Previously, “The Sympathizer” episode 6 followed the Captain trying to protect Bon from the General’s futile war to reclaim their homeland. At the time, the Captain was struggling to get over the loss of his relationship with Sofia. So, he constructed an elaborate plan to kill Sonny and make it look like it was the General’s order. After Sonny’s death, Sofia suspected the Captain was a spy and told him to cut ties with her. With nothing else to fight for, the Captain decided to join the General’s ambitious operation in Vietnam. Now, in the finale of “The Sympathizer,” episode 7 follows the Captain’s time back in Vietnam, where he is forced to confront his past actions and prove his loyalty to the ideals he once believed in. He grapples with the many faces he has to put on while fulfilling his duties.

Spoilers Ahead

The Sympathizer (Miniseries Finale) Episode 7 “Endings Are Hard, Aren’t They?” Recap:

The penultimate episode of “The Sympathizer” showed the Captain (Hoa Xuande) killing Sonny (Alan Trong) while dealing with feelings of jealousy and inadequacy. Sofia (Sandra Oh) realized that he was a spy and told him to cut ties. So, with no other clear purpose in sight, he decides to devote his life to protecting his blood brother, Bon (Fred Nguyen Khan), during his military operation in Vietnam. The Captain gets the General’s (Toan Le) permission to join the mission. Now, we see them enter Thailand with Claude (Robert Downey Jr) to make their way toward Vietnam.

Before they resume their operation, Claude takes everyone to a strip bar. There, he reveals his knowledge of the Captain’s real identity. He plays an audio recording of the Captain speaking with Sonny, where the Captain confesses to being a spy and engaging in revolutionary activities against the General’s regime. Claude adds something to the Captain’s drink that will make him severely ill and stop him from moving further. But the Captain refuses to drink it. Eventually, the operation resumes but fails quickly after, as the Captain suspected. After every other refugee dies, the Captain and Bon surrender to the new authorities.

 What happens to the Captain in the camp in Vietnam?

After the Captain and Bon give up on their efforts, the local authorities bring them to a re-education camp at an undisclosed location in Vietnam. Bon refuses to accept his loyalty to the communists. So, he gets brutally beaten up. The Captain helps Bon against the beating officer and asks to meet the Commissar in charge. Later, the Captain tries to convince them that he is the spy who informed them about this operation. The Commissar questions the Captain why he joined that anti-revolutionary mission. To prove his loyalty, the Captain gets put in isolation and forced to write his story over and over, especially during his time in the US.

The officer in charge of checking the details tells the Captain to remove the part where he speaks about Bon’s torture. After over a year of living in isolation, the Captain gets out free, alive. He wonders why the Commissar wears a mask. Bon says that the authorities fear their reverence for the Commissar would wane if he ever revealed his face. While the Captain joins other educatees for a meal, the Commissar gives a speech about individualism being counter-revolutionary. Suddenly, Bon speaks out against the Commissar’s idea of collectivism. Since he points out a flaw, the guards beat him.

Who is the Commissar?

The Sympathizer (Miniseries Finale) Episode 7 "Endings Are Hard, Aren't They?" Ending Explained
A still from “The Sympathizer” (Miniseries Finale) Episode 7, “Endings Are Hard, Aren’t They?”

After Bon speaks against a flawed execution of the ideas of collectivism, The Captain notes the correlation between the individual and the community. Som, the Commissar puts Bon in a confinement cell and brings the Captain to his cabin. Inside, the Captain sees every draft of his series of confessions. The Commissar partially removes his mask to show the brutal scars he received on the Day of Liberation due to a load of napalm. Despite his pain, he didn’t want American medicine to cure him. He says he told the Captain not to return home. That’s when the Captain realizes that the Commissar is none other than his blood brother, Man (Duy Nguyen).

Soon after, the Captain is subjected to extreme torture. The Commissar, who acts under the Party’s pressure, expects the Captain to reveal the complete truth. So, he heavily electrocutes the Captain, which messes the Captain’s mind. It brings back the ghosts of Sonny and Major Oanh, whom he killed. It also reminds him of the white man who impregnated his mother. After his visit, the Captain kept seeing his father’s face in every white man he met. While the Captain suffers from physical and psychological torture, the Commissar makes him recall an incident when he let the General’s men torture another spy (Kayli Tran). At the time, the Captain thought of helping her but didn’t act for being under the pressure of Claude, the General, and the people on his side.

The Sympathizer (Miniseries Finale) Episode 7 “Endings Are Hard, Aren’t They?” Ending Explained:

What happens to the Captain in the end?

Since the female spy didn’t give in to the pressure of the General’s men, the Commissar considers her a better spy. Even though the Captain didn’t help her, she didn’t write anything against him. It makes the Captain even more guilty of his actions and inactions. Eventually, Man takes off his mask and has a drink with the Captain. For the first time, the Captain sees Man’s heavily scarred face. In Man’s opinion, the Captain is still not as faithful of a follower of their ideals and rather values their Western versions. So, Man confronts the Captain to make him realize that nothing is more important than independence and freedom.

The Captain points out that Man is getting too sentimental about their past. Instead of giving in to sentimentality, the Captain decides to act in a positive direction. So, he puts on Man’s mask and rescues Bon from the cell. Then, he drives a jeep with Bon, wearing a comrade’s uniform. By night, they escape their homeland through a boat filled with many other people trying to escape. After the escape, we witness a change in Bon’s behavior. He doesn’t expect the Captain to confess to anything and embraces the reality. Despite an unclear destination, the Captain decides to keep heading forward as a revolutionary, hoping to continue rewriting the wrongs.

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The Sympathizer (Miniseries Finale) Episode 7 Links: IMDbRotten TomatoesWikipedia
The Sympathizer (Miniseries Finale) Episode 7 Cast: Hoa Xuande, Robert Downey Jr., Sandra Oh, Toan Lee, Fred Ngyuen Khan, Tom Dang, Scott Ly, Tien Pham, Ngyuen Kao Ky Duen
Where to watch The Sympathizer

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