Patriot Season 2 [10/10]

A two-season series that slithered by me, “Patriot” is nothing like anything you have watched before, a mix of spy story, vicious satire, family drama, existential treatise, and flat-out comic genius. Michael Dorman stars in a brilliant turn as John, a spy run by his father Tom, with a brother who is a congressman. In the first series, John masqueraded as a pipe engineer in a firm trying to get a sale in Luxembourg, with his real mission being to pass money to an Iranian seeking to derail the nation’s nuclear weapons quest. That mission ended with the money leaving on a train, John watching ambivalently. In Season 2, the mission moves to Paris and all eight episodes are atmospherically shot in Parisian streets. Now the mission is darker, and a constellation of subplot characters revolving around John (all played brilliantly by a diverse cast, with special mention needing to be made of a standout performance by Kurtwood Smith as a substance-susceptible engineering legend) in strange sequences. Season 2 is not only darker than Season 1, it is also more tragic, luckily still laced with laugh-out-loud scenes and moments. The end is utterly unpredictable but then so, so right, and the final frames are superb. Patriot is a standout of my viewing over the last few years, and I cannot fathom why no one knows about it.

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