Saturday, September 7, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Spy' - Eli Makes His Way to Syria and Immediately Produces Results for His Government in 'Alone in Damascus'

Netflix's The Spy - Episode 1.03 "Alone in Damascus"

Eli makes an influential ally. Though early operations in Damascus quickly bear fruit, Dan fears Eli's bold methods will get him killed.

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.

"Alone in Damascus" was written by Gideon Raff and directed by Gideon Raff

Isolation and paranoia can be absolutely deafening in this world of spycraft. Eli is the one in the field. And yet, it's the people left behind in Israel who are really feeling the brunt of his absence. Dan struggles with sending Eli back knowing that he was taking him away from his newborn baby. He fears that he is making the same exact mistakes he did previously where an agent got too skilled and too cocky too fast which led to his prompt execution. That still haunts him to this day. He feels he has no choice but to repeat the same patterns though. That's why he wants to establish a different relationship with Nadia. He wants to know the loved ones left behind so that can help inform the decisions he has to make in the field. It's up to him to decide whether or not Eli will continue being sent out on these missions. Of course, Eli is in Damascus now. He is separated from any kind of network that can help him out of any given situation. In Argentina, he had to rely on his fellow operative to help him when he was almost discovered as a spy. In Syria, he is completely on his own. The people who trained him don't know if everything they taught him will have him prepared for whatever could happen. They hope that they covered everything. They hope that they gave him the tools for success in this trade. But they simply don't know. And then, the paranoia extends from Eli acting very quickly and boosting tremendous results right away. He wasn't suppose to contact Mossad for two months. They didn't want to run the risk of the communications being intercepted. They wanted Eli to fully plant his new cover life in this new city before making any kind of contact. He just happens to do that very quickly. In fact, he is able to pull together an entire operation that allows him to smuggle out the precious information he has gathered. He seems to have unlimited resources too. He has the full backing and support of his government. But he also just walks around with more confidence. Sure, he is still all alone in that apartment at the end of the day. He no longer has his family. He laments that loss. Nadia feels it as well. They are both simply sitting at the kitchen table eating all alone. They don't want this for their lives. They don't want to be without each other. But that's the reality they have to live within for the time being. It's particularly hard on Nadia because she doesn't know what's going on with Eli. Every day could be the day that he is taken away from her for good. That is agonizing and almost paralyzes her. She no longer wants to go out and socialize if he isn't by her side. When she finally does feel confident to do so, she is immediately rejected. That's disruptive in a way that only further intensifies this feeling of isolation. That will only continue to grow for her because she doesn't have the mission to provide her with a purpose. She simply has to continue creating a meaningful and important home life. That's her responsibility. Eli is off serving his country. He just happens to do so by making quick connections with numerous officials in the Syrian government. That helps him get into the country without raising too many suspicions. It also gives him access to all of the insider knowledge. The nephew of the top general is in his apartment. It's terrifying for a moment. But it's a life built around this newfound camaraderie. Eli was awkward at parties when he went out in Israel with Nadia. And now, he is the one throwing them and hoping everyone who comes is having a good time. He is still lonely and isolated though. He is just now surrounded by people who have a completely different perception of who he is. Kamel is very different from Eli. He is more confident. But that also allows Eli to be a more effective agent. It's a great skillset that has paid off so far. His luck is destined to run out. But the dazzling journey getting to that point is likely to only get worse and more nauseating as Eli continues. Dan and Nadia have a right to be concerned and worried about his safety.