The Diplomat (Netflix) – Episode 4 “He Bought a Hat” Recap & Review

He Bought a Hat

The “morning after” seems quiet enough as episode 4 of The Diplomat begins. The drama has drained out and settled like dust. That is until Eidra walks in with the news Britain is advising citizens to leave Iran and might be pulling all non-essential personnel from the British embassy. Trowbridge wants to keep the “Iran” scare alive, while Stuart says Kate should bring it up at the gala with the Brits. Eidra asks Kate to call her source in Whitehall to confirm the news but Kate rejects her theory.

The US will issue a statement about trade – which Iran always follows – to get Iran to communicate with them. The Diplomat definitely offers deep political insight that you don’t usually find on television shows. Coming back, Kate does not want the VPship because it would mean staying with Hal.

Their relationship seems irreparable at this point as the Wylers arrive at the gala. The statement is out and now they’re waiting.

Stuart asks Hal to dance with Kate and gets the moment photographed, still believing they can sort out their differences for the VPship. His defence would be patriotism, given how good Kate would be as the Vice President. Trowbridge brings up America’s U-turn in his rousing speech which is a targeted response to Kate. The English press has taken to the news bitterly though, and there is a sour taste in Trowbridge and Rayburn’s relationships. Both seek apologies from each other, which will have to happen through the diplomatic channel.

Kate once again clarifies to Stuart that her marriage is the roadblock in her seeking the Vice Presidency. Stuart suggests a “professional partnership” to make it work, and Kate seems intrigued… until we learn she was just messing with Stuart. But why should Hal be the impediment for Kate to becoming VP? Can preparation really contain Hal Wyler? Kate does not seem to think so.

Kate is riled up when she finds out Secretary Dennison has gone independently to talk to the Iranian ambassador. Summoning him is a public rebuke but Dennison remarkably says he didn’t call him. The realization dawns upon Kate that the Iranians got their message.

The Iranians want cover and demand a meeting with the Brits. That is why the rumour was spread that Dennison had called the Iranian Ambassador. Kate takes it to Eidra, but the Ambassador’s reluctance to bring up Dennison confirms to Edira that Dennison is in fact Kate’s special source she couldn’t quote in the last episode. She encourages Kate to approach Dennison to summon the Iranian ambassador and she agrees. Kate reaches the foreign office but does not tell Dennison she is coming in to discuss the issue. She wants the approach to be “hidden in plain sight”.

Kate communicate her message to Dennison. She wants to be in the same room when he summons the ambassador. Stuart is miffed when Eidra reveals Kate will be wearing a camera to the meeting. While they wait in the car, Stuart once again presses Kate to agree to the VPship. He reveals that he and Billie were former campaign managers. She got back into the business but he didn’t. Getting Kate through would be his purpose.

Kate seems hung over the idea that Hal is the one everyone wants. Stuart tries to convince her otherwise, but Kate says he will communicate to Billie that she is getting the divorce. If they still want her  – without Hal – she will agree. Stuart asks Eidra not to take the Cairo job as he wants her to stay, just as Ambassador Hajjar finally arrives at the office. He isn’t pleased to see Kate in the room but Dennison explains Kate pacified the situation.

Hajjar gives them a name – Roman Lenkov – who is behind the attack and funded it. He is also a Russian mercenary. Russia and Iran are allies and hence, it is a problem for Iran as they’re being made the scapegoat for Russia’s attacks. Since they are Iran’s biggest trade partners, they are powerless to do anything. Hajjar burns the note and has some difficulty breathing.

Kate offers him tea and the two assure him that the Russians won’t know the information came from him. Hajjar suddenly starts choking and collapses. Wyler runs out as Dennison brings in the Deputy Ambassador who came with Hajjar, and she comes back around from the front.

Two medics from the EMT work on Hajjar. One of them signals to Kate he is already dead but she says to Dennison that Hajjar cannot be seen to have died in his office as it would spark instant retaliation.

The medics will keep working and declare him dead at the hospital. Kate decides not to give the intelligence about Roman to anyone given the circumstances. Kate and Dennison sit together and rue Russia’s rashness in the aftermath of this. They have a drink in the office and Dennison spills some over Kate. They get closer and almost kiss, separating when the realization dawns upon them.

Kate comes back home and without saying a word, invites Hal into the room and they have sex. He oddly wears the “hat” he bought earlier while doing it. Eidra however, informs her MI6 counterpart about Russia’s involvement.

The Episode Review

And now the situation has finally boiled over. Why is it always the Russians behind global diplomatic misery in these series? They seem to have rogues left, right, and centre causing trouble everywhere. The introduction of Russia into the story definitely infuses some nervous energy. Hajjar’s death will have deep repercussions in The Diplomat’s cinematic universe. Given how seriously heads of state respond to such news, things are bound to get interesting.

Kate’s constant struggle with being in Hal’s shadow surfaced in episode 4. In all honesty, if she is wanted for her merit, Billie will make it clear by the next episode. It would also make for a stellar season 2 if Kate becomes the VP. We see all cogs of the political machinery try to avoid an escalation come to the fore in this chapter too. But will they be able to withstand human biases and the urge not to fight the shadow of inadequacy cast by Trowbridge and Rayburn’s jobs? That is the real question.

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1 thought on “The Diplomat (Netflix) – Episode 4 “He Bought a Hat” Recap & Review”

  1. I am finished with it…too confusing. And very sad that they make Keri Russell into a clown stomping from room to room like a petulant teenager.

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