Tehran is one of those underrated espionage thrillers that are intense, gritty, and manage to keep you at the edge of your seats. The show’s authentic depiction of the genre and the compelling performances have a hold on you like nothing else.
In Season 1, Tamar Rabinyan, the protagonist, was on a mission to take down Iran’s air defenses so that Israeli aircrafts could bomb the country’s nuclear base. However, like in every other show, things go downhill very quickly, and the show becomes about whether or not Tamar would be able to complete the mission.
Tamar’s mission is a failure, and she didn’t complete it. She realizes that Yael is a double agent who had betrayed Israel, and Iran always knew that flights from the opposition would be coming. As a result, the incoming planes are shot down, but she escapes.
The final episode had left us all dumbfounded. Although double agents in espionage thrillers are a common trope, it also matters how this trope is used and, more importantly, when. In the moment when Tamar was trying to neutralize the Iranian radar and manipulate it, she saw how the air force was not blind.
This is a grave issue because the Israeli flights are walking into a trap, and she tells this to Yael. She talks about how Gorev, the head of this mission, needs to be informed urgently so that the planes are called back, and the mission is aborted.
While she’s telling all this, looking at the screen, she doesn’t seem to get any response. Then, finally, when she turns around, she sees Yael pointing the gun at her. As an audience, we’re so engrossed in what’s happening, and the adrenaline is coursing through us, waiting to see what happens next, that we forget there could be anything else going wrong for our spy.
However, it does, and it goes wrong so badly. It dawns upon her and us that Yael is a double agent, and they never really stood a chance. The mission was a bust to begin with. However, Faraz, the Iranian officer following Yael and Tamar, reaches there and shoots Yael, who’s pointing a gun.
Tamar later shoots Faraz to immobilize him, and he implores her to let him live and keep his wife safe. He talks about how he had the chance to kill her father but didn’t because he was a good man. Knowing what it meant to her when she realized that her father was captured, she let Faraz live.
She informs Gorev immediately, but by then, it’s too late. Just as the Iranians see the planes turning around, they start shooting them down. She rescues Milad and, along with him, escapes on a bike. When she looks up, she sees the planes being shot down, and at least one of them goes down.
This indicates that the mission was a failure and Tamar couldn’t complete it. Gorev is in disbelief, and with that, Season 1 comes to an end.
Tehran (Hebrew: טהרן) is an Israeli spy thriller television series created by Moshe Zonder for the Israeli public channel Kan 11. Written by Zonder and Omri Shenhar and directed by Daniel Syrkin, the series premiered in Israel on June 22, 2020, and on September 25 internationally on Apple TV+.