The premiere, written and directed by John Requa & Glenn Ficarra (“Crazy Stupid Love”), has an intriguing set-up. It introduces us to John Weir (Sutherland) and his team of tech geniuses. They are corporate espionage operatives. What does that mean exactly? The opening scene features Weir at a bar, where he puts an operation in play that includes a prerecorded TV news broadcast that catches the attention of a power broker, who then sells massive amounts of stock based on the fake news, destroying a company. Weir and his people are hired to manipulate the markets from the shadows. They’re James Bond with 401Ks instead of nuclear weapons.
Weir’s latest assignment involves framing a government executive named Edward Homm (Rob Yang), under the orders of an old ally named Valence (the always-welcome Jason Butler Harner of “Ozark”). Let’s just say that things go very wrong. Before he knows it, both Homm and Valence are dead, and Weir’s office has been blown up. He’s on the run with a woman named Hailey (the charming Meta Golding), who he met and slept with after that opening scene. And now he suspects she’s a part of the frame job that has made him a wanted criminal. Enid Graham and the legendary Charles Dance co-star in a show that sometimes seems to be making itself up as it goes along.
The goal is clearly to give viewers the “tumbling down a rabbit hole” sensation sparked by the title, throwing tech and spy concepts into a blender and hitting puree. The four episodes sent for press constantly adjust what you just saw and what you think you know. Wait, this guy was really bad/good? This guy is still alive? What is happening? The confusion aspect gets overplayed and frustrating as the first few episodes bounce back and forth in time to such a degree that I gave up on trying to follow it. It’s so content to add new twists and turns that it becomes numbing.