Based on a true story, “The Assets” stars Jodie Whittaker (“Broadchurch”) as real-life CIA agent Sandy Grimes, telling the story of the years-long investigation into a suspected spy within her own agency. The culprit, Aldrich Ames, was convicted in 1994 of what was at the time the largest intelligence leak in U.S. history. A stunning spy thriller, the eight-part series is a powerful and absorbing suspense story. It begins in 1985, as Grimes and her team begin to suspect there’s a double agent afoot when many of their operatives in Russia go missing or turn up dead. As the investigation slowly unfolds, it becomes clear that there’s indeed a mole among them leaking top-secret intelligence to the Russians.
As the mission — led by trailblazing female agent Grimes — ramps up, Ames only gets bolder, leading to a series of late-night exchanges with KGB agents, harrowing escapes, and daring car chases, all while he tries to mislead his own colleagues and throw them off his trail. Of course, what made the series all the more powerful was that it all really happened. Though it did poorly in the ratings (via Entertainment Weekly), “The Assets” got new life when it was added to streaming services like Netflix, where its slower pacing and dark story could be better enjoyed all at once instead of in once-weekly airings.