By now you probably know that Prime Video’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith is an inverted take on the 2005 Brangelina film: instead of a husband and wife that uncover their spouses’ secret identities, the televised version knowingly puts two strangers together into a marriage of convenience. Donald Glover and Maya Erskine inhabit the new John and Jane Smith, and the series follows their assigned missions alongside the budding—and thorny—romance between the two spies. Mr. & Mrs. Smith is the story of a relationship disguised as an action thriller, and each episode cleverly centers around the hallmarks of dating.
Glover and Erskine aren’t the only familiar faces that you’ll see in the eight-episode season. The series is littered with guest stars, from Alexander Skarsgard to Sarah Paulson to Glover’s real mom. But the actors aren’t just there as a gimmick. The show utilizes them to examine its overarching themes, with these guest stars nudging John and Jane to realize things about themselves and their relationship. Below is a guide to all of the famous faces throughout the first season and how their characters affect the central marriage.
Episode 1: Alexander Skarsgård and Eiza González
The opening moments of the series don’t showcase the two leads; instead, the series opens with Skarsgård and González hiding out in a safe house. It soon becomes clear that the duo are another iteration of the titular Mr. and Mrs. Smith, spies with plain pseudonyms who are reaching their limits with their current set-up. When enemies descend upon their cabin, González’s Jane tells her partner that she’s tired of running and the two open fire in a quick-and-dirty shootout.
While this version of John and Jane put up a good fight, they both wind up dead, likely at the hands of the very organization that employed them in the first place—a foreshadowing for what is destined for Glover and Erskine’s characters by season’s end.
Eiza Gonzalez and Alexander Skarsgård.
Episode 2: John Turturro and Paul Dano
John and Jane’s second mission targets real estate mogul Eric Shane, played by John Turturro, at an art auction. They’re expected to capture him alive and give him a truth serum injection with no witnesses, so Jane corners Shane after John identifies him as the high Warhol bidder from Hihi’s instructions (he casually bids $106 million on the piece) and pretends to flirt to get him alone. She suggests that they bring one of the cater-waiters with them to a private room under the guise of messing with the working class people in the room. (Of course, she chooses John as the “random” waiter.) But once they’re upstairs, Shane orders them to get on their knees and act like dogs a la Succession’s boar-on-the-floor power move. John and Jane both seize the same moment to administer the truth serum, accidentally overdosing and killing Shane, and failing their mission.
Episode 2, “Second Date,” also introduces us to the couple’s nosy neighbor, played by Paul Dano in a recurring role, who seems skeptical of John and Jane’s life story from the moment he meets them—namely because of the elaborate Architectural Digest-worthy home renovations that were done prior to their move-in.
Episode 3: Sharon Horgan and Billy Campbell
The fourth episode takes our Smiths to the Italian Dolomites, a mountain range with a picturesque ski resort frequented by the wealthy, including this episode’s targets: rich couple Gavol and Parker Martin, played by Horgan and Campbell. The goal is to bug their phones and record an important call at 5 P.M., and John and Jane set out to forge close relationships with each spouse and successfully append trackers to both of the Martins’ phones. Things go awry when Gavol is kidnapped and Parker doesn’t comply with the kidnapper’s demands, forcing John to spring into action to rescue her.
Billy Campbell and Sharon Horgan
Episode 4: Parker Posey and Wagner Moura
John and Jane’s first inclination that there are other spy couples living parallel lives with these same pseudonyms occurs in the fourth episode when they meet another pair named John and Jane Smith (Posey and Moura) at the farmer’s market. Putting two and two together, our Smiths invite the other couple over for dinner and bond over their mutual experiences in the industry, both with Hihi and with their respective spouses.
Episode 5: Ron Perlman
The next international mission takes John and Jane to Lake Como, Italy to apprehend the “high value target” Toby Hellinger, played by Perlman. His irritability during the abduction, immediate disdain for John, and subsequent bonding with Jane reveal the forming fractures in the Smith relationship—especially after John announces he purchased a house in Lake Como without consulting Jane.
But their argument goes even deeper: John wants kids, buoyed by his perception of Jane’s maternal affection toward Toby, but Jane doesn’t. His feelings for her are complicated by the inclination that Jane takes all of the credit when corresponding with Hihi. The challenges in the mission and in their personal life give way for Hihi to sow doubt about John in Jane’s mind, and the mysterious overlord eventually asks if Jane would like to replace him altogether.
Episode 6: Sarah Paulson
In “Couples Therapy,” a standout episode, Paulson guest stars as the couple’s therapist. Things have gone downhill for John and Jane, whose bickering has devolved into outright accusations. Paulson’s therapist tries earnestly to understand their relationship woes and suggest logical solutions that would normally work in a conventional marriage (like opting for different work assignments, since that’s where most of their issues stem from) but she has no idea about the real nature of their jobs. The counseling is generally successful in allowing the couple to say what’s on their mind and gives the audience deep insight to some of their incompatibilities, but as soon as Paulson reminds them that she’s recording every session they have no choice but to burn her house down.
Episode 7: Michaela Coel
As the couple’s relationship turmoil worsens, infidelity comes into play next, and the seventh episode introduces Michaela Coel as a rival spy whom John has gotten close to. While she’s technically a target, John genuinely likes spending time with her, but things get blown up when Jane arrives on her doorstep to confront her. Coel’s Bev flees, taking them on a wild goose chase across New York City. She ultimately gets away, which leaves John angry with Jane for meddling with his mission. Ultimately they realize that Hihi was responsible for revealing John’s relationship with Bev, throwing even more distrust into the shadowy puppeteer.
Episode 8: Beverly Glover
While there aren’t any new cameos in the finale outside of Glover’s real mom Beverly portraying John’s mom, Posey and Moura reappear to carry out their “extremely high risk” task: eliminating John and Jane. The closing moments of the first season hint that John is moments away from death and that Jane is not far behind—mirroring the fate of Skarsgård and González who opened the series.
Donald Glover’s real mom, Beverly