‘In from the Cold’ is an espionage action series that follows a former Russian secret agent who is pulled out of retirement to confront a shadowy enemy. When Jennifer, who initially claims to be a regular American citizen, finally reveals her extraordinary skill set that she acquired as a Russian agent, it brings back some deadly ghosts from her past.
In flashbacks, through which we see Jenny’s younger days as a spy in training, and in the present, where she tries to avoid the assassination of a prominent politician, the same shadowy woman named Svetlana seems to be pulling the strings. The connection between her and the protagonist seems to be a significant one. Let’s take a look at what we know about Svetlana and how things turn out for her. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Who is Svetlana?
Svetlana Petrova is introduced as young Anya’s handler and appears as a shadowy figure dressed in a black overcoat. In flashbacks, we see her constantly push the impressionable young protagonist to commit heartless killings without question. At one point, Svetlana also mentions that she is proud of Anya and believes the young agent (under Svetlana’s tutelage) can go on to become the greatest Russian spy of all time. Things, however, take a sour turn when Anya falls in love with one of her targets, a young woman named Faina, who lives in the Chinese embassy.
Through repeated provocation, Svetlana eventually forces Anya to kill Faina’s father and steal a secret serum that the Chinese have been developing. The ruthless handler then forces Anya, who is trapped inside the embassy, to inject the experimental serum into herself, giving the young agent the power to morph her body to look like other people. However, this causes a major rift between Anya and her handler.
In the present timeline, Svetlana once again appears, this time under the alias “Gideon.” She uses a wealthy Spanish tycoon to carry out her plot and, recognizing Jenny to be Anya, decides to go after her former underling. The confrontation between Jenny and Svetlana essentially ties the whole season up, with the long-lost handler and agent coming face to face after almost twenty years. Before their face-off, the former reveals her dastardly plan.
What is Svetlana’s Plan?
It slowly becomes clear that Svetlana is in possession of a mind-control technique that allows her to use unsuspecting agents against their will to commit horrendous acts (the kind seen at the beginning of episode 1). In the season finale, Svetlana reveals to Jenny that she plans on using the technique to put a visiting American Presidential candidate under her control. When the candidate is nominated as the President, Svetlana plans to force him to launch a nuclear attack on Russia, triggering a global war in which Russia is the hero and the United States, the enemy.
The villainous Russian handler seems to have a misplaced sense of patriotism that makes her come up with the ludicrous plot. However, with her mind-control technique, Svetlana actually gets quite close to achieving her goal. However, she doesn’t expect her old prodigy to come crashing into her plans, and Svetlana’s fate turns out to be quite different from what she expected.
Does Svetlana Die?
After being apprehended on the roof of a building as she tries to get away, the maniacal handler challenges Jenny to shoot her. She also reveals that she has plans for Jenny’s daughter, Becca, who (Svetlana claims) also has a secret agent’s blood in her. Pushed to breaking point, Jenny finally fires her gun, killing her former handler.
Though Jenny is surprised by Svetlana’s involvement in the plot, in the end, it is the handler who is surprised by the turn of events. It seems like Svetlana (like everyone else) believes that Jenny has forgotten her secret agent training and has become soft through years of domesticity. Thus, Svetlana remains convinced that Jenny will not have it in her to fire the gun and kill her former handler. However, as she has proved before, the protagonist turns out to be more ruthless than expected and shoots Svetlana through the head, bringing her dangerous plot crashing down.