A lot of political toing and froing finally leads to a reasonable plan to enact revenge for the attack on the British warship, but it only makes things more complicated for everyone on a personal level.
This recap of the 2023 Netflix series The Diplomat Season 1 Episode 6, “Some Lusty Tornado”, contains spoilers.
Call me crazy, but I kind of wish I had a Hal.
Don’t get me wrong, he’s not a great husband. He’s arrogant, he hogs attention, he’s unpredictable, he seems to have multiple affairs – or at least, as we learned in Episode 5, the beginnings of affairs – and he clearly won’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.
But he stays calm when everyone else around him is losing it. He offers good advice. When you’re drinking on an empty stomach, he hoists you up and sneaks you into the pantry to steal cheese and grapes.
He also genuinely seems to want to stay married to Kate for reasons that aren’t entirely self-serving, even if she can’t quite bring herself to believe that. The question is, does she want him back?
The Diplomat Season 1 Episode 6 Recap
In the pantry of Chevening House, Hal and Kate bump into Prime Minister Trowbridge. As it turns out he’s not as stupid as he looks, acts, or sounds. But he’s a career politician in a system designed to surround him with people who either want his position or simply don’t want him to have it, he has an impossible problem to solve, and he must somehow solve it without letting down his constituents or starting a nuclear war.
Enter Kate. As predicted, her offering the PM a list of potential Russian bombing targets was just a play, but nonetheless a dangerous one. Over wine and cheese, she’s able to persuade Trowbridge into considering a bloodless option, but it needs to be a good one.
So, Kate and her team, including a haggard Hayford and Dennison, with whom Kate shares a terribly awkward misunderstanding about their unspoken feelings, are able to put together a comprehensive diplomatic package that will squeeze Russian money being laundered in London. Since the sanctions already imposed on Russia after the invasion of Ukraine don’t touch the real oligarch money, which is all offshore, this is a mighty blow to the Kremlin.
Trowbridge decides to bomb Russian troops in the Aleppo-Raqqa-Hama triangle instead.
Kate thinks Trowbridge has gotten this plan from someone else, and Hal has an idea of who it might be. According to Cecilia, Trowbridge still has a relationship with his former advisor, a hard-line Tory journalist named Meg Roylin who has cropped up a couple of times already. She and the Daily Mail are, apparently, the reason why Trowbridge is in Number 10 instead of Dennison.
How did Margaret Roylin prevent Austin Dennison from becoming Prime Minister?
Since Dennison won’t let Kate speak to Roylin, who has a house just down the way, Hal arranges for Cecilia to sneak her there in the PM’s new convertible. On the way, Cecilia reveals why her brother hates Roylin so much.
After Cecilia lost a baby to a partner who, in her words, kept her in a situation akin to house arrest, she threatened to commit suicide if Dennison didn’t abuse his office to get her off-prescription oxycontin. So, he did, Roylin found out, and the Daily Mail ran a story about him having a pill problem.
What is Trowbridge trying to achieve?
So, while we can understand why the Dennisons hate Roylin, it’s hard not to respect her. You’re not supposed to like her, of course; she’s like an elderly female Piers Morgan, or Thatcher with a pen (her being called Margaret isn’t an accident and doesn’t go unremarked upon). But she’s very smart, totally believable as the brains behind Trowbridge, and reveals to Kate what he’s really up to.
Trowbridge, it turns out, is about to lose the United Kingdom. A to-do in Scotland is going to create a second referendum, and they’re going to vote for independence, and then Northern Ireland and eventually Wales will follow suit. Trowbridge needs a giant show of unified power to keep Scotland on side, and thus keep the U.K. intact.
It’s also Roylin who offers a potential solution.
What’s the plan to attack Russia?
Hal – who, by the way, provides most of the episode’s comedy when he’s sent to pick up Secretary of State Ganon, who hates him, from the airport – pitches the idea to Dennison. The U.K. can attack the Lenkov Group, mercenaries who are really the Kremlin’s private army, who’re operating in Libya. Since Libya has already requested aid from the U.K., it will be considered an act of defense to fight the Russians there, but the damage will be done all the same.
There’s a problem, though. In fact, there are a couple. The CIA and MI6 can’t seem to figure out where the Lenkov Group got the order to attack the British warship. It wasn’t from the FSB or GRU. It wasn’t from the Kremlin. All the usual people who should know don’t, and Eidra is hesitant to authorize the operation without the intelligence to support it.
And then there’s Ganon, who inexplicably nixes the plan completely. He’s angling toward the presidency himself and doesn’t want to give Rayburn a victory. He refuses to even run it up the chain.
The Diplomat Season 1 Episode 6 Ending Explained
The episode ends with Kate going over Ganon’s head. The plan is authorized and everyone – except Ganon, anyway – celebrates.
But the interpersonal relationships are more complicated than ever. Hayford and Eidra decide to go public with their relationship since Hal had already figured it out, and things are getting very complicated between Hal, Kate, and Dennison.
We’ll have to see how the final two episodes bring these guys together or push them apart.
You can stream 2023 series The Diplomat Season 1 Episode 6, “Some Lusty Tornado” exclusively on Netflix.