Queen Sono Season 1, Episode 1, “I Am Queen Sono” is a good, vibrant opening chapter which is lacking a little firmness to the plot, but otherwise a good start.
This recap of Netflix Series Queen Sono season 1, episode 1, “I Am Queen Sono” contains significant spoilers.
- Read the Season 1 review.
- Read the recap of Episode 2.
- Access the archive of all the episode recaps.
Episode 1, “I Am Queen Sono” opens up vibrantly, with spy Queen Sono in Zanzibar walking the streets, music bopping, radioing to her intelligence officer Fred. She’s tasked with doing a simple data grab. Her distractions with family are obvious, ringing her about going to Church. As she starts downloading data from a man from Superior Solutions, advanced signal-blocking technology stops the feed; she has to go manual, so she causes a distraction in the restaurant, and grabs the man’s phone. When she is chased down, Queen Sono is clever, confident and cocky and makes an escape. Fred congratulates Sono on the gold mine of intel. An Elton Davenport is referenced in conversations.
What I liked about the opening scene is that it shows a laidback spy, within African culture doing her thing, and her personality is clear from the first few scenes — the Netflix series does not mess around bringing Sono to the surface.
After, the spy heads to the Special Operations Group. She is berated for potentially giving her identity away and losing traces of Superior Solutions by Miri. Sono is told she lacks the international espionage, but of course, the spy disagrees. The Special Operations Group (SOG) want to know where Superior Solutions is getting the money from — Fred mentions an Elton Davenport again.
But there is something that is weighing Queen Sono down. Her mother was murdered 25 years ago by Hendrikus, and it is the anniversary. Her mother Safiya Sono was a famous political activist and her murderer is rumoured to be given parole. SOG advise her to get a mental health assessment, so she visits her trusted doctor and friend William. He asks about the impending parole of Hendrikus, but she waves it off. Afterwards, she spends time with Mazet and they discuss her mother more.
It’s very clear that no-one in her life knows she is a spy and it is even stranger that she can be mentally assessed by a friend when there are clearly romantic feelings between them.
At the midway point of Queen Sono Season 1, Episode 1, “I Am Queen Sono” flits to Congo; there are overworked workers on a site in the boiling heat. The guards with guns and the French staff are assaulted by what looks like military men. A man announces that the workers are now free — he calls his organization Watu Wema; SOG classes them as a new terrorist organization. The man announces that he wants a small portion of the valuable gem from the earth and reclaim their lives in Africa.
Back to Sono, who rudely interrupts Willam and his new girlfriend Nova’s meal — Nova seems bothered about their past. They all get drunk and Nova reveals she works for a bank, but Sono does not want to get into African politics. It’s revealed that Sono tells people she is an art dealer. At the end of the meal, Nova asks the ultimate question — have Sono and William f****d each other? The scene flits to the next, so we never see the answer.
Queen Sono Season 1, Episode 1, “I Am Queen Sono”, ends with Auntie Nana calling Sono and saying the parole board have decided to release Hendrikus and she wants her to know before the media handle it — they are releasing the man on age and frailty. Sono sneaks into the prison as a guard to see Hendrikus herself — she sees him working out, which means his parole review was based on a lie. She asks him what happened that day Safiya Sono died with a gun pointed at him. Hendrikus describes a stakeout at the park and mentions a child nearby (Queen Sono) near a park bench. Hendrikus says he worked alone and it was his duty to protect the country, to protect it from the terrorism of that kind. In an early reveal, Queen Sono raises a huge hole in the story — it wasn’t at a park near a bench and the shot came from a moving car.
“I am Queen Sono”.
- Fred is concerned about Queen Sono’s methods.
- In one of her flashbacks, she’s a young girl and she hears gunshots.
- In the news they are discussing the 25th anniversary of Safiya Sono’s murder by Hendrikus.
- Watu Wema Brigade — a new terror organisation that Miri raised in Special Operations Group.
- Sono wants to take Mazet to the doctors. Worried about her health.
- Queen Sono seems bothered that William has a girlfriend.
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