Donald Glover Delivers A Masterful Saga Full Of Espionage and High-Risk Emotional Stakes

Creators Donald Glover and Francesca Sloane have refashioned the action-packed spy story of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. On February 2 on Prime Video, Glover stars alongside Maya Erskine as married spies who have to complete nearly-impossible missions to stay alive. Unlike the 2005 Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie adaptation or the original 1941 film, this Mr. and Mrs. Smith follows two incompatible agents who are forced to find a common ground and face high-risk stakes and espionage.

Without the major framework of the series surrounding the protagonists devilishly good looks in comparison to previous installments, the show’s creators center the differences of “John” (Glover) and “Jane” (Erskine) and depict a new relationship that needs tenderness and care to survive. Mr. and Mrs. Smith features eight episodes filled with scenes of high-speed car chases, dodging bad guys and bullets, securing hostages, dry humor, and shocking cameos.

Donald Glover Delivers A Saga Full Of High-Risk Emotional Stakes In ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith’
Donald Glover, Maya Erskine

The series kickstarts at a remote cabin in the woods where Alexander Skarsgård and Eiza González are on a romantic getaway. The first onscreen spy-duo resembles the sultry sentiments and depictions of what audiences would expect from the cast of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. By the end of the first episode, viewers soon realize that Glover and Sloane noticeably subvert the dynamics of the leading characters, making the action sequences feel more accidental than meticulously planned out. Instead of appearing as well-decorated CIA agents — Mr. and Mrs. Smith keeps watchers on their toes and suspended in total disbelief.

Glover plays the protective and big-hearted counterpart to Erskine’s cold and hard-to-read nature. Through a top-secret organization, the couple is matched by a system of high-tech networking devices where their omniscient supervisor “Mr. Hi Hi” reaches out daily with assignments and marriage advice. The duo is awarded a brownstone in the Upper West Side of New York for participating in the Mr. and Mrs. Smith spy program and starting a new life. As soon as they settle in, a string of alerts begin to come in which sets the couple on a world tour of compensated assignments that will test their trust, love, and reliability for each other. 

Donald Glover Delivers A Saga Full Of High-Risk Emotional Stakes In ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith’
Donald Glover

The progression of the series focuses on the growth of their relationship and how Jane lets her walls down for John. Their first lunch date in New York ends with explosive emotions and shortly after they are off to a black tie silent auction where they are ordered to inject truth serum into a mogul target of interest played by John Turturro. Through each bizarre mission, the stakes get higher which undoubtedly test the fragility of John and Jane’s new relationship.

With too many close-calls, the couple travels to the snowy dolomites in Italy to take down other spies and soon after are ordered to go to Lake Como for a kidnapping assignment. With each getaway and successful mission, Jane begins to favor John rather and submits to their mere sexual attraction for one another. 

Donald Glover Delivers A Saga Full Of High-Risk Emotional Stakes In ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith’
Donald Glover

Even though Mr. and Mrs. Smith live extraordinary lifestyles, they suffer from ordinary relationship issues. Infidelity, double dates, differences on wanting kids, and mission failure threatens the spies’ marriage and the audience peeks through the cracks of their relationship similar to a fly on the wall while they are guided through couples’ therapy sessions led by Sarah Paulson’s character. Even, Erskine and Michaela Coel have a standoff with another and much more action is jammed into the series unexpected turns.

However, strings are attached, indeed, for the bountiful rewards that the couple achieves for showcasing their sometimes, unscathed and witty spy tactics. Co-creators, Donald Glover and Francesca Sloane explore the character’s romance with sardonic dialogue and dark comedy to keep us on edge. 

Their approach on Prime Video’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith feels original and clever. Without over-subjecting audience’s to the typical vein spy tropes that we tend to see onscreen, Glover and Sloane allow this star-studded cast to be impacted by trivial matters that make them appear more human and less untouchable. Considering the acceleration of the plot and each character’s own development, Glover and Sloane show that love can exist, thrive, and survive in the deepest depths of danger if you just support one another.

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