America Will Not Be Welcoming to the Vietnamese in The Sympathizer Episode 2

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: April 15, 2024 (Last updated: last month)
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The Sympathizer Episode 2 Preview
The Sympathizer | Image via HBO

In the premiere of The Sympathizer, the real-life U.S.-backed evacuation effort Operation Frequent Wind spirited several South Vietnamese citizens and military officials out of Saigon. But in Episode 2 of the high-profile HBO series, America, already radically opposed to the war, will not be kind to the Vietnamese refugees.

Of course, they’d be right to mistrust the Captain, who must continue feeding information back to the Viet Cong from his new home.

A Change of Scenery

The key change that will become apparent in the next episode is the change of setting. While the premiere was set just before the Fall of Saigon, the action will move to Los Angeles as the escaped South Vietnamese, including the Captain, the General, and Bon, are relocated.

If the narrative proceeds along the lines of the book, which I suspect it will, the Vietnamese will quickly become disillusioned with the mistrust and dehumanization that they are subjected to by the American people, which will deflate the General and push him toward the formation of a South Vietnamese expatriate army.

A Romance for the Captain

Again, as per the book, the Captain strikes up a couple of relationships in America, including one with his Japanese-American colleague, and another with the General’s eldest daughter.

This is in keeping with the trends we saw in the premiere of the Captain being caught between two worlds. Much like how his friendship with Bon is deeply authentic despite Bon’s hatred for the Viet Cong and the potential ramifications of him finding out that the Captain is really the enemy, it only seems right that the Captain would fraternize with the perceived “enemy” while abroad.

The Captain Will Continue to Spy On The South Vietnamese

Speaking of which, while in America, the Captain will continue to report back on what he’s seeing to Man, his North Vietnamese contact back in-country. His beliefs will not waver at this early stage, although he will continue to form meaningful relationships with people he is told are his enemies and start to reflect on what that means for his worldview.

The Sympathizer Episode 2 Release Date and Where to Watch

The Sympathizer Episode 2, “Good Little Asian”, will air on HBO on April 21, 2024, at 9 pm ET/PT. It will also be available to stream on Max, which is only available with a subscription.

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