petra knows a place they can go — a hotel where they’ll be safe. Bentley is, understandably, worried they’re not on the same side, so he goes out to “get some air” as something of a trust exercise. While out and about he’s accosted by a CIA officer and is forced to kill him; when he later returns he tries to kill himself, but Petra talks him out of it by saying she can get Matheson’s location from Yuri, who we’ll meet elsewhere in “The Paradox Andropov”. They’re both so happy about this development that they have sex. They are, after all, the best-looking actors in the show, so it’s probably mandated in a contract somewhere.
Speaking of good-looking actors, SoYun’s (Hyo-Joo Han) comeliness becomes a plot point in Treadstone Episode 7. Still stowed away in Shin’s convoy, she overhears his men discussing a meeting with Russians at a nightclub called Chroma, so she prepares for the evening by stealing money and bags in the streets and using her ill-gotten gains to finance a major glow-up. And to build electronic devices. She arrives at Chroma looking gorgeous and is able to blag her way first through the front door and then into the VIP section. She doesn’t get to whoop anyone in “The Paradox Andropov”, but the “Next time on Treadstone…” teaser suggested a Wickian neon-drenched club shootout, which is the kind of thing I think we deserve.
In Mykonos, Greece, Middle-Aged Petra (Gabrielle Scharnitzky) is able to track down Yuri, who is living the life of a Bond villain on his ludicrous luxury yacht. After about five minutes of surveilling him, she’s able to sneak aboard during a swanky shindig where we finally get to put a face to the name Senator Wray (Tim Ahern). Petra’s confrontation with Yuri is a bit of an anticlimax, by design. She’s bitter that she spent twenty-five years on a farm living a hardscrabble blue-collar life in the name of Mother Russia while he got fat and rich. But he exposes her self-imposed exile for what it really was. She might have convinced herself she was on a mission, but really it was punishment for one emotional decision too many, which certainly tracks with what we’ve seen elsewhere in “The Paradox Andropov”. She spent all her time training the KGB’s cicadas but ultimately it was her who ended up being programmed. To add insult to injury, he knew she was tracking him, and his men ambush her. He tells her to go back to the farm and enjoy what’s left of her old age. Ouch.
Then, finally, we have Tara (Tracy Ifeachor), who is holed up with Meghan (Racheal Ofori) and Sebastian (Eric Kofi-Abrefa), whom she resumes a relationship with while waiting for a meeting to be set up with Yuri. We get some of her backstory in a typical post-coital opening-up conversation, and the hint of an old source, Nolan (Set Sjöstrand), who might be tied up in the whole affair as well. Meghan has contacted him, but he didn’t respond; his silence suggests he knows something.
On their way to the meeting, the gang are ambushed and kidnapped. They’re interrogated about the cryptocurrency, and when they try to remain tight-lipped about it, Meghan is executed. Fearing the same fate might befall Sebastian, Tara gives up the goods and enters the access key. They’re thrown back onto the street — surely it would have been safer to kill them? — and find themselves at an impasse regarding what to do next. Sebastian thinks she should walk away from anything to do with Stiletto Six. But Tara is more committed than ever. She contacts Nolan and tells him Meghan is dead and asks him about Treadstone. He says she cut out; she should ask him again if she’s ever passing through Moscow. She books a flight to land next week.