The Old Man – Season 1 Episode 4 Recap & Review


A shaking Zoe emerges from the trunk of Dan’s car at the start of episode 4 of The Old Man. He stands ten feet away. Only Dan speaks. He instructs her to call her son Jason and tell him that she is okay. Also to give him a heads up when the FBI show up at his house.

Dan is incredibly calm in the situation and in hindsight, is actually looking to comfort Zoe. Despite the skewed balance of power, the situation shows he does care about her. That is the last phone call Zoe will make from her phone. They lose the FBI tail and have been missing for over three days.

Angela (a.k.a, Emily) plays with Harold’s grandson as they discuss the case. Harold is struck by Angela’s obsession with Dan’s wife. It stands out in her involvement in the case but she saves herself well. Emily calls her father and learns his immediate plans. Right now, they’re in Colorado but will move to LA.

Dan has an investment company there that has done reasonably well. The real reason is to put a target on Hamzad’s back; pull someone else who has a grudge against Hamzad and let him take it all out. Dan also calms Angela over her mother’s issue and the complex triangle involving Dan and Hamzad. He sounds off a warning to Emily to stay away and not get in danger’s line – even if it is for her.

Corsair Finance is the name of the company; Henry Dixon is the identity Dan will take. Zoe will be Marcia Dixon (remember the phone call Dan made in episode one before learning he has been caught?). Stuart arranges the apartment for them and Dan is scheduled to meet with Zachary, the investment officer for the fund, to discuss the issue.

An important flashback also reveals why Abby (a.k.a. Belour) chose Dan over Hamzad. The incident cited is one of retaliation from Hamzad’s camp against the Russian soldiers. “An eye for an eye” kind of retaliative justice is what separates the two men.

Not the ability to make the decision but the resilience and restraint to make a more compassionate choice.  Hamzad’s sister is wary of Dan, who was called Johnny Kohler back then.

Julian is back to his frontend employment disguise, where he discusses the incident involving Dan with his partner. He urges Julian to contact the man who gave him the assignment, Harold.

Over the phone, the Assistant Director is frozen when Julian suggests that there is a mole in his team. When he went to Dan’s place, Chase was ready to cash out and disappear into thin air. Only if he had gotten prior notice that someone was coming would he have done so. Although he does not say it, we can see in Harold’s eyes that Angela is on his mind. He then, along with Angela and Waters meets Nina Kruger, Hamzad’s confidant, and lawyer.

Nina is careful with what she says about what Hamzad wants but Harold fires an arrow in the dark. In the best moment of the series till now, we see Harold indirectly reveal to Angela secrets about Dan that he didn’t share with her.

Harold uses one stone to target two birds. The same things that apply to Hamzad, apply to Dan. The equation is deliciously poised and the director makes full use of that. Nina arranges for another meeting with Harold and co. given his revealing statements. Zoe realizes she is enjoying the lifestyle and plans to turn the tables on Dan when he comes back. A plan is afoot and you will read about it next.

“Arlson Mining & Metallurgy” is a company Dan wants his fund to invest in. Zachary is taken aback by Dan’s forceful promptness. He further probes for an explanation and learns that Dan wants to tap into Suleyman Pavlovich’s, the company’s owner, network.

Suleyman is actually the Russian guy that Dan kidnapped and let go when Hamzad wanted to kill him. He wants Suleyman to take out his grudge against Hamzad.

‘IV’ Ending Explained: How does Zoe threaten Dan’s safety?

Nina arranges for a meeting. She invites Harold on a private plane to meet with Hamzad. Angela has to come along but Dan does not want her to. She is herself confused about going and seems to be failing to draw a line between Emily and Angela.

The dual nature of the two is such that both are looking for answers in their respective capacities. They might be the same, but more pressingly, they lead her on to similarly dangerous paths. Dan comes back to the house. Zoe has prepared dinner, seemingly more amenable to the idea of living with him and playing the ruse. Not really, though.

She has computer-set a letter to go out to the Board of Corsair Finance. It is a letter whereby Marcia seeks a divorce from Henry (Dan). Leverage is what she is seeking. Now the balance of power is equal; probably a bit skewed against Dan.

Well, well, well…how the turn tables. Zoe is finally playing her cards right. She is under no obligation to please Dan. She must look out for herself. By playing this little move, she has just ensured her life. We saw in the previous episode how self-preservation is Dan’s number one priority.

He will “do anything, damage anything beyond repair” to ensure his survival. We even saw Dan contemplating killing Zoe, and for what? A routine police stop. The man is paranoid and Zoe has done the right thing making sure she has a safety net. Asking for half of what Dan owns makes the part of Marcia she is playing a bit too real for Dan. We will see how he gets himself out of this.

The Episode Review

‘The Old Man’s filmmaking is truly extraordinary. The creators have managed thus far to lay the framework for a layered narrative that is far from straightforward. With every new move, we get a new question and go deeper into Dan Chase’s mess.

As the past unfolds and reveals all its secrets, the present catches up with issues of its own. This beautiful duality of time and presence that episode four builds on is remarkable. On more than one occasion, we were left wondering the exact meaning of what was on the screen. As viewers, this is all we can ask for from a television series. Episode four levelled the playing field in major respects.

Dan was always one step ahead – miraculously – dictating the pace. Now, not only does Harold suspect that Angela might not be who she says she is.  Zoe has suddenly discovered a spine. How will Dan manage to wriggle out of this one?

We haven’t even gotten to Hamzad – the one in the present. Imagine the kind of damage he can do. Things are getting deliciously poised for the viewers in the last two episodes. Season one, overall, has been a treat thus far. Episode four is the cherry on the top. For our sake, let us hope we can say that about the next episodes also!

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Feel free to check out our full season review for The Old Man Season 1 here!

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6 thoughts on “The Old Man – Season 1 Episode 4 Recap & Review”

  1. Interesting thoughts, Jujube. I see your point. Most of what you said I agree with. But at the same time, I think it is also appreciative to think of Dan from Zoe’s perspective. I know it often gets lost in such interpretations but he has disrupted her life, after all. Re that scene, I think Dan could easily finish her off like that if she posed a threat to “him”. Now that she does, he has every right to do so. But he cannot.

  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Dawne! Means a lot 🙂

    Yeah, the show is amazing. One of my favorite things to stream right now. Hope so the ending is as strong!

  3. I was disappointed when they made Dan’s elimination of Zoe just a bs headfake. So unrealistic like most shows. If he continues with her after her threats, then he deserves all negatives that result.

  4. Your excerpts and commentary about Zoe… so spot on. You nailed it. And I agree, this series… the characters, directing, the acting (and the casting actors themselves!), the writing… truly extraordinary. The directors’ and writers’ insights into each character and their personal perspective and internal experience is remarkable. In each episode, there’s more than expected jaw-dropping, captivating scenes that keep on coming. The level of nuance in each scene makes this series so fun to watch. The viewer gets a lower-level sense that this story is how this could … would… ACTUALLY go down (with exception to the standard beyond human, unrealistic recovery from injuries in action sequences) if it were real life… or at least, how these characters would/could actually Experience these moments. Rarely have I looked forward to upcoming episodes as I do this series. I can hardly wait to see what happens next.

  5. I believe the Zoe read is wrong. She is unappreciative of what he offers her – and he is a better dude/idealist than we are giviing him credit for. The cop stop scene was a bit (writer’s) being manipulative I thought, but was only a worst scenario looking for his out.

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