The surveillance technology that exists at this moment in time is so advanced that many are concerned that we as a society have reached a point of no return where true privacy has been lost forever. Corporations make money based on their ability to predict the spending habits and likely trends of consumers and manipulate them, and governments are able to spy on and suppress their people if they so choose. But such incredible access also means that law enforcement, when acting properly, has an advantage against criminal elements, provided those suspects aren’t able to outsmart them. Apple TV+’s latest drama series, Suspicion, shows how technology can still be subverted through its investigation of an international conspiracy.
A viral video starts off the show’s first episode, showing Leo Newman (Gerran Howell), the son of a well-known American businesswoman, Katherine Newman (Uma Thurman), being abducted in a hotel hallway and stuffed into a suitcase. FBI Agent Scott Anderson (Noah Emmerich) travels to London to interface with Vanessa Okoye (Angel Coulby) from the British National Crime Agency as she interrogates three unusual suspects with no apparent connection other than the fact that they were all in New York at the time of the kidnapping.
Viewers are introduced to the protagonists before their arrests, giving a snapshot of who they are and the very different lives they lead. Natalie Thompson (Georgina Campbell) is about to get married and was in the United States visiting her sister (Lydia West) for her bachelorette party. Aadesh Chopra (Kunal Nayyar) was trying to get a government contract with Newman’s company to keep his failing business afloat. Tara McAllister (Elizabeth Henstridge) is a university professor who attended a conference. None of them seems like the culprit but the authorities holding them believe they are associated with Sean Tilson (Elyes Gabel), an operative on the run who disguises his identity to elude capture.
Suspicion has no shortage of characters and subplots, following supporting players in the lives of its three criminal suspects and even tracking elements related to Okoye and Anderson, who have their own complicated relationships with their supervisors and their agencies. There is the expected stalling that comes first when Thompson, Chopra, and McAllister express incredulousness at having been arrested in the first place and then when they realize what it is they are being accused of and assume a defensive position. Fortunately, the show’s pacing remains even and engaging since, when one storyline loses urgency, another one picks up right away.
It may be difficult for some audiences to keep track of all of the people involved in this ensemble drama, but that may add to the effect of the mystery, which is certainly alluring. The complicity of each of the three suspects is unknown, and presuming that they are indeed guilty as charged, there are still extenuating circumstances and surprising motivations that drive their actions. Having too much content to dig through may ultimately prove disappointing since there are only eight hours in which to move through it, which its creators surely hope will lead to a commission of additional seasons.
It’s a definite sign of strong talent available when the Oscar-nominated actress in the cast, Thurman, has a relatively minor role. Nayyar and Henstridge should be familiar to American audiences who have watched The Big Bang Theory and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., respectively, while Campbell, who starred in Krypton, is the standout among the three, delivering a fiercely committed performance as one very angry bride having a day far from the one she expected. Emmerich knows how to play this part after years spent on The Americans, and the rest of the ensemble delivers dependably. This show’s universe is vast and multi-faceted, and anyone up for an intense and engaging mystery should find this show appealing.
The first two episodes of Suspicion are now streaming on Apple TV+. New episodes premiere weekly on Fridays.