Treason season 1 ending explained – who is Dorian?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: December 26, 2022 (Last updated: December 28, 2022)
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Treason season 1 ending explained


A very strong finale has some surprising turns, great performances from Oona Chaplin and Olga Kurylenko, and the potential for at least one spin-off, all while bringing this particular story to a satisfying conclusion.

This article contains major spoilers for Treason season 1 episode 5, including an open discussion of Treason’s ending.

Before we get into the specifics of this climactic episode and Treason‘s ending, allow me to give you a quick mission briefing for context.

So, most of what’s going on in Treason began a decade-and-a-half prior in Baku, on a mission where MI6 agent Adam Lawrence made a name for himself by foiling a disaster at the embassy there. However, he was working off a tip from his secret lover, Russian spy Kara, and rather than have that relationship be exposed — and thus be unable to take credit for saving the people at the embassy — Adam fled and left Kara in-country, where her team was killed by an MI6 agent codenamed “Dorian”.

Fast-forward to the present day, and the Chief of MI6, Sir Martin Angelis, believes Adam is Dorian. This is due to his rapid rise through the service and also thanks to the CIA flagging him as a person of interest. As it happens, they’re technically correct. Over the years, Kara has been supplying Adam with crucial intelligence that has netted him several major wins, but he didn’t know he was being manipulated. Kara needed him in a position of authority so he could help her uncover information about who killed her team, so she poisoned Angelis to get Adam promoted to Chief.

In the midst of all this is a crucial leadership race for Number 10 which is being manipulated by Russian agents. Anton Melnikov was funding the campaign of a man named Robert Kirby in order to flip him as a double agent for the Kremlin and buy his way back into the Motherland. Angelis was well aware of this, but also planned to let it happen and then expose the plot publicly to strengthen his position in MI6. Angelis kept multitudes of illegal files to control prominent people, and among them was a document that exposed Kirby’s opposition, foreign secretary Audrey Gratz, of having used a government plane to fly in a doctor with the intention of assisting in her mother’s suicide.

In the penultimate episode, Angelis ordered Adam and Melnikov killed, hoping to frame Kara for both murders and cover his own tracks. However, Kara saved Adam and his family from MI6’s assassin, Barnes, so Angelis turned to Adam’s wife Maddy’s friend Dede, a CIA agent, to enlist the services of her team in taking Adam and Kara out.

Treason season 1 episode 5 recap

So, the finale begins with a two-pronged attack. Adam and Kara meet with Malik, while Maddy, after slyly delivering a note and a phone, meets with Gratz. If Adam can get Angelis’s files, she promises to give Adam immunity from prosecution, and if Gratz ends up in Number 10, then she’ll install Malik as her new C. Everyone wins — except Angelis, obviously. Malik decides to play ball and activates the tracker on Olamide‘s phone, which leads to a builder’s yard where here’s digitizing the files and burning the original paper copies.

Everything kicks off here. Kara is able to snatch a glimpse at the CIA’s Baku file, which as we already know postulates that Adam is Dorian, and she makes off with the hard drive containing the digitized copies, strangling Olamide to death when she’s discovered. Maddy, meanwhile, arrives on the scene to provide help, and at around the same time Dede and her hit squad turn up. A gunfight ensues, and eventually, Dede has Adam at gunpoint.

Just as Maddy is about to hand over the hard drive, Adam lunges for Dede and she shoots him dead. Kara and Maddy flee with the hard drive.

Naturally, Angelis pins Adam’s death on Kara and uses Patrick and Malik’s ambition to become C to coerce them into finding Kara and eliminating her by any means necessary. This leaves Kara and Maddy completely alone and without allies, since Gratz, hearing about Adam’s death, refuses to take the files. Instead, she tells Maddy to return them to Angelis, with the logic being that if Angelis exposes Adam as a double agent, he’ll also discredit Kirby, securing her place in Number 10.

Treason season 1 ending explained

Since Angelis’s files only use the codename “Dorian” and just assume it’s Adam, Maddy and Kara decide to bait a trap to lure out the real double agent. (Kara claims it can’t have been Adam since he was with her on the night her men were killed.) Kara feeds intelligence about the kompromat to Irina Belova, who passes it up the chain. The logic is that Dorian will expose himself to retrieve the intelligence.

So, Maddy has to infiltrate the Commons Intelligence Committee where Angelis has called a hearing. When she gets there, Patrick just so happens to leave the hearing and run right into her. He tries to take the files, which she’s carrying rather blatantly, and Maddy figures out the obvious — Patrick is Dorian. She jabs him in the throat with the hard drive and leaves him for Kara to collect, and then takes the files into the hearing. Gratz seizes the opportunity to expose Angelis’s blackmail and begins to clear Adam’s name. Maddy stops Angelis on the way out to triumphantly declare that he killed the wrong man and that Patrick is Dorian.

Kara gets her revenge, at least. Seconds after Patrick makes a call confirming he is Dorian, she poisons him with a substance on the photograph of her and her team from Baku.

Elsewhere, Maddy calls Dede and promises her that she will expose what she did and destroy her career (a spin-off, anyone?). She and Kara share a touching farewell, and Maddy heads, alone, to tell Ella and Callum that their father is dead.

You can stream Treason season 1 episode 5 exclusively on Netflix. What did you think of Treason’s ending? Let us know in the comments.

Additional reading:

Endings Explained, Netflix, Streaming Service, TV - Ending Explained
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