‘Liaison’ Episode 1: Recap And Ending, Explained: Why Does Gabriel Visit Alison?

Apple TV has brought us the newest TV series called “Liaison,” and it’s an international espionage drama with the themes of terrorism, cyberattacks, international tension, and love. Director Stephen Hopkins brings in big-league actors like Vincent Cassel and Eva Green, who play key roles in this series. Although the storyline is a bit shaky in places, it’s fair to provide the series a chance to see if it can manage to retain the audience’s attention in the episodes to follow. In case the storyline is compelling enough, the viewership will surely be wanting to see what becomes of the Syrian hackers who have now become internationally wanted. Here’s everything that happens in the first episode of “Liaison.”


The episode opens with a loud party with alcohol and drunk people as Gabriel Delage (Vincent Cassel) goes out for a smoke on his balcony to look at the rough landscape and the poor infrastructure that surrounds Damascus, Syria. Elsewhere, a young man is busy typing away at an expensive computer setup when his partner makes his way to his location. However, he barely has time to knock on the door when he’s nabbed by armed forces, who ask him to get the door open. He’s able to alert the person inside, Samir, by some inside code, and Samir immediately arms a bomb rigged to the door before rushing to delete the files on the hard drive. The bomb explodes, and the soldiers are taken out while Samir and his partner escape.

At the British Cybersecurity Headquarters in London, all the computers are suddenly hacked with the same animation of the children’s storybook character Puss in Boots prancing through the London Bridge with the “London Bridge is Falling Down” nursery rhyme playing in the background. Delage is contacted by someone who informs him that two Syrians hackers have requested the French embassy provide them political asylum, and Delage needs to bring them back to Paris. Meanwhile, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, the President is briefed about the Syrians’ request for asylum and that they carry sensitive information related to possible cyberterrorism attacks in Europe. Sophie Saint-Roch informs the President that the hackers wiped out a Syrian police database that uses Russian tech, while Didier Taraud says that he can arrange for the two hackers to be in Paris if the President allows. Taraud adds that he has asked a reliable asset in Damascus to handle the matter, and the President gives the mission the green light.


In London, Minister Richard Banks (Peter Mullan) and his private secretary Alison Rowdy (Eva Green) learn from Cyber Security official Mark Bolton that the system had been hacked the previous night, although Bolton assures them that this was simply a one-time event and there’s nothing to worry about. Neither Richard nor Alison are pleased with the news, and she asks Bolton to provide a detailed report to understand exactly what went wrong. Back in Syria, the hackers are driving through the deserts of Damascus with a woman and a baby when Delage calls them to inform them of the location they need to head to and that their passports are under the car seat. Samir finds two passports and a wad of Euros, but there are none for the woman or the child. They arrive at the intended location where Delage is waiting but are immediately ambushed by Russian forces. The Syrians flee in their car while Delage is captured. The Russians begin pulling his toenails out, trying to extract information, when an old colleague spots him, and the French spy miraculously escapes what could be a horrible fate. 

The Syrian hackers are able to pass through to Turkey by bribing the armed guards at the Syria-Turkey border. Richard attends a gala with other ministers and drinks alcohol while Alison and her husband, human rights lawyer Albert, enjoy a night to themselves while the rain continues to pour. The Thames Bridge operators are busy trying to maintain the water levels when their system suddenly starts acting on its own, and none of the engineers are able to regain control of the barriers, as all the floodgates are being remotely controlled by an unknown entity. The next morning, the entire city of London has been flooded because the Thames River overflowed, and Richard asks Alison to be present while Bolton speaks to the officer-in-charge at the Thames Barrier Control. The officer says that it’s too methodical to be a system malfunction and has to be a hack, although the system hasn’t been updated in decades. Bolton immediately catches up on this and says that the system surely malfunctioned because of the old software. Alison reminds him that after the Puss in Boots malware the previous day, there’s a high chance that this was a hack after all, and Bolton needs to sort this mess out. She then visits Richard in a deli and updates him on the situation, and the minister says the hackers have made it clear that they know of Britain’s vulnerabilities and can bring the country down to its knees anytime. Alison makes up her mind that it’s time to get the PM involved.


Samir and Walid, the two hacker siblings, arrive in the UK, where they’re greeted by their uncle, who gets them employed at the hotel he works at. Samir tells the elderly man that Myriam, his wife, has stayed back in Turkey with the child, while Walid finds Mark Bolton’s social media handle and texts him. Gabriel Delage arrives at a shady pub in Paris, France, and his friends comment on how thin he’s gotten in Syria. While relishing French food, he talks with his boss, who sends him to London to extract the brothers and bring them back to Paris. He also adds that he didn’t share the details of the previous extraction with anyone, so he has no idea how the Russians cracked down on Delage back in Syria. Delage is given a passport and the fake identity of a European diplomat named Jean Petit. While working at the Grenson Hotel in London, Walid is chased by Delage, who wants the USB where Samir has stored all the crucial information. The two get into a fight, and Walid slashes Delage in the gut while the Frenchman punches his teeth out, rendering him unconscious. He then takes the USB from the senseless Walid’s body and escapes. That night, Delage tries accessing the data inside the USB, but it asks for a password, so he needs to hunt down the younger brother, Samir.

While worrying about the whereabouts of his elder brother Walid, Samir tells his uncle that the brothers had accessed the Assad police files, but they found something truly terrifying inside. Samir adds that he’ll have to leave but assures his uncle that the siblings aren’t terrorists and they never meant to cause any harm. Samir leaves but is being followed by Delage, and the younger brother barely escapes from the Frenchman. Even though Delage is the one trying to get Samir and Walid to safety in France, the situation has now changed, and the brothers want the help of the British officials, while the French officials need to get their hands on the sensitive data that the brothers plan on selling to the UK.


Alison puts pressure on Bolton because of how close the two cyberattacks seemed and the underlying connection between them. She hints at Bolton’s failure to find the chink in the cybersecurity’s armor that was utilized by the hackers. At the meeting, DI Hobbs tells the ones attending the meeting that Walid Hamza, a suspected terrorist and hacker, had to be taken to a hospital the previous night, and he’s still unconscious. She gives detailed background information about Walid and how the Syrian native was a computer prodigy who had studied in Paris. His attacker, caught on camera, is declared as Jean Petit, a European diplomat, which is why the British can’t bring him in. Interestingly, Alison immediately recognizes Petit, aka Delage, and it seems they’ve shared a connection in the past that went beyond being colleagues. Banks wants Petit’s immunity to be revoked so that he can be arrested, but Alison objects, saying it’ll be a media mess if a diplomat’s safety is threatened. The minister, therefore, wants Albert, Alison’s husband, to handle the case and ensure that it doesn’t go out of control. Realizing that the situation is a lot messier than he had initially dismissed it as, Bolton decides to hand in his resignation letter to Minister Banks. The minister, however, refuses, and threatens Bolton with destroying his life if he leaves at this moment.

Back home, Albert returns and informs Alison that he has a big case at hand, but Alison requests him not to take it on. She reasons that the only reason the minister wants him is that Albert is a popular black human rights lawyer who won’t come under fire for the process as much as any other lawyer. Albert fails to understand her reasoning and leaves, and she’s shocked to make a discovery. She finds Delage standing on the other side of the window, and she approaches the glass and places her hand on the panes while staring longingly at the French spy.


‘Liaison’ Episode 1: Ending Explained – Why Does Gabriel Visit Alison?

The newest Apple TV series, “Liaison,” seems to have pulled out all the stops in terms of production, with international locations and big stars like Vincent Cassel and Eva Green being a part of the cast. So far, the Syrian police and the Russians are looking for the brothers Walid and Samir because of the data they’ve gathered from the Syrian police database, while international turmoil between France and the UK has started a competition between the two countries to gain access to the data. Meanwhile, London is facing cyberattacks, and there’s a big possibility of more attacks to follow. Although the story seems a little rehashed from several previous espionage and secret mission movies, it’ll be interesting to see how director Stephen Hopkins manages to tie all the strings together.

However, what’s most interesting about the story is how the secretary of a British minister came to have what seems to be a deep connection with a French spy. The moment Alison recognized Petit as Delage, it was clear that she knew him from before, although it wasn’t clear how intimate their previous meetings had been. She constantly tried to get the British officials, as well as her husband, to back off from stripping Petit of his diplomatic immunity, which could mean that she was trying to protect him from the British. It’s possible that the two have shared a possible romantic past when Delage visits Alison at her house and stands outside her window. She places a hand on the window pane, and her body language speaks volumes of longing. It’s possible that Delage knew where Alison lived and dropped by to see her because he, too, had some feelings left for her. The only way to know for sure, though, will be to keep our eyes peeled for the next episode.


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Indrayudh Talukdar
Indrayudh Talukdar
Indrayudh has a master's degree in English literature from Calcutta University and a passion for all things in cinema. He loves writing about the finer aspects of cinema, although he is also an equally big fan of webseries and anime. In his free time, Indrayudh loves playing video games and reading classic novels.

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