The Diplomat (Netflix) – Season 1 Episode 5 “The Dogcatcher” Recap & Review

The Dogcatcher

Episode 5 of The Diplomat starts with Eidra and Stuart discussing a possible war with Russia. Eidra receives a message that the POTUS wants to come to Chevening House to discuss the strategy against Russia with the British PM. Stuart expresses his disagreement and says that the strategy should be first addressed on a secretary level and then sent “up the ladder, fully baked.”

He calls Karen and with the help of Eidra, convinces her to halt the president’s visit. The toxicology report of Ambassador Hajjar is yet to come out, and as Kate prepares to travel to Chevening House, she finds her luggage well-packed. She and Hal discuss the current political situation and the sex they had the night before.┬áKate jokes that even Hal should be packed while they are gone for the meeting so that he’s ready to leave when they return.

On their way to Chevening House, “the foreign secretary’s country bunker,” Kate’s caravan is held up. The property is being swept as they don’t want Kate to be at risk after the incident with the Iranian ambassador. During the hold-up, Stuart preps Kate about the agenda of their meeting with the British delegation.

The agenda has three parts- Hug, Pivot, and Bear. 1. Hug: A public demonstration of the strong U.S.-UK relationship; 2. Pivot: Pivot away from Iran now that they know Russia was behind the explosion. But they need to do it in a way that does not include an apology as they can’t say sorry to a regime that chants ‘Death to America;’ and 3. Bear: Russia.

At Chevening House, they are welcomed by Austin, foreign policy advisors, Hope and Kemper-Waite, and Cecilia Dennison. Cecilia appears to be the spouse of the foreign secretary at first but is actually his sister. Cecilia introduces herself to Hal and gives him a tour of the property, and they spend the afternoon together.

The meeting finally starts after a delay, and the foreign secretary suggests moving agenda no. 1 to no. 3 and start the discussion with Iran. They discuss that they need to exonerate Iran publicly as soon as possible, but not without the readiness to name Russia. During the meeting, Kate starts discussing the Hajjar incident, which Austin objects to thorough gestures.

They take a break, and Austin calls Kate separately for her misspeak. On being asked about agenda no.1, Austin tells Kate that the UK wants to end the two allies’ relationship. They don’t want to portray that “the British military cannot act without American assistance or approval.” This surprises Kate and she explains to Austin how the UK is isolated in the diplomatic setup and how things would turn out if the incident with Russia escalates.

When the meeting resumes, there is a stall with the message that the PM is in the neighbourhood and would like to be briefed on the progress of the meeting. The prime minister arrives in a convertible sports car. Kate and Austin brief him about their preparations for tomorrow and inform him that they haven’t finished their meeting yet. The prime minister wants them to bring the focus of their agenda to mainly Russia so that he could consolidate his image in the press. They resume the meeting with the prime minister joining in. Throughout the meeting, the prime minister is hell-bent on taking immediate action against Russia.

The foreign secretary tries explaining in detail why it is a bad idea but the PM doesn’t budge. Kate intervenes and explains that they should come up with a response, instead of how to accuse Russia. The PM breaks the meeting for 20 minutes and instructs the other delegates that they should come up with a list of options for a considerable response against Russia.

The meeting resumes with Kate and Austin suggesting a slew of diplomatic options against Russia, which the PM rejects. He explains that Russia is at war with Ukraine, and all sorts of responses, including sanctions, oil embargoes, and the SWIFT ban, have not deterred it from pulling back.

They again break for lunch which only the PM has. He instructs others to think of a strategy and remain ‘hungry and focused.’ Meanwhile, Kate and Austin have a video conference with Eidra, who wants to discuss the timeline of the death of the Iranian ambassador. It is so that they have a clear idea about what they have to say while they are interrogated by the Met Police.

When they resume the meeting, Austin gets a call from Eidra who informs him about first, the tox report, that the ambassador died of a heart attack and second, Kate called the Department of Defense (DoD) to enquire about the list of targets that they are comfortable bombing in Russia. The episode ends with Austin running into the meeting room to stop Kate but she does so and suggests the PM to bomb one of the targets in Russian territory.

The Episode Review

Kate is ‘The Dogcatcher’ in episode 5. She takes up all efforts to handle the situation, avoids uncalled confrontation with Iran and tries to plan a strategy to deal with Russia. The whole episode is set in the Chevening House where the diplomats have come together to chalk out a strategy to deal with the current situation they are in.

They discuss how they’re going to deal with the US-UK relationship, how they’re going to deal with Iran as well as how they’re going to respond to Russia. Foreign policy advisors are also called in to aid the discussion. During the episode, Trowbridge, the British PM, surprisingly jumps in and joins the diplomats’ meeting at and from there takes hold of the discussion.

The episode also throws light on Trowbridge’s character who appears to be more concerned about his image. He doesn’t care about what repercussions will his actions have on his country’s diplomatic relations with the world. His reaching the setting in a convertible sports car shows his desire to establish his swagger in the public. Hal also appears to be remolding his behaviour around Kate and acting as a devoted wife of the ambassador. He spends the entire afternoon along with Cecilia and doesn’t bother to interfere in the discussion. All this, despite being on one occasion asked by Trowbridge to have a say in the ongoing discussions.

The episode ends with Kate suggesting Trowbridge to bomb some targets in Russia which appears to be the opposite of what Kate would want. So we’ll see in the next episode how it really turns out to be.

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