The Diplomat – Season 1 Episode 5 Recap & Review

Episode 5

Episode 5 of The Diplomat focuses on an elderly English couple, the Watkins. Richard is a teacher and Amanda works in pharma. They don’t have any children, are deeply religious and together, decide to visit the famous Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

While using the metro station, Richard gets into a spat with a security officer. Since the machine won’t emit the tickets, Richard starts banging on it, to which the officer objects. Richard, who is obese and type 2 diabetic, has a heart attack and ends up in the ICU. The officer is beaten by Amanda with her shoe and is severely injured also.

Alba informs Laura of the incident. She asks her deputy to get on the ground and meet Amanda with Carl. Fabian pays a visit to Laura’s house. But neither knows that Colin has been following Fabian for a while. Fabian pleads his innocence and says he had nothing to do with Jay’s death. In fact, he wasn’t even at the party that night. He suggests Mariona’s father, Juan Cabell, asked Mariona to work up a scapegoat in order to protect a client of his who might be involved in Jay’s death.

Fabian suggests Castells is a corrupt cop and is soon to be transferred. He strongly flirts with Laura, who seems flattered but does not give in to his charms. As he leaves though, she cannot back away when he kisses her passionately and Colin sees it all.

Amy is hiding in Ibiza and both Castells and Fabian have sent men to retrieve her. Amanda comes off as religious and bigoted toward Carl, which eventually turns out to be untrue. For the moment though, the police is siding with Officer Parera, who is severely injured and claims he was racially abused by Richard.

They are pressing charges against Amanda for assaulting a police officer. Mariona is released from prison and meets Sam. She is part of Sam’s operation to nab Owen McKinley. Sam is leveraging her relationship with Fabian, who is the middleman and arranging the meeting between the Irish and the Dutch. Mariona says the venue remains the bar where he took Laura and there hasn’t been a change in the dates.

Sam hopes Fabian finds Amy in Ibiza as that would mean Mariona will be safe since it was her who convinced Amy to lie to the police. Owen is destroying the peace efforts in Ireland and is a wanton criminal, having affected the lives of many families.

Laura and Castells have a spat about the Watkins case. He is also concerned that since Laura is romantically involved with Fabian, she might be feeding him information. Mimi and Clemmie, two English students, witnessed the incident so Laura and Alba interview them.

The girls say that Richard did insult Parera with racial slurs, who in turn said “Not today, you fat English pig.” How was the day important to Parera? Laura needs to find an answer. Mimi also had a video of the incident, which she says she will hand over after talking to her father.

Fabian is unhappy with Mariona and thinks she did not perform as per his expectations. He gives her a few days off and asks her to lay low. Amy is picked up by Castells’ men.

Laura is struggling with Tom’s anticipation about her final answer about moving to New York. They get the video from Mimi. Richard was indeed uttering racial slurs and Parera did say “Not today” several times. Alba goes to the station to talk to Parera’s colleagues while Amanda is called to the Consulate. She hears the slurs and is reminded of a phrase Richard uses from his favourite author’s book which sounds the same. But there is no way to confirm this. When Laura leaves, Amanda tries to reassure Carl that she is apologetic for her bias and genuinely feels that the Baptists need to be more progressive.

Carl is impressed by her sincerity and accepts her apologies. Mariona learns about Amy and goes to Sam, who once again gives empty reassurances to Mariona. This time, she has had enough and threatens to tell Laura everything.

Sam isn’t impressed and tells his boss in Madrid about it. Alba learnt that “not today” meant it was Parera’s son’s death anniversary. He drowned at a young age and Parera was struggling with this issue for a long time. It boiled over in his excessive act of violence against Richard.

Laura gets a call from Mariona who asks to meet her that night. Carl is given the shocking news that Richard has expired. He meets Amanda, who is heartbroken. She feels guilty and responsible for his death but Carl calms her down. They pray together for Richard’s soul. Sam’s boss says Mariona has to be “taken care of” if she is talking to Laura, something Sam isn’t comfortable with.

That night, we see Laura going to meet Mariona. She too heads towards her house but at a crossing, Mariona is brutally smacked by a car. It then backs up into Mariona to finish her off, as she breathes her last.

The Episode Review

Episode 5 was by far the best episode of the series. But one has to take it with a pinch of salt considering the next one will be the end of it. It is becoming a dangerous trend in modern television. This points in the direction of a serious gap in the understanding of plotting and pacing. Young and newer filmmakers have found it difficult to come to terms with the traditional definition of these indispensable traits in a narrative.

We had a lot of action across subplots in this episode. Even the one with crimes against British tourists was nuanced and complex, crescendoing with a touching and conflicted spiritual lesson. Mariona’s death was as brutal as it was shocking.

The final scene showing her blinking her eyes and the car speedily backing up into her again was uncharacteristically gory. The Irish wedding and Owen McKinley got more attention, but the details are still very hazy and it has not helped the show.

Laura has become too complicated for us to root for her now. While one can sympathize with experience, there is no explanation through an objective lens. She did not push back Fabian hard enough in this episode to convince us otherwise. Let’s see how Sutherland’s case proceeds, as Amy is back but the people in Madrid seem way too powerful to be defeated. All eyes are on the finale now.

Previous Episode

Next Episode 

You can read our full season review for The Diplomat here!


  • Episode Rating

Leave a comment