Raza (Nabhaan Rizwan) is a young second generation British-Pakistani man from East London who's coerced by Gabe (Paddy Considine
), a Counter-Terrorism Officer, into informing for him. Gabe, who has a past he wants to remain secret, is joined by Holly (Bel Powley), his new and ambitious partner whose endless curiosity becomes a threat to him. As the central counter-terrorism investigation heats up, the stakes for all three, their families, and relationships get higher and higher in the run up to an apparent terrorist attack. It also stars Jessica Raine
Contains examples of:
- Arc Words: "The miles didn't add up" (or "aren't adding up").
- Becoming the Mask:
- Raza is a genuinely kind Nice Guy who borders on being Too Good for This Sinful Earth. Then he gets involved at police insistence with Albanian gangsters and a possible jihadi cell, and it all gets ahead of him, as he starts Slowly Slipping Into Evil.
- This is teased as having happened with Gabe in the past to the white supremacy group, and it did. He insists it's because he would've died instead.
- Raza and Dadir become genuine friends.
- Episode 4 has Gabe advancing menacingly on a young Asian pizza delivery man, surrounded by his white supremacist buddies. He ends up beating the hell out of them instead.
- The police officer who dies in the shooting isn't Gabe, it's Holly.
- Chekhov's Gunman: The boxer at Yousef's gym. He's "Big Shot", leader of the terrorist cell.
- Create Your Own Villain: Nasir, as a result of Raza's undercover activities. He's the cafe shooter.
- Embarrassing Tattoo: Gabe has a white supremacist tattoo on his back, from a very traumatic time undercover.
- Felony Misdemeanor: Two mistakes with the terrible consequences that result in Raza becoming an informant and getting involved in a vast criminal conspiracy: Raza goes to A&E with a tiny amount of MDMA, and his stepmother overstays her visa.
- Hero of Another Story: Jin Weijun. He saved the lives of everyone who survived in the cafe by showing them the fire exit, and then he committed a Heroic Sacrifice, when he could've just left the cafe with everyone else, to save a girl who is locked in the toilets.
- Hollywood Autism: Holly, despite being female, has most of these qualities: she's full of Brutal Honesty, she has no friends, doesn't get on with her family, is devoid of empathy and lacking compassion.
- If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: Gabe describes this as unavoidable in going undercover. Actual examples include Raza beating up the fast food worker when Yousef's brother goes on a rampage after his death.
- The Informant: The whole show is this Played for Drama. It's a very scary situation.
- Jaywalking Will Ruin Your Life: Bringing a girl in who has just OD'd will do that if your stepmother has overstayed her visa.
- Kick the Morality Pet: Inverted, sort of. His (step)mother is Raza's Morality Pet, but after the tremendous Trauma Conga Line he goes through, involving his brother's massacre and suicide, she is pushed so far that she snaps, to Raza's clear devastation.
He wasn't even my son!
- Scary Black Man:
- Yousef is a subversion. Despite being a low-level criminal, he is a genuine Nice Guy.
- Yousef's brother, Dadir, is a straight example. He's highly aggressive, unpredictable, and will beat up anyone for minor reasons.
- The boxer Big Shot.
- Wham Shot:
- Raza realizes that his boxing coach is Big Shot when he sees the name written on the wall.
- The photograph at the inquest of Holly dead in the shooting.
- Your Mom: Surprisingly Played for Drama. Raza and Nasir are both examples of Mama's Boy to their stepmother, but when Nasir starts to be radicalized by Akash, Akash gets to him by referring to his mother as an unmarried "whore", and Raza flips when Nasir refers to her the same way.