Friday, March 24, 2023

REVIEW: 'The Night Agent' - Peter Risks Everything to Prevent an Assassination With Far-Reaching Consequences in 'Fathers'

Netflix's The Night Agent - Episode 1.10 "Fathers"

With lives at stake, the group tries to stop a nefarious plot before it's too late. In the aftermath, Peter confronts the past and begins a new chapter.

"Fathers" was written by Seth Fisher and directed by Millicent Shelton

Peter Sutherland doesn't become a Night Agent until the conclusion of the season. However, he exemplifies the type of noble service required for this position. He may hold the President at gunpoint. He's still a man with a strong moral compass willing to protect the nation at all costs. At one point, he ponders with Rose what their lives will be like once all of this is over. They understand it's all destined to come to a dramatic conclusion. The conspiracy they uncovered led to yet another attack. They had to prevent it to save more lives and hold the traitors within the White House accountable. They would love nothing more than to know what happened to their loved ones. That's tied up in this complicated conspiracy. All of that was true from the very beginning. The premiere had to introduce so many details. It was apparent the show needed to dramatize every single one of them because they would eventually be important. President Travers ordered a Night Action investigation on the metro bombing. She didn't trust the official story being told. It didn't make any sense. Emma and Henry uncovered the truth about Omar Zadar being the true target. Officials within the White House wanted to assassinate him because they saw him as the most destabilizing politician overseas. President Travers had a different assessment of the man. She believed he gave up his terrorist beliefs in favor of the democratic process. His election would allow his country to move towards stability through the promotion of similar democratic values. People within her government voiced their objections. They never got onboard once she made the final decision. They had to enact their agenda no matter what. That meant using the powers of the government to kill people and cover it up. The actions of one noble man prevented countless lives from being lost. Peter was a hero the day of the metro bombing. He was a hero to Rose when he answered the phone. He tried to protect as many people as he could. He isn't perfect. People died along the way. That's the fate Rose wanted for the people who conspired to kill her aunt and uncle. She came around to seeing the nobility of believing in something greater than herself. Diane tries to justify every single action she took. It ultimately doesn't matter. She was just trying to protect herself. She confused her interests with those of the President and the country. She crossed a line. She is shot. Rose saves her life to ensure the truth is exposed and she is held accountable by the criminal justice system. She places her faith in that path despite her bloodlust throughout the season. Ellen and Dale were killed. That was satisfying because they were the trained assassins who carried out the job. The truth was simply much more complicated than that lethal threat that hung over the proceedings for so long.

The season was crafted so that every new detail introduced didn't just linger in the background as the audience waited for it to become important. The premiere established someone in the White House couldn't be trusted. Diane and Hawkins were the figures from that environment present at that time. It wasn't long before Hawkins was killed and Diane was revealed to have shifting alliances. She didn't plan the metro bombing. She went along with the cover-up. She didn't want to expose Vice President Redfield because it would jeopardize the agenda President Travers wanted to achieve in office. That lack of accountability allowed the situation to fester and grow more dire. Because Redfield and Wick got away with that attempt, they were motivated to do more. In fact, their aspirations grew even larger. Sure, Maddie was kidnapped. Her father didn't do anything to save her. He was conflicted and willing to expose the truth to save her. The connections she built ultimately were more rewarding. Agent Arrington arrived to save the day. She continually does so. Agent Monks questioned Arrington's style. It could have made both of them more vulnerable. The emotional connection was necessary so the story itself carried power. It made it meaningful whenever Arrington arrived to save the day. She did so frequently. As such, she deserves the promotion to the President's detail. She found the bomb that was set to go off at Camp David. Killing a foreign leader was no longer good enough for the conspirators. President Travers was seen as expendable and weak too. She was never either of those things. Instead, that was a narrative projected onto her. It's built on the misogyny of those who wield this immense power. Meanwhile, a trusted ally could be manipulated. Hong Chau brought such gravitas to this role. She committed much more viciously than the majority of the cast. If it weren't for her, then it would be difficult to navigate the many shifting allegiances of Diane. Not everything in the overall story worked. Some elements were completely pointless. Plus, nothing was done with enough specificity to explain the overarching motivations beyond terrorism being bad. It strived for the complexity of politicians having different vantage points and needing to negotiate over those differences. It was also an action thriller where Peter and Rose's lives had to constantly be in danger. That resulted in Rose's cyber skills not always being as dramatically compelling as what Peter brings to the table. The turn to romance was also expected between them. They never have a moment to breathe. They still don't quite achieve that because Peter is off on a new assignment. He receives clarity on his father. He finally got to see him as the complicated adult who made one bad decision and tried to make up for it. He was a hero. Peter is as well. He continues to prove himself. Everything is wrapped up neatly. One where a sense of duty is never lost despite the villainy exposed within the walls of power. That takes a delicate hand to deliver effectively. Nothing in the show was incredibly original or unique. However, the execution allowed several moments to rise above what the material could otherwise be. That was encouraging and made for a rather easy binge across ten episodes.