The Night Manager: Episode 1.6
June 3, 2016 2:47 AM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Series finale. Roper and his team return to Cairo for the deal, reuniting Pine with an old enemy. Pine risks it all to put his plan in motion. A discredited Burr makes one last stand.
posted by kanewai (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I was sort of hoping Pine would be in a bit more peril than he wound up in here, but on the whole this was a good ending.

Stuff even blew up, though considering Sarin gas was possibly among that "stuff", part of my brain was wondering why no one was dying or at least coughing.

You also have to sort of wonder how "noted philanthropist billionaire Richard Roper disappeared/was found murdered in Cairo" would play out in the press.

This series has set me against the idea of Hiddleston as the next Bond, unless they're going to change Bond to be more like Pine. Pine's a good man who was pushed to do horrible things to prevent greater evil. Bond's a smarmy womanizer who enjoys everything he does. I think that concept has run its course generally, and Hiddles can do amoral smarm, but Loki in a suit with a vodka martini is not a compelling draw for me either.
posted by middleclasstool at 9:00 AM on June 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

I have mixed feeling about the ending. I appreciated the plot twisty way that Roper gets served justice, but happy endings seem out of character with the realism of a le Carré work. Indeed, in the book he ends up escaping thanks to his CIA & GHCQ connections. This version felt a little bit too Hollywood.
posted by volt4ire at 2:32 PM on June 4, 2016

I agree about the insanely happy ending. It is exceeding rare for le Carré to leave all of the good guys standing, let alone happy, at the end of a story.
posted by ubiquity at 11:18 AM on June 8, 2016

We watched this after watching The Americans finale. The happy ending was kind of a relief. Now, what happened to that $300 million?
posted by Ber at 9:40 PM on June 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

Months late, but we just finished this. I'm a big fan of le carre books, and whilst this was entertaining, we did feel it was mostly mutton dressed up as lamb, relying on on its stylishlishness to give the quite cliched - and at many points nonsensical - plot a veneer of intellectualism.

Laurie was terrific, but neither Hiddlestone, nor the writers did enough with his character. They needed to show more how similar he and Roper really were (ie psychotic, extreme), and how much he coveted Roper's life and found it attractive and wanted to possess/own it (the only rationale for boffing the mistress that would be remotely plausible). The white knight stuff was completely unbelievable.

Le Carre's - let's be honest - slightly funny, if not bewildered attitude towards women came through the lens of mass entertainment with an unmistakable patina of misogyny applied, I thought. The female characters barely existed with the exception of Burr (who was a man in the book), and where they did exist it was purely as a plot device.

The ending was pure Hollywood - completely undermines the thesis of Le Carre's entire oeuvre. Oh it's okay to do the extra-judicial killings and torture when it's bad guys okay? Very James Bond.

For all that, we were entertained, it was well put together, but just a few tweaks here and there and it could have been excellent. They needed to watch The Tailor of Panama, I think, as an example of Le Carre adaptation done right with a similar feel.
posted by smoke at 5:35 AM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]

We watched this right on the heels of A Perfect Spy, and it's tantalizing to imagine Laurie and Hiddleston and the production values of TNM transported into the deliberate, slow burn of APS.

This was a slick, well-acted, beautiful mini-series that had plenty of suspense ratcheting up to the last episode and then just kind of left me feeling...Huh? at the end of it.

Comparing it to APS made me feel as if there's an expectation that audiences today just don't care to see truly character-driven productions in this genre. This should have been one, yet we had this weirdly pat ending with all of this shit blowing up, to boot.

I haven't read the novel, so I can't say where the fault lies here, but this feels so out of step with the Le Carre that I was previously familiar with.
posted by MoonOrb at 1:28 PM on November 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

Finally got around to this. Very good, but not excellent. Echoing several other statements here, basically. Casting was a big strength. I just never understood the mistress relationship. If Sophie's death was his big motivation, why would he get involved with Jed? He knows where that leads. Why risk the exact same thing happening again? Sure, her help is vital in getting the evidence that puts Roper away, but he doesn't know he'll need that at the time. Plus he had Corky suspicious from the start.

Entertaining, but problematic.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 7:30 AM on December 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

I like how Youssef and his buddies were able to be involved.

Yes, where *did* the money go? I was thinking to Jed's son, but I'm not sure.

I didn't particularly *like* Pine as a person. I was not cheering him on. I was certainly cheering on Burr as she was phenomenal. I did not realize her character was a man in the books. Interesting! I loved her and Steadman working as a team and Steadman's obvious deep love for her. I would totally watch a buddy spy series with just those two.
posted by jillithd at 12:04 PM on July 20, 2017 [4 favorites]

Just finished watching this and although I found it entertaining, it had some...uh...holes.

I had a hard time buying Jonathan’s immediate, undying love for Sophie. Didn’t he only know her for like four or five days?

Loved Olivia Colman. We just finished watching all of Fleabag so it was a bit funny to see her as such a different character here. But this was much more like the Colman of Broadchurch, smart, passionate, principled. Except less tormented and more hard headed. She was great. Except I kept thinking, good lord woman, on this timeline you’ve got to be like eleven months pregnant by now. How are you getting on airplanes and flying to Cairo without giving birth mid-air?

Hiddleston was a bit meh, but I don’t find him that charismatic most of the time anyway. I guess his Loki was pretty good but I didn’t find him appealing, so I was a bit like “Huh?” at his ability to send everyone into a swoon with his very presence. And oh my god he and Jed were so bloody careless with all the meaningful looks and the risky rendezvous. They were so obvious it drove me to distraction.

I assumed the 300 million went to Ahmed’s rebel group for helping with the explosives.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:26 AM on August 30, 2020

I figured that the $300M went back to the buyers. I presume they still want a refund, and if Roper can't produce it, why wouldn't their attention shift back to Tradepass and Mr. Birch? The idea that he absconds with $300M to live happily ever after is a bit much.

Hiddleston as Bond would only work if they decided to go back to pretty-but-still-lethal 007, something along the line of Pierce Brosnan, but maybe the franchise has moved on too far from that now? He's almost too good looking, if you get my meaning.

On the whole we liked it; a nice bit of escapism spread out over several nights. Looking forward to seeing Elizabeth Debicki in the next season of The Crown, too.
posted by jquinby at 10:14 AM on January 20, 2021

I just rewatched this remembering how much I liked it the first time. Almost solely to enjoy Tom Hiddleston looking very appealing (and shirtless in pretty much one scene every episode.) I enjoyed it the second time, it's very good TV, but I think it gets progressively worse each episode.

The final episode has some really improbable stuff going on. The Big Reveal is the return to Cairo and the Hotel Nefertiti. Which is a huge problem for Pine, since his whole cover involves him concealing he ever was in Egypt at all. And yet somehow just a few years later not a single staff member at the hotel recognizes him? Not even a moment of him ducking behind a plant to avoid his former boss / underling / drinking buddy. Except good ol' Youssef, of course, who's there to provide a little deus ex machina from the natives. Why set up this elaborate return to Pine's history and then squander it with one cheap plot point?

Also a smaller continuity error bugged me. In one scene we have Pine grandiosely murdering Freddy, striding into the pool in his beautiful suit to drown him. Then 10 minutes later he's back at the hotel in that same suit looking completely pressed and dry and dapper. Two scenes, back to back! Sloppy TV production.

I agree with comments here (and previous posts) about Pine's relationship with Jed making no sense. Sophie either. Seriously, don't have sex with the ruthless arms dealer's trophy wife, and definitely don't get so White Knight with her you jeopardize yourself and the mission. This could have worked better with some writing where helping women in distress is Pine's weakness. Maybe he can't help but risk himself to save Jed but then he's also too smart to actually go to bed with her, denying himself. Or something smarter than this paint-by-numbers romance. But for me this all was redeemed by Elizabeth Debicki, who is stunningly beautiful as Jed and also has this core of steel to her that gives her some agency despite having a role written almost entirely passively. (Also every single scene she kept reminding me of Anne Carlisle as Margaret in Liquid Sky, a happy association.)

Shout out also to Olivia Colman. What a great actress, what a terrific role. I love this Le Carré type, the hyper-competent and overlooked woman working in intelligence who is the key to unlocking all the plots.

Unfortunately Le Carré himself was a womanizer
The novelist based characters on his lovers. He said the affairs were a “necessary drug for writing”, not “separate from the ‘high literary calling’, so to speak, but alas, integral to it, and inseparable.”
With that it's interesting that Angela Burr is written as pregnant and happily married. She's not written like a romantic conquest that the author fetishizes. I particularly liked the hints of a former relationship with the American spy: it gives her character her a bit of intriguing background without distracting from her professional skill and tradecraft.
posted by Nelson at 6:48 AM on October 21, 2023

Lol I was annoyed enough to look up the drying suit and found a defensive comment from the producers
We get a lot of complaints on Twitter and beyond about a continuity error. As you know, when he walks back into the hotel, his trousers are dry. Interestingly, Tom, obviously, really did wade into the pool and got his trousers wet. In the dry heat of Marrakesh, which is, if anything, a bit cooler than the dry heat of Cairo, his trousers, in reality, dried [quickly]. We will be happy to recreate the experiment. We took such care to get everything right, it’s a source of huge irritation to us that we’ve been called out for something that looks like an error but in fact, in life, his trousers when he walked back into the hotel would have been dry.
Still doesn't explain how they looked so crisp.
posted by Nelson at 7:03 AM on October 21, 2023

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