In 1950, Harvard and Yale friends Jack McCauliffe, Leo Kritzky and Yevgeny Tsipin decide to join the hottest 'game' of their age: Cold War espionage. It's the start of recruitment for competing secret services, whose greatest feat is double- or triple-crossing or finding out the adversary doing so. All three get involved with MI-6, KGB, CIA and Mossad in Britain, US and main play-field Berlin. As cover requires, they enjoy the luxury society circuit and have love - and family lives. But the game spares nobody, not even the trio-mates.
Suspecting Soviet mole Parcifal compromises his dirty CIA-Mossad deals, Harvey 'the Sorcerer' plans a dangerous trap with MI-6's Elihu. So 'Jacko' McAuliff pumps ballerina lover Lili for more information and refuses a bribe for Borisov. Lili's confession leads to more drama. Philby is exposed by Harvey, but Yevgeny is just in time to help him flee to Russia.
Budapest, 1956. Jacko's mission is to convince the underground insurgent to wait at least 18 months before they rise against the Stalinist regime, in vain. Jack stands by their leader, poet Arpad Zelk, and his English-born wife, but the Hungarian secret police AVH sees trough his lies under torture. In Washington, president Eisenhower refuses flat-out to risk NATO blood.
1960. The Kennedy administration is desperate to get rid of communist Fidel Castro on Cuba. Despite 's advice against the disastrous long term-impact, the CIA gets involved in organizing an armed revolt to be started by Cuban refugees. Even the mob, which lost a fortune trough Castro's nationalizing, is offered immunity for illegal cooperation. The Bay of Pigs landing is a complete disaster, Jack barely escapes himself and wants to resign.
Washington, DC, 1975. Evgeny 'Gene' Tsipin visits his terminally-ill father and double agent Philby in Moskow. Soviet embassy 'political attaché' Sergei Kukushkin, a KGB captain, defects, claiming he has to seize the time window of the KGB Washington mole 'Sasha'. Mother believes his indications and starts ruthlessly interrogating as mole suspect Leo Kretsky, who keeps denying. Kukushkin is snatched back by the Soviets, who hold his family.
Even during Gorbachev's reform years, paranoid genius Angleton believes half the world leaders are part of KGB Cold War plots, but Jack gets Leo rehabilitated. Then new computer methods allow tracking Sasha's courier. Evgeny is caught, but released to track Leo in Russia, where his family has been sent trough abuse institutions for decades. Jack is in Moscow, supporting the Jeltsin coup and dismemberment of the Soviet Union, and to exact revenge- or is he?