“The Honourable Woman” Season 1 Episode 8 “The Paring Knife” aired on Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014, at 10:00 p.m. on BBC Two. The conclusion to this family and political drama series brought answers and closure to the Stein family. Read on to learn more about what happened in the series finale.
MI6 Agent Hugh Hayden-Hoyle (Stephen Rae) surmised that Samir Meshal, the man killed in the very first episode (“The Empty Chair“), was the go-between for the Palestinians and the Americans. Because Meshal made the mistake of calling the Palestinians to relay that the U. S. Secretary of State, Tippi Hagen, had agreed to their arrangement, he was heard on the wiretap by both the Americans and the Israelis. Before the Israelis could find out whatever it was that the secretary agreed to, the Americans had Meshal killed but made it appear as suicide.
Did the secretary agree to the murder of Nessa Stein (Maggie Gyllenhaal)? No, thought Hoyle. It should be something political — something that will make the Americans look good to the world. Turned out, what they agreed to was for the Americans not to use their United Nations veto power should the Palestine ask for statehood.
Secretary of State: “We, the American people, will not stand in the way of Palestine’s quest for statehood.”
The British, along with the rest of the world, was shocked. Did the Americans just made the war in the Middle East worst by siding with the Palestines?
Following the bombing in Hebron in “The Hollow Wall,” was Nessa Stein really dead? Shlomo received a surprising voicemail. Nessa was alive, and she was, again, a prisoner in the same place she had been eight years ago.
Knowing that Nessa lived, the MI6 sought for help from Palestine, which insisted that this was only a ploy by Israel for the stand the Americans took against them. The MI6 then turned to Israel for help, citing this was a chance to save its face. According to their diplomat, they cannot risk it. But they will not stand in the way of saving Nessa, which meant that the British will have to do it. The airspace above Palestinian territories belong to the Israeli. They were free to use this without the Israelis attacking them.
The British enlisted the help of Atika (Lubna Azabal) then, whom they have arrested following Ephra Stein’s death. They told her that they get her cause about fighting for the statehood of Palestine. But if Nessa gets killed, they will be forced to reveal to the public about what they did to Nessa eight years ago. However, there’s a problem: the wiretap with the Americans. These people should not know Nessa is alive, or the Americans will kill her to save face too.
Hoyle: “I’m giving you the chance to go back there and explain to your people what this would mean to your cause, if Nessa Stein doesn’t come out of Palestine alive.”
So finally, Atika came face to face with Nessa, who quickly realized her role in this whole thing. Atika made it clear that she didn’t condone her rape, but she assured Nessa that Kasim had been cared for while in the custody of the Palestines after the alleged kidnapping. She also told Nessa that the reason why she was in this cause was because of her father’s bombs and weapons, which wiped out her whole family when she was 12 years old.
Nessa and Atika met with the elder Al-Sayid, the man who ordered his own son to rape Nessa — the man who wanted revenge against the Steins. He was taunting Nessa to kill him with a paring knife, but Nessa rose above that, so he agreed to let Nessa free. She could leave his house, but she will remain lost in Pakistan. But he didn’t agree to her bringing Kasim with her because, as his grandchild, Kasim is his now.
This angered Atika because Al-Sayid was taking this personal, veering away from their cause. Al-Sayid stabbed her, but Atika killed him. She then called up Monica Chatwin (Eve Best) on the satellite phone, asking for help to be pulled out of the territories. Monica instructed her to bring Kasim to Nessa. Nessa was actually brought outside of Hebron to an American spy waiting for her, who told her to stay put because Kasim was going to be brought to her too.
Atika realized that this was a trap. The spy was brought there by Monica to kill all of them. Atika sacrificed herself so that Nessa and Kasim can escape. Calling for help from the British on the satellite phone, she gave Hoyle the signal to launch an airstrike on her and the spy.
Ness and Kasim survived and were brought to Israeli grounds where Shlomo welcomed them with a hug. See, he was her only ally from the very beginning. The whole family was reunited later at Rachel’s hospital room in London, where she had just given birth to a beautiful baby. Monica was killed in her sleep, perhaps by the Americans, because she failed at keeping Nessa dead. Hoyle retired from his job to concentrate on work at the academe, as well as wooing his wife back.
— Maggie Gyllenhaal (@mgyllenhaal) August 21, 2014
And that’s what happened on “The Honourable Woman” Season 1 Episode 8 “The Paring Knife,” which aired on Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014, at 10:00 p.m. on BBC Two. Was the series finale all that you expected it to be? Did it provide closure for you too? Sound off in the comments below!
While the show has ended on BBC Two in the UK, it is still running on SundanceTV in the U.S. For more about this, check the other recaps here on Movie News Guide (MNG).
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Sgt. Michael Connors