Explaining the ending of ‘The Diplomat’
(Credit: Netflix)

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Explaining the ending of ‘The Diplomat’

Over the past week, The Diplomat has raised a few eyebrows amongst Netflix users. The eight-part series stars Keri Russell as Kate Wyler, the USA’s newest ambassador to the UK. Following an explosion on a British aircraft carrier off the coast of Iran, Wyler is assigned to restore international relations while juggling her failing marriage. 

If, like us, you’ve already raced the finale of the gripping series, you may be left with a few question marks. Even relative to the action-packed first seven episodes, a hell of a lot was crammed into that last 45-minute chapter. So let’s dive in and unpack. 

In the final episode of the season, the UK Foreign Secretary Austin Dennison (David Gyasi) invites Wyler to meet at his office. The pair recounts a meeting of the previous night wherein Prime Minister Nicol Trowbridge (Rory Kinnear) told them he couldn’t carry out lethal plans against the Russians. Despite his wishes, the US Secretary of State Ganon (Miguel Sandoval) banned lethal action. Instead, they were green-lit to arrest Lenkov. 

Dennison explains that the Prime Minister eventually became content with the new plan and felt justice would be served for the aircraft carrier attack if Lenkov could be brought in alive. 

Dennison then reveals that he and Ganon would head to Paris to oversee the arrest. However, upon a return to her offices, Heyford (Ato Essandoh) explains that Ganon now wants Wyler to travel to Paris to supervise the arrest.

After noticing that her husband Hal (Rufus Sewell) is jealous of her plans to accompany Ganon in Paris, Wyler decides to invite him along. However, he declines the invitation to stay in London, so she asks him to speak on her behalf at Chatham House.

Following Hal’s successful speech, we follow Dennison and Wyler in Paris, where they ask French minister Fournier to help them arrest Lenkov, which she denies. 

Meanwhile, following his speech, Hal bumps into Tory MP Merritt Grove, who asks him to meet for a drink. Wyler becomes upset when she catches wind of the pair’s meeting as she believes her husband is looking to become Secretary of State.

In reaction, Wyler calls Maggie Roylin (Celia Imrie), who describes Grove as a “compassionless conservative.” Wyler then tells Dennison her marriage is ending, inviting dangerous advances. 

At a gala at The Louvre, Wyler speaks to Fournier, who reveals that the UK actually plan to assassinate Lenkov, much to her surprise. Wyler and Dennison leave the gala in a hurry and slow down on a bridge, where Wyler asks Dennison if he has been deceiving her the whole time. 

Dennison protests that he knew nothing of the intended assassination, arguing that killing Lenkov would look bad for Trowbridge and the UK government. He explains that the only people who would want Lenkov dead are those who hired him for the attack to keep his mouth shut. With this, the pair come to the revelation that it must be Trowbridge who arranged the attack on the aircraft carrier. 

Meanwhile, in London, Hal attends his meeting with Grove to realise that Heyford and Ronnie had appeared on his behalf at Wyler’s request. Grove is upset by this and leaves the restaurant. As Grove reaches his car door, he goes for the handle, and the vehicle explodes. 

The episode ends as Wyler and Dennison are captured by security, and the former breaks down in tears as someone whispers something in her ear. Viewers are now left in an uncomfortable yet enticing limbo ahead of the second season. 

What did Grove want to talk to Hal about? Did Grove, Ronnie, Heyford and Hal survive the car bomb explosion? Did the British assassinate Lenkov? Will the Prime Minister be arrested? We can only be patient. 

Watch the trailer for The Diplomat below.