The Spy Recap: There’s A Time And A Place

By Daniel Hart
Published: September 6, 2019 (Last updated: December 3, 2023)
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Netflix Series The Spy Season 1, Episode 3 - Alone in Damascus


The Spy Season 1, Episode 3, “Alone in Damascus” reveals the lengths Eli had to go to in order to live a double-life in Damascus and spy for his team.

This recap of Netflix Series The Spy Season 1, Episode 3, “Alone in Damascus” contains significant spoilers. The Spy is based on the life of the Israeli spy, Eli Cohen. You can read the recap of the previous episode by clicking these words.

At a certain point in Episode 3, “Alone in Damascus”, Dan Peleg (Noah Emmerich) is warned to stay away from Nadia, Eli’s wife, by Maya because he will jeopardise the mission. She believes he is making the scenario romantic; however, Dan insists he is taking care of her, as a promise to Eli. A few scenes later, Dan tells the story of a spy he once trained who was as good as Eli, but the small difference is, Eli is too eager. He is wary that Eli may put himself in danger.

And that’s the strength of The Spy. You always feel like a situation is lurking around the corner.

In terms of Eli’s mission. Salinger tells Eli not to take any unnecessary risks when he reaches Damascus. The central command is not to transmit for eight weeks. His first objective is to get into Damascus and on the boat he meets Sheikh Majid Al-Ard. To impress the man, Eli buys expensive wine to impress, but almost ruins the situation by asking political questions.

Using his charm, and getting to know Sheikh Majid Al-Ard’s rare car beforehand, Eli gets a lift from him as they both venture towards the Damascus border. The border is tense, as Eli retches in the toilet from the intensity of it all. He tries to bribe the soldiers with a fancy watch, but then eagerly tells them he has pornographic magazines in his suitcase and pleads with them to let them through. Disguising the fact his case is full of hidden inventory.

Once he reaches Damascus, he ignores the orders of Salinger and morse codes his team immediately — letting them know he has a room across from The Second Bureau, the Military Headquarters. He spends the next four months relaying plenty of useful information back to his team, who are extremely impressed by his work.

Eli also builds his own business, as a way of elevated disguise; he’s told everyone he is a businessman — Eli has to act like one.

Eli peaks in terms of information gathering in Episode 3 when he manages to drink with Lieutenant Ma’azi — General Ad-Din is his uncle, meaning Eli has managed to infiltrate the military.

The Spy Season 1, Episode 3, “Alone in Damascus” ends with showing Nadia’s and Eli’s life separately; how lonely Nadia feels, and how much Eli misses his wife.

Historic Observations

  • Eli is once again told not to speak about certain things in open places by Sheikh Majid Al-Ard.
  • Nadia tries to enjoy a night out, but her friend bails on her

You can read the recap of the fourth episode by clicking these words.

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