by Jessica Grey
This week on The Night Manager, we learn a great deal more about Jed and about Angela. We also get to uncomfortably witness Corky’s public tailspin and some questionable, if predictable, decision-making. And, as Jonathan becomes a bona fide arms trafficker, I’m amending my original assessment of Jonathan Pine’s character alignment from “chaotic good” to “chaotic neutral.”
The episode opens with Roper telling Jonathan, now the new owner of Tradepass, how the game is played. As he runs through the overview of how they conduct their transactions, Jed interrupts the meeting: Danny is about to leave and return to his mother’s custody. Jed is clearly still incredibly upset with Roper—presumably, because she heard some things she did not want to hear in the midst of the drama between Sandy and his wife—and she is throwing daggers when she gets the chance, unfairly using Danny as pawn in her passive aggressive callouts. Meanwhile, in Madrid, Angela meets with Apo who is clearly agitated and reassessing his arrangement with her. She convinces him that all she needs is a translation of the codes used and reassures him of her promise to keep him safe.
Back on Mallorca, Jed sneaks to Jonathan’s accommodations after Roper leaves for Geneva. He’s angry at her recklessness. She’s angry at his anger. They spend the majority of the interaction being surly with one another. She takes the opportunity to confront him about what he was doing in “the Citadel” and he confronts her about what he found while he was snooping: a picture of her son. Jed admits to having been a teen mom who left her son to be raised by her sister. As Jonathan escorts her to the door, they kiss. Because, of course they do. While Jonathan panics, providing her with a cover story, Jed gets surly again.
Up in London, Rex Mayhew, having recently not given in to Dromgoole’s bribe, is stalked and nearly run off the road on his way to the office. That tactic appears to have had precisely the opposite effect it was intended to as Rex just gets angry and responds by tripling Angela’s budget and giving her the go-ahead to hire more people onto her team. Angela shows him the now-translated documents and asks Rex who he thinks “Halo” might be.
After Roper returns to Mallorca from Geneva, Jed makes a point of making up with him and Corky, after again receiving the cold shoulder from Roper, confronts Jonathan and makes clear that he knows about Jed’s nighttime visit. The next day, the whole crew hits the town before parting ways, when Corky proceeds to throw a nasty, public tantrum, complete with punching a waiter and inappropriately groping and fondling Jonathan when he intervenes. This does provide an opportunity for Jonathan to prove to Roper just how valuable he can be to the team: after somewhat subduing Corky, he approaches the table jostled by Corky’s outburst and offers apologies and recompense by covering their tab for a whole new meal (fun fact: the man whose temper he is assuaging is none other than John le Carre, the author of The Night Manager). As an aside, let me just say that I am not Corky’s biggest fan right now; I mean, I like some artfully thrown shade as much as the next girl but, between his continued denial of Jed’s agency as a grown woman and his sexually assaulting Jonathan mid-temper tantrum, he’s significantly less amusing to me than he once was.
Meanwhile, in London, Angela is still trying to figure out the details of the River House’s involvement with Roper. She makes contact with one of Dromgoole’s underlings who confirms for her that Dromgoole is “Halo” and “Felix,” the other name listed on Roper’s invoice for consulting fees, is the CIA’s office in London. She enlists his assistance by reminding him exactly what the penalties are if his involvement were to be discovered and he agrees to pass along copies of the paperwork that Dromgoole is getting paid by Roper to forge. Back in Spain, after the fireworks at the restaurant are over, Roper receives a phone call informing him that the River House has pegged Rex Mayhew as a potential problem. While he and Sandy discuss what to do about the situation, Jed and Jonathan consummate their mutual attraction and questionable risk analysis skills. Seriously, you two: look at your life, look at your choices.
Angela finally gets her hands on the forge documents promised to her and she and her team discover the names and possible whereabouts of three container ships owned by Trade Pass. Deducing that two of the ships are decoys and that a private jet owned by Andrew Birch, the owner of Trade Pass, just left for Istanbul—the very same destination to which Apo was planning to travel—Angela sends a small contingent to Turkey to look for “a familiar face.”
At Whitehall, Rex’s superior insists to him that Angela is ruffling too many feathers and needs to be replaced. In the process of defending Angela and the work she is doing, Rex makes a questionable decision and reveals copies of the paperwork Angela had put together for him. She retracts her statement and tells Rex to leave Angela where she is; but after leaving Rex’s office and returning to her own, she promptly calls Dromgoole at River House. Dromgoole is, as one would expect, furious and he suspects Apo. When Angela is made aware of what Dromgoole knows and what he suspect, she immediately confronts Rex, knowing he had to have told someone. While in his office, she receives word that Apo never made it to Istanbul.
In the middle of the night, Jonathan receives a phone call in his Istanbul hotel room from Jed. Knowing full well what a tremendously bad idea it is to have phone records evidencing private contact between the two, he hangs up on her. The next day, Jonathan proves to Roper yet again just how well he can be a team player: when Apo is not there to take care of the legalities of the imminent transaction, a rather reluctant Turkish lawyer is hired to do the job. After Sandy has a turn at trying to convince him and one of the body guards pretty explicitly threatens violence, Jonathan smooth talks his way, with the help of a briefcase full of cash, right into getting the lawyer to sign off on the paperwork; watching the scene unfold, Roper looks proud like a papa. That night they board the container ship and inspect the cargo. Finding everything to their satisfaction, Jonathan goes ahead and authorizes payment for enough weaponry to start a war; he is now, legitimately, an illegal arms trafficker.
In London, while Angela defends why she is at the office late at night, instead of at home with her husband, we find out why and when her drive to put an end to Roper began. While working with the UN she ended up investigating an incident along the Iraq-Iran border that involved chemical weapons. When asked if that attack was Roper’s doing, Angela replies that it wasn’t, but it was exactly when Roper was inspired to start selling sarin gas.
Meanwhile, Joel, Angela’s American compatriot, makes his way to Apo’s home in Madrid. When he breaks into the house, he finds the bodies of the lawyer and his girlfriend, both of their throats slit. Angela’s team members in Istanbul call with bad news too: they recorded the conversation between Jonathan and Jed. They make contact with Jonathan and Angela demands he grab his things and go, they are pulling him out because an affair with Jed is compromising the entire operation. Rather than follow orders, Jonathan wakes up Roper and informs him that they are being watched by enforcement officers and Roper gives the order to evacuate. Angela is, understandably, not a happy camper.