Netflix’s latest political thriller series, The Diplomat, ended on a cliffhanger that made some shocking revelations while simultaneously making us question everything that went down in the end.
The Diplomat follows Ambassador Kate Wyler as she navigates her way through British politics, international crises and a strained marriage; all while being tested to see if she’s fit to be the next Vice President of the United States.
Kate, played by Keri Russell, first arrives in London as the Ambassador to the UK on the orders of the President. There, the first challenge she faces is to deal with the attack on a British aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf.
The first obvious suspect of the explosion is Iran but as the episodes progress, Kate and her team uncover ties to Russia and more specifically a company based in it called the Lenkov Group.
Kate forges strategic alliances and bends over backwards to make sure the countries involved settle their differences peacefully. Bu the ending of the series’ first season reveals that the main mastermind behind the bombing was under her nose the entire time.
The final episode of The Diplomat reveals that British PM, Nicol Trowbridge was the one who hired Roman Lenkov to attack the British aircraft carrier near the coast of Iran.
The cliffhanger of the series leaves us with MP Merritt Grove’s car exploding at the time of which Hal, Stuart, and Ronnie were also present.
1. Hal is approached by MP Grove
After Kate is asked to go to Paris to deal with the arrest of Roman Lenkov, she asks her husband, Hal, to give a speech in her place at the Chatham House. He talks about using diplomacy to achieve peace, for which he is applauded by all the attendees.
Although Hal’s real motives were unclear throughout the season, it seems like he genuinely wanted to make Kate look good as a candidate for Vice President and was ready to support her choices.
As Hal is leaving the Chatham House, a Tory MP, Merritt Grove, approaches him and asks for a meeting with the Ambassador. Since Kate wasn’t in London at the time, Hal agrees to meet with the MP himself.
Kate is furious with Hal’s decision because she suspects that it’s just another one of his tactics he’s using to become the Secretary of State. She takes matters into her own hands and orders Stuart to make sure Hal doesn’t exchange any crucial information with the MP.
2. Kate decides to wear the red dress
Kate is seen wearing only black suits all through the show and she herself says that she doesn’t like any other colour, nor does she prefer to wear any dresses.
But in the final episode, Kate decides to go out of her comfort zone and she puts on a gorgeous red gown for the ball at the Louvre in Paris. This signifies Kate deciding to finally let go of Hal and to stop trying to save a marriage that was wasn’t worth fighting for.
Hal may have tried to fit into the “trophy wife” persona but he has made it abundantly clear that he was never actually comfortable with it.
He made reckless decisions without any regard for the consequences they would have on Kate’s career and he even cheated on her with another woman.
The final episodes may have shown us a change in Hal’s character but that doesn’t dismiss all the damage that he has already done.
Kate’s red dress statement need not necessarily mean that she’s acting on her subtle feelings for the Foreign Secretary, Austin Dennison, but it’s hard to deny the attraction between the two and it could be worth exploring in the future.
3. Kate and Dennison uncover the truth
Kate and Dennison arrive at Paris for the sole purpose of convincing the French Minister of the Interior, Brielle Fournier, to allow the British forces to make the arrest of Roman Lenkov, instead of the French police.
It takes a while but the minister eventually agrees. During the conversation, Fournier then reveals to Kate that she had received word from the intelligence operatives that the arrest was actually going to be an assassination attempt.
Kate is of course shocked because this wasn’t the deal she had agreed to and neither was she informed of the change of plans. She initially suspects Dennison of having played her by keeping the assassination a secret but he assures her that he had no idea it was happening either.
Kate and Dennison eventually figure out that the assassination wasn’t an officially authorised one and that the only person who would want Lenkov dead was the one who hired him. This leads them to the obvious answer – Prime Minister Nicol Trowbridge.
4. MP Merritt Grove’s car explodes
While Kate and Dennison are dealing with the situation in Paris, Hal, Stuart and Ronnie make arrangements for their meeting with MP Merritt Grove, who approached Hal earlier.
The initial plan was for Hal to spend only five minutes with the MP, despite Kate telling Stuart that she didn’t want Hal talking to Grove at all. However, Hal decides to go off script at the last minute and he tells Stuart that he wants more time.
Before Hal can get to Grove, Stuart makes Ronnie meet Grove at the restaurant to alert him about the change of plans. But Grove isn’t too pleased with the ambush so he gets up and leaves.
As Grove is walking out of the restaurant, Ronnie follows him and soon after, Stuart and Hal also reach the scene. Just as Grove is opening the door to his car, a huge explosion sets off. We then cut to Kate’s security team inaudibly informing her of what happened.
The final episode of The Diplomat season 1 ends right here with no explanation as to what went down after the bombing.
5. What does the ending mean?
The reveal of PM Trowbridge being the one who orchestrated the British aircraft carrier attack was a huge plot twist that all of us definitely didn’t see coming. Within a span of 15 minutes, we received so much new information that we hardly had time to process what we were hearing.
Now looking back at everything that happened throughout the season, it makes perfect sense why Trowbridge was the main culprit.
The PM’s former advisor, Margaret Roylin, had already told Kate that Scotland was getting ready to declare independence and it was only a matter of time before Northern Ireland and Wales would follow.
The PM was thus afraid of becoming known as “the prime minister that lost the United Kingdom”.
Trowbridge’s fear of a partition cements his alibi for causing the bomb blast because if UK were to engage itself in a war with the Middle East, all its countries would unite to fight back.
Clearly, the PM is prepared to do anything to prevent a partition, even at the cost of hundreds of innocent sailors’ lives.
Now coming to MP Grove’s car explosion, it’s possible that Trowbridge was behind this as well. Kate may not have been aware of this fact but we knew for sure that Grove wasn’t meeting with Hal regarding his position for Secretary of State because Hal never officially agreed to it.
Perhaps Grove made a connection between Trowbridge and the explosion and he wanted to get the information to an ambassador so that they could handle the situation. Who knows, maybe there were more Tory MPs who were also aware of the truth.
If this is the case, then it’s likely that Trowbridge found out about the meeting and ordered an attack on Grove to keep him quiet. It’s just unfortunate that Stuart, Ronnie and Hal also got caught in the crossfire.
6. What to expect in a potential season 2?
It was a chaotic ending but besides Trowbridge’s involvement, we still have so many unanswered questions.
First and foremost, we don’t know who survived the bomb blast and who didn’t. MP Grove and Ronnie were the closer to the car as compared to Stuart and Hal but they could all still be in fatal condition.
Roman Lenkov’s assassination hasn’t happened yet so there’s still a chance to expose Trowbridge and stop the whole thing from happening.
However, with the news of the bomb blast in London and no incriminating evidence against Trowbridge yet, Kate and Dennison’s job just got a lot harder.
Kate still hasn’t made a decision about becoming the Vice President yet. And although it seemed like she was ready to move on from Hal, the explosion certainly puts her in a vulnerable position to decide the future of their relationship.
The cliffhanger at the end of the series perfectly sets up the plot for the second season. Even though it hasn’t been confirmed yet, the luck that The Night Agent had with quickly being renewed for a season 2 gives us hope that an announcement from Netflix is not too far away.
7. About The Diplomat
The Diplomat is an American political thriller television series created by Debora Cahn. It premiered on Netflix on April 20, 2023.
The series star Keri Russell in the lead, along with actors like Rufus Sewell, David Gyasi, Ali Ahn, Rory Kinnear, and Ato Essandoh.
The show centers on Kate Wyler, the new United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom. She has to defuse international crises, forge strategic alliances in London, and adjust to her new place in the spotlight while trying to survive her marriage to fellow career diplomat Hal Wyler.