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Series: The Assets
The Assets is a 2014 eight-episode miniseries which aired on ABC. It is based on the true story of Aldrich Ames, the CIA operative who spent years selling secrets to the Russians before he was finally caught by his own co-workers. Paul Rhys stars as Ames, with Jodie Whittaker as Sandy Grimes, the agent who eventually smoked Ames out.

Debuted to record-setting bad ratings. Filled with British actors for some reason. Cancelled after only two episodes aired.


Tropes:

  • Briefcase Full of Money: Ames has one under his bed ("Jewel in the Crown").
  • The Handler: Sandy Grimes is this for "GT Weigh", one of the CIA's Russian moles. She is emotionally upset when he is caught and executed.
  • Hired to Hunt Yourself: In "Jewel in the Crown", Ames is tasked with debriefing KGB defector Vitaly Yurchenko, and finding out from Yurchenko who the mole is. Ames is terrified that Yurchenko will expose him during their interview, but Yurchenko instead exposes another mole, former CIA agent Edward Lee Howard.
  • Incredibly Obvious Tail: Done by the KGB in the first episode, as they follow a CIA agent leaving the American embassy. Turns out to be deliberate, as the KGB is trying to trick the CIA into thinking that they followed the CIA guy to the drop, thus catching the mole. They really knew about the mole and the drop all along, thanks to Ames.
  • Inspired By: The opening chyron states that the show is "inspired by true events".
  • The Mole: Hello there, Mr. Ames. Ames also exposes Russians acting as moles for the CIA, including "GT Weigh", the CIA asset caught and executed by the Soviets in the first episode.
  • Moscow Centre: Cleaning the CIA's clock, due to all the info they are getting from Ames.
  • Overt Operative / Overt Rendezvous: Ames plays this to the hilt in the first episode, when he walks into the Soviet embassy, announces himself as a CIA agent who wants a meeting, and hands a parcel to the astonished young Russian staffer standing duty at the door.
  • Spy Fiction: Yep. "Stale beer" variety, as it is more or less the true story of Aldrich Ames and the mole hunt that caught him.
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