One thing after another brings Kate to her lowest ebb while the real perpetrators of the attack on the HMS Courageous remain elusive.
This recap of the 2023 Netflix series The Diplomat Season 1 Episode 7, “Keep Your Enemies Closer,” contains spoilers.
The hook of The Diplomat, I think, is that it’s really a relationship drama masquerading as a political thriller. But potential war with Iran and then Russia has been hogging a lot of the limelight, so the romance – or lack of it – has been occurring in the margins.
The penultimate episode, “Keep Your Enemies Closer,” is one of the few to open with intimacy. Hal and Kate have spent the night together, and the latter, while still not prepared to tell Hal to stay, at least doesn’t want him to leave. And while Eidra doesn’t want to go public about her relationship with Hayford until the Russia thing blows over, the spark between them is still very much there.
The Diplomat Season 1 Episode 7 Recap
Workwise, Kate is due to meet Russian Ambassador Oleg Balakin at the Foreign Office. The point is to tell him, unequivocally, that the British government knows that the Lenkov Group were hired by the Russian government to sink the HMS Courageous and that in retaliation they will be combating Lenkov troops in Libya.
What does the Russian ambassador give to Kate?
Everyone is terrified of Balakin and we see why immediately. He’s a nightmare. He snaps, he rants, he reels off a litany of insults about the U.S. and the U.K. and their respective hypocrisies. But he also writes Kate a message on a cigarette rolling paper giving her instructions to leave the office through a back door and meet someone else. While she leaves, he keeps ranting to himself, creating the illusion she’s still in the room.
The woman Kate meets with tells her that Roman Lenkov has a child with a woman named Laurissa Safonova, who lives in a villa he owns in Cap d’Antibes called La Colline, where he will be on the 30th of the month for three days.
The Russians are giving up Lenkov, which can mean one of only two things: They’re either playing a very risky con, or they didn’t sink the HMS Courageous.
Who does Kate meet with in Washington?
Predictably this causes panic. Everyone needs to know so a plan of action can be drawn up, but telling anyone over the airwaves is a bad idea, so Kate needs to go to Washington to brief the higher-ups in person.
It’s not a good time to be in Washington, though. Hal gets it on good authority from Billie that Rayburn is going to fire Ganon. Communications are breaking down between the U.S. and the U.K., and Kate is barely able to get a word in edgewise.
There’s an interesting parallel here between her running into a friend, Jill Klein, whom she goes out for a drink with, and Hal doing the same in Blighty. Kate’s friend tells her some of what has been going on in Kabul, and you can tell from Kate’s wistful stare that she’d probably rather be there than doing what she’s doing now.
Hal’s friend, meanwhile, asks him if he’s going to be replacing Ganon as the Secretary of State. And while the idea doesn’t seem to have occurred to him prior to the conversation, it certainly occurs to him after.
The Diplomat Season 1 Episode 7 Ending Explained
Kate gets back to England with a terrible hangover looking like she has been dragged through a hedge backward. And it’s not good news for anyone. The Americans don’t want to go ahead with the Libya plan without solid intelligence on Russian involvement in the sinking of HMS Courageous, but Prime Minister Trowbridge had already promised the Libyans that the U.K. was on its way.
What’s worse is that Jill reminded Kate of all the good she could be doing elsewhere, instead of being talked over in the Oval Office, and all she wants to do is talk to Dennison, which circumstances have ensured she hasn’t been able to do.
The episode ends with Kate, in frustrated tears, sitting on one side of the bed while Hal, facing away, sits on the other, the distance between them never having been greater.
You can stream 2023 series The Diplomat Season 1 Episode 7, “Keep Your Enemies Closer,” exclusively on Netflix.