The Veil Episode 4 Provides Many New Questions, But Very Few Answers

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: May 14, 2024 (Last updated: 2 weeks ago)
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The Veil Episode 4 Recap - More Questions, Still No Answers
Elisabeth Moss in The Veil on FX/Hulu




“Declassified” reveals many new details, but The Veil may become frustrating for viewers who are eager for the core plot to develop.

I like The Veil, but even I can admit that it might be getting a little frustrating for viewers. Episode 4,  “Declassified”, gives us lots of minor reveals that will certainly add up to a more coherent picture down the line, but the essential questions of The Veil remain frustratingly unclear, and it’s easy for a show this tight-lipped to feel like it’s going around in circles.

Still, putting the pieces together is part of the fun, and there’s a good amount to chew over in this episode, so let’s get into it.

A Grave Opening

This episode’s cold open is pretty tense. One of Max Peterson’s agents, Philippa, is keeping an eye on the grave of Jim Morrison, former frontman of The Doors. The memorial is being used as a dead drop for the terror cell plucking their codenames from The Book of Surprises (the book Adilah showed Imogen in a previous episode.)

Emir is there making a pick-up. Philippa reports him. Naively, though, she tries to follow him, and he ambushes her and shoots her between the eyes. “Declassified” wrings as much tension out of this as you could reasonably expect. It’ll crop up again down the line in a couple of ways.

What was going on with Imogen and Michael?

Episode 3 teased some of Imogen’s backstory, including that she’s potentially out for revenge on the CIA following the assassination of her father. As it turns out there’s a little more to this story.

Imogen and Adilah are staying in a Parisian apartment owned by a man named Michael, one of Imogen’s father’s friends. When her father died, he became her guardian. Then her mentor. And then… “more”.

We don’t get much explanation about what “more” means, but it’s implied. You don’t need me to tell you how deeply unhealthy this relationship likely was, and it’s presumably integral to Imogen’s backstory, though at present it’s a little unclear how it relates to the assassination of her father. All in good time.

Ticking Clock

The Veil Episode 4 Recap - More Questions, Still No Answers

Elisabeth Moss in The Veil on FX/Hulu

Almost to compete with Imogen’s weird story, Adilah tells one of her own a little later, recounting the time she was sent into a hotel lobby strapped with explosives. Only a faulty wire prevented her from blowing herself and all the men, women, and children nearby to kingdom come, but Imogen doubts she would have ever gone through with it.

Is this the truth, or a deception? As Imogen said in the previous episode, the best lies are mostly true.

Following the death of Philippa, Max is accelerating the timeline. He gives Imogen a gun and 24 hours to find out what Adilah knows before conventional interrogation techniques take over. He also gives Imogen the intel she asked for relating to her father, and tells her that Morocco, which she was strongarming him about, isn’t what it seemed like.

“It never is,” says Imogen, which is a fair point.

Counter Surveillance

Meanwhile, the DGSE have employed the services of an overweight dork with apparently terrible personal hygiene to build a device that bypasses American encryption and allows the French to listen in on Max’s communications back to Langley. Cesar, the tech guy, has already tested the device and intercepted two emails from Max. One of which reveals that Imogen is reporting directly to him, which comes as distressing news to Malik.

But Cesar gets around a bit. When Emir makes a call to Samhures in Istanbul, assuring him of the explosive device being present on the ship and departure for a U.S. harbor being imminent, one of Cesar’s devices picks up the contents and the DGSE get wind of the plan. However, they don’t tell the Americans yet. Malik is instead meeting with Imogen later that evening, assuming that she can get to the bottom of the plot faster than official channels can.

Imogen Survives An Ambush In The Veil Episode 4

As arranged in the previous episode, Adilah meets with her mysterious interlocutor, who turns out to be Emir. He mentions that she’s even “dressing like her”, and that “this has to stop”, but Imogen’s arrival causes him to flee. Imogen and Adilah try to give chase but walk right into an ambush. Imogen is forced to kill several of their attackers before they can get away.

In the aftermath, Imogen assures Malik that she’ll keep pressing Adilah for information about the vessel and the kind of device on board. However, she doesn’t work to that objective immediately. Instead, she gets very drunk and reads the CIA intelligence report about her father, which seems to confirm he was a double agent working for the Russians.

Oh, and Adilah gets a text instructing her to go to the stairwell at 6 am. Whatever she’s up to, she’s still up to it.


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