Allegiance (2015): Season 1, Episode 1 - Pilot - full transcript

A young CIA analyst learns that his family is part of a Russian sleeper cell in this modern-day spy drama.

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I want to visit.

Isn't there a bring-your-kid-sister day?

Not that they told me about.

What's it like?

It's just an office building.
You'd be bored, really.

They tell you to say that, don't they?

Look, I'm here. I gotta
go. I'll call you tonight.

Okay, bye.

Move up. ID please.


Excuse me.

My name is Irina Semovetskaya
and I'm a captain in the SVR.

I'm sorry, I don't know what the SVR is.

I work for Directorate S, Department 11.

I'm here on a two-week Diplomatic VISA

with the Russian delegation to the U.N.

I report to Genady Isakov

who heads all SVR
operations inside the U.S.

And I know you are Sam Luttrell,

CIA Station Chief for New York.



Hey, Carol.

He said to wait in his office.

Come on, we're not meeting here.

Where are we going?

You've been requested on the seventh floor.

By whom?

The head of the Clandestine Service.

What? What for?

You'll see.

I read your report on the stock
market flash crash last month.

You assessed that it was caused

by a covert SVR operation to enrich itself.

How did you come up with that thesis?

I tried to find a pattern
that fit all the facts.

Well, you happen to have been right.

How long has he been with us?

Four months.

129 days.

Counting this morning.

I have a feeling you're
gonna go far with us, Alex.

Thank you, ma'am.

Irina Semovetskaya.

Line SVR officer.

She walked up to our New York station chief

this morning, asking to defect.

She claimed the SVR is
planning an operation to destroy

some piece of critical
infrastructure in the U.S.

And that the collateral damage

could cause significant loss of life.

Our station chief doesn't believe her.

He thinks she's a dangle, and if we bite,

we'll be on the hook for
years of misinformation.

We've set up a secret meet with
her to assess her credibility

but operators look at the
world through a particular lens.

I want analyst in the room to look at it

through a different one.

And, most of all, I want
someone she won't know.

Someone she won't know?

SVR knows the identity of all the analysts

who've been working them
for any length of time.

You've only been here four months.

She won't know you yet.

It'll throw her off balance.

Why does C.O.S. New York
think she's a dangle?

When he asked why she decided to defect now

she claimed the night before
she was forced to witness

an SVR officer suspected
of treason get fed alive

into a power plant furnace.

Who was the officer?

She didn't know him.

Said they referred to him as Mikhail,

which doesn't narrow it down much.

The Russians did execute
a few traitors like that

in the '50s, but in Russia.

To do that here, inside the U.S.

Is incredibly reckless.

On the other hand, if the
SVR was trying to dangle her,

you'd think they come
up with a reason she was

defecting that was
easier for us to swallow.

That's why I want an analyst in the room.

The meeting is tomorrow.

She's being pulled back
to Moscow in three days

and the operation against
us could come at any time.


What are you doing?

Making pies.

If your snail-like dad ever
gets back from the fairway.


For an orthodox celebration
which you wouldn't know about

because you're an atheist and
you have rejected your heritage.

Show me your math homework.



You don't have to check everything.

I do when you're getting
Ds in two subjects.

I'm sorry, I'm not a
genius like my brother.

No, he had problems in school, believe me,

but he worked hard to compensate.

Girls aren't even supposed
to be good at math, mom.

I was good at math.

Or I never would have
gotten into medical school.

You don't understand.

I don't even want to be a doctor anymore.

Ma'am, could you tell me which one of these

white potatoes is least sweet?

None of them.

Who told you white potatoes were sweet?

A crazy person.

Never mind.

Mom, I have to turn that in fifth period.

Well, it's wrong. You
have do it over at lunch.

- Yes?
- Hi, sweetheart.

There are literally 16
varieties of white potatoes here,

and I just talked to a woman,
she said none of them are sweet.

Well, her taste buds are broken.

Well, maybe so, but...

ask someone else, I'm
busy trying to understand

why your daughter doesn't
care about going to college.



Laratte potatoes, get those.

Uh, yeah, you know what?

They didn't have Laratte potatoes.

You my love, are a shockingly bad liar.

Go back inside and get them.

Right, okay.



What are you doing here?

Work sent me up here for something.

Something you can talk about?

Not really.

Oh, mama doesn't like that.

How long are you gonna be in town?

Only just a couple of days.

And you're gonna stay here?

Mm, they want me at a hotel in the city.

How about dinner? I made pierogi.

Oh, not tonight, mom.

But I think I can come
by tomorrow and watch

the final four with dad.

What about me?

You can watch too.

Uh, listen, I need to borrow one of dad's

ties for my meeting.

How come you didn't just
bring a tie from Washington?

Well, I...

I gave you four ties for Christmas.

No, I know, I just... I never
need to wear them for work.

Did you throw them away?

I donated them, mom.

Do you need my help?

Okay, just work your steps.



Hey, Alex is in town for work.

He came by to surprise
us. You just missed him.

Really? That's too bad.

He's coming back tomorrow.

Oh, that's great.

Now who knew shopping
could be so complicated?

I brought the receipt to
prove I got Laratte potatoes.


Thank you for braving fairway.

Of course.

I know you'd rather be
watching your basketball.

Well, you know, the big games
aren't until tomorrow, so...

I'd miss it for you anyway.

You mean for my pies.


We have to see what he wants.


I think I startled her.


It's been a long time, Victor.

We thought maybe you went home.

No, no, I'm still around.

Faceless clerk in a little office.

Why are you here?

Can't an old friend stop by?

We are not friends.

How's work?

How are the kids?

Sarah's not studying hard enough I see.

What do you want?

I'm just a messenger, Katya.

Don't get mad at me.

Our comrades in Moscow have a task for you.

We don't work for them anymore.

We had a deal, Victor.

That was the only reason I did what I did.

Well, there is new management.

They don't care about deals made with

the old management.

Whatever it is, we won't do it.

It's been six years. Why
are you coming back now?

Because this mission has to be successful.

It's the only thing Moscow cares about,

and you are the only
people who can pull it off.

Pull what off?

Recruiting your son to spy for us.

Go to hell.

We all will if you fail Katya.

How can Alex matter to Moscow?

He's a baby analyst. He
just finished his training.

Apparently, his teachers
thought highly of him.

His first assignment was to
the counter-intelligence unit

tracking the SVR.

Alex... He's really flourished, hasn't he?

I know how worried about him
you were when he was younger.

We all were.

Yesterday, Alex was put onto a
case which has the potential to

unravel every single operation
the SVR has in America.

The same case he was referring to

when he stopped by 15 minutes ago

and said work sent him
up here for something.

How can one case be that threatening?

An SVR defector was caught
last week and dealt with

here on U.S. soil.

Shortly after he was executed,

we discovered that the man had
stolen hundreds of thousands

of computer files he wasn't
even supposed to have access to,

and hid them somewhere.

Files that reveal the identities of every

SVR officer and asset in United States.

Including you.

Would be ironic, wouldn't it,

if your son's investigation
led to his own parents

and older sister being
unmasked as Russian spies?

You don't understand Alex.

He'll go to the FBI. He'll turn us in.

You underestimate the bonds of family.

Whatever bonds exist will be broken

the moment he finds out who we are.

Then you're stuck.

Because if we can't stay
one step ahead of the

FBI investigation, he's going
to find out who you are anyway.

There is really only one way out of this...

you turn your son into a spy.

Have a plan for me to approve
by 8:00 A.M. tomorrow morning.

I'm sure you remember our
communication protocols.

The stakes for all of us...

They couldn't be higher.

Trust me.



I ruined his whole childhood. Now this.

No, no one's at fault.

Let's just talk about our options.

No, no, we don't have any options.

You know what we have to do.

I have an appointment with Mr. Edelson.

I'm Bill Adams.

Alex O'Connor.

That's your real name.


You're Bill Adams.

Don't use your real name with me.

But you already know it.

If you use it with me, you'll
use it with Semovetskaya.

If she's a dangle, she's
learned something about you.

You're Bill Adams.

You've never been involved
in an operation before?



The meet is in two hours.
Debriefings work on details.

That's how you trip up
someone trying to lie to you.

Her file is on the computer next door.

I read it already.

It's 400 pages.

406... And 1/4.

I'm a fast reader.


And just how many details did
you retain reading that fast?

All of them.

Go to the conference room.

I'll send the FBI lead in to meet you.

Uh, where's the...

down the hall to the left.

Other way.

- Fill her up?
- Yeah, please, thanks.

- Car wash?
- If I can stay in the car.

If you want.

- Julia Marcus.
- Bill Adams.

Okay, Alex. You armed?

Uh, excuse me?

CIA officers can't carry
a weapon inside the U.S.

Unless we go through paperwork

and put you under FBI authority.

That's the law.

I'm not armed. I'm an analyst.


- They sent me because I speak Russian.
- _

That's a pretty good accent
for a non-native speaker.

I don't need you to tell
me that my Russian's good.

I didn't mean...

We're not using Russian anyway.

We'll be interviewing her in English.

It's harder to lie in your second language.

You're ready in five.

Saturday, when he comes over
to watch the games with you.

How much should we tell him?

Why don't we start with the truth?

Your business trips to Moscow,
I was tasked to recruit you,

you refused, but we fell in love anyway.

And do we tell him the
KGB let you leave Russia

and marry me as long as you
kept spying for them in the U.S.?


Susan Cartwell. Unit 3217.

And when he asks what you did?

Just support.

He has to think it was minor, very minor.

Had the, uh, full service wash.


And I'm gonna take four
of those prepaid phones.



Kind of blue.

Ice cube.

Death certificate.

Dexter Gordon.

Daddy plays the horn.


What's up?

It's my little sister.

I forgot I promised to
pick her up from school.

Sorry, um...

See you later.

Don't take your sunglasses off.

How could you even see
that? You're in front of me.

You just focus on keeping
your sunglasses on your face.

Keep your head down. Don't
look anyone in the eye.

Don't do anything distinct
that you can be remembered by.

Follow my lead and try
not to get in the way.

I'll go wherever you want.

Just put me where you want me.

I want you on the next train back to DC,

but it's not my choice to make.

You can take those sunglasses off now.

Sorry. Sorry.

Ma'am, this way, please.

You set all this up in 24 hours?

Good operators move as fast
as the tasking requires.

In here.

Captain Semovetskaya, this is special...

I know who she is.

I need to be back in two hours,

or my people will start
to wonder where I went.

Okay, the more specific you are

the easier it will be for
us to confirm your story.

Please have a seat.

Why don't we start with Wednesday night?

We were driven from
Manhattan in windowless vans.

Two-hour drive, but we could
have been driving in circles

and we wouldn't know.

When they opened the van doors,
we were already inside a garage,

so I couldn't see any of the
landscape around the plant.

We go into hiding,
abroad. We leave tonight.


Victor expects to be vetting
a plan to recruit Alex

tomorrow at 8:00 A.M..
It has to be tonight.

I have a life here, mom.

You can build a life somewhere else.

As long as they can get to us,
they have leverage to turn Alex.

- So what, do we just...
- Vanish?

And leave Alex?

Once we're safe, we make contact with him.

And say what?

We tell him the truth then.

You move heaven and earth for Alex.

What did you ever do for me?

No, it was too late with you.

Too late?

You practically turned me over to Victor.

You didn't put up much of a fight.

- I was a kid!
- When are you going to learn

to take responsibility
for your own actions?

Maybe when you do, mom.

I was 20 years old.

Well, I was 17

when my father summoned me back to Russia

to tell me that he was a KGB general

and it was time for me
to do my patriotic duty,

which I did.

And still, I accept that as a choice.

One that I have carried the burden of

every day since I made it.

We're gonna keep running
for the rest of our lives.

- Until they find us.
- They won't.

Not where we're going.

As he was rolled toward the
furnace, he was screaming.

He tried to make a last-minute deal,

claiming he has stolen more
secrets than they realized,

that he had information to trade.

But the rezident didn't care.

As his feet went into the fire,
Mikhail shouted at the rezident,

"I'll haunt you from the grave."

Then as his whole body burst into flames,

he yelled out to God, "Isus vaskres!"

The rezident had him pulled
out, sprayed with a fire hose,

but it was too late.

Why did the rezident do that?

I don't know... maybe he
thought last-minute compassion

would keep him out of hell.

He probably just wanted to keep him alive

so he could keep the torture going.

Let's go back to a
description of the power plant.

I don't know what else to say.

How old was the equipment?

I don't know how to assess that.

How did you first hear about

the operation you mentioned to me?

An SVR officer by the name of Oleg Zhulov.

He was a drunken boast.

He's been trying to get
me into bed for a decade.

He said he was close to
launching an operation

that would bring America to its knees.

Africa or south America?

World tour. We need it all.

Oh, okay.

Mrs. Cartwell, you might want
to go grab a cup of coffee.

It's gonna take me about a
half an hour to fill these.

- I'll wait.
- Okay.

What she's told us so far
checks out, but it's almost

all information we already had.

She doesn't know who was
executed, where it took place,

or any details about
this supposed operation

that's gonna hit us so hard.

- My gut is still she's lying.
- Mine too.

If I can talk to her,

I can give you a definitive answer.

Who is this guy?

Captain, I'd like to ask
you a few more questions

about the physical
environment of the power plant.

Your colleagues already asked me dozens

of questions that I couldn't answer.

Well, my questions will be easier.

They're multiple choice.

Which of the four photographs
looks like the furnace you saw?

Were the sides of the
furnace brick or metal?


Yellow brick.

It's a squash ball.

You mentioned steam
escaping from some pipes.

Were those above the
furnaces or at the sides?

Neither. It was from the
floor, underneath the furnaces.




I'm going to play you recordings

of three kinds of machinery.

Tell what you heard that night.

You prepped all that in 24 hours?

Good analysts move as fast
as the tasking requires.

I don't think the execution
took place in a power plant.

Every answer she gave was consistent

with a steam-generating plant,

specifically one built
between 1925 and 1939.

She's been inside one, or she
never could have done that.

That doesn't establish that
an execution took place there.

No, Sir, but while there are
more than 300 steam generation

plants within a two-hour
drive of Manhattan,

there are only 19 that were
built between 1925 and 1939.

If the Bureau sends agents out to each one

armed with the layout
she drew of the plant,

they should be able to
identify the one she was in

and find evidence to the murder.

I hate this time of year, don't you?

It gets dark so early.

It's cold all the time.

We are Russian... we're
genetically adapted for that.

Still, perfect time of year to get away.

Somewhere tropical.

Answer it.

It's your husband.

I think there's a problem
with your credit card.

Plane tickets... I think they
were cancelled for non-payment.



I understand you trying to protect him.

It's maternal instinct.

And of course, you carry around such guilt

about his early years.

But don't let any of that obscure your duty

to protect the rest of your family.

Sarah for example.

Don't you dare.





Mikhail shouted at the rezident,
"I'll haunt you from the grave."

Then as his whole body burst into flames,

he yelled out to God, "Isus vaskres!"

The rezide...

Irina said Mikhail was screaming,

trying to make a last-minute deal,

claiming he'd stolen more
secrets than the SVR knew about.

She assumed he was doing whatever he needed

to save his life, but what if he really did

steal more secrets than they thought?

I think Isakov realized
this at the last minute,

and that's why he ordered
the hoses turned on.

Hard to believe Isakov wouldn't have known

before walking in.

How long did it take for us to figure out

how much Snowden took?

Why'd he change his
mind at the last second,

with Mikhail already on fire?

Because of what Mikhail
shouted with his dying breath.

He yelled out to God, "Isus vaskres."

- Isus vaskres.
- "Jesus lives."

That's a literal translation,
but outside of a church service

it's basically like saying "happy Easter."

I don't think he meant it that way.

Do you know what an Easter
egg is in the Internet,

or computer context?

A hidden digital cache.

Mikhail's screaming out that
he'd stolen more than they

realized, he's trying to make a deal,

then he says he's gonna haunt
Isakov from beyond the grave,

and his dying words are
essentially "happy Easter"?

I think there's a trove of information

vital to the SVR still out there.

Maybe if we can figure out who Mikhail was,

we can find it before the Russians do.

You okay?

How did Victor find out?

I don't know.

They think we have too
much to lose to fight back.

They're right.

They can't have another
one of our children.



Katya. Katya.

Where are you going?

Katya, what are you doing?

The only way I have left to protect my home

is to burn theirs down.

I'm going to the FBI.

No, no, Katya! Katya, no!

Dammit. Your call has been for...

Come on!

Let's go, let's go, let's go, let's go.


Call mom.

- What's wrong?
- She's gone crazy.

- That's nothing new.
- She's turning herself in.

How's that for new?

- What?
- Call her.

I'm sorry.

Mom, what the hell are you doing?

I love you.


Nice job in there.


Come on, let's go.

Pull over!

Pull over!


Katya, do you think this
is going to save Alex?

This is going to ruin him.

He'll be the son of Russian spies,

he'll lose his job,
his friends, his family.

He'll hate you forever.

He is going to find out anyway.

I'd rather he find out this way.

In time he's gonna understand
that I did this to protect him.

What about Natalie? What about me?

You weren't involved. You were unwitting.

That's what I'm going to tell them.

I'm a senior executive at the biggest

defense contractor in the country.

You don't think the FBI is smart

enough to connect the dots?

There aren't any dots to connect.

We were very careful about that.

You deny any knowledge and you go back

to living your life.

My life...

My life is with you, Katya!

What kind of life do you
think I'd be going back to?

I committed treason
against the country I love

so we could be together.

As a couple, as a family.

Please, tell me I didn't
do all this for nothing.

I won't give him up.

- Maybe there's another way.
- What?

We get what they want

- ourselves.
- How?

From Alex.

Without him knowing.

We spy on our own son?

We do nothing, he finds out anyway.

We do this, we keep ahead
of the investigation.

We can make anything
disappear that points to us

before he finds it.


Okay, look, um...

You were driving to
the county clerks office

to file for divorce, I
was trying to stop you.

This is a marital dispute.

We'll get tickets for
the accident, that's it.


Tears would help sell it.



Ma'am is everything all right?

Everything's fine.




Enough, stop please. Both of you.

Victor, we're here to talk
to you as a professional.

Now you know Alex, you've
known him since he's a kid.

You know how different he is.

You have to realize how crazy the risks

are in trying to recruit him.

Moscow doesn't care.

What if we can get whatever
they're after directly?

What do you mean?

He trusts us.

We have access to his car,
his phone, his computer.

We're the perfect people to spy on him.

We can get whatever you get.

With no risk.

Just give us 24 hours.

Alex is here!


I missed you too.

I didn't think you were home yet.

I didn't see your car out there.

Oh, it's in the shop.

She drove into dad.



He cut me off.

Thank you.

Marital dispute.

Over what?

I don't know.

Mom's a spaz, and dad enables her.

Could have been anything.

Enables her?

You meeting now at Al-anon
meetings or something?

What's Al-anon?

Al-anon is...

Oh, look who showed up.

I thought silicon alley demanded you work

late into the night.

I'm that good. They let me leave early.

Hey, the prodigal son returns.

Hey, dad.

It's good to see you.

You gonna spend the night?

Yeah, we never get to see you.

That is true.

Uh, I can't tonight.

My clothes are at the hotel.

Plus somebody snagged my room, I believe.

Oh, she's done a wonderful job.

A lot more colorful.

Oh, no, don't tell me it's pink.






I should have told you up front.

He's not recruitable.

Everyone is recruitable, Dobrynin.

With a reliable road map to
the target's psychology... yes.

- So get one.
- It doesn't exist.

The boy's not normal.



This is a kid who didn't
speak until he was 8 years old.


No. When he finally did speak,

it was in complete sentences
with perfect pronunciation.

He could speak all along.

He chose not to.


Then he couldn't learn to read.

By age 9, the school started saying

he was disabled, mentally.

Then one day, his mom came home
from an operation at 4:00 A.M.

And saw a light coming from his room.

She walked in to find
him reading Anna Karenina.

I don't know what makes
someone like that tick.

But I do know his response
to anything we try on him

will be completely unpredictable.

You have a serious problem.

There's another way to get what they want.

So, how is being a spy?

An analyst is not a spy.

You don't have to pretend with me.

I'm your sister.

Oh, sorry.

That's mine.

Alex O'Connor.

Hey, it's Julia.

We just found a steam plant
that matches everything

you got from the interview.

Pick you up in five.

Hey, how you doing?

Yeah, it's right over that way.

- Okay, thank you.
- Yeah.

Plant was decommissioned a month ago.

Then why was the furnace still warm...

125 minutes ago when
the first agents arrived?

Layout is almost an
exact match of the diagram

Irina drew for us.

Who is it?



What was that for?




You may actually be crazier than she is.

Yeah? You think?

We got no witnesses, we
haven't found any evidence,

blood or anything else suggesting a body.

Where's your radiography unit?

Uh, it's on the truck. Why?

To see if any trace evidence

has bonded with the base of the furnace.

If a body was in there,
any evidence of it is gone.

That thing burns at over
3,200 degrees Celsius.

That's the maximum
temperature of the furnace,

but on the night of the execution

they were running it at
1,400 degrees or less.

Well, how in the hell would you know that?

Condensation in the window
of the oxygen regulator.


The maximum hydrocarbon flame temperature

is 3,200 degrees Celsius, but that can only

be achieved with pure oxygen combustion.

Condensation on the regulator means

that outside air was freely
mixing the oxygen being

pumped into the furnace.

Now the maximum temperature
of a hydrocarbon flame

in air, which is 78.084%
nitrogen is 1,400 degrees.

Bone would liquefy at that temperature,

but it wouldn't be completely destroyed,

meaning intact DNA.

What are you, a thermochemist?


You know, even if you
are smarter than everyone

else, you don't have to let them know it.


Social graces?

Um, forget it.

Got a lot of impurities
fused with the furnace base.

This could be your bone tissue here.

Or here.

What's that there?

Can you move around it?

These seem much more sharply
defined than the others.

Non-organic material has higher
kindling and melting points

than organic material does.

Could it be steel?

I don't think steel melts
until 1,500 degrees Celsius.

That's true of carbon
steel. Stainless steel

melts at a lower temperature.

Why would there be
stainless steel in there?

Mikhail had a knee replacement.

Comms vault just came online,
powers that be are standing by.

Thanks, Pat.

So, you ever been inside of...

Faraday cage before?


All right, boss, I got you live.

Mr. Palmer, I got you on as well.

Pretty similar.

Our databases should be
able to produce a list

of Mikhails in the SVR
who had knee replacements.

Shouldn't we bring Irina in now

and put her under our protection?

Not yet. She wants us to get
her family out of Russia first

before she defects so the SVR
doesn't retaliate against them.

We're not putting a protective
surveillance team on her?

We asked. She doesn't want one.

She's afraid that her people will spot it

and then know for sure she's a traitor.

So she's just out there? On her own?

Killing a woman on the streets of New York,

a half-block from a police station.

They must have something
truly vital to protect.

Like an operation to
bring America to its knees?


Langley has our deceased
narrowed down to one name,

Mikhail Vostrov.

SVR colonel, knee surgery
while stationed in Canada

14 years ago.

Profile and a picture
coming up on your screen now.


Alex, hi.

I remember one time when I was a kid,

you called your childhood friend Nicholai

Mikhail by mistake.

I'll give you two choices.

You can tell me everything
from the beginning,

or I can turn you in.

Hey, Alex.

Who died?