Ghosts of Beirut (Miniseries) Episode 3: Showtime’s Ghost of Beirut had an underwhelming start but got redeemed by a far more focused and coherent second episode. This week’s episode lacks the punch of last week’s and brings to light, the major problem with this miniseries. It doesn’t really know what story it wants to tell – a realistic look at the CIA’s constant struggle with the forever elusive Imad Mughniyeh or a crowd-pleasing manhunt tale.
Well, if this episode is any indication, then the series has been unsuccessful on both fronts due to the lack of a clear vision. When you are making a drama but also holding onto the realities of the story, then a certain flair is essential- which this show clearly doesn’t have. At this point, I just want to get this over with.
Ghosts of Beirut (Miniseries) Episode 3 Recap:
Like the previous two episodes, this one also shows characters from the “good” side looking for the Ghost of Beirut, aka Imad Mughniyeh. We already met CIA targeter Lena (played by Dina Shihabi) back in the first episode, and this is the episode where we get the follow-up on her investigation. The year is 2007, and Imad Mughniye is now one of the biggest names when it comes to organized terrorism. The show still doesn’t use the T-word, although it does acknowledge that Mughniyeh killed a large number of Americans before 9/11.
This episode picks up from the point when Mughniyeh’s people had taken US officials hostage after infiltrating the CIA HQ in Southern Iraq. The leader of the operation is Daqdaq, who happens to be very close to the Ghost himself.
Due to Lena’s Middle Eastern origin, Mossad suspects her of being a double agent. The doubt further increases when Daqdaq executes the hostages after not being able to cross the border, and then gets caught. With Daqdaq in the FBI’s pocket, Lena gets access to the investigation thanks to her CIA privilege. The FBI does seem a little spooked by Lena and her eagerness in Mughniyeh.
With all these going around, Mossad just cannot just sit around idly and watch the drama unfold. So they bring in Teddy, a reluctant agent who is very good at his job. To comply with his boss’s request, Teddy contacts Lena and proposes a joint operation as their target is the same person. Lena hesitates at first, but after finding out that Teddy and Sarah, one of the members of his team, are tracking Mughniyeh’s family and even doing a bit of phone-tapping, she agrees to the Mossad-CIA partnership.
Imad and a new beginning
Now middle-aged and weary, Imad travels to Damascus as Syria is a safe place for him. With Daqdaq potentially messing up the entire organized operation with the execution of the hostages, a concerned Imad meets Qasem Soleimani, a high-ranking Iranian military officer and his trusted ally. Soleimani shows concerns about Imad being sloppy and Ali Reza-Asghari’s closeness to the CIA. Imad ensures him that Reza-Asghari is not going to sell him out, thanks to their personal connection from the very beginning.
Meanwhile, Imad meets a woman, a boutique store owner in Damascus, and the two develop an intense liking for each other. The woman is initially skeptical about starting anything with this man as she knows nothing about him. But after Imad reveals who he really is, the two start a relationship. Soleimani doesn’t approve of this and warns Imad about the imminence of danger.
Ghosts of Beirut (Miniseries) Episode 3 Ending, Explained:
Does Lena find Imad?
Despite being all over the place with its narrative, Ghost of Beirut has done one thing well, i.e., building up genuinely intriguing covert action sequences. The best part about this episode has to be Lena setting up base at Damascus in order to get close to the target. While staking out, she comes across two Syrian military officers who suspect that something under their noses is going on. While Teddy (in her earpiece) asks her not to engage, Lena goes ahead and introduces herself as a realtor and manages to clear all their doubts. At least, that’s what it seems like. Seeing Lena’s commitment to the job, Teddy comes to the conclusion that she is indeed loyal to the cause. He conveys that to Mossad.
Meanwhile, Sada has been moving from place to place for years now- thanks to being married to someone like Imad Mughniyeh. Her children are now teenagers, and her daughter Fatima is planning to join a revolutionary group. Imad is pretty much absent from their lives, but he takes care of their financial needs, as well as their safety. With Sada talking to Imad on the phone regarding her frustration about the kind of life she has, which she didn’t choose on her own, the CIA-Mossad team gets a whiff of her meeting her husband very soon. They are not wrong either as Imad soon receives a call from his son that his family has arrived in Damascus to see him. Imad obviously doesn’t like where this is going but decides to see his family anyway.
Thinking he is still untouchable in Syria, Imad goes to meet his wife and son. Sada gets understandably upset when Imad breaks the news of being with someone else. He does promise to be there for his family nonetheless. Unbeknownst to Imad and his family, they get photographed by Lena from afar, who was staking them out from her car, waiting all this time for Imad to appear. More than thirty years after the world found out about his name, the Ghost of Beirut is no longer a myth anymore as Lena does find him, after all, in flesh and blood. His imminent demise is now only a matter of time. With Imad Mughniyeh getting assassinated in early 2008, we know what we are going to get in the final episode. I just hope that they at least make it interesting enough for us to sit through it.