'Treadstone' lets its women SoYun, Petra, Tara Coleman, and Nira Patel deliver all the action and they've been doing an excellent job so far
'Treadstone', the spin-off series of Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne does an excellent job of portraying women in different kinds of action roles with the characters of SoYun, Petra, Tara Coleman and Nira Patel.
'Treadstone' has made an impressive debut and with just three episodes in, USA Network's spy drama has set one of the most interesting plotlines for female action actors. Each of the lead stars and the recurring roles in the show is different from the other, yet they encompass an interesting spectrum of roles within the action genre.
SoYun (Han Hyo-joo) is a piano teacher who is woken up through subdermal suggestion and realizes that she was a former CIA agent. Petra (Gabrielle Scharnitzky), a KGB operative in the 70s, who was part of operations Cicada Protocol and Stiletto Six, resurfaces after decades with her instincts as sharp as ever. Tara Coleman (Tracy Ifeachor), an investigative journalist who loses credibility after reporting on Stiletto Six without enough evidence to prove her claims, is forced back into action after a confession from a North Korean General and finally, Nira Patel (Shruti Haasan), a relatively new sleeper agent who has been activated in India.
Each of these characters, with the exception of Nira, have had brilliant scenes that best portray the essence of their characters. First, we must speak of Petra, the KGB operative who worked with John Bentley in 1973 and worked hard on transforming him into the first of the Cicadas of the Cicada Protocol through subdermal manipulation. From then until now, Petra has always put her mission before everything. That's how she ended up protecting Stiletto Six - a nuclear missile - in the backyard of her Russian residence. In a defining moment, Petra kills her husband Oleg because he found the hidden missile by chance.
It is after this, that we see her try to get in touch with her former KGB associates Max and Yuri to reconnect. She calls Max after she arrives in Moscow and sets up an appointment with Max and Yuri. To her shock, once she arrives at her old apartment, she finds herself targetted, but this is Petra we are speaking of. Her instincts are solid still and her reflex is not too bad either. In a smoothly choreographed stunt scene, we see her take on a younger agent and come out victorious and the only way to describe her is kicka**.
Then we have SoYun. She is a lot more understated and before she was activated, SoYun was a timid piano teacher. She has a son JiSoo with husband Dae, who works on a secret project with General Shin. Once SoYun becomes aware of who she was before she was programmed to live as a piano teacher, there is an inner conflict that she deals with. To protect her family or to proceed as a covert operative for a CIA? SoYun's first target is General Kwon (Tzi Ma), and without any knowledge of why she has to take someone of such stature, she ends up completing her assignment successfully. It is only later that she realizes how her husband is involved in her receiving her first target, but unintentionally. She also learns that her husband's boss was the one to initiate her back into an operative's life by giving her son the game console that woke her up. Amid all this, she tries hard to keep her true identity hidden from her husband. She is visibly skilled at martial arts and is able to overpower men with skill, but she doesn't mindlessly follow orders. Instead, she is an agent who is influenced highly by her personal life. Once that was provided as a cover, but she has lived it for far too long to give up on it.
While Petra and SoYun are covert operatives, Tara is an investigative journalist. She has no background in martial arts, and neither does she pulls kicks or throws punches in the show. What she does best is investigate and all the action is a byproduct of her investigation that progresses at a fast pace. General Kwon gives her a piece of information, related to Stiletto Six which can repair her reputation. She follows her instinct and does what General Kwon requests of her. This is to rescue his daughter who is studying in Paris, and take her to the Ecuador Embassy because he fears for her life. General Kwon tells Tara that the people who are out to get him will target his daughter next. He promises Tara that if she were to save his daughter, then his friend Hector at the Embassy will hand over classified information to her pertaining to Stiletto Six. Tara gets all of this information but doesn't inform CIA Agent Matt Edwards (Omar Metwally), because she doesn't trust him. She only lets the CIA overhear the warning from General Kwon about Operation Treadstone and then she destroys the bug she was instructed to carry to the meeting with Kwon.
Even when she finds Jang-Mi, General Kwon's daughter, she is already warned of the kill team that was sent to Paris from North Korea by Agent Edward. With just that knowledge, Tara manages to escape with Jang-Mi despite being chased by a team of qualified operatives sent especially to murder Jang-Mi. She depends completely on her wits to come out of the situation alive. Finally, when she does get information about Stiletto Six, she decides to jump back in action to prove that she was right. She gets access to the money that one faction of the North Korean Army had accumulated to buy the launch codes for Stiletto Six. She decides to travel to Ghaza where she can use the money, get the launch codes and prove the existence of the nuclear missile.
Finally, we have the newest sleeper agent to be activated - Nira! She is an agent who was introduced in the latest episode of the show and so far there is still a lot to learn about her. While her cover story has not been fleshed out as of yet, as a Cicada, she is the kind who seems to blindly follow orders that she receives. She even took out a German heir who was visiting Dharamshala, India. She does it with no second thoughts, and once that is done, she receives further instructions and a flight ticket to China. What would become of her, and what kind of Cicada she would turn out to be is something that would be interesting to watch, since the show has already set great precedence with SoYun, Tara and Petra.
The next episode of 'Treadstone' will air on Tuesday at 10 pm ET on USA Network.