Review: In from the Cold, spies after spies

Margarita Levieva in In from the Cold

In from the Cold isn’t very good but I watched it all the way through anyway. Margarita Levieva as the lead character is absolutely mesmerizing. Stasya Miloslavskaya, who plays the same character as a younger woman is equally interesting. This spy thriller with sci-fi embellishments is on Netflix. There are some spoilers in this review, so beware.

Lydia Fleming in In from the Cold
Becca really doesn’t know her mother at all

In from the Cold starts with a group of American ice skaters arriving in Madrid for a competition. Becca (Lydia Fleming) is there with her dowdy, bespectacled mother Jenny (Margarita Levieva) as one of the chaperones.

Margarita Levieva and Cillian O'Sullivan in In from the Cold
This man claims to be in the CIA

Soon Jenny is snatched up by Chauncey (Cillian O’Sullivan) who knows who she is and wants her to come in from the cold to do some special spy tricks for him. She was a spy! Ta da!

Chauncey’s IT guru Chris (Charles Brice) claims to not be involved in Chauncey’s obsession with terrorists who wants to kill a Spanish leader. He’s just working the computers. Yeah.

Alyona Khmelnitskaya and Stasya Miloslavskaya in In from the Cold
Young Anya and her handler Svetlana

That’s when we learn that Jenny is a former Russian spy who was called Anya (Stasya Miloslavskaya) as a young woman. Through frequent flashbacks we learn about Anya and her handler Svetlana (Alyona Khmelnitskaya) all the way to the final reveals and twists at the end of the series. Before Anya became the total badass she is today, she fell in love with another woman. That’s part of the flashbacks, too.

Although two women were used to play Jenny/Anya, the handler Svetlana was always Alyona Khmelnitskaya in various makeup and wigs to change her apparent age.

Margarita Levieva in In from the ColdA
A spy needs short hair, right?

Chauncey blackmails Jenny into helping him. She chops off her hair and reclaims her inner Anya. While the skaters are twirling around an ice rink, Jenny and Chauncey range all over Madrid trying to figure out who the terrorists are. A semi-creepy subplot with Becca and the ice skaters becomes part of the final resolution of the story.

Anya wasn’t just any spy. She was a special spy. She was part of a Russian experimental program that gave her the ability to body morph or shape shift. She could blend into background colors like a chameleon to become invisible. She had other characteristics that are equally challenging to your ability to suspend disbelief.

Add in some poorly conceived plot holes and careless attention to language choices, and you begin to understand why I said this series isn’t actually very good.

But, oh my, Margarita Levieva is just perfect as the badass action killer with a sexy streak. In spite of knowing it was not great TV, I just kept watching. According to IMDb, Margarita Levieva has 38 credits as an actress, but as far as I know this is her first lead role. She took this opportunity and used it well.

In from the Cold was written by Adam Glass. At least two women directors were used: Ami Canaan Mann and Birgitte Stærmose.

4 thoughts on “Review: In from the Cold, spies after spies”

  1. Haha–I laughed when you said it’s not very good–agree! Stopped watching, now watching Katla and Abbott Elementary (love this show) but will probably get back to In From eventually so I stopped reading your review to avoid spoilers.

  2. Chauncey, a name I’ve never seen used in a movie or tv show before is a clone of Clint Walker, the former western star. The similarity is amazing.

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