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The Night Manager finale recap: Episode 6

Could things have ended better for this spy thriller? Only slightly.

Posted on

Des Willie /The Ink Factory/AMC

The Night Manager

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie, Olivia Colman
Action, Crime, Drama

We have arrived at the end of a six-hour John le Carre adaptation and the hero hasn’t been tragically gunned down and the antagonist is being carted away, presumably to his death. Not to sound like a complete fatalist, but what gives? For anyone familiar with the writer’s books — especially the Night Manager novel — or the other adaptations, the sunshiny conclusion to AMC’s event series might come as a bit of a surprise. I don’t come to le Carre for optimism. I want the cold, harsh reality of our modern and bureaucratically hobbled world. That’s my jam, so this was kind of uncomfortable.

But how does the “Pine triumphs” ending work for the miniseries on its own merit? That’s a slightly different question, one we’ll get to as soon as we get a firm grasp on just what the hell happened in the final hour (tentative) of The Night Manager.

When we last left the world of arms dealing and five-star travel accommodations, Roper had successfully dodged a rather aggressive maneuver by the US government to seize weapons at the Syrian border, and he was next headed to Egypt to finalize a deal in the company of Freddie Hadid, the former lover and likely murderer of Sophie Alekan.

Oh, and possibly the one person who could blow Jonathan Pine’s cover!

With Limpet’s big play a total bust, the full weight of the British intelligence community has come down on Angela Burr. She’s in the tough position of knowing full well that Black Jack Randall is on the take for Roper’s dealings and being completely unable to point out that happy fact because her primary piece of evidence turned out to be about as effective as a riding lawn mower in a game of chicken with a tank. “You know why,” she’s forced to say when refusing to give up her informer. “You all know why.”

This, to me, is such a pure le Carre moment. Everyone in the room understands that if Burr blows Pine’s cover in their “closed door meeting,” her spy will end up super dead. (I mean, the deadest.) And yet she cannot express this obvious and immoral truth because of the structures that are in place. It’s absolutely infuriating, and you can feel every bit of that frustration in Olivia Colman’s performance here.

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So that’s it for the International Enforcement Agency. Their name was vague, but their sources were good. All seems lost for Burr — that is, until a phone call from a hotel in Cairo let’s her know exactly where her man is. Despite being back where this thing started and living directly under the watchful eye of Freddie Hamid, Pine is still committed to bringing down Roper.

NEXT: Pine is a really slow texter.