The Night Manager – Episode 4 (Review)

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

Episode four of The Night Manager had us drooling at the charms of Tom Hiddleston once again, as Jonathan Pine falls deeper in to the world of illegal arms trading.

The BBC’s big hitter continued to gather pace this week, as more beautifully crafted storytelling appeared on our screens.

From a visual stand point, Susanne Bier has once again delivered another masterclass. As each episode goes by you really start to notice how much of an accomplished director she is. She is killing it in cinematic terms, and while she is no novice, she surely has to be considered for much more mainstream feature work after this outstanding showing.

We had a lot more forward momentum in terms of story this week, with a range of different locations, character interactions and sub-plots. As predicted after last week’s episode, enough setting has been established to allow the story to progress towards the shows impending climax in a few weeks’ time.

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A lot of the internet went in to meltdown last night, with yet another sex scene involving Tom Hiddleston. A few comments on Twitter inferred that these are now only serving to fulfill the lust of “bored housewives” with nothing to help enhance the storyline. Most of these comments are coming from men mind you, who I’m sure had no issue with the boob flash from Elizabeth Debicki in last week’s beach scene. The fact of the matter is that these scenes do serve a purpose, it further highlights the character flaws of Pine. He fell in love with Sophie in episode one, and it’s his weakness of falling for vulnerable women that set him down his current path. The criticism that they are just using these scene “because it’s Tom Hiddleston” are very unjust.

So with all the sex out of the way. Let’s get down to this week’s episode. Spoilers ahead.

The episode carries on from last week, as Pine continues to settle in to his new role as number two to Roper. Jed visits Pine in the night, and after a quick exchange she opens up about her child, and why she is where she is. Pine is not happy about her being there, with Corkoran already suspicious, he can’t afford to blow his cover this early on.

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Back in London, Burr’s boss Mayhew is run off the road by two silver vans. This apparent warning kicks Mayhew in to gear, allowing Burr to double her team size and have access to as much resources as she needs. Burr presents to him the documents that exposes how Roper operates and sells the weapons. Unfortunately for MI6, it’s with help from the inside, with the codenames Halo and Felix at the forefront.  Mayhew confesses he doesn’t know for sure who they are, but he has an idea.

Back on Roper’s island, Corkoran once again warns Pine of the consequences of going near Jed, as he reveals he knows she visited him the previous night. Roper brings in his tailors to make some suites for Pine, and presents him with his own credit cards featuring his new name, Andrew Birch.

We are then treated to a show stealing performance from Tom Hollander. This truly was the scene of the episode. All of Roper’s entourage are in a fancy restaurant. And a rather drunk Corkoran decides that he will take matters in to his own hands, all this over a lobster salad. Because Jed cannot have the dinner she wanted, and clearly trying to show his frustration at his removal from Roper’s side, he ends up punching a waiter and stealing someone else’s dinner. It’s down to Pine to use his charms to appease the other guests, and resolve the situation. As Pine starts to rise in Roper’s eyes, Corkoran continues to fall. This was a fantastically acted scene.

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Back in London, more of the MI6 story unfolds. With Burr finding out more details about who is involved and how high up the food chain the conspiracy goes. We also learn why Burr is so determined to bring Roper down and brought to justice. Olivia Colman gave a compelling, emotive performance here.

Roper asks Pine to keep Jed entertained while he conducts some housekeeping duties. Pine obliges and ends up having sex with Jed against the wall in a hotel room. After finishing up with his ‘Loki Pokey Stick’, the couple return to find out that Pine is set for Istanbul with Roper.

It’s during the Istanbul meeting Pine comes in to his own, charming his way to help Roper reach a deal. The next day it appears Pine wasn’t the only Englishman keeping a close eye on proceedings, as Burr’s team were monitoring the situation. Back at the hotel Pine is confronted about having a sexual relationship with Roper’s wife. When Burr is put on the phone, she tells Pine that his part in the operation is over and that she will not risk Roper slipping away because of his indiscretions.

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Despite being told to leave with Burr’s team, Pine returns to Roper informing him that they are begin watched and that they need to leave to hotel. It’s clear that Pine is not going to follow Burr’s orders and abandon the hard work he has already put in to exposing Roper. After a quick hotel escape, it’s unclear on how Burr will react, now that Pine has slightly gone off the reservation. Can she reign him back in? Or will Pine now go it alone?

The final scene ends with Steadman breaking in to Apostol’s house. There he finds Apostol and his partner in a blood filled bed, both of them dead.

Star of The Episode: Tom Hollander hands down. His performances have been brilliant from the start, but in this episode he truly stood out.

Best Scene: The restaurant scene where Hollander went on his drunken rampage. Simply brilliant TV.

Another good episode, with plenty of story progression and fine acting on show. As the show heads towards the penultimate episode, and with Pine now without the support of Burr and her team, there is no telling of what will happen next.

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