The 2024 spy action-comedy series on Amazon Prime, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, is admittedly inspired by the Angelina Jolie-Brad Pitt starrer film of the same name from 2005. Although the basic premise is somewhat different and also more spread out, since this is an eight-episode-long affair, the main concept remains the same. Two strangers with no idea about each other are put together to put up a pretense of being a couple and carry out various spy and assassination orders for a secretive private agency. The drama element, especially of the romantic kind, has more stronghold over this Amazon Prime series, and Mr. & Mrs. Smith is quite an enjoyable watch because of the actors and their chemistry.
Plot Summary: What is the series about?
Mr. & Mrs. Smith begins with our co-protagonist, a woman in her thirties, walking into a small room after her number is called. It is an interview procedure that is going on inside a tall high-rise somewhere in the United States, inside a hall with no names or branding of any company visible. It is evident that the interview is of a secretive nature, for a job that is equally as secretive and mysterious. As soon as the woman walks into the room to be interviewed, the premise looks even stranger, for she has to talk to a machine that communicates via text, asking the candidates questions about their choices and preferences. Similar to this woman, a man is also seen being interviewed by a similar robotic machine, as he, too, is asked the same questions. It is clear that whoever is trying to hire these individuals prefers to stay hidden behind a screen, and the exact nature of work for our protagonists is also soon made clear.
Within a couple of days, the woman and the man move into the same house in New York, as per the instructions they receive from their new employers, who happen to be some secretive private spy agency. The protagonists, now given the names Jane and John Smith, have to pose as a married couple for their job and carry out a series of very specific orders that entail either killing, rescuing, or finding intel about shady targets. Not only will the two be paid for each job, but an entire new life, with a lavish house containing all luxuries and amenities, will be provided to them. John and Jane do not have any hesitations in waiting for the next set of instructions to come and then carrying them out, even though they take some time to get close to each other. Although they are not sure as to what exactly their work requires them to do, the protagonists find out very soon that the job is an extremely dangerous one.
The first mission given to John and Jane has them following a target around the city and getting hold of a package from her discreetly. The next step is to deliver the package to a specific address, only for it to be revealed as a mere cake. While the faking husband and wife are clearly underwhelmed after seeing the cake, they soon realize that they had just delivered a bomb to the house, which blows up and kills everyone inside. As the two try to fit into this discreet and violent role, John and Jane Smith have a series of troubles headed their way.
Why does the couple have personal misunderstandings?
During their time working together, John and Jane realize that keeping the pretense of their marriage is as difficult as the tough missions that they are sent on. Things become all the more complicated because the two genuinely grow connected to each other, initially developing romantic interest and then eventually falling in love. In this aspect, the job is a twisted take on relationships and marriage, except for the unusual obligation of having to work together at all times. Much of the issue arises because of the missions, for the differences between the two characters, become more apparent in such situations. While John complains that his wife is always very controlling and takes the lead in making decisions during all of the missions, Jane feels that her husband always sticks to the plan and creates more problems during their job.
Although the two profess their love for each other fairly early, the differences set a barrier in their personal relationship, and in the process, both John and Jane make insensitive comments about each other. The man comments on Jane’s apparent coldness and inability to express herself very openly at all times, even though all of this is just part of her personality and who she really is. On the other hand, Jane finds John’s proximity to his mother very odd, terming his habit of regularly keeping in touch with her obsessive behavior. Neither understands the other’s internal struggles and just spews angry rants during disagreements. It is only at the very end of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” under the influence of the truth serum that they inject in themselves, that John and Jane finally come to terms with their differences.
John genuinely loves his mother and wants to always be by her side, since he is the only living relative to her at present, following the deaths of his father and grandmother. While he lashes out at Jane for not keeping in touch with her father, the truth is that the father himself never wanted to know his daughter, and Jane cannot help the situation. The two very differing perspectives on family values are also what leads to the biggest disagreement between the couple—over the choice of having kids. John wants to be a father in order to continue his family through generations, and this is largely because of the relationship he has had with his mother and the rest of his family. But Jane, who has never been able to connect with her family, has no interest in bringing a child into this world of hate and crime, especially since she and her supposed husband are also dangerous spies, often killing people.
What happens to the couple after three failed missions?
During John and Jane’s missions, they eventually fail three jobs, which brings them tremendous trouble. In their very second mission together, in which the couple is told to inject one dose of truth serum into their target’s body, their miscommunication leads to two doses being injected, and this kills the man for some time. As this casualty was definitely not part of the plan, the mission is considered a failure. While they manage to go through the extremely difficult missions together, mostly with the fear of running out of chances, the issues in John and Jane’s personal relationship come in the way of their professional efficiency. On a mission in the outdoors, where the couple has to go to a forest to find and kill a hunter, they get lost and are unable to find their target. A massive disagreement between the two leads to them just giving up on the mission, leading to their second failure.
When the relationship gets even worse and it almost seems certain that John and Jane will part ways, they are assigned one more mission—to grow close to, and then eliminate, a young woman named Bev. As Jane grows sick, and also since the two internally decide to work separately, John takes on the responsibility of this mission, and in the process, he grows really close to Bev. The man keeps claiming that he has been feigning this proximity, having told Bev all the truths about his identity and how he likes Jane, but finds it difficult to stay with her. But when Jane finds out about it, she grows upset over the fact that her boyfriend is now emotionally close to another woman. By the time the two realize that the time to take down Bev has arrived, and they start working together once more, the fierce target manages to give them the slip and escape. This obviously leads to the couple failing their third mission, and they are told to wait for further orders.
It is no wonder that John and Jane were themselves made targets after the failure of the third mission, for the intentions of the company they had been working for already looked very dubious. However, the hit on them is ordered in an extremely ruthless manner, for Jane is given the order to kill her fake husband. Thus, when someone tries to shoot and kill the woman at her house in an attack that kills her beloved pet cat Max, Jane believes that John had been given the order to kill her, and it was he who had made the attack. On the other hand, when John finds his mother’s house bugged with a trip wire set to kill anyone entering the place, he believes it to be the doing of Jane. As a result, the two spies are successfully turned against each other, and they try to kill, or at least intimidate, each other for a long stretch of time. It is only because of their genuine love and the truth serum that they inject into themselves that John and Jane do not end up killing each other.
Why does the company want the agents dead?
Although Mr. & Mrs. Smith does not explain who the employers actually are, it reveals enough to make it seem like the private spy agency is an extremely dangerous one. The agency basically operates like any private security firm, providing their service to whoever pays the fee, irrespective of their moral or legal standing. But with respect to the agents it hires, it seems like they set up the agents to eventually fail so that they can be killed off. The series began with a short sequence in which a previous couple who had been on the run is finally killed by shooters hired by the company, and now, towards the end, the John and Jane we have been following are also faced with a similar situation. The most probable explanation is that whenever the agency finds out that their agents are getting too comfortable with or attached to each other, there is a fear of them turning against their employees. It is likely that many, like the current John and Jane, also have plans of doing the job until they earn a significant amount of money and then leave.
However, such an arrangement would be terrible for the company, as the ex-agents could spill the secrets of the trade at any time. When the Super High Risk John and Jane hang out with the protagonists, the former basically try to understand the current dynamics and understanding between the newly hired agents. The company then assesses the situation and makes decisions accordingly. This is why Jane is offered a chance to exchange John, because between the two, it is the woman who adheres to rules and guidelines with more sincerity. When she refuses to make the switch, Jane also becomes expendable to the company along with John, and so the company starts to plan their downfall. The suspicious circumstances of the mission with Bev also point towards the possibility that the company actually plans the downfall of the agents, who become more of a liability to them.
When Jane goes over to Bev’s house, she has been messaged by the AI communicator, named HiHi, that John has already failed the mission, whereas this is not the case. The woman thus believed that her boyfriend had ditched the mission only to be romantically connected with Bev. But on the other hand, John had been notified by HiHi at the same time that Jane was at Bev’s house and that he needed to go save her. This last mission was set up in such a manner that John and Jane would find out about their secrets and try to kill each other. HiHi’s message to Jane suggests that the company already knew that Bev would get away, and they had categorically planted the woman to get romantically close with John. It is very much possible that Bev was also an agent for the company, and she had been given the responsibility of carrying out this mission.
What Happens To John and Jane?
Thus, when John and Jane Smith fail their third mission and also do not kill each other but end up getting back together as a couple, the super-high-risk John and Jane are sent over to murder them. The protagonist couple manages to create a distraction by shooting Super High Risk John, and they are able to get inside the safe panic vault in the house. But John gets shot in the process, and he keeps losing a lot of blood very quickly. It is apparent that the man will die if not rushed to the hospital immediately, and so he tells Jane to shoot him to pave her own escape, but she obviously refuses. It is also at this time, at the very end of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, that Jane agrees to have kids with John, symbolizing a sacrifice she was ready to make for her love. But to make matters worse, Super High Risk Jane stands right outside the panic room, waiting to crack the code and enter so that she can kill the couple and successfully complete her mission.
During Mr. & Mrs. Smith‘s ending, Jane opens the door of the panic room with the plan of killing Super High Risk Jane, but the final result is not revealed. We are only shown three gunshots being fired from outside the apartment’s window, and it is not clear as to who shoots whom. It seems extremely unlikely that John would survive the bullet wound, but it is possible that Jane survives by killing the intruders. But it could also be that Jane gets tricked by Super High Risk Jane and that both protagonists ultimately die. Although the chance for the third possibility seems quite low, it might also be that Jane kills the intruders with the three bullets and then rushes John to the hospital. Perhaps the fate of the protagonists actually lies in the hands of the producers, and they might survive if Mr. & Mrs. Smith is renewed for a second season, after all.