Treadstone Season 1 Series Review

Treadstone is a very thrilling espionage series that is very interesting, especially for CIA and modern warfare nerds.

Treadstone Season 1 Series Review
Treadstone is a thrilling spy series which is a must-watch for anyone who loves spy series. Source: USA Network.

Treadstone is a 2019 action/spy series about a CIA program by the same name geared towards the enhancement of human soldiers to become weapons of war. The Treadstone program, run by the CIA and spearheaded by some powerful overlords, trains, and programs individuals to become superhuman agents of war and corporate manipulation.

Treadstone Season 1 Series Review and Summary

This post is both a review and a summary of Treadstone Season 1. That is to say, it may contain spoilers.

John Randolph Bentley

The Treadstone program begins in 1973 with the brain-altering of a captured CIA agent from Berlin Station by the name of John Randolph Bentley, played by Jeremy Irvine. Bentley is the first Cicada, or the first subject of the Treadstone program along with several others who are worked on by Dr. Meisner, the lead doctor/scientist undertaking the program on behalf of Russia.

Dr. Meisner injecting something into John Bentley while he's being trained as a Cicada in Treadstone Season 1
Dr. Meisner injecting something into John Bentley while he's being trained as a Cicada. Source: USA Network.

Treadstone is super illegal and it is a program that is undertaken illegally, and later propagated by the CIA as a way to catch up after the Russians spearhead it.

Petra Andropov

Perta Andropov, alias Petrushka, played by Emilia Schule, is a Russian KGB spy who's tasked with spearheading the program. She helps select the subjects and pick out those who turn out to be promising. She is intrigued by Bentley and she advocates for his inclusion into the program. She is under orders from Yuri Leniov, a KGB higher-up who is supervising the program.

Petra Andropov who is a KGB spy tasked with seeing the Treadstone program to fruition
Petra Andropov is a KGB spy tasked with seeing the Treadstone program to fruition. Source: USA Network.

Matt Edwards

Matt Edwards, played by Omar Metwally, is a CIA agent in the present time who stumbles across a Cicada and together with her boss, Ellen Becker, played by Michelle Forbes, uncovers the conspiracy of the Treadstone program. He's tasked to go after a Cicada going by the name of Stephen Haynes, who goes haywire and is on a killing spree. Ellen later discovers that her boss CIA Director Dan Levine is in on the conspiracy.

Doug McKenna

Doug McKenna, played by Brian J. Smith, is your average working joe. He works in a rig in the Arctic before coming across a mysterious woman after a barfight where he portrays some advanced fighting skills and superhuman strength.

Doug wakes up the next day after the encounter with the woman, with a picture of a target with a circle and 3 lines underneath, and an address in the back. He is a Cicada and the picture is his target package. As per the way the Treadstone program works, the circle and 3 lines trigger his programming and direct his assassination of the target.


Doug's wife Samantha, or Sam, is a nurse and when a man comes to their home looking for Doug, and trying to eliminate him for failing to take out his target, she quickly puts him down. The man mentions her by name and Doug is confused as to why the strange man knows her name. Turns out that she'd been part of the Treadstone program and had worked on making Doug a Cicada before she fell in love with him and the two got married.