The Night Manager – Episode 3 (Review)

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By Ben Wright (@iamzavagno | www.xgeeks.co.uk)

The Night Manager is now at its half way point, and while some may complain about the lack of action, others can revel in the fantastic story build-up and character development by this fantastic ensemble cast.

Once again a lot of credit has to go to director Susanne Bier, who continues to create beautifully shot scenes and for implementing well crafted, creative story telling.
The pacing of the show is ideal for those who love good character development and a story that continues to naturally progress. There is nothing wrong taking your time as long as you can reward your audience with a great payoff, this seems to be the case.

The cast continue to shine, and while you get the expected great performances from Hiddleston, Laurie and Colman, it’s the likes of Tom Hollander and Elizabeth Debicki that are really starting to come to the forefront. Hollander has always been a versatile actor, but despite how compelling Laurie and Hiddleston are, it’s Hollander’s Corkoran who is coming as the character to watch out for as the weeks go on.

The show is now at the half way point, we have established the characters and plot, so for those wanting a little more action and little less focus on story set up, then you can expect that to happen over the final three episodes.

Some want more action from The Night Manager, but there has been great action in every episode, and with such a great cast you want to spend more time watching the talent cast interacting with each other, rather than just running around shooting at people.

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So, what happened in Episode Three of The Night Manager? Spoilers ahead.

We open yet another episode of The Night Manager with people in high spirits and enjoying each other’s company. Despite this party being for a teenager, this glitz and expensive looking get-together clearly has been tailored for adults. We see Roper and Jed dancing the night away. But just like last week’s restaurant scene, things quickly take a turn, as the birthday girl is found hanged. Way to kill the mood!

We jump forwards to Roper’s private island villa, where Pine has been summoned to have a chat with his villainous host.
Hugh Laurie is simply sublime here. His on-screen presence is captivating and you dare not take your eyes off the screen.
Roper and Corkoran pick apart Pine’s (invented) backstory and by the end of the dialogue it’s clear that Roper believes him and wants to bring him in to his inner circle. Corkoran however still believes Pine is not to be trusted.

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What follows is a great few scenes where Pine uses Roper’s son to gain information, which he then passes on to Burr. Burr also has a meeting with the father of the girl from the opening scenes. He has information on Roper and believes he is connected with his daughter’s apparent suicide.

Jed is starting to become emotional, things are dwelling on her mind and Pine sees this as a way to get to Roper. Can he exploit her weakness to bring down Roper? Given Pine’s track record with vulnerable women, there is the chance that rather than exploiting her, he could try to save her, and in the process blowing his cover. This new sub-plot is a very welcome addition to what is already a compelling thriller. The interaction ends with a walk along the beach, with Jed telling Pine not to mention to anyone that he saw her crying, before she takes off all her clothes and walks seductively in to the sea.

It’s time for Pine to go in to full spy mode as he begins to search rooms for clues and evidence. The scenes are shot beautifully and the tension builds before climaxing with Jed walking in on him then hiding him from Corkoran.

We see Roper head to a meeting, and it’s with someone we’ve already met. He meets with Raymond Galt, so it turns out Roper does indeed have a man on the inside at MI6. This will definitely come in to play as Pine gets closer to exposing Roper, undoubtedly putting him in great danger.

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In the last scene of the episode, Roper finally brings him in to his inner circle, and gives Pine a new name. Goodbye Jonathan Pine, hello Andrew Birch. Roper thought it fitting that he carried on the tree gimmick.
With Pine (or Birch) now being positioned as Roper’s main man in his inner circle, where does that leave Corkoran? He won’t like seeing a man he does not trust replace him as Roper’s number two, a position that puts him so close to Roper.

Star of The Episode: For the second week running Hugh Laurie takes it. Menacing and charming. He can pull you in to his loving arms one minute, then chill you to your sole with nothing more than a look the next.

Best Scene: The first exchange between Pine and Roper right at the start of the episode. The back and forth between these two fantastic actors was a truly captivating.

Another gripping episode with tensions and rivalries now well established. The pacing is good and story is progressing nicely, with a sting at the end for you to crave more. Things are about to get very dark for Mr Pine, and we cannot wait for it all to unfold.

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