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REVIEW: The Code returns with a gripping second season

ReviewNikole Gunn

Anthony LaPaglia as Roth and Ashley Zukerman as Jesse
image source - ABCTV

The new series of the award winning political thriller The Code premieres 8.30pm, Thursday night on the ABC.

Taking place just months after the events of season one, the six episodes of The Code again centres on the Banks brothers of Jesse (Ashley Zukerman) and Ned (Dan Spielman).

Neither has been left unscathed by events of the original series and they’re facing the prospect of being deported to the United States.

And it’s the threat of deportation, a trial and a potentially lengthy jail term that persuades Jesse to exchange his hacking skills for their ‘freedom’, despite the objections of his journalist brother Ned.

In season two, authorities are desperate to find a teenage boy, who’s fallen into the hands of a pedophile ring operating on a ‘dark net’ site run by the mysterious of Jan Roth (Anthony LaPaglia).

At the direction of cyber security expert Lara Dixon (Sigrid Thornton), Jesse gets to work in making contact with Roth, who inhabits a shadowy world where anything can be bought and sold including drugs, government secrets and children for the sex trade.

But he’s a hunted man in more ways than one.  The episode opens with an ambush and a massacre in West Papua.  It’s only a toilet break that spares Roth the same fate as his henchmen.

Adele Perovic as Hani Parande and Dan Spielman as Ned Banks
image source - ABCTV

It’s not yet clear WHO actually wants him dead. Perhaps it’s the Indonesians or maybe it’s the Australian intelligence community.  Perhaps it’s a rival?

It’s also unclear whether Roth is a ‘bad guy’ in the stereotypical sense or whether he’s just a businessman providing a service.  Or maybe he’s both.

Having not seen the original series (and I’m kicking myself now) I can’t say whether season two of The Code is any better or worse than season one.

What I can say is this six part series is particularly well written by series creator Shelley Birse.  The cast is strong and the characters believable.

The Code is sophisticated and ‘topical’ drama that ticks all boxes as a gripping political thriller.

The Code premieres 8.30pm, Thursday on the ABC.