I love having scenes replayed from new perspectives. The cleverness of the twist delights me with the reveal of hidden layers to what initially appeared to be stock material.
So when Charlie’s screen test scene from the premiere plays again but we get to see behind the auditioner’s table and find Kurtz and Rachel giving her direction to “smile more” and be more “loving” it definitely got the long “oooooh” reaction from me.
It’s beyond impressive to see the legwork and research involved in selecting Charlie for the task. And the show’s editors are to be commended for the fabulous job in splicing her psychological deconstruction by the Mossad team with the scenes of Salim’s captivity. It really shows the spectrum of coercion they’re capable of.
Skarsgard’s Gadi Becker continues his low-key lurking but a flashback reveals that he was recruited for the team because of his ability to recruit and indoctrinate agents. He comes to the mission reluctantly, extracting a promise from Kurtz that there will be no killing.
As he works his magic on Charlie, the scenes jump between him and Charlie in Greece and Charlie and Salim in the fictitious past. Using shared clothing and segue lines, it’s reminiscent of the first Mission: Impossible movie when Ethan starts piecing together the truth in his head.
What is clear here is that Charlie lives her truth easily because she makes it up, has made it up for years. Her testing by the Mossad team pushes her to share her own childhood backstory only to have everything she says blown up by their diligent research. Of course, this means she passes the test.
I’m not completely clear when she decides to be a part of the mission. Gadi, as her handler, presents the role as something dangerous, experimental, but, mostly, as something IMPORTANT. It’s the perfect way to reel in someone as curious and adrenaline-fueled as Charlie.
She’s also incredibly self-absorbed. Whether that’s how she got into acting or whether the acting heightened that ability to see everything in relation to herself, who knows? What we DO know is that when she asks, “Who am I?” Gadi knows he’s landed her because she already sees herself at the center of it.
Gadi, as Michel/Salim, spouts the Palestinian rhetoric with whispered zeal, immersing them both in the charade but completely on an intellectual level. When he recites the speech Charlie heard as part of a forum, she realizes how they found her.
When Kurtz first brings Charlie to Gadi as a potential recruit, he comments that the last girl wasn’t clever, that Charlie is someone who is capable of learning from Gadi, possibly surpassing him in his area of expertise. It leads me to wonder if she is capable of betraying the team… or recruiting them to the other side. Shades of Merlin in his crystal cave.
Gadi’s relationship with Kurtz is interesting as well. Right-hand man, Shimon (Michael Moshonov, Kathmandu) states enigmatically in an aside to Gadi, “He’s happy since you came back. It’s not good for him.”
The plot points introduced in this hour are doozies. The Munich team uses a black box cell to gaslight the real Salim into thinking he’s been taken by Israeli forces. They drug an orange to make him think a lot of time has passed and then forge a letter from his sister and claim to have arrested his brother to get him to give up the location of his scheduled drop-off.
Charlie and Gadi spend their time together cutting a very eye-catching profile as a couple of lovers traipsing about the Mediterranean. To gain Charlie access to Khalil’s inner circle the Mossad team hands over Salim’s Mercedes for Charlie to deliver to Salzburg, carrying a dozen bombs-worth of plastic explosive.
To complicate matters, while the plan is being set in motion, on his orders no less, Kurtz is finding out that the intel might be wrong. Well, damn.
The Little Drummer Girl airs on AMC in three two-hour events. Parts 2 and 3 will air on November 26 and December 3 at 9/8c.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Andrew Walker Talks Christmas Island and the Magical Hallmark Community
[Warning: Spoilers for Christmas Island.] Now that the Screen Actors Guild strike has been resolved, we’re able to resume regularly scheduled programming and interview our favorites and yours. Up first, earlier today, I spoke with Andrew Walker about Christmas Island, which premiered last weekend and encores tonight and through the…
George Olson and Danishka Esterhazy Talk SurrealEstate “I Put a Spell on You”
[Warning: Spoilers for the episode.] Tonight’s fun new SurrealEstate found Luke caught up in an especially bewitching woman, Kay, played by Tara Yelland, Susan trapped in her house, and Zooey learning the ropes. In the next part of my conversation with showrunner George R. Olson and producing director Danishka Esterhazy,…
Danishka Esterhazy Talks SurrealEstate: “The Butler Didn’t”
[Warning: General spoilers for the episode]. Tonight’s new SurrealEstate, “The Butler Didn’t,” follows the team as they investigate the years-earlier mysterious death of a woman whose ghost now reenacts her hanging by dropping over the banister from the second floor to terrify anyone on the landing or at the bottom…
Scott McCord and Elizabeth Saunders Talk the From Season 2 finale
[Warning: Spoilers for the season finale.] How’s everyone doing after that finale? While we wait and wonder and hope for a third season announcement, soon, here’s what Scott McCord and Elizabeth Saunders had to say about their parts of the finale, and where they hope they get to go next….
Scott McCord and Elizabeth Saunders Talk From Season 2 + A Season Finale Preview
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] It all comes down this, #FROMily. As Sunday’s episode wraps up Season 2, we begin with the aftermath of the terrifying onset of seemingly simultaneous attacks on Julie, Marielle, and Randall, which accelerate the “We gotta get out of this place” of it all. Sara comes…
Alison Sweeney Talks About What’s Next for Hannah and Mike After Carrot Cake Murder: A Hannah Swensen Mystery
[Warning: Spoilers for Carrot Cake Murder.] Everybody OK after that Hannah Swensen Mystery twist? Thankfully, our favorite crime-solving couple is still on speaking term, even if they’re on a break (hopefully not that kind of break). Most importantly, we already know this isn’t the last film in the series. No…
Counting Down to From Season 2
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] We’re just shy of two weeks away from Season 2 of last spring’s obsession, From, which premieres at 9 pm/8c, Sunday, April 23rd, on MGM+ (formerly EPIX). If you never picked it up last year, now’s your chance, and you can do it for free, catching…
Thank Me Later: Will Trent
[Warning: spoilers ahead.] I’m on record as loving and losing shows over at ABC so I’m usually very reticent to pick something up on the network until it’s been renewed, and I seriously hope I’m not jinxing it, but I took a chance on the deeply odd and very sweet…
Dennis Heaton Talks The Imperfects
Longtime readers at TV Goodness will know that Motive is one of my ride-or-die series, and as such, I am fiercely loyal to its creator, Dennis Heaton. He followed up that fantastic reverse procedural with Netflix’s The Order and is back on our streaming screens with The Imperfects, which dropped…
Kelly McCormack Talks Favorite Moments in A League of Their Own
[Warning: Mild spoilers for season 1.] Now that you’ve had a chance to watch A League of Their Own, here’s the rest of my chat with Kelly McCormack about her favorite moments of the season. Seeing the iconic Peaches uniforms for the first time wasn’t just a goosebump moment for…
What They Said: Three Revealing Conversations from Survivor’s Remorse “Closure”
WARNING: Spoilers for Survivor’s Remorse “Closure” The latest episode of Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse featured conversations that showed characters really digging deep into their thoughts, emotions and motivations.
Two Takes: The Catch “The Knock-Off”
Who can you trust? If this episode of The Catch was any indication, the answer is just about nobody. Betrayal was running rampant as Felicity (Shivani Ghai) arose from the dead to seduce-con Margot, Gretchen (Maria Thayer, Gotham, The Mindy Project) played gold-hearted Alice 2.0 before swindling Ethan, Tessa jumped…
What They Said: Top 3 Quotable Moments from Preacher “El Valero”
Both Quincannon and Jesse refuse to give up on what they each think is rightfully theirs. While Jesse is struggling to face the consequences of his actions, Quincannon has laid his past demons to rest and is hellbent on moving forward and putting Annville on the map again. Despite a…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Supergirl “Worlds Finest”
Oh, Supergirl. That ending was cold. But I can’t hate on you because the latest episode has quickly become one of my favorites.
What They Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Black Sails “XXIII”
The dialogue in “XXIII” is phenomenal. It’s always a fun ride when Black Sails carries its viewers along without giving them the chance to catch their breath. When an episode moves at this unforgiving pace, there is no chance for a breather nor is there a respite from the information…
What Lucifer Said: Favorite quotes from Supernatural “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
Supernatural episodes are almost always funny but thanks to the dialogue and a certain man speaking said dialogue, I laughed a lot during “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” You know, when I wasn’t busy fearing for Sam’s life or wondering what in the world was going on with Dean and…
What They Said: The Flash, “Legends Of Today” and Arrow, “Legends Of Yesterday”
Two nights of Arrow +Â The Flash = what more could we ask for?! I don’t know what it is about blending these shows, but I canâ€™t help but feel that every time they come together, they somehow become greater than the sum of their parts. And thatâ€™s saying a lot…
What they Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Graceland “Little Bo Bleep”
Shoot outs. Fake outs. And long-awaited revelations. “Little Bo Bleep” was a jam-packed episode that wrapped up some loose ends and totally frayed others. Â It finally gave us one Sarkissian in jail and pulled back the curtain on Briggs’ master plan, but it also set up Jakes for a world…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Poldark “Part 4”
â€œWhat have I told you, I don’t require my wife to crochet and sip tea, but I do require her to remember she’s not a beast of burden.â€ No, Iâ€™m not talking about The Rolling Stones! I have to admit though, just for a second, the lyrics popped into my…
3 Moments of Goodness from Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Johnny and Dora”
The most satisfying part of this season’s finale has to the Jake and Amy kiss. Well, they kiss three times but the last one is the best one — and it means something. The Charles and Rosa dynamic was also great. I love how she’s convinced he doesn’t know anything…