True Lies (Season 1), Episode 3: Episode 3 of CBS’ new spy-thriller True Lies continues to disappoint on the whole. But there are some marked improvements. The description and representation are way too simplistic still. Individual episodes lack nuance and intrigue. The heavy-handed approach sucks out all the fun from watching the episodes play out. It instills a lot of predictability into the storyline and never really keeps the viewer on their feet. But episode 3 does not come leaps and bounds ahead like expected.
We definitely focused more on the relationship between Harry and Helen and hope their compartmentalized lives are difficult to execute. It is one thing to imagine everything on paper and a whole other thing actually to do it. Helen’s characterization of the undercover apparel and their modest, middle-class problems was heartwarming to see as well.
True Lies is a bonafide potboiler with no intention to amount to anything more than a sentimental throwback to a classic spy film and spy cliches. Once again, one can easily spot the “inspiration” the makers have taken from movies like Mission Impossible and Mr. and Mrs. Jones in this episode. The visual cues are there for all to see and make their own calls about True Lies. Here we have recapped episode 3 of True Lies for you with an ending explainer and an explainer for all the plot points.
True Lies (Season 1), Episode 3 Recap:
The Zurich terrorist attack in 2017 killed almost 180 people. The weapons used in the bombing were provided by an arms dealer, only known by his alias, “The Engineer.” In 2019, Omega paired up with MI6 to catch him. Ian Young, the agent from the British secret service, joined the team comprising Harry, Gib, Luther, and Maria. Helen was not a part of the organization at the time. Operation Mousetrap hinged on Ian’s ability to lure The Engineer into confirming if he had the nukes. At that point, the monitoring Omega agents would break in and apprehend the arms dealer. But he is too smart for the team and brutally murders Ian before Harry and the others can help him.
In the present day, Helen and Harry deal with a home-related problem. The piping system has gone bust, and so has the dishwasher. Helen asks if they can request Omega to pay for all the expenses, as this would cost them a fortune. But Harry says they must compartmentalize and keep their work life separate from their personal life. Helen has been doing it for years in Harry’s absence but cannot get her mind around this.
The team gets a lead on The Engineer. He is selling nukes, but this time, it is an ultra-portable high-yield device. They do not have more details about the deal for now. And in the meantime, the field agents must go and file the report of their monthly sales to keep up the charade upstairs. Luther seems off, and when Harry asks him about it, Luther says all his feelings for Maria during Mousetrap are resurfacing. They were dating at the time but broke up when Ian died.
Dana and Jake are with their grandparents because of the problem. Helen has not been able to get ahold of the situation. Gib asks both of them to report to the office. A South African fascist group, The Noble Cross, is the buyer. Their representative, Pieter Voss, will be in Salzburg, Austria, to make the transaction and purchase the weapons from The Engineer. His partner Tiffany will be with him as well. The mission is to isolate Pieter and get him to lose all his money. The agents must exploit his weakness of gambling and make sure he places huge bets and loses all of them.
Helen will be on the mission as well, which makes Harry uncomfortable. He talks to Gib, but the operations expert says they need to nab The Engineer at all costs and that he has been feeling she is ready for regular spy missions now. Luther and Maria will have to hack into the casino’s data cable to give access to security cameras and then pose as dealers playing Blackjack. Helen and Harry are posing as a rich gambling pair who will be with Tiffany and Pieter to make sure they do lose all the money.
Once Pieter loses, Harry will offer him help, and they will be able to get The Engineer. Helen is overwhelmed with their undercover job and expensive clothes from luxury brands. She jokingly says they should steal the clothes and run a second-hand shop to make more money. Maria rejects Luther’s advances and refuses to accept “they were a great team” in the past. Helen is really nervous about the job when they get on the floor. Harry calms her down. But her nervousness gets the better of Helen, and she switches their profiles when Tiffany threatens to walk away due to how bored she is.
Helen was supposed to be the trophy wife and Harry the shipping magnate. But now the roles are reversed, and Tiffany stays with Pieter. Helen is able to convince the pair to come back again the next night to make sure their operation is successful. The plan is on track as Maria and Luther’s sleight of hands makes sure Pieter keeps going hard after trying to make his money back. He loses close to $3 million and then panics.
Harry notices this and accompanies him outside. He calms Pieter down when he draws a gun and accuses Harry of being the bad luck. Harry also promises to get him all the money back from Helen, for whom this money is only a paltry sum. Pieter is more relaxed after hearing this and agrees to give Harry anything in return for it. The plan is on track to be a great success, until the next morning.
True Lies (Season 1), Episode 3 Ending Explained:
How does the Omega team successfully catch The Engineer?
Harry and Helen dress up and go to Pieter’s room the next morning. But to their surprise, they find him dead on the floor. Gib checks the outgoing emails from that room and finds a message from The Engineer to the Noble Cross. He says that Pieter has lost all the money for the weapons, and that is why he is calling off the deal. But how did he know that Pieter had lost all the money? That is when Helen jumps in with her observation.
While Harry was catching the couple, Helen was watching everyone else. She is reminded of a familiar face that followed Pieter everywhere – all the tables and even the chips section. Gib uses security cameras to spot the face. When he does a search, the face pops in half a dozen searches, and he was even there when Ian was killed. That bearded man is The Engineer. GIb locates him at the hotel entrance through the cameras, preparing to leave with the weapons.
Luther and Maria and Harry and Helen go after him in different cars. It is a high-octane car chase sequence, but The Engineer spots them. He skips one red light after another. In one of those instances, Maria and Luther notice that the oncoming truck from the green signal will hit The Engineer at the intersection. If that happens, the nuke will go off, and the entire city will be at risk. Luther decides to purposely crash the car into the truck to ensure the collision does not happen.
The ploy works, but The Eingeer gets away. Luther and Laria are not hurt too badly, either. Harry and Helen step up the chase and go after him viciously. Helen takes the steering wheel as Harry gets up in the window of the car and tries to shoot The Engineer. When that does not work. Harry asks Helen to take the car parallel to Engineer’s, and he jumps in. It is a risky move that pays off. Harry is able to top the car and neutralize the arms dealer.
In the ambulance, Maria finally accepts that she and Luther “were a good team.” She gets emotional about them breaking up. When she saw that Ian was dead, she could not bear to think that Luther, too, could have died. Maria is insecure about losing someone she cares dearly for. But Luther is in a deep sleep due to the drugs given to him when Maria looks toward him for a reaction.
Harry praises Helen for keeping their home together for so many years. He could compartmentalize only due to Helen’s rock of a presence. He also says he talked to Omega, and they are installing new pipes and a dishwasher at home. Before they go back to their normal lives, they take one last drink of their undercover high of being a rich couple. They sit in the bathtub in their underwear, fill it to the brim with the money they had to give to Voss, and drink champagne.