“Episode #1.1” is episode one of season one of Hard Sun.
The episode opens with an image of the Sun. It’s a video of the Sun, on a top secret live link with some data being reported as well. There is a woman watching the video and she looks disturbed by what she can see.
A woman is in a kitchen at night, taking some pills, whilst a figure creeps up behind her, holding a knife. The figure stabs the woman in the back and a fight ensues. The woman does a reasonable job of defending herself until the figure, a young man, stabs her in the stomach and she falls to the floor. The young man turns on the gas on the hob then stands over the woman – who calls him by name and asks him not to do this. The young man pours petrol over her and the room, then leaves. He drops a burning match through the letterbox, causing a sheet of flame to go through the house, but the woman manages to get out just before the house explodes.
A masked and dark-clad man is holding a double barrelled shotgun over a sleeping man. The man wakes up and the masked man gets him to open the safe, which is full of money. The intruder gets the man to put some of the money into a bag, and then leaves just as armed police knock down the door. The intruder gets to a canal, removes his dark clothing and puts it into a bin and torches it, then jogs off.
The next morning, the intruder is watching a news report at home, about police raids being carried out against a crime gang, including at the house of the gang’s accountant – the man the intruder got to give him money.
Yet another man gets a phone call. The caller has done something, something that can be traced, probably a hack. He has details on something called ‘Hard Sun’
The masked intruder who stole the money is now in a police station. He appears to be a policeman, and presumably an important one. Which he is – Detective Inspector Charlie Hicks. DCI Hicks would appear to be a little bent. Hicks’ boss calls him in; he’s got a replacement Detective Inspector. This is DI Elaine Renko, the woman who was stabbed earlier. Renko has a hidden agenda, and Hicks is, rightly as it happens, suspicious of her.
Outside a block of flats, a woman is being harassed by a kid on a bike when they both hear screaming from above. A man is falling from high up the block and lands in a tree, pretty dead. The man who received the call from the hacker rushes out of the building and goes to the dead man. He removes a Saturn V rocket from the dead man’s wrist, presumably a flash drive.
Hicks and Renko arrive at the scene, and the deceased’s laptop has some dodgy material on it. Suicide seems possible, but Renko points out the man appeared paranoid yet the laptop was on and unsecured. Outside the flats is the woman from the very beginning, watching.
The dead man also, it turns out, has a sealed criminal conviction for hacking NASA as a juvenile. He would definitely not have left dodgy material so easy to find on a laptop. It appears to have been a murder, hastily covered up to look like suicide, and a connection is found to a Sunny Ramachandran, the man who took the flash drive. Ramachandran is a hacktivist but is also involved in corporate espionage. So perhaps the dead hacker did something for him and died as a result.
The hacker died, not because his hack was traced – which it appears it was – and not because those who traced it wouldn’t have killed him – because it appears clear that they would have, but more as a side effect of what he found. As a result of which, a secret that people would like very much to remain such is now on the verge of getting out, and Renko and Hicks discover they have much bigger problems. Everyone has much bigger problems.