The Diplomat Season 1 Episode 8 Recap and Ending Explained

April 20, 2023 (Last updated: last month)
Jonathon Wilson 3
Ending Explained, Netflix, Streaming Service, TV, TV Recaps
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The Diplomat ends by finally revealing who’s behind the sinking of the HMS Courageous, while leaving everything else frustratingly open-ended.

This recap of the 2023 Netflix series The Diplomat Season 1 Episode 8, “The James Bond Clause”, contains spoilers. It also openly discusses the ending of The Diplomat Season 1.

The finale of The Diplomat wastes no time getting into things, so neither should we. This is a 45-minute ending to an eight-episode series that still has virtually all its ongoing plots and character dramas unresolved.

And what’s more, is that things just keep getting more complicated.

The Diplomat Season 1 Ending Explained

Foreign Secretary Dennison gives Kate the news that Prime Minister Trowbridge has come around on the plan to arrest Roman Lenkov. He wants to have British Special Forces involvement for the photo opportunity, and it’s up to him and Secretary of State Ganon to fly over and make nice with the French, who’ll hate their arrest being overtaken by the British.

This becomes Kate’s responsibility instead since Ganon thinks it’ll sound better coming from her. She’s to travel with Anu, Dennison’s meek assistant at the Foreign Office, but Dennison claims he doesn’t like the idea and wants to make the trip himself – with Kate. Uh-oh.

And then there’s Hal. On a call with Billie, Eidra explains that Lewis Quainton, the old associate Hal went for a drink with in Episode 7, is working for the Saudis, and the CIA wants to use him as an asset in the matter. Billie nixes the idea, though, because of Kate’s shortlist status for the Vice Presidency.

Why do Hayford and Eidra break up?

These developments have knock-on effects for the major characters, starting with Hayford and Eidra.

Since Billie has asked Hayford to loop Eidra into Kate being scouted for the VP spot, he’s also forced to reveal that, if she returns to Washington, he’ll be going with her. This, after telling Eidra not to take a job in Egypt and to go public with their relationship, offends her. Why would he do that if he was going to be leaving anyway?

A long-distance relationship evidently not part of her agenda, Eidra throws Hayford out of her office with assurances that their relationship seems to have just ended.

What is the Chatham House Rule?

Kate and Hal, meanwhile, are still trying to make things work, and trying to rearrange their relationship and responsibilities in new ways. He’s clearly a bit jealous about her and Dennison jetting off to France, so she invites him on the trip, but they settle for him giving a speech at Chatham House in her stead.

To Hayford, Kate describes Hal as a racehorse – you have to run him, or he’ll tear down the barn. It seems as apt a description as any, especially since he has asked for the Chatham House Rule – that anything you say there can be cited but not attributed – to be waived and the speech to be sent to Billie.  He clearly has plans for it.

Why do Hal and Kate break up (again)?

Hal gives an amazing speech. He loves the limelight. In the aftermath of it, though, he’s approached by a conservative MP named Merritt Grove who asks him for a conversation with some degree of urgency. What he really wants, one presumes, is a conversation with a representative of the United States.

Hal reports this to Kate. He tells her that he offered to put him in touch with Billie – imagine, a lowly Tory backbencher on a direct line to the White House Chief of Staff – and then agreed to meet with him for drinks himself. Kate goes ballistic, accuses Hal of trying to manipulate his way into the soon-to-be-open Secretary of State position, tries to cancel the meeting, and then sends Hayford to babysit.

The timing is terrible for Hal since this also pushes Kate even closer to Dennison. She even wears the lovely red gown that was packed for the ball to make a big impression.

Who hired Roman Lenkov?

However, the big moment is ruined when Kate finally gets the French to sign off on the “arrest” of Lenkov, only to be informed that it’s really intended to be an assassination. The British Special Forces have no intention of allowing Lenkov to be taken alive.

Kate storms out, and Dennison follows. Both discuss why Trowbridge, who would have to authorize such a hit, would want Lenkov dead. Wouldn’t it be better than he be arrested, alive, so he can expose who hired him?

Both reach the same realization at the same time. The only person who would want Lenkov dead is the person who hired him – Nicol Trowbridge.

At the same time, both Hal and Hayford approach Merritt Grove, who pulls open the door to his car… which explodes. The casualties of the blast are unclear as we end the series in a moment of confusion and panic.

You can stream 2023 series The Diplomat Season 1 Episode 8, “The James Bond Clause” exclusively on Netflix. Do you have any thoughts on the ending of The Diplomat Season 1? Let us know in the comments.

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3 thoughts on “The Diplomat Season 1 Episode 8 Recap and Ending Explained

  • April 30, 2023 at 8:25 pm

    Why are there only 8 episodes in such a fast paced and fascinating series?

  • May 3, 2023 at 1:39 am

    Why was it called the James bind clause?

  • May 17, 2023 at 5:14 am

    After the song ends in the credits, there’s a radio call from dolphin 3-6 … no one is talking about this.

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