Ghosts of Beirut – Season 1 Episode 4 Recap, Review & Ending Explained

The Finding

Episode 4 of Ghosts of Beirut begins with Lena trying to convince the CIA top brass to “get closer” to Imad. Now that he has been identified, they must find a way to eliminate him. A meeting is brokered between Imad and General Muhammed from the Syrian Army.

It turns out that they have provided the Hezbollah with the rockets and artillery. But Imad wants more. When he expresses his wish – chemical weapons – even Muhammed is taken aback and rejects his request. It seems that Imad wants to send a sterner message to the Americans and Israelis.

What is the CIA and Mossad’s plan to take down Imad Mughniyeh?

Imad is now in a serious relationship with Wafa, the clothing business owner. She pushes him to maintain relations with Wissam, even as Saada is no longer talking to Imad. Meanwhile, the CIA and Mossad meet to discuss the covert operation to take down Imad. Along with them, a legal representative from the National Command Authority is also present.

For our reader’s sake, the NCA is the “ultimate source of lawful military orders” in the US, advising and liaisoning with the President on covert operations. Mike makes it clear that first, they will have to invest time and track Imad’s precise movements. Once they establish a routine, they will take military action based on the imminent threat. All criteria of the Presidential Finding must be met for the CIA’s involvement.

Lena and Teddy represent the two intelligence agencies, respectively. They travel to Damascus under fake identities to set up camp and use Mossad’s surveillance infrastructure and insight to track Imad. They now have an idea of the location where Qassem Suleimani, the Quds Force leader, and Imad meet.

Their meetings have a set frequency that the joint team track for the next few weeks. As for Suleimani, he is livid with Imad for endangering their mission for Wafa. The coming of his family all of a sudden jeopardizes their identities. But Imad assures him that Saada will never betray him. Suleimani also discusses his chemical weapons request and represents his reservations about it.

What is Teddy’s obsession with the Ghost?

Suleimani rejects Imad’s request, saying that the war is long and the money it will take to pursue the plan is not feasible. Lena is certain that this evidence will be enough for get to get a Finding and sanction military action against Imad. While in bed, Imad expresses his wish to “spend the rest of his life” with Wafa, and possibly, even have kids.

We also see the toll this pursuit of the Ghost has taken on Teddy’s family in Tel Aviv. His son is growing distant and his wife is frustrated. They are losing patience with Teddy and how he has sacrificed his family’s interests all these years. Teddy confides in Lena that he tried to kill Imad years ago in Beirut.

He was the person in charge of triggering an explosion in a place with plenty of people. But he didn’t think too much about its consequences then. When Imad escaped unscathed, they planned to bomb the funeral to be held for his brother, Fouad. But Imad didn’t show up. That trauma has always stayed with Teddy, who warns Lena the same can happen to her as well.

How do Teddy and Lena plan to kill Imad?

Lena gets the go-ahead from Mike. The Presidential Finding has been signed and the team has 30 days to finish the operation. During the testing of the bomb that will be used to kill Imad, Teddy loses his cool. The plan is to install the bomb in the shape of a wheel spoke with a camera in it. The moment Imad walks in front of it, they would trigger the explosion. The challenge is to make sure the collateral damage is limited.

They go through various itinerants but finally get the perfect one. Teddy announces to the entire team that there will be no celebrations when the target is eliminated. They must be considerate and show solidarity in spirit with Imad’s family.

Meanwhile, Imad goes to Beirut to the Hezbollah training camp. He asks Mustafa to liquidate their accounts as he has not given up on the chemical weapons plan, yet. In a quieter moment, we see Imad being like a regular person, playing street football with kids. It is a significant moment that paints a complete picture of a ruthless terrorist.

Why do the joint team not kill Imad at the first chance they get?

Days pass and the team is finally ready to execute the operation. Meir Dagan, the Mossad head coordinating the mission, asks Lena to get an extension for the Finding. But Mike, her CIA boss, says it won’t be possible. The night of the first attempt, they see Muhammed join Suleimani and Imad’s meeting at their regular meeting spot. Imad again presents his passionate plea for a powerful deterrent to tilt the “balance of power in the region.”

He even says that Hezbollah will take accountability for it. Suleimani does not give him an answer, yet. They start walking together toward the car where the bomb is placed. But this is a problem. They cannot kill Suleimani in this mission as he holds a respected position in Iran and killing him would lead to high tensions between the US and Iran.

The White House had not sanctioned Suleimani’s killing. Lena immediately asks for the mission to be aborted but Teddy pushes on. She calls Mike in a panic, putting him on speaker. Meir seems to agree with Teddy. Just four seconds before triggering the explosion, Mike orders for the mission to be aborted as he understands its repercussions.

What forces the CIA to extend the Presidential Finding?

Teddy and Lena have a falling out post this. Lena is also intrigued about Muhammed’s presence in the meeting. She travels back to the US to meet with Asgari, who is now in the protection of the government. He has been granted asylum. She asks him about plans to use “weapons of mass destruction.”

And Asgari confirms her theory, in writing.  That is what prompts Mike to talk to the White House and get an extension for the Finding. They now have another 30 days to complete the op. She is welcomed back with open arms by the Mossad personnel and Teddy apologizes as well.

Ghosts of Beirut Ending Explained: Is Imad killed?

On the night of the operation, Imad takes Wafa’s car to the hotel. At first, the team isn’t able to identify it. But Lena sees him getting down and the facials confirm Imad’s identity. As the car with the bomb is brought to be parked alongside Imad’s car, the car in front of it breaks down. There is panic everywhere but the driver gets it to start soon and the bomb is in place.

Suleimani assures Imad that his plan will be approved by the Iran regime. They see the logic in taking this drastic step and have even invited him to have a meeting in Tehran. Imad is extremely happy and hangs back in the room for a while after Suleimani and Muhammed leave. He calls Wafa and shares his excitement to start a new life together. As he walks past the car, he notices something unusual.

He looks directly into the camera and the explosion is triggered. The control room breathes a sigh of relief after his kill is confirmed. Imad Mughniey, the Ghost of Beirut, is finally eliminated. Meir, who is sitting shiva (mourning) in the wake of his mother’s death, is informed by Teddy and Mike sees the whole thing play out on his screen.

In real-life interviews with experts and former government representatives, we hear them saying that the US still does not claim official involvement in the operation. A journalist from Lebanon explains how people were in disbelief that Imad had died. They believed Imad’s face was plastered onto the moon and he was now looking over at them.

Lena takes her leave and Teddy thanks her before she goes. Wafa, Saada, and Wassim mourn the death of their beloved as the screen turns black.

The Episode Review

Episode 4 brings curtains to the Showtime mini-series. Right from the beginning, the laser focus is to show the unravelling of the events to get Imad Mughniyeh. The painstaking commitment to keep the storytelling authentic does come at the cost of dramatic urgency. The episodes aren’t paced to perfection but the magnitude and significance of this operation definitely gives us chills.

The makers must be commended for showing maturity in their filmmaking efforts. The series is indeed researched thoroughly and none of the creative decisions are aimed at creating sensation, hatred, or igniting controversy. Ghosts of Beirut is truly a professional effort that transcends the bounds of adapting real-life events of this scale of sensitivity and bleakness.

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