Combining a documentary format with depictions of events with actors, the series focuses on the CIA's execution of Frank Olson, an American citizen who worked for the U.S. national-security establishment. More accurately, the series revolves around his son, who has spent his life ascertaining the truth about what the CIA did to his father.
Frank Olson worked as a civilian for the U.S. military and the CIA during the 1950s, when Cold War hostilities between Russia and the United States were a thousand times greater than they are today. Working in the military's top-secret chemical section, Olson was connected to Operation MKULTRA, the top-secret CIA project that subjected unsuspecting Americans to LSD and other chemical agents.
Olson was different, however, from everyone else around him, in that he was stricken with a crisis of conscience over what the government was doing, not only with MKULTRA experiments but also with respect to germ warfare that the U.S. national-security establishment had waged against North Korea during the Korean War, a war crime that U.S. officials denied but which international investigators concluded was true. (See This Must Be the Place: How the U.S. Waged Germ Warfare in the Korean War and Denied It Ever Since.")