“The Old Man” Episode 2 Recap: Love on the Run

Life on the run is tough. You have CIA accomplices on the trail, and you’ve already killed several of them. Your oldest friend in the industry hires assassins to take you down. On the plus side, you meet almost instantly and begin a romantic relationship with Amy Brenneman. As a wise man once said, ridges and gutters, ups and downs!

As was the case with the first part of the series, this episode of The old man keeps the plot to a minimum and prefers a more mood-based approach. For Dan Chase, whose real (?) Name is Johnny, it’s about settling into a safe house he had arranged in advance, much to the surprise of the current occupant of the property. , divorced Zoe McDonald (Amy Brenneman). When Chase overcomes her aversion to herself – it was her ex-husband who rented the guesthouse without checking in with her first – and his dogs while she makes her dinner, she invites him over the following evening.

The couple came together despite or due to an intense conversation about his deceased wife and the breakdown of his marriage. They spend the night together, but a series of unpleasant dreams and daydreams make Chase pack his suitcases and prepare to leave. He is interrupted by the sound of shattering glass; When he investigates it, he finds out from Zoe that she is behind with her son’s tuition because her ex deprived her of child support just to show her who the boss is. She puts her head on his shoulder for comfort, and thus it seems that all hope of getting rid of him before problems can find them is gone.


And problems are definitely on the way. On the other side of the episode’s ledger, FBI Deputy Director Harper continues his two-sided investigation into Chase’s whereabouts with the help of his workaholic protégé Angela Adams (Alia Shawkat). Like his mentor, Adam airs the (fully justified!) Worries of their CIA connection, Agent Waters, which gets him in the ear with stories about Chase as a rogue combination of Rambo and Colonel Kurtz – a young American (played by Bill Heck) ) ready, willing and able to personally kill Soviet soldiers at the height of the Cold War.


What neither Waters nor Adams know is that Harper has made contact with his own and Chase’s mentor, Morgan Bote (Joel Gray). This eminence pig (sorry) gives Harper the phone number of an unseen person who looks like an assassin; Harper instructs him to eliminate Chase and gives him Zoe’s address. I suppose violence will follow.

And oh yes: the girl that Chase spoke to via phone and text message allegedly committed suicide years ago. I do not really know what to do with it!

I would say that The old manSecond episode of FX: It was wise of FX to plan it after this first episode of bravery. Many of the pilot’s strengths – the cat-and-mouse games, the jaw-dropping battle, the deluge of surprises – have been replaced by the (admittedly charming) relationship dynamics between Chase and Zoe on the one hand and Harper and Adams. the other hand. And for all that, the ep contains a short monologue by Chase about a wise man who believed, “truth lives only in silence” – an echo of Frank Lloyd Wright’s quote from Harper that space is the “spirit of art” from the first paragraph – the flashy long shots and silences in the first section are not really exhibited here. Aside from a nice extended shot of Chase and Zoe grabbing and holding hands, it’s a much more standard TV episode for what it’s worth.


Still, I think you would be stupid to write what Bridges, Lithgow, and Brenneman deliver here: thoughtful depictions of aging people by intelligent, extremely telegene actors. I mean, I would see a romance about Chase and Zoe even without the CIA killer machine. And I have some confidence, deserved or not, that the show can return to the biting thriller sequences of its early days, if and when it wants to, especially with Harper’s assassin in play.

What I wonder, beyond the hope of a return of excitement from the first, is if The old man will dive into the wisdom, or lack thereof, of the American imperialist counter-offensive in 1980s Afghanistan. When you look at the last 20+ years of life on this planet, it seems pretty important to get this story straight, right? As a rabid anti-communist who helped the mujahideen (until he suddenly stopped, for unknown reasons), Chase is a difficult figure to appreciate. Will the show try, or is it meaningless in what it did, part of the narrative? Regardless of my reservations about this episode, I will keep going to find out.

Sean T. Collins (@theseantcollins) written on television for Rolling stones, Vulture, New York Timesand anywhere who wants it, really. He and his family live on Long Island.

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