It’s a story as old as time…er, 1994: A mild-mannered family man is actually a skilled assassin working to rid the world of bad guys, but his wife and kids think he’s a goofy salesman .
If the plot of real lies sounds familiar, that’s because it’s based on James Cameron’s hit film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger (which in turn was based on the French film Total!). And now CBS has adapted the story into a series, which premiered Wednesday, starring Steve Howey (Shameless) and Ginger Gonzaga (She-Hulk: Lawyer) and produced by Matt Nix (Burn Notice). In a moment, we’ll want to know what you thought of the first episode. But first, a little recap.
Harry (Howey) calls his wife Helen (Gonzaga) to apologize for being stuck at his computer sales conference in Cleveland one night longer than scheduled. But Harry is truly in the tropics, part of a formal trio of suit-wearing agents from an organization called Omega Sector who have been tasked with infiltrating a posh gathering of arms dealers. Harry and his fellow Luther (Mike O’Gorman, Deputy Directors) and Maria (Erica Hernandez, Bridge and Tunnel), as well as their technical support Gib (Omar Benson Miller, Ballers) in the van outside, use lots of fancy gadgets and fast combat moves to acquire their target – and they barely escape, using a food truck and attached grill as their escape vehicle.
Meanwhile, back in Maryland, Helen complains to a friend that although she likes Harry, she thinks he has become a bit boring. The friend plants the idea that Harry is cheating. When Helen confronts Harry with the question, right after being told he has to go to Paris to follow up on his latest surgery, he tells Helen she’s coming and plays it off as a romantic surprise that he planned from the beginning.
It doesn’t take long for the ruse to die. At dinner the first night, Harry sees an armed man enter the restaurant. Before you know it, Harry and the would-be assassin are exchanging blows in the dining room. They’re eventually caught, and when the bad guys tie them up and interrogate them, Helen plays with the cover that she’s Harry’s supervisor at work – though she still thinks there’s been a huge misunderstanding.
Finally, Harry is telling the truth: his computer company is a front for a spy organization, and he joined in 1999. “You’ve been lying about everything since we met?!” she’s crying. Although Helen is upset, her background as a linguistics teacher (and as an avid sportswoman) comes in handy when she’s able to translate what the guards are saying into a foreign language…then smother one with her thighs. (“Yoga!”)
Once Harry and Helen escape safely – yes, via helicopter – she’s still angry about being kept in the dark. But Harry is relieved to finally be able to be completely honest with the love of his life. Oh – and now that she knows, she’s been brought into the Omega sector as an operator. Harry’s boss, Trilby (Surroundingsby Beverly D’Angelo), explains everything: she will get a permanent position at a better university as a cover, and she will take training to prepare her for her new job.
Harry begs her, saying the change is for his safety and that of their family. Back home, where their teenage son and daughter think they’re back from a cozy European getaway, Harry asks her to try out the new kid-friendly situation. “They need you,” he says as they stand in front of the house, ready to enter. ” I need you. We are a team, right? And although she doesn’t look excited about it, she takes his hand, slaps a smile on his face, and they act normal as they walk in.
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the first? Rate the episode via the poll below, then hit the comments with your thoughts!