Liaison Season 1 Episode 1 Recap – why are the Syrian hackers so important?

By Adam Lock
Published: February 24, 2023 (Last updated: February 20, 2024)
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Liaison Season 1 Episode 1 Recap
Liaison Season 1 Promotional Image (Credit to Apple TV+)


It’s an odd opening installment; Apple have put a lot of money into this espionage thriller, although the dialogue and acting seem rather stilted at times. And there is very little to draw the viewer in besides that final twist and the inclusion of Vincent Cassel.

Espionage series Liaison opens Season 1 with “Storm Warning,” introducing viewers to its Hollywood cast (Vincent Cassel and Eva Green take top billing), international locations (Paris, London, and Damascus), and spy thriller plotting. Episode 1 focuses on the cat-and-mouse chase between the UK and France as they both try to land two specific Syrian terrorist hackers seeking political asylum outside their home nation. It’s a strange opener that feels both stilted and subdued.

Liaison Season 1 Episode 1 Recap

The action commences in Damascus, Syria, as computer hacker Samir (Aziz Dyab) is hunted down in an abandoned hotel. His partner in crime, Walid (Marco Horanieh), tips him off to this ambush, and Samir quickly wipes his hard drives and then rigs an explosive.

The pair manage to escape the raid and head to the border with Samir’s wife, Myriam, and their constantly screaming baby. The Syrian hackers contact the French Embassy looking for political asylum.

Why are the Syrian hackers so important?

The French President (Thierry Fremont) is updated on the situation. Sophie Saint-Roch (Irene Jacob) and Didier Taraud (Stanislas Merhar) explain the importance of these two Syrian hackers. They have top-secret information on impending terrorist cyber-attacks in Europe after hacking Assad’s police files.

They are both geniuses in their field, with ties to France. Didier wants to extract them immediately. Enter Gabriel Delage (Vincent Cassel), hired to smuggle them safely out of the country.

Simultaneously, the UK’s National Cyber Security Center in London is hacked, with an animated cat singing ‘London Bridge is Falling Down’; this is then projected onto all their computer screens.

Minister Richard Banks (Peter Mullan) is informed of this hacking and, alongside his private secretary Alison Rowdy (Eva Green), meets with Cyber Security’s Mark Bolton (Patrick Kennedy). Bolton downplays the breach, although they still want a full investigation.

Walid and Samir drive to a specified location, where they meet Gabriel. He’s equipped them with new passports and cash to help with their extraction; they must wait for the helicopter landing. Unfortunately, they are ambushed, and a shoot-out follows.

The Syrian hackers flee, and Gabriel is taken hostage. Gabriel is tortured for information until another soldier notices his old colleague and ends the fingernail yanking. While Gabriel was tortured, the hackers crossed the border into Turkey and fled the country.

What is the second cyber-attack in the UK?

There is a second hacking in the UK; this time, the Thames Barriers in London are targeted. This causes catastrophic flooding in the capital. The next day, Richard is informed of the possible hacking and sends Alison to deal with the investigation. Again, Mark downplays the hacking, blaming the old software instead.

Alison suggests telling the PM of a second cyber-attack in 24 hours.

The hackers arrive in the UK, where Samir’s uncle greets them. He supplies them with work and accommodation. The Syrians lay low, working at The Grenson Hotel. Gabriel is given a secret identity and diplomatic immunity and tasked with retrieving the hacker’s USB key. He sneaks into the hotel and chases after Walid.

The hacker slashes Gabriel with a knife, but he manages to nab the USB key anyway. Gabriel updates his boss Dumas, who then passes the information to Didier.

Next, Gabriel hunts for Samir. This hacker is much more successful, though, and evades capture. The Brits are then notified of their possible terrorist suspect, Walid, who has been taken to hospital after the hotel attack. CCTV footage reveals Gabriel’s involvement, although he is under a fake identity still.

Alison seems to recognize the man instantly but remains silent on the matter. Richard wants to arrest Gabriel for vital information but needs his immunity revoked so they can speak with him first.

How does Liaison Season 1 Episode 1 End?

In the premiere’s final moments, Alison argues with her partner Albert, back at home. Albert has been offered a job by Richard, tasked with solving the immunity dilemma. But Alison thinks Richard is using him and will want Albert to break the law in the process.

Albert storms off, leaving Alison to stare out of the window. The rain is pelting down, and it’s a stormy night. Gabriel appears out of the shadows and presses his hand against the pane of glass. It would appear Alison and Gabriel have a history, possibly of a romantic persuasion.

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