“The Honorable Woman” Season 1 Episode 7 “The Hollow Wall” aired on Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014 at 10:00 p.m. on BBC Two. Nessa returned to the West Bank after eight years to be at the inauguration of the third phase of the Stein’s data cabling operations with El-Amin and the Palestines. Ephra and Atika went on what he thought was a romantic interlude. But the turn of events for the Stein siblings became fatal. Read on to know more about this episode in the recap below.
“The Hollow Wall” opened with Al-Zahid, Nessa’s rapist and the father of Kasim, meeting Monica (Eve Best), the British spy working with the Americans. There were in a little known motel and they got suspicious when the motel staff came to the room to “check” the smoke alarm. Monica already knew that someone was on to them. The MI6 were actually tapping on to her satellite phones, tracing all the calls coming in and going out.
At the Stein’s office, Nessa (Maggie Gyllenhaal), who was preparing for her trip to Hebron where the cable project would be rolling out, was met by MI6 agent Hugh Hoyle (Stephen Rae), who updated her on the sniffer that was found in one of her data cabling sites previously. He said that he has the leads and link and showed Nessa this picture of Al-Zahid, who came to the United Kingdom with Israeli papers. Nessa said that he’s not Israeli, he’s Palestinian and Hugh wondered how she knew. She started to have panic attacks and this was where Hugh realized who Al-Zahid was in Nessa’s life.
Wanting to help Nessa out, Hugh asked her what he can do to ease Nessa’s panic attacks, and all she sought was to confront her other rapist (from last week’s episode “The Mother Line“) perhaps as a substitute retribution for the rape that she endured from Al-Zahid eight years ago.
Meanwhile, at Ephra’s (Andrew Buchan) house, after a confrontation with Atika (Lubna Azabal), who revealed Nessa’s secret to Rachel in last week’s episode, the lovers decided to go on short trip to the Stein’s cottage. While there, the two acted like a couple of sixteen year olds, oblivious to what else is happening around them.
Nessa was back at the West Bank with her assistant Frances. At the press conference, her business partner, El-Amin, was conspicuously a no-show, when they have earlier agreed that they would be present in all the events together. They wanted to let the press and the world know that they were one united front, and that the business deal was a successful venture between an Israeli (Nessa’s heritage) and a Palestine.
Frances called El-Amin’s people to confirm if he will be able to come to the inauguration. He apparently had food poisoning, but Nessa demanded that he should be there. While Nessa changed clothes, Frances found out that Nessa signed off the contract for El-Amin as a deal that will have the Stein’s forever attached to him and the Palestine’s business ventures. This ticked off Frances, worried that Nessa is making a bad business decision, but Nessa asked that she should trust her.
And so, the groundbreaking took place. Thankfully, El-Amin was present despite looking really sick. They faced the press and their pictures and videos were taken. Then Nessa, feeling like she has made good her part of the bargain, asked El-Amin when she would be able to see Kasim. El-Amin promised him that it will happen that night, and she hastily left El-Amin’s side and then went to board a truck she was supposed to start to signify that the inauguration is all set.
But Nessa saw that El-Amin boarded his car already, leaving the premises, so she ran after him. Just as she was a few yards away from the truck, a bomb that triggered it went off. The reports said 75 people died on the site, including Frances and possibly Nessa.
Upon Monica’s orders, an Israeli extremist group immediately made claims for this incident, citing that Nessa has betrayed her people, especially when she has a Palestinian bastard son, so she deserved to die. They outed Nessa’s secret to the world. They were also the same group that claimed killing the professor from the Stein university in the episode “Two Hearts”. The Israeli government, however, denied these claims and said that they have been a staunch supporter of the Steins since the beginning.
The MI6 saw everything that was happening in the news and on their satellite feeds. Hugh was briefing his boss, Julia Walsh (Janet McTeer), all throughout, who couldn’t believe what was going on. When she told Hugh before to avoid looking into Monica and the Americans, then she must’ve believed him now.
Back at the Stein’s cottage, Ephra and Atika were caught by Rachel, who had long suspected about the affair. Atika quickly took out a satellite phone calling someone, confusing Ephra. He was even more confused when they heard about the news report of the bombing as the TV was on. But before anyone could react or do something, a sniper hit Ephra twice on the neck and he died instantly.
It was Al-Zahid who killed Ephra. Atika and he have been working together all along with Monica, who had been orchestrating everything. When Al-Zahid saw that Rachel was there, he motioned to Atika that she has to be killed, too. Atika instead shot Al-Zahid and even said, “You shouldn’t have raped her.”
Rachel, perhaps due to trauma, went into labor right there, so Atika helped her into the room and assisted in the delivery, just like she assisted when Nessa gave birth to Kasim.
With Ephra dead and Nessa possibly dead, too, it looked like the Palestinians were able to achieve one thing: wipeout the Steins.
The MI6 traced one of the calls from Monica’s satellite phone to the Stein cottage, and there, the authorities saw two bodies, and Rachel in labor, with Atika helping out. Atika was later handcuffed. It would be curious to see what she will have to say to the MI6 later.
Finally, the MI6 tried to find the person behind the last trace they did on Monica’s satellite phone, which lead them to Washington, to Kate Larsson, the adviser to the secretary of state. It seemed to be hinted that when Kate said, “She. Has. Agreed,” that perhaps all these events, dating as far back as eight years ago, can be traced back to the Americans.
— Maggie Gyllenhaal (@mgyllenhaal) August 14, 2014
What would have to be the Americans’ motives then? And is Nessa really dead? Find out what happens next to this series when “The Honourable Woman” returns next week for its final episode. Meanwhile, those following this show on SundanceTV can read the recap of the third episode, “The Killing Call” which also aired Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014.
— Maggie Gyllenhaal (@mgyllenhaal) August 14, 2014
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Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Mutari