Ghosts of Beirut (Miniseries) Episode 2: Recap & Ending, Explained 


Ghosts of Beirut (Miniseries) Episode 2: The second episode of Showtime’s latest docu-drama miniseries picked up right from the point where the first one ended, but strangely enough, it felt like a very different show- in a rather better way. Compared to the opening episode, this was much more coherent, intense, and a very engaging watch for the most part.

It played like an espionage thriller and benefited heavily from the new characters- mainly Chet Riley and William Buckley, who managed to make quite an impact in a short span of time. Of course, the show continued to intercept the proceedings with real-life footage and interviews, but unlike the first episode, where it seemed too much at times, it seemed rather organic in this one.

Ghosts of Beirut (Miniseries) Episode 2 Recap:

Robert Ames is dead, and William Buckley has taken over from him at the Beirut station. The Americans are not mere peacekeepers anymore, as with their own Embassy being bombed and Ames’ death, they have become part of the conflict. Buckley’s first and only order of business has to be finding the man responsible.

Meet Chet Riley

Easily the highlight of the episode, the fictional character of Chet Riley almost does what Pedro Pascal did to Narcos- elevating the narrative by adding an additional perspective. The character being a fictional one, didn’t have any burden to remain true to anything, which I thought gave the actor an opportunity to play however he likes- obviously with creative inputs from the director.

Case officer Chet Riley arrives in Beirut shortly after the tragedy and gets to work without wasting any time. Thanks to his fluency in the Arabic language and very much hands-on approach towards work, he becomes a very essential part of Buckley’s plan of nailing the “Ghost” of Beirut, whoever that is. Another case officer, Steve, forms a bond with Chet, and the trio of Buckley, Chet, and Steve decide to do every possible thing to find the man and bring him to American justice.

Thanks to one of Buckley’s informants, a Lebanese businessman- they get to know about this Islamic Jihad group that is behind the attack, and they initially land on a local Imam called Fadallah. Chet seems not to trust the Informant and has suspicion that he is somehow mixed with the Islamic Jihad group. However, from the Informant Team, the CIA gets to know about trucks maneuvering explosives in the city of Beirut- and an imminent plan to bomb the Embassy again.

The Informant gives them two more important things: first, it is he who sells the explosive, and second, the name of the man they are looking for, Imad Mughniyeh. A city-wide scavenger hunt for the particular truck doesn’t yield a good result for the CIA men. And then, one morning, Chet and Steve wake up to not the embassy but the US and French Marine bases in Beirut. But that’s not it. Soon after, the US embassy in Kuwait is bombed – the same way it happened in Lebanon. And Buckley, Chet, and Steve still don’t have anything on their hands.

What is Imad up to?

A still from Ghosts of Beirut (Miniseries), Episode 2

Episode 1 made it pretty clear that Imad is on the path of terror, and he would not back down. This episode only proves that further. While his relationship with his wife understandably strains, Imad continues his “revolutionary activities” with his associates- Haider and his brother-in-law Mustafa.

After getting to know that Buckley and his team are looking for him and trying to stop another bombing at the embassy, Imad comes up with a plan that would shock the US. He sends Mustafa and a group of people to Kuwait to do the embassy bombing there- which nobody would expect them to do. Not to mention, he also orchestrates the bombings at the Marine bases. All is going as per the plan until one terrible thing happens- Mustafa gets caught in Kuwait as the prime suspect behind the bombing.

While Imad’s wish for kicking the Americans out of their country gets fulfilled as the US Government decides to call back most of their armies and troops after the Kuwait bombing, Mustafa getting caught is something he didn’t see coming. The only way he has the slightest chance of saving Mustafa now is by creating a hostage situation- and who better than CIA station chief Bill Buckley would serve the purpose?

Ghosts of Beirut (Miniseries) Episode 2 Ending, Explained:

Does William Buckley get rescued?

With Buckley under Islamic Jihad’s control and almost zero manpower in Beirut, CIA top boss William J. Casey and Senior Officer Duane “Dewie” Clarridge ask Chet to back down. Buckley is expectedly tortured, and Imad presents his only demand for letting Buckley go, i.e., to free Mustafa.

While Casey, Dewie, and other CIA top-tier people keep dueling over what to do regarding Buckley, Chet keeps searching for Buckley mostly on his own- and with little help from Steve. From the Informant, Chet and Steve receive a videotape of Buckley getting tortured to an inhuman extent which involves the use of a drilling machine on a human body. After seeing the tape, the CIA decides to give it back by fighting fire with fire instead of trying to get Buckley back.

Chet still keeps trying, and he eventually manages to find the Islamic Jihad camp at Baalbek, where (according to his suspicion) Buckley is being kept. He tries to convince Casey and the others to make an attempt at rescuing Buckley by assigning him a team, but that goes into vain as Casey and Dewey have already made up their minds. So the CIA strike goes ahead- and it does find Fadallah and Imad, but the latter survives. Imad’s associate Haider dies, along with a lot of Lebanese people. US’s revenge for Ames and Buckley is now complete.

Near Baalbek, Chet meets the Informant who delivers him Buckley’s dead body. Buckley was never meant to survive anyway. Imad never planned to release him. Because he knew for a fact that his demand of freeing Mustafa would never be fulfilled. All he needed Buckley for was to show what they could do- and exactly that happened. The Ghost of Beirut is not a ghost anymore. But he is still out in the wind, and the CIA’s hunting for him continues forever. We will get to see how that went on over the course of the next two weeks.

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Ghosts of Beirut (Miniseries) Episode 2 Links: IMDbWikipedia
Ghosts of Beirut (Miniseries) Episode 2 Cast: Navid Negahban, Amir Khoury, Ned Bellamy
Where to watch Ghosts of Beirut