'Start Up' Season 3 review: The controversial network built on cryptocurrency takes center stage in the gritty drama
Araknet, the central theme of 'Start Up' sees the gang once again set for a showdown with their oldest and most notorious enemy, the U. S. government
Bitcoin has been the subject of several controversies considering its non-conforming nature as a currency. It has been under the watchful radar of authorities due to its decentralizing nature which makes it a pure market currency. This is the very ground on which the third season of Sony Crackle's 'Start Up', starring Adam Brody and Edi Gathegi, treads upon and as the most Generation Z defining show this season, the story takes into account every contemporary element of the decade.
The gritty drama, in the last two seasons, followed four unlikely tech entrepreneurs in Miami whose lives seem to be connected by certain events, and they come together to create the world's largest uninterrupted network, Araknet, which can reach people beyond government boundaries.
Created by the genius mind of Izzy Morales (played by Otmara Marrero), the unregulated digital currency, GenCoin (upon whose principles Araknet is built), soon gains the interest of the FBI and various terrorist organizations alike. However, since her idea is already out there is no turning back for Izzy and on pairing up with the strong-headed enthusiast Nick (played by Brody) and the rueful gangster Ronald (played by Gathegi), Izzy's idea takes her on a whole different journey.
Season three is set to pick up from what happens to the network, that was built upon the free-flowing principles of GenCoin, now that is up and running.
Throwing light on the various obstacles that come in the way of reaching out to people with an interrupted network such as government interference, the gang will have to take some tough calls now. As they do so, they realize that the empire they have built together will need to be handled sensitively as it is now the matter of people's privacy online. The show has already been dealing with cryptocurrency and how it can be manipulated by people and put to bad use, and this time the stakes will get higher as the gang finds itself in a larger conspiracy, something they are not quite prepared for.
The first episode opens with a gun encounter between terrorists and the military. When the brief, yet tense, encounter comes to an end, the officers discover that the terrorists have been buying illegal items and weapons online through Araknet. As the information reaches higher officials, they waste no time crashing down on Nick and Ronald's organization which still runs on the principles of Izzy's ideas. As we know, Izzy left for a quieter life in Cuba in the last season and Ronald and Nick built Araknet together to establish it as not only the largest, but a network that people can trust.
However, this time too, the gang has to confront an NSA Agent. Played by Academy Award-winning actress and activist Mira Sorvino, NSA Agent Rebecca Stroud cannot stand the idea of cryptocurrency and a free-flowing network.
The flat-faced agent will do anything in her power to bring the network down even if it means pulling illegal strings in order to stop its working, what according to her is, an illegal activity. Sorvino's character is almost an impersonation of the orthodox ideas which claim that cryptocurrency is crooked in nature and that it should be removed before any more illegal activities are done through it.
While it is true that cryptocurrency had gained massive attention among underworld drug dealers due to its secure and anonymous nature and its trait to be beyond the control of the state, it is after all not the currency that is corrupt, but the mind of the people- just as Izzy had mentioned in Season one while arguing about the currency's potential to change the world for good.
However, it is the currency's very factor of being out of government's control that has made it controversial, and in the third season, the story revolves around to what lengths the government would go to bring matters back into their hands.
It can be said that the third season inclines slightly towards the controversy of the Tokyo-based company, Mt. Gox, which was the world's leading bitcoin exchange until it was shut down in 2014 after it was hacked into and over 850,000 bitcoins were stolen. Revolving around the same periphery, the show's third season, which has since the beginning given extremely good arguments regarding the philosophy of Bitcoin, will take a look at the aftermath of creating a network which is ruled by none and claimed by many. The Ben Ketai-directed show is set to provide an answer for the need of decentralization.
Along with a change in their business strategy, the gang is also dealing with some personal changes. Ronald, who has been the street-side boy with a gun in the cargo and a gold chain hanging around his neck, is now a suited businessman with a family of his own. As for Nick, things are about to heat up for him, as he resumes his role as a co-CEO who will go to any extent to save the company. However, the one thing that we should truly look forward to in the show is how a network which can bind millions of people around the world becomes the cause of the crack in the dynamics between the characters.
Set to return on Sony Crackle on November 1 with all 10-episodes, 'Start Up' season three will chase the American dream of entrepreneurship as it tumbles upon contemporary issues such as online privacy, global security, and hostile work environments. As the gang heads out to fight these issues they will be met by their most notorious enemy- the U.S. Government.
Watch a sneak peek from season 3 of Sony Crackle's 'Start Up' here: