TV Review: Agent Hamilton (S1) | More Complicated than it Needs to Be

The Scandinavian spy thriller is loosely based on the Carl Hamilton novels book series by French-Swedish author and journalist Jan Guillou. Written for the screen by Petter S. Rosenlund, the show stars Jakob Oftebro (The Letter for the King) as the title character Carl Hamilton; Nina Zanjani as Kristin Ek aember of the SÄPO black ops division; Peter Andersson (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit) as Christer Näslund, Head of SÄPO; Krister Henriksson as ‘DG’, the head of the most classified part of the Swedish Military Intelligence Agency, OP5; Katia Winter (Sleepy Hollow, Dexter) as Sonja Widén, and Chris Austin as Sami al-Ahfiz.

Premise: Carl Hamilton has just returned to Stockholm as a series of cyberattacks and bombings are plaguing the city. An ex-member of the Swedish Military Intelligence, he is asked to work with the Swedish Security Service (SÄPO) to identify the attack source. Hamilton soon finds himself on a life threatening mission against an invisible enemy with traces leading to the Russian, Swedish, and American intelligence services

Review: The premiere is light on action and that pretty much sets the tone for the whole series. It’s a lot of mystery and suspense with antagonists seeming to come from all sides. There’s of course some action but it’s far what most spy thrillers offer. The story is also a bit wonky and convoluted but it kind of works. There are no clear bad guys or good guys – maybe one -, which is why I said antagonists earlier, because everyone seems to be operating in a gray area. Their actions motivated by gains rather than believes.

The series explores many things, or at least tries to. At first it seemed like the show centered around loyalty and patriotism, the struggle between work related duties and one’s home country’s self interests – when these two don’t align. However, the focus sort of shifted from that, going into foreign and national intelligence agencies rivalries to the characters’ own self interests rather than their countries’. It’s also when the plot got a bit muddied, when the twists and turns got to be too many. Not that it’s too hard to follow but it’s not smooth or well written enough.

The acting is solid it’s the main reason why I wasn’t completely bored out of my mind at times. Although Oftebro is the title character, Zanjani is the most interesting and less polarizing one in the series.
In conclusion Agent Hamilton is slow to start, well acted, over-complicated, yet entertaining.

Rating: 6 out of 10.

Agent Hamilton has been renewed for a second season that premieres on April, 18th, 2022

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