Previously, in “The Sympathizer” episode 5, Max followed the Captain’s life after he worked as a consultant for Nicos’ film. He got into an accident and was hospitalized for a couple of months. After getting discharged, he realized that Sofia had gotten into a relationship with Sonny. The captain was haunted by the worry that he was not doing for his mission with Man. So, he decided to provide information about the General’s secret mission to Sonny. It got published in the paper, which made the General want to expedite his highly ambitious mission. Now, “The Sympathizer” episode 6 follows the Captain trying to save Bon from getting killed by the General’s military operation with unrealistic goals. He looks for ways to expose the truth while battling his jealousy toward Sonny.

Spoilers Ahead 

The Sympathizer Episode 6 “The Oriental Mode of Destruction” Recap:

The Captain (Hoa Xuande) felt that he was not doing enough for the cause that he and Man (Duy Nguyen) had been fighting for. So, he makes sure that the information about the General’s (Toan Le) operation to wage war on the communists to reclaim their homeland goes public. He wanted people to see the reality of how the General was manipulating the emotions of refugees for his personal gain. But, it backfires since the General sees it as an initiative to expedite his operation. For that reason, he gathers the Vietnamese refugees for his army.

The Captain learns that the General has enrolled his blood brother, Bon (Fred Nguyen Khan), to lead the operation. He speaks with other enlisted soldiers to realize their fervor and utmost faith in their mission. Since the Captain understands the futility of this war, he tries to dissuade Bon from taking part in it. But Bon sees it as a much-needed motive for his life. So, he doesn’t back down easily. Subsequently, he sends a coded letter to Man to protect Bon’s life. He understands that all these people want is recognition for their lives. But Man doesn’t provide any clear answer.

Why was the Captain angry at Sonny?

The Captain realizes that the revenue from Madame’s (Nguyen Cao Ky Duyen) is partially funding the General’s military operation. Later, he meets Congressman Ned Godwin (Robert Downey Jr), who is in the middle of his electoral campaign. He offers any help Ned wants for his campaign. Hence, Ned sends him to help his wife, Rita (Veronica Della Vedova) in the campaign-related preparations. At Ned’s house, she talks about the campaign donors. But the Captain cannot know their names. Afterwards, he meets Lana (Vy Le) at her new place. She shows him Nicos’ house, who lives nearby.

In jest, Lana talks about an unreasonable desire people have to see someone dead. It brings up the Captain’s growing animosity toward Sonny (Alan Trong), thinking Sonny stole his girlfriend, Sofia (Sandra Oh). Due to his intense jealousy, he constructs a plan to kill Sonny while making it look like he only followed the General’s orders. He finds Sonny at Madame’s restaurant and brings him out to speak in private. The Captain says that he doesn’t want any more Vietnamese people to die in vain. So, he tells Sonny to follow the paper trail behind the money going into the General’s operation.

What happens between the General & the Captain?

The Captain overhears Claude furiously arguing with the General about his new plans. Claude is upset that the General is as lenient toward him as before. Later, the Captain finds Bon working at the General’s liquor shop. Bon shares his frustration about the refugees living undignified lives. That’s why he believes the General’s mission will help them reclaim their manliness. The Captain finds that ludicrous and confronts the General for enlisting Bon. But the General doesn’t respond. Instead, he orders the Captain to drive him to a desolate location.

The Sympathizer Episode 6 Recap & Ending Explained - hof
Robert Downey Jr. in The Sympathizer (Season 1) Episode 6

Along the way, the General pulls out his gun and starts shooting outside in no particular location, perhaps as an outlet for his frustration. They stop near a lake, and the General asks the Captain to strip down to get in. The Captain cannot stand the awful stench. But he is ready to even gulp down his vomit to prove his loyalty to the General. The General believes he has lost everything to the US. To protect the innocent refugees, the Captain asks him to also bring him into the operation’s army. But the General refuses his request. So, the Captain urges Man for help but receives none.

What does the Captain find out at Ned’s house?

During the celebration at Napalm Ned’s house, some white, racist politicians disrespect black, wounded soldiers who fought on the battlefield for their honor. They all discuss their mutual hatred toward communism. Meanwhile, the Captain finds his former professor, who portrays himself as a savior, at this party. Since he cannot stand the inclusion of identity politics, he offers his insights into the Oriental Mode of Destruction to Ned. That’s when the Captain learns about the professor’s ghostwriter identity that he uses to publish his offensive worldview into the lives of East Asian communities.

The Captain confronts the professor about his two-faced nature. But the Professor offers a vague response to make the Captain introspect upon his own biracial identity and what he hates about the two parts within himself. Then, while Ned gives his speech, the Captain sneaks into his office and finds documents about his donors’ information. He takes photos with his micro camera. Suddenly, Rita walks into the room and catches him off guard. He makes up a lie and Rita doesn’t object to it. She thinks Ned has put him up for a job for her pleasure. The Captain uses his words wisely to resist any unforeseen circumstances.

The Sympathizer Episode 6 “The Oriental Mode of Destruction” Ending Explained:

How & why does the Captain kill Sonny?

After getting evidence into the campaign’s money trail, the Captain offers it to Sonny and asks him to send them to his contact at the L.A. Times. During their conversation, the Captain assumes that Sofia is attracted to the Captain because of his liberal politics. Suddenly, he comes clean about his secret identity as a Communist spy and how he’s still working for them from the US. Sonny thinks the Captain is lying about this as a part of the General’s orders. He doesn’t accept that he is also a communist. Since Sonny keeps speaking about Sofia, the Captain gets restless and shoots him dead out of jealousy. Then, the Captain puts on a disguise of a blonde delivery man and walks out.

The Captain returns home and puts the secret documents & photos on fire. Soon after, Bon returns home and sees that. The Captain claims that Sonny was going to blow the whistle on the General’s operation. That’s why he destroyed the documents. The next day, the cops show up at Sonny’s place to question Sofia about his death. She offers an alibi to protect the Captain from being the suspect in the murder. But she suspects that the Captain is a spy, who did kill Sonny because the General was furious at Sonny. She asks if the Captain also wants to kill her. Hearing that, the Captain gets emotional. She tells him to go far away, i.e., to not contact her again.

Does the Captain join the General’s operation?

After getting rejected by Sofia, the Captain runs to Lana’s house, thinking she will reciprocate his romantic feelings. He approaches to kiss her but realizes that she is not interested in him. So, he backs off and leaves. Man also stops responding to him favorably. So, due to the constantly growing disillusionment about his life’s purpose, the Captain decides to join the General’s mission. The General grants him the permission. In the end, we see him on a plane with Bon for the same. Although he burned the documents about this operation, he lies to the officer in Vietnam that he tried his best to stop the General’s operation.

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The Sympathizer Episode 6 Links: IMDbRotten TomatoesWikipedia
The Sympathizer Episode 6 Cast: Hoa Xuande, Robert Downey Jr., Sandra Oh, Toan Lee, Fred Ngyuen Khan, Tom Dang, Scott Ly, Tien Pham, Ngyuen Kao Ky Duen
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