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Art

‘Deep State’ could be more fact than fiction

Netflix headquarters
Netflix headquarters in Los Gatos, California. PHOTO | AFP 

‘Deep State’ is a spy thriller series that premiered late last year. Its producer, Netflix has just recently released the series’ Season 2 with a slight but significant difference. The leading man has been switched from Mark Strong, one of UK’s top actors, to Walton Goggins, an American who, in the series shares a similar spy rank to Steele’s character only he works for another Western spy agency.

In the first season, Mark Strong plays Max Easton, a former MI6 field agent (read ‘spy’ and skilled assassin) who gets recruited back into the field for a cryptic reason. It’s ostensibly because Max was the best at his business during his heyday. That business was finding and then finishing enemies of MI6 and supposed threats to the UK.

In this case, Max has been called back after ten years of retirement when he has tried to reinvent himself as a former banker who’s got a gorgeous French wife, two beautiful little girls and a spectacular house up high in the Pyrenees.

However, as hard as he’s tried to escape his previous life, he soon finds it’s impossible to do.

His former boss, George White (Allistar Petrie) has called him back to work because he says Max’s son Harry (by his first wife) has gone missing and MI6 is worried and wants him back.

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Max takes the bait and goes out to find Harry who he’d walked out on years before when he’d also left his first wife for reasons unknown. Harry had never forgiven Max for walking away. Nonetheless, he took up the same career as his dad and became a superlative spy who like Max had been trained by George White.

But White’s reasons for wanting Harry back are not out of a heart-felt concern for Max’s son. It’s because Harry has seen too much of White’s covert and corrupt activities.

They’re activities directly tied to a small coterie of corporate crooks that White works with and for. They are the ‘Deep State’ who are the stuff of conspiracy theories, the super-duper rich, powerful and strategically greedy elites who are said to rule the world from behind the scenes.

One MI6 had already been sent out to finish Harry but White discovered he didn’t complete the task. He doesn’t live long after that. It doesn’t take Max long to figure out his former boss’s motives although he can’t immediately fathom why they have made Harry a walking target. It comes out eventually but in the interim, one sees some of the unscrupulous tactics that Deep State’s agents use to achieve their Machiavellian goals. The one thing they can’t easily achieve is polishing off either Max or Harry despite having their own contracted army to help them out.

What I found most intriguing about this series is that many of the reviews want to trash the show. They suggest it is full of clichés and bad acting; but I disagree.

The bad reviews could be because it portrays actual strategies that corporate elites employ to retain power and covertly have their way.

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