Friday, September 6, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Spy' - Eli's Eagerness to Impress May Have Lethal Consequences in 'What's New, Buenos Aires?'

Netflix's The Spy - Episode 1.02 "What's New, Buenos Aires?"

Solidifying his cover identity in Buenos Aires, Eli makes a serendipitous connection. But his fervor puts the entire mission in jeopardy.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's The Spy.

"What's New Buenos Aires?" was written by Gideon Raff and directed by Gideon Raff

Eli is very eager as a spy. That may not always be a good thing. It may put him in some very dangerous and precarious situations. Of course, that is probably a good quality for a dramatic series. It allows the tension to always be flowing despite how many orders Eli obeys. He was presented as a quick study. He sailed through Dan's program according to Shimoni's condensed time table. And yet, he is still fairly green in the field. He is still carrying parts of his old life with him. He doesn't know that Nadia is pregnant. She didn't tell him before he left because she understood just how important this job and serving his country was to him. She didn't want to stand in his way. He would have changed everything with the knowledge of pending fatherhood. When he finally does learn the truth, he understands that he may no longer want to do this work. His priorities may have to be elsewhere. At one time, Dan would also have argued for that position. Mossad is just not going to give him the resources to locate and train another operative. Shimoni and his bosses understand that they have to fight for Israel's best interests because no one else in the world will be guaranteed to do so. Syria represents a significant threat. They are a country striving for independence and the reach as a significant player on the world stage. That is their ultimate goal. It just means countless lives are lost in the process. That's why the urgency is there to get an agent within the Syrian government to report back on what their various programs are capable of doing. To Shimoni, there is no other opportunity besides Eli. Sure, that may be him putting all of his eggs in one basket. It may not be a bad idea to pursue other endeavors to see who can infiltrate the system in the most effective way. But Eli is very effective at this job. There are many times in which he could have been exposed. When he sits down for his first meeting with Amin Al Hafez, it seems as if there is a hole in his cover story that he doesn't have an answer to. Instead, he knows that he can't come up with these responses to personal questions so easily. He has to have the answers ready no matter what. But he still has to present as a human being whose motives shouldn't be questioned. He has to be the ally that Amin needs right now more than anyone else. Amin is a man who values loyalty and devotion to the cause. Eli's secret identity Kamel presents as both of those things. Sure, the head of security Ahmed Suidani may be much more suspicious. The same also extends to the security guard who knows to follow Kamel because something isn't lining up. Eli went for the pictures to help his government better identify the potential targets within the Syrian political and military administration. That wasn't what he was tasked to do. In fact, it may blow his entire cover. It forces his handler to kill. But he is given the freedom to make all of these apparent mistakes because he needs to work out in the end for Israel. He can't be allowed to embrace his true self. He can't allow anything to distract from the mission at hand. That is so destructive but it's the way that so many think ss the only way to bring about change in the region. Someone needs to stand up to Syria. Right now, it seems like Eli is the only man who can do the job. He must do it no matter how many moral objections or personal reluctance he might have. He is still haunted by his life here. That probably won't always be the case the more dangerous these scenarios get for him. Dan understands that Eli has the right instincts in the field. He is an effective agent. But Dan is also a man haunted by the past and the fear that all of this will inevitably end in disaster. He is the one who has to carry the burden of telling Eli that he can't quit now. He has to continue serving his country. Dan also has to remember the emotional and personal context of this whole ordeal so that he doesn't become callous to it all. That would no longer make him an effective agent. He has to care about the life he is putting on the front line of this conflict.