Airtime: Tuesdays at 10PM on AMC
Episode: Season 1, Episode 4 (S01E4)
Tweetable Takeaway: Pine goes rogue on the #TheNightManager
THE NIGHT MANAGER has made it easy to be seduced by Roper. He’s dangerously charming, seemingly always in control, and has an air of wealth and sophistication about him. This episode, we’re reminded of the horrific consequences of his actions. Burr explains what’s driving her around-the-clock dedication to catching the man. While working with the UN in Iraq, she volunteered to investigate an incident that turned out to be a mass murdering of school children via a deadly mixture of mustard and sarin gas. Roper had nothing to do with it, but he started selling sarin after that event—as she puts it, “He saw what I saw, 112 children and 58 adults, and he thought business.”
Wow. It’s a powerful, chilling moment, and the danger of the man is driven home in the final scenes of the episode. Joel goes to investigate why Apostol didn’t get on his plane to Istanbul, encountering a grotesque tableau of limbs and blood. The lawyer and his mistress were brutally murdered in bed, as those double agents at River House clearly tipped Roper off to who they thought the rat was. Something that struck me: Burr isn’t completely innocent in this. She told her staff to pin it all on Apostol so Roper wouldn’t look into Pine. She must have known something like this could happen.
Speaking of double agents: apparently every single person in the British government who isn’t Burr or her direct superior Rex Mayhew is in Roper’s pocket. Burr figured out that at least two people in the government were on Roper’s payroll, getting $5 million each under the code names Halo and Felix to help falsify certificates to ease his transfer of deadly weapons, but I don’t think she could have predicted just how widespread the leaks are. She and Mayhew best better watch their steps.
Just as I predicted, Pine (or Birch, as he’s going by now) sleeps with Jed. She’s a mess, disgusted by Roper’s dealings but stuck with him. Pine’s playing an extremely dangerous game, sleeping with her essentially right under Roper’s nose while Roper takes a meeting with Sandy. Corky definitely suspects something and warns Pine that he’s putting Jed in harm’s way, but thankfully for Pine no one is taking Corky seriously anymore. He has a drunken outburst at a fancy lunch, which Pine suavely swoops in and smooths over, earning more respect from Roper in the process. Corky’s officially out, and Pine is in.
Pine accompanies Roper and Sandy to Istanbul to finalize the arms deal. The way Roper runs his business, he seduces investors with the promise of profits so quick and guaranteed, they never ask too many questions about what exactly they’re investing in. He uses a shell company, in this case “Andrew Birch’s” TradePass to guarantee the deal goes through smoothly. He launches several cargo ships at once, so anyone watching can’t be sure which one is carrying the goods. The only potential snafu in this particular deal is the Istanbul lawyer they hire to certify the deal. Unlike Apostol, he actually wants to read the documents and get details about the origins of the “agricultural equipment” they’re investing in. Pine bribes him, and the deal goes on as planned.
We actually get to see some of the weapons, as Pine accompanies Sandy and Roper to the cargo ship, where a sneering Russian goon shows them the goods. It’s a staggeringly large ship—Roper asks Pine how it feels to have enough weaponry to start a war. The next step is transferring the weapons via trucks to someplace called “the Haven.”
But here’s where things start to unravel: back at the hotel, Jed calls Pine from Roper’s compound. Pine tells her to get off the line, but it’s too late. His British handlers have intercepted the call and quickly deduce that they must be having some sort of intimate relationship. A furious Burr pulls him out immediately, ignoring his arguments that he’s still the only thing directly trying Roper to the arms deal. And he’s the only one who could lead them to the weapons’ final destination.
Burr doesn’t budge. Pine’s ordered to leave in fifteen minutes. But he’s in too deep now. Instead, he tells Roper that the police are watching them, pointing out his handlers in the lobby. Roper and company pack up, leaving the Brits in the dust. Pine’s on his own now and in more danger than ever. An exciting conclusion to a thrilling episode.
Jennifer Trofa lives for two things: spreading the “Superstore” gospel and themed “Law & Order: SVU” marathons on USA. When she’s not binge-watching her favorite shows, she’s reading any book she can get her hands on.
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Jennifer Trofa | Contributor