Berlin Station Season 3 Episode 1 [8/10]

Olen Steinhauer creates spy thriller magic. His Milo Weaver trilogy finished, he has a new thriller out, The Middleman. But at the same time he’s created two kinetic seasons of Berlin Station, which I loved, and now here’s Season 3. Can it maintain the pace and characterisation verve of the first two outings? I can happily report that it most certainly can. In fact, Episode 1 rushes into the new backdrop, Russian incursions into its tiny neighbor Estonia, with such rapidity that I’m tempted to recommend you ground yourself first with at least Season 2. The familiar characters – spy Daniel Miller (ably portrayed by Richard Armitage, a better actor in motion than in repose), profane spy boss Kirsch (a standout performance as ever by Leland Orser), and spy boss Valerie Edwards (terrifically acted by Michelle Forbes) – are shoved straight into action, along with many regular or new bit players, so you need to pay heed. But the scriptwriting and direction are so assured that I think you can come to this tale with no prior experience. Tallinn in Estonia is a wonderful locale for mysterious nefarious activities (I’m biased, my parents came from there), action shocks abound, and the episode’s climax leaves one gasping for more. Once more a winner.

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