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The Old Man (Season 1), Episode 6: Review, Recap & Ending Explained

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The Old Man (Season 1) Episode 6 Review, Recap & Ending Explained: This is the episode of monologues, of threads tightening, of disparate elements coming together, as evidenced by the final shot of the two protagonists meeting face to face. The mix of character-driven storytelling with raw elements of spycraft heightens what is essentially a sizeably budgeted and handsomely mounted soap opera, where the need for revenge as well as the need for validation forces men to play crosses and double crosses with each other. Innocent bystanders, either by the virtue of being born into that unfortunate world or being just at the wrong moment or emotionally disassembled by men who know expert manipulation; get caught in the crossfire.


The episode opens with the camera focused on a one-eyed doll lying on the floor. The door, situated off-focus, suddenly opens. We hear heavy footsteps running towards, presumably a window, Chase’s voice bellowing, “Where is she?” The camera cuts to Chase looking out at the window to see two silhouettes—a man and a young girl holding hands, draped in the shadows of the forest, lit only by faint blue moonlight. Chase hears a young voice in the background say, “It will be OK.”

Ignoring that Chase runs towards the door, we see the outline of a young woman in a nightdress. Chase suddenly looks back, and asks, almost scared, “Who are you?” The woman replies, “I am the one you let in.” Chase exclaims, “I know who you are,” and as he moves towards her, the thunder illuminates the woman’s face, revealing her to be a younger Abbey. And then Chase wakes up from his slumber on the plane. It’s interesting how Chase, both the younger and older versions, sees both versions of Abbey, sometimes during incongruous timelines, as if denoting the past is so integral to Chase that it is inexorably tied to him.

Zoe watches as Chase, slightly dazed, gets up, opens the overhead compartment, brings out a pen and taps it in front of Zoe, asking her to write her full name on the napkin before soaking the napkin in a glass of water. This serves to remind her of her true identity as well as make her realise that her true identity needs to be let go for the time being. But like this napkin slowly getting soaked in water, and turning blue, her name is in the “water somewhere,” and when the time comes, she will figure out how to piece together that identity. This, she is informed, is what Chase did sometimes before he used to go undercover for years. But Zoe realises, and thus points out, that this is not a completely reversible action. This dilemma and confusion of identity is the reason why Chase is never entirely the same person he was before he goes undercover. Now the question is, who is he now?

At the airport in Tunis, Harold’s wife informs him of the rumours that have been going around, regarding his involvement in aiding and abetting the escape of a fugitive spy, and later hiring an assassin to have that same spy killed. She is worried whether he could come out of this alive, as people have been killed for far less, or even if they have weathered the storm, they never come out whole. She tells him of her fear of having to hire a lawyer and having to pay every dime they have just to pull him out of the situation. And then she hands the phone to the now revealed Morgan Bote, who is sitting casually in the living room with the Harpers. Harper’s wife, Cheryl, takes Henry (Harper’s grandson) upstairs before revealing to a now indignant Harper that Emily had been planted inside Harper’s organisation because Chase had asked him to. And now, Bote surmises, he can ensure that Harper’s name will be cleared by pinning all of it on Angela.

The Angela Adams identity would wither away, while Harper’s legacy would be secured. All Harper has to do, is ask him. As Emily walks up to Harold, she sees Harold cut the phone. The action shifts to a footpath opposite, presumably a train station, where we see Agent Waters staking out on a getaway van while Julian Carson and his friend are waiting. Carson expresses doubt about Bote’s sanity, wondering whether he is the same person he had been before, and surmising that if he had been trying to convince himself that Bote was fine for so long, that can’t be good. His friend too wonders whether the cost of the action they have been hired to execute is too great. It is clear that what Bote is planning is intensely personal and that it is antithetical to how he has been operating for the last couple of years.

The Old Man Season 1 Episode 6 Recap Ending Explained (2)

In Morocco, Chase and Zoe arrive at a gorgeous, almost palatial hotel. Looking at the huge tiled bathroom with the expensive muslin napkins and the queen-sized bed, she strives to take her bearings and asks Chase to explain the situation. Chase states that he needs to contact Sergei Pavlovich and convince him to help Hamzad. Zoe accepts but clarifies that she wants to understand his world of “spycraft”. At the restaurant, Chase explains the two aspects of spycraft, empathy and ruthlessness. Spycraft works when these two weapons work in sync. Empathy helps you gather insight about a person, while ruthlessness ensures successful manipulation and dissemination of a person without compromising oneself.

After Zoe asks, Chase reveals that’s how he manipulated Zoe. Morbidly curious, she wants to know how to do it. Chase replies that, contrary to what it sounds like, there is a catch. There is no off-switch. Thus, it is hard to love or care unconditionally when you are built to not trust anyone, which Zoe remarks flippantly is something she is intimately familiar with. Chase then takes her to a bank, where he reveals his last form of communication with Emily—a shared bank account where a numeric code is used as a cypher between her and her father to send messages. She has left one such message now: she is coming to his location.

On a train, Harold asks her about the bank account communication and whose idea it was. Remarking that it was her father’s, she also reveals that their only form of communication since 2012 was through burner phones. Such was the veil of secrecy that she had decided not to attend her mother’s funeral. When Harold tries to point out the inherent fruitlessness and lack of familial connection between them, Emily snaps back, deriding Harper’s efforts to diminish the sacrifice both Emily and her father had undertaken. They would both do anything for each other, and sometimes knowing that is enough.

As Zoe and Dan travel via a speedboat to Pavlovich’s private island, Zoe wonders whether he would remember Dan. Chase, however, knows that he will, as it is revealed via flashback that Dan had ensured Pavlovich’s escape under Balour/Abbey’s request. The next morning, Hamzad calls Johnny/Dan, where he reveals the Russian has escaped, and he also reveals that he knows, subconsciously, that someone has betrayed him. He reveals to Johnny that he knows his wife sometimes wanders around at night, the woman of secrets and puzzles whom he loves despite it or maybe because of it. But Hamzad claims that this is a line that he would never cross, but Johnny’s stony visage knows the truth.

At the private party on Pavlovich’s island, Chase writes on a napkin and instructs Zoe to stay at the bar and not leave until something funny happens, by which time he will come to get her. She watches as he walks up to Pavlovich and passes him the note. Pavlovich reads it and recognises Chase, and they walk inside Pavlovich’s office, the security guards escorting them. Meanwhile, at the train station, Harper and Emily are on their way out when Harper spots a familiar face at the station exit. Pretending to peruse a magazine, Harper asks Emily whether she recognizes him because he believes it is an agent of DGST. Emily reveals that not only does she recognise him, but she is also the one who called him.

She subsequently reveals that Harper’s grandson Henry, who has a close relationship with Angela, had texted her, informing her of an old man who had come to the house and whose presence had scared him. That made her realise that either Harper alone or his family were in danger from the bureau. Harper corrects her, stating that it was Morgan Bote and not the bureau and that he had offered to get Harper off the hook in return for taking Emily off the board. Harper (and Lithgow is so good at this moment) monologues that she is a felon, and a traitor, but when the time came to give her up, he didn’t have the stomach for it.

In return, Emily gives herself up, stating that there are other innocent people involved in it, who are now at the front of the line. And as taught by her “two fathers”, she will strive to fix it for them, while also trying to discover who she truly is rather than the moulded clay she has been her whole life. Reluctantly, Harper agrees. As he walks towards the exit, he passes Julian Carson, but since both of them have never met physically, Harper was oblivious. That changes quickly, however, when near the exit door, Harper sees Agent Waters waiting in a getaway van. Realizing what had happened, Harper races back to where Emily had been, only to realize she had been taken.

The Old Man Season 1 Episode 6 Recap Ending Explained

Back at Pavlovich’s office, Pavlovich reveals that of all the favours he owed, he had no doubt this would be called. Dan reveals his plan, to take Pavlovich’s help to track Hamzad. He warns Pavlovich that Hamzad had a grudge against Dan because he had escaped with Balour thirty years ago, and now he has leverage to act, and since he is hellbent on punishing everyone involved, it won’t be long before Pavlovich is next. Pavlovich smiles, thinking how much Balour had a hold on both Hamzad and Dan, similar to the hold he had on Pavlovich when they had met years ago in Moscow.

But while Pavlovich had fallen in love with her, he had a sneaking suspicion that she had been getting close to him because his father had been the head of GRU (Russian Intelligence), which was all but confirmed when Balour approached him and the Soviets in Afghanistan with her plan to feed information about the other factions and strengthen Hamzad’s position. And then he reveals that he had already been approached by Hamzad’s lawyer, Nina Kruger. She is currently a guest at the party.

Pavlovich reveals that it was fairly obvious that Dan would make an effort to meet him, so Hamzad met up with him first and forced Pavlovich to hand over Dan Chase so that he was off Hamzad’s hit list. As Pavlovich’s guards move to detain him, Dan disarms one, bashing his head on the table, and then shoots the other one at the balcony, who had been aiming to shoot him, and then looks back at Pavlovich and reminds him that he has saved his life twice now.


At the bar, Zoe feels out of place while ordering a drink. As her awkwardness intensifies, a voice across from her remarks how hard it is to resist the temptation to pay, before realising that’s now how it works. And then she calls her by her real name. Zoe looks at the woman, who is revealed to be Nina Kruger, Hamzad’s lawyer. Nina offers to save Zoe from this conflict, reminding her that she is not on Hamzad’s radar and that she can make that stick for Zoe. It is revealed that Hamzad is a person who doesn’t suffer fools. If he sees that one aspect of his organisation isn’t working up to speed, like Nina acting against her parameters, he won’t hesitate to replace her. But before Zoe could answer, a commotion ensued. As security tries to round up the guests, one of them tries to take Zoe away and is shot by Dan, who tightly holds her arm and takes her towards the docks. Zoe looks back to see Nina looking at her with a hint of disappointment.

As Dan drives the speedboat towards the mainland, he berates her for not listening to her instructions until she tells him who had been in contact with her. Mellowing down, he asks what she told Kruger, to which she replies, “I am still here, aren’t I?” When they finally arrive on the mainland, Chase and Zoe are surprised to find themselves surrounded by armed forces, with a chopper flying overhead. Dan looks even more surprised when he sees Harold Harper emerging from the chopper and walking down the docks towards Dan. He then reveals to Dan that Emily had been taken and that Morgan Bote, “the old man,” had taken her, setting the stage for a compelling final episode which would see Harper and Chase team up to rescue “their daughter,” Emily.


While the biggest reveal threatens to go under the myriad of plot threads meeting together, the identity of the titular “old man”, the kit does make a twisted amount of sense. The Old Man, so far, has been about battles between men out of time using their skills and resources to settle old grudges. It does make sense that there would be someone pulling the strings and deriving immense power from dangling the “get out of jail free” card to all the players. But as Julian Carson reveals, Bote is too far gone on this mission.

The other big reveal is the duplicitous nature of Abbey, whose actions are revealing a woman who has been playing all the men in her life from the start, even Dan, it seems. However, the emotional beating heart of the show is Emily’s efforts to reconcile with the two halves of her identity or to blaze out on her own. It is a tad bit disappointing that a clever character like her becomes the damsel in distress for the final act this season, but if that means a team-up of her two fathers, at least that ensures a compelling end to this season.


Where to watch The Old Man

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