Thursday, February 05, 2015

NBC's "Allegiance": interesting look at the life of a young CIA analyst, but I don't believe the stuff about his parents being former KGB

The NBC series “Allegiance” started tonight with a Pilot.  It will be compared to “The Americans”, but this one is set in present day, so any KGB activity in the US seems more about thuggery and promoting Putin’s statist capitalism, where teenage hackers contribute to the gross “national” product.
Gavin Stenhouse plays Alex O’Connor, a brilliant young CIA analyst, multi-lingual, just hired out of grad school.  If I follow right, his parents were at one time part of a KGB sleeper cell.  It’s pretty hard to believe that the son wouldn’t know or that his background investigation wouldn’t find it. 
But the plot is predicated on the idea that Putin wants to do something super bad to the US power grid, starting with steam-operated plants.  I don’t see yet how this hooks up with EMP attacks or cyberwar; maybe it’s just a pilot.  The Ruskies (we can’t call them Soviets now) need to hire the parents out of hiding.  So the compromise is that the parents will spy on the son. It actually starts, with swapping SIM cards and planting car bugs.
It’s also a little silly to have all this in New York City.  It would make more sense to carry out a plot like this in Silicon Valley.
Although Alex is an analyst, he acts like a real spy, meeting with informants in subway hideaways right out of “The Bone Collector”.  He is told to use a pseudonym when working, Bill Adams, even with his peers. 
The CIA activity in my own novel is, by comparison, rather low key as to the skullduggery.  There is little violence, and most of the secrets are hidden in plain sight.  But that’s what aliens would do.  Remember, Clark Kent had to be discreet about how he uses his powers.

There is a reference to what they learned from Edward Snowden.  They didn't already know?
USA Today has a comparison (to “Americans”) here
NBC’s site (“Flag or family?”) is here

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