Liaison Episode 1 Recap: What is the Connection Between Alison and Gabriel?

Apple TV+’s political thriller ‘Liaison’ begins with a cyber attack on London. In its first episode, the show lays the ground for the conflict that defines the stakes of the story while also shedding light on the complex nature of the relationship between the characters who are tasked with saving the day. Over the course of events, the international nature of the threat is revealed and it becomes clear that there are more powerful forces at work than what appears at the first glance. Here we take a look at all that happens in this episode and what it means for the rest of the season. SPOILERS AHEAD

Liaison Episode 1 Recap

Samir and Walid are hackers who chance upon something very dangerous while hacking into the Syrian government’s security systems. The information in their hands makes them a very desirable asset, while also putting their lives in danger. While the Russians try to capture them, the duo gets support from the French government, who supply them with passports and send a mercenary-for-hire named Gabriel to get them out of Syria. However, things take a wrong turn and Samir and Walid are forced to flee. They use the passports to get themselves to London. While Gabriel follows them to London, the UK government finds itself battling a new threat. The systems in the cyber security headquarters are hacked.

While some believe that this was not the work of a malicious force, the head of the agency, Richard Banks, believes that this is a sign of a bigger attack waiting to happen. He is proven right when someone hacks the barrier system of the Thames and on a night of heavy rainfall, with the water not getting redirected, the entire city is flooded, bringing it to its knees. Alison works for Richard and remains his voice of reason throughout the crisis. She is married to a human rights lawyer, whom her boss wants to involve in their case. She also becomes involved in an investigation that crosses her paths with Gabriel, whom, as it turns out, she knows more closely than she has told anyone else.

Liaison Episode 1 Ending: What is the Connection Between Alison and Gabriel?

With two back-to-back cyber attacks, Richard tries to strengthen his grip on things and the name of Samir and Walid comes to light. They discover that the hackers have only recently arrived from Syria and their sudden appearance around the same time as the cyber attacks make everyone suspicious. What further intrigues them all is that someone else is after them too. They get the man chasing them on CCTV footage. While no one else recognizes him, Alison is taken aback as soon as she him.

This man is Gabriel, who arrived in London with the intent of getting Samir and Walid to France, which is where they were supposed to have come earlier. He is also told to retrieve a flash drive because this is the only leverage that they have. If the flash drive falls into someone else’s hands, be it a terrorist organization or a rival country, it won’t end well for anyone. When Gabriel sees Walid, the latter tries to run away believing that he and his brother had been set up the last time. In the altercation, Gabriel gets the hard drive but he hits Walid so hard that he falls into a coma.

The brutality of this attack gets the attention of the British government and Richard becomes curious about Samir and Walid and this mystery name, whose name is revealed to them as Jean Petit, who is part of an EU delegation from France, which means he has diplomatic immunity. Richard decides to find Jean and get the diplomatic immunity out of the way so that they can arrest him and get him to reveal whatever he knows about the hackers and the cyber attacks. Richard decides to get Alison’s husband, Albert, who is a human rights lawyer to do that, but she doesn’t want him involved in this.

The reason Alison wants her husband to stay away from Jean Petit’s case is not just because she knows that Richard is only trying to use him as a facade to get things done in his own way in the background. Should Albert take on this case, it would increase the chances of him coming face-to-face with Jean Petit and this isn’t something that Alison wants. From her reaction to seeing Jean, who is actually Gabriel, it is clear that not only does she already know him, but there is something much more intimate about their acquaintance.

There is no doubt the fact that Alison and Gabriel were romantically entangled at some point, though it was such a long time ago that Alison is completely taken aback when she sees him on the screen. But that look doesn’t simply have to do with the shock of seeing an old flame. There was also a lot of concern in Alison’s eyes, almost as if she was afraid of seeing Gabriel again. This means that whatever forced Alison and Gabriel to go their own way such a long time ago was a betrayal.

Piecing together the hints, it looks like there was a time when Gabriel and Alison trusted each other completely. But then, something happened, and it was most likely Alison who betrayed Gabriel. Maybe she had to choose between him or her country and she decided to go with the latter. This could have meant for Alison to leave Gabriel in a situation that would leave him as good as dead. Even though she didn’t want to, Alison would have been forced to leave him behind and she believed that he had died back then. That’s why perhaps she is so shocked to see him. She didn’t expect him to be alive.

At the end of the episode, Gabriel shows up at Alison’s window. Having sent Walid into a coma, Gabriel knows he is being chased by the cops. So, he has turned to Alison for help. The way they greet each other, it looks like there is still some love left between them and there is remorse for not having chosen each other when they had the chance.

Read More: Is Liaison Based on a True Story?