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The Honourable Woman


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Getting weepy once an episode?

Just once? ;-)

 

The guy that Nessa was talking to at the end is played by the same actor who is Evil Uncle Tariq on Tyrant.

 

Or Caleb telling me 'this file is being a liar.' Caleb: never be learning proper English syntax, is okay.

Caleb is awesome. I hope Nessa needs him at least once an episode for the rest of the series.

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If the ailing leader planned to use Nessa to advance Palestinian goals, with threats to Kasim as leverage, his being her acknowledged son would make things like the kidnapping ineffective. No one would allow Nessa to choose the contractor for the telecom expansion when terrorists were holding her son. That's one reason the fact of the earlier kidnapping of Nessa and Atika has remained secret.

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I'm fine with flawed, conflicted protagonists who lack self-awareness. But stupid protagonists are my special kryptonite. I suppose I'll just cast Haden-Hoyle as the lead.

I agree that Caleb is awesome.

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If the ailing leader planned to use Nessa to advance Palestinian goals, with threats to Kasim as leverage, his being her acknowledged son would make things like the kidnapping ineffective. No one would allow Nessa to choose the contractor for the telecom expansion when terrorists were holding her son. That's one reason the fact of the earlier kidnapping of Nessa and Atika has remained secret.

 

But you can only have leverage against someone--i.e., blackmail them--if they're hiding a secret. If Nessa comes home from her year of captivity saying, "Guess what, I've got a half-Jewish, half-Palestinian son, because I was raped by my captor," there's no leverage. I can't for the life of me understand why she didn't just do that. Perhaps we'll be given a compelling reason for her treating this like a deep dark terrible secret that must never be known by anyone--thus subjecting herself to blackmail--but I can't figure why from what we've been shown so far.

Edited by Milburn Stone
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But you can only have leverage against someone--i.e., blackmail them--if they're hiding a secret. If Nessa comes home from her year of captivity saying, "Guess what, I've got a half-Jewish, half-Palestinian son, because I was raped by my captor," there's no leverage. I can't for the life of me understand why she didn't just do that. Perhaps we'll be given a compelling reason for her treating this like a deep dark terrible secret that must never be known by anyone--thus subjecting herself to blackmail--but I can't figure why from what we've been shown so far.

Yes, this! I mean I understood intellectually what Nessa was saying when she was talking about how the kidnapping etc. would make people question her motives and the work that she's trying to do, but in reality -- who the fuck cares? People are always going to talk shit and ascribe motives regardless of what you intended; the only control you have is to get out in front of the narrative and ignore the rest. By being complicit in this lie -- which of course, has only grown exponentially more explosive since it happened 7 years ago and her son has been raised as a housekeeper's son since -- she has handed her enemies the weapons with which to destroy her.

 

I guess it ties in to Nessa's own fanatacism; in her zeal to make it all "worth it" she's already compromised herself and the company to a dire degree. But again, how naive of all of them to think that the forces at work in this conflict wouldn't have a very deep interest in everything going on. You can see why the Israelis and Palestinians permitted The Stein Group to lay their cable and basically set up the entire network infrastructure of the region; both of them benefit from it, and it could possibly only have been achieved by a private enterprise, because the respective governments wouldn't have been able to get something of that scope together even if they had the resources or inclination.

Edited by rubyred
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But Nessa doesn't get a chance to think herself through to the "screw it, I'll go on just as I have as the proud mother to my child of Palestinian rape" stage because Atika, with whom she is infatuated, is right there to tell her that she'll claim the baby as her own, that it's the best way. In the opening credits every week, Atika's voice says "If that's the price for a nation." With every episode the way she is used to first make sure Nessa keeps the baby and then keeps its parentage secret increases my conviction that everything from the kidnapping on is a long-term plan to get and maintain leverage over Nessa. And she first seduced Ephra, because he also knows the secret and has to listen to her when she insists the truth not come out.

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The show still fails to convince me that Nessa having a child from a Palestinian who raped her is such a big secret that would warrant all this conspiracy and all the plots and deaths. I might be missing something, but it is too much megalomania on her part.

And please, sundane channel: white subtitles do not work so well

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Nessa places great stock in her (appearance of) neutrality and impartiality. As she explained to Atika in this episode, she believes, with all her heart, that acknowledging Kasim/her ordeal would compromise that ideal. Every step she made, every decision she made, would always be weighed against what had happened to her. She believes that this would destroy her credibility as a businesswoman capable of making a difference in the region, and her entire self-identity is bound up in the need to make a difference, that's why she can't bring herself to do it. Now, maybe it's true, maybe it isn't (she's probably right, in fact), but the important point is: Nessa believes it. And therefore the secret has power over her. It isn't about megalomania. It's about identity. And trauma. The bright, bubbly Nessa we saw at the start of the flashback is gone for good.

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I can understand the trauma, not the identity. She seemed to be fine with the baby when he was born, she seemed to love him. And then she is rescued and the kid is not hers anymore. The show has not told us (at least until now) how her return to her previous life was, maybe it has something to do with the clean room. If the show let us see the process, I can see the trauma (I know a lot of survivors and trauma plays differently with each person)

If it is identity, then I see her as an even bigger megalomaniac, because identity is something that cannot be separate from oneself. If she puts her job and ideals first, before a child she seemed to love (or maybe this was an oversight of the writers, directors), then she is selfish and the trauma is, in part, an excuse

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With every episode the way she is used to first make sure Nessa keeps the baby and then keeps its parentage secret increases my conviction that everything from the kidnapping on is a long-term plan to get and maintain leverage over Nessa. And she first seduced Ephra, because he also knows the secret and has to listen to her when she insists the truth not come out.

 

Interesting theory, but I'm confused about a couple things. I don't see how the kidnapping/rape/secret-baby could have all been a plot from the beginning, because there's no reason for the kidnappers to have supposed with certainty that Nessa would be impregnated by the rape. And when you say Ephra also knows the secret, do you mean the secret of the child's real parentage? Because he doesn't seem to know that. (He asked Atika if he were the father.)

Edited by Milburn Stone
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I am supposing that the kidnapping was perpetrated as part of a long-term plot to get Nessa in the pocket of the faction led by the old-school guy who ordered the death of Eli Stein. The pregnancy may have been a bonus or they planned to get her pregnant no matter how many times it took. (I'm still puzzled about those two pills Saleh (sp) took.) The secret Ephra knew was that she had been kidnapped at all. The intelligence services all seem to be in the know about this but it has been kept from the wider public. I'm not confident that this will all sound logical when everything is revealed but it is clear from the repeated questioning of whether her secret is safe that the plan Kasim's kidnapers are part of makes it necessary no one knows he's her child or, I think, that she spent more than nine months in Gaza.

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I am supposing that the kidnapping was perpetrated as part of a long-term plot to get Nessa in the pocket of the faction led by the old-school guy who ordered the death of Eli Stein. The pregnancy may have been a bonus or they planned to get her pregnant no matter how many times it took. (I'm still puzzled about those two pills Saleh (sp) took.) The secret Ephra knew was that she had been kidnapped at all. The intelligence services all seem to be in the know about this but it has been kept from the wider public. I'm not confident that this will all sound logical when everything is revealed but it is clear from the repeated questioning of whether her secret is safe that the plan Kasim's kidnapers are part of makes it necessary no one knows he's her child or, I think, that she spent more than nine months in Gaza.

 

OK, I get what you're saying now. Thanks--makes sense.

 

Re the part about the blackmail depending on no one knowing Kasim is her child, this is so true, and it just underlines the foolishness of her not being upfront about it from the start. But worse than seeming foolish, it seems out of character.  I have no trouble imagining that some women find being raped so shameful that they would never say it publicly. But that doesn't seem like Nessa. I also have no trouble believing that some women (or men) would be so cowed by the ticklish Middle East political situation that they would keep an important truth secret for fear of upsetting the apple cart. But that also doesn't seem like Nessa. Unless...well maybe this is it. Maybe Nessa and Ephra both draw hefty salaries from the foundation (they certainly live lavishly enough), and their lifestyles would be in jeopardy if the foundation ever collapsed, and maybe Nessa kept the secret for the sake of the foundation being able to continue. ("I was raped by a  Palestinian" could well jeopardize the willingness of the Palestinians to continue to work with the foundation.) Maybe it's all about money.

Edited by Milburn Stone
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Nessa does want terribly for her foundation to heal the divide between Israelis and Palestinians and money is little part of it. Eli's weapons business probably set them financially for life. To have your father murdered by Palestinians and yet respond with love rather than hate isn't something many people could bring off. And in that sense she is honorable even if naïve about her possibilities for success. The only way to acknowledge Kasim and still be that person would be to say that she and a Palestinian, now tragically killed, were deeply in love. If she were leading more with head than heart, she might have tried that one. But she's just not a schemer, living in England and in denial that scheming is a survival necessity in the Middle East.

 

YMMV but I don't think any Jew could reveal that she was kidnapped in Gaza, raped, had a child, and held for almost a year with no ransom demands without people wondering whether she'd either gone over to the Palestinian cause or was plotting her revenge on them. Her ability to claim the higher ground would be gone.

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Nessa does want terribly for her foundation to heal the divide between Israelis and Palestinians and money is little part of it. Eli's weapons business probably set them financially for life. To have your father murdered by Palestinians and yet respond with love rather than hate isn't something many people could bring off. And in that sense she is honorable even if naïve about her possibilities for success. The only way to acknowledge Kasim and still be that person would be to say that she and a Palestinian, now tragically killed, were deeply in love. If she were leading more with head than heart, she might have tried that one. But she's just not a schemer, living in England and in denial that scheming is a survival necessity in the Middle East.

 

YMMV but I don't think any Jew could reveal that she was kidnapped in Gaza, raped, had a child, and held for almost a year with no ransom demands without people wondering whether she'd either gone over to the Palestinian cause or was plotting her revenge on them. Her ability to claim the higher ground would be gone.

 

I buy your assessment of Nessa's motivations. But I think there would be a way for her to serve up what happened to her truthfully such that it would support the cause of reconciliation and peace. For instance: "I was raped by a Palestinian and bore his child. What caused him to rape me was hatred. I choose to look at his hatred as evidence that we must not give up, but rather redouble our efforts to build a bridge between our two peoples. My son, Kasim, half-Jew, half-Palestinian, reminds me every day of that bridge, in tangible human form."

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I am supposing that the kidnapping was perpetrated as part of a long-term plot to get Nessa in the pocket of the faction led by the old-school guy who ordered the death of Eli Stein.

 

I have a hard time believing all the necessary parts could fall into place for this to happen. If the show goes there, I'll be really disappointed.

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I have a hard time believing all the necessary parts could fall into place for this to happen.

 

There had to be some reason for the kidnapping. The guy hooked up to all the medical devices says straight out, "I have a plan for Nessa Stein." What would be your explanation for his group kidnapping her in the first place?

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The kidnapping itself is a crime of opportunity. There was no way to know Nessa would want to go to the West Bank or be able to get there. I can totally see the guy having some sort of plan for the Stein Foundation, and then Nessa comes to the West Bank and he decides to take advantage of it. His plan can become more personal, i.e., using Nessa directly somehow (we still don't know what he wants to achieve) instead of the foundation somehow.

 

But to have a grand plan already in place to kidnap Nessa? That's what I don't buy. Like I wrote, too many things have to happen for that to succeed.

Edited by dubbel zout
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Yeah, I agree. A kidnap plan that would ensure Nessa would read a spreadsheet, would ask about the grant, would keep digging when unsatisfying answers were given? Nope. I don't read the spreadsheets I'm supposed to, fer heaven's sake.

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The plan wouldn't go as far as counting on the spreadsheets. The plan in general would be, in my spec, to compromise either Ephra or Nessa so that their project of wiring the West Bank could be turned to Palestinian advantage. And it all depends on Atika being the key agent on the ground. At first she seduces Ephra and is thrown when Nessa shows up instead. But Nessa getting upset about the missing money provides an opportunity. Notice that it is Atika who manipulates her into going into Gaza and makes all the arrangements. The baby may just be a bonus, but Nessa is equally willing to do anything when the kidnappers threaten Atika. I'm sure if there hadn't been a baby, Atika would stay behind and Nessa would be told that Atika's safety depended upon her cooperation.

 

If Atika isn't in on the operation, then my theory fails and I'll eat crow. But so far it still seems plausible to me if looking at the performance of Lubna Azabal.  Spies have to have flexible plans when recruiting an asset, so I don't mean to imply that every detail of the operation was thought up in advance.

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The plan wouldn't go as far as counting on the spreadsheets. The plan in general would be, in my spec, to compromise either Ephra or Nessa so that their project of wiring the West Bank could be turned to Palestinian advantage. And it all depends on Atika being the key agent on the ground. At first she seduces Ephra and is thrown when Nessa shows up instead. But Nessa getting upset about the missing money provides an opportunity. Notice that it is Atika who manipulates her into going into Gaza and makes all the arrangements. The baby may just be a bonus, but Nessa is equally willing to do anything when the kidnappers threaten Atika. I'm sure if there hadn't been a baby, Atika would stay behind and Nessa would be told that Atika's safety depended upon her cooperation.

 

If Atika isn't in on the operation, then my theory fails and I'll eat crow. But so far it still seems plausible to me if looking at the performance of Lubna Azabal.  Spies have to have flexible plans when recruiting an asset, so I don't mean to imply that every detail of the operation was thought up in advance.

 

I think this is a brilliant analysis. But to me it points up that the rape and forced-bringing-the-baby-to-term was a far inferior plan to the one that would involve Atika being held hostage. Atika being held hostage would provide real leverage against Nessa. But the improvisatory baby/birth plan depended on Nessa being ashamed to admit the truth when she returned--and Nessa entirely had the choice not to be ashamed. The baby/birth plan only works if the Palestinians assume there is one response and one response only that is possible, namely, shameful subterfuge on Nessa's part. But she had other options that would have made this plan fall apart at the seams. Luckily for the Palestinians (and more to the point, for the show's plot) she chose the one option that made the baby/birth/blackmail plan effective.

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The old guy loved the idea that the grandchild of his bitter enemy Eli Stein had Saleh's, and thus his, blood in its veins, saying that he had stolen Stein's heritage. So I think that's why they went to lengths to make Nessa keep the child. If she hadn't accepted Atika's ruse, I'm sure they'd have tried something like holding the child hostage for leverage.

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Nessa places great stock in her (appearance of) neutrality and impartiality. As she explained to Atika in this episode, she believes, with all her heart, that acknowledging Kasim/her ordeal would compromise that ideal. Every step she made, every decision she made, would always be weighed against what had happened to her. She believes that this would destroy her credibility as a businesswoman capable of making a difference in the region...

 

But the only reason she believes this is that she has failed to give it five minutes' thought. I've given it no more than five minutes' thought, and as her own personal reputation consultant, I have the speech right here in my back pocket. I give it to Nessa free of charge (adapted from a post I made about Episode 4):

 

"I was raped by a Palestinian and bore his child. What caused him to rape me was hatred. I choose to view his hatred not as cause for retribution, nor as cause for surrender, but as the strongest evidence possible that this foundation must not give up. Rather, it is proof we must redouble our efforts to build a bridge between our two peoples. My son, Kasim, half-Jew, half-Palestinian, reminds me every day of that bridge, in tangible human form."

 

But no...

Edited by Milburn Stone
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Then why does she hold an Israeli passport?

She mention this during that interview on one of the earlier episodes. I believe anyone who has jewish parents born outside of Israel can claim an Israeli passport - maybe someone here knows better than I do. I know some jewish people who were born in the US and call themselves "proud zionists", even though they are not part of the Israeli right wing. To them is a cultural thing, more than anything.

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Maybe she has dual citizenship? I'm not sure she can win the passport game, anyway. Someone will always accuse her of favoritism because she's holding the "wrong" one.

 

 

She mention this during that interview on one of the earlier episodes. I believe anyone who has jewish parents born outside of Israel can claim an Israeli passport - maybe someone here knows better than I do. I know some jewish people who were born in the US and call themselves "proud zionists", even though they are not part of the Israeli right wing. To them is a cultural thing, more than anything.

 

She can't win the passport game because she chose to have an Israeli passport.  Merely because she is legally entitled to hold an Israeli passport doesn't meant she must have one.

 

If you're trying to set-up yourself up as someone who is as a fair and neutral arbiter between X & Y, it looks odd if you hold a passport from X when you live in Z, are a citizen of Z, are a member of Z's legislature (albeit the largely ceremonial part), pay taxes in Z, etc.

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If you're trying to set-up yourself up as someone who is as a fair and neutral arbiter between X & Y, it looks odd if you hold a passport from X when you live in Z, are a citizen of Z, are a member of Z's legislature (albeit the largely ceremonial part), pay taxes in Z, etc.

 

In fairness, I think the passport is the least of the reasons she can never be completely impartial (nor should anyone expect her to be). Her name is Stein, she has 3000 or more years of legacy in Israel in her genes, and her father, an Israeli, was killed by a Palestinian terrorist. That said, she can try as much as any human can under those circumstances to be as impartial as possible, and she seems to be sincere about doing that. It's all anyone can ask. The passport is a side issue.

Edited by Milburn Stone
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Being a British passport holder doesn't make her look impartial either. Britain had colonial rule over the land that is now Israel and the Palestinian territories. They were the ones who decided unilaterally to carve it up to enable the creation of the State of Israel. In fact, though, there's no passport anyone could hold that would not make them suspect by one side or the other. Nessa and Ephra are not going to stop being Jews who reached out to Palestinians rather than someone with no skin in the game. I can see them not wishing to dishonor their father and mother by tearing up their Israeli passports, even if this might make them look marginally more even-handed.

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These people sure don't seem very concerned about the fate of that poor little boy. Maybe I'm missing something, but no one seems very worried.

Atika is the only one who is shown grieving in his room. I also find it cold, no matter how much Nessa can compartmentalize, that we don't see some deeper reaction from her. After her initial reaction, nothing really. She seems more worried about people finding out about the secret than with the "secret" himself.

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I also find it cold, no matter how much Nessa can compartmentalize, that we don't see some deeper reaction from her. After her initial reaction, nothing really. She seems more worried about people finding out about the secret than with the "secret" himself.

 

I agree this is odd. In the absence of any explicit information from the show, I can make up some reasons that seem consistent with what we know. One is that Nessa truly isn't that attached to her son, since practically from day one she hasn't seen all that much of him. Maybe eight years of distance and denial (probably even in private family moments with the boy, since she doesn't want the boy to know the secret either, or to confuse his bonding with Atika) have created genuine emotional distance. The other reason is that she knows the kidnappers (if not personally, she knows who they represent, what faction she's dealing with, and what their M.O. is ), and therefore she knows they have no interest in harming the boy as long as she can figure out some way to meet their ransom demands. Her torment focuses on how to do this.

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You first reason is very likely. I would be more sympathetic to her if the second reason is also true. maybe I am too emotional, but the fact that she does not seem worried about how the kid is being treated, if he is well, bothers me a lot

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It sounded to me like the new Palestinian contractor for the third stage cabling told Nessa that Meshal was their first plant, which would mean that both are connected to the Palestinian sect. I don't doubt that the CIA wants to preserve the status quo with the sniffer. That would seem to preclude them being allied with the Palestinian sect--although not with them working with the Palestinian authority. So I'd say that "she" is Nessa agreeing to give Meshal the contract, which means the sect getting the contract, which means bye-bye Meshal--and probably the other PLO minder as well. The US has to want some clueless Israeli or Palestinian contractor but not a sharp cookie like Shlomo or a tool of the Papa Steiin killer, since that would compromise the CIA's piggyback operation.

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I dig how much Stephen Rea underplays his scenes. Holy crap, he's great.

 

I sighed with disappointment at the rape plotline. I agree with Mark that relying on it is lazy, but that's not the worst of it, to me, anyhow. Nessa actually has a government official who takes her side! Who doesn't shame her! Who's willing to prosecute as a matter of course! (Yeah, I wish that happened irl, but: hah.) ....And she says nah, don't bother. I'm broken, geddit? I actually had it coming! URGHLE.

 

Also lazy? A literal Chekhov's gun!

 

For all that, though, I still hang on every minute of this show. OMG so good.

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I sighed with disappointment at the rape plotline. I agree with Mark that relying on it is lazy, but that's not the worst of it, to me, anyhow. Nessa actually has a government official who takes her side! Who doesn't shame her! Who's willing to prosecute as a matter of course! (Yeah, I wish that happened irl, but: hah.) ....And she says nah, don't bother. I'm broken, geddit? I actually had it coming! URGHLE.

 

URGHLE is putting it mildly. Fuck you, Hugo Blick.

 

Also lazy? A literal Chekhov's gun!

 

That was so blatant I had to laugh.

 

If I've been paying attention properly, one of the main plots is getting the "right" people to lay the fiber-optic cables so that other people can eavesdrop. But doesn't that maintenance hole that everyone seems to be able to get in and out of so easily allow for further access to the cable? So if you know where that is, you can then monkey around with the lines to your heart's content? Or is there just a computer hub for diagnostic purposes in the hole?

 

All of this seems a long way to go to get a sniffer placed. Or is it what the line is connected to that makes it so valuable? Even so, it still seems to me that there is an easier way to acheive this than three kidnappings. multiple murders, a corporate coup (as it were), and lots of spywork.

 

 

Edited by dubbel zout
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My favorite part of this episode was when the Stephen Rea character met the Israeli guy at the park.  While they were sitting there discussing who killed Meshal, in the background a dog lifted his leg and peed on a bush.  Obviously totally random, but it seemed symbolic to me.

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All of this seems a long way to go to get a sniffer placed. Or is it what the line is connected to that makes it so valuable?

 

I hope the sniffer is only a means to an end. It can only intercept calls made over landlines, right? What self-respecting terrorists or intelligence agencies use landlines? All the major players on Honorable Woman have secure satellite phones, for instance.

 

I too am disgusted at the implication that Nessa either believes she deserves many repetitions of her rape while in captivity or, even worse, that she masochistically enjoyed it and is looking for more of the same.

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If I've been paying attention properly, one of the main plots is getting the "right" people to lay the fiber-optic cables so that other people can eavesdrop. But doesn't that maintenance hole that everyone seems to be able to get in and out of so easily allow for further access to the cable? So if you know where that is, you can then monkey around with the lines to your heart's content? Or is there just a computer hub for diagnostic purposes in the hole?

Your questions are my questions

 

About the rape: this is very messed up. If she thinks she "deserves" to be raped, and we have only two episodes left, she is doomed. She was raped, assaulted, beaten. And why didn't the agent just arrest the guy/call the police? Seriously, she was bleeding, he kew it. I know it is a show, but this attitude without any explanation infuriates me. I was once sexually assaulted and every single person I told, close "friends", blamed me. The agent was on her side!

 

 

in the background a dog lifted his leg and peed on a bush.

I noticed that too, and I actually got distracted by it and missed part of the dialogue

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I think because then it would become public, and Nessa's reputation is important to her. The rapist taunted Nessa that he knew who she was this time.

I am a little lost on who the agent actually is. Isn't he required to report crimes? Or he is, but won't because Nessa is a "special case? 

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Even though the rapist wasn't officially arrested, I sensed an inference that he was "taken care of" in some way -- since rape was not on the menu for that corporate apartment or whatever, there are consequences for the guy even without a formal charge? (Obviously not adequate punishment, but...)

 

God, Ephra and his man-pain. Give me strength.

 

Can someone also clarify; I thought the burned-face man was the same soldier who raped Nessa/fathered Kasim. But I couldn't tell if he knew that Kasim was his bio-kid or not. There was something about the performance that made me go back and forth on that. Thoughts? Or is this guy not Kasim's father?

 

BTW- Kasim never speaks. What's up with that?

 

My theory about who "she" is: I think "she" is Atika. And I think she agreed to the kidnapping. I think she's been a sleeper. Someone more clever than me posited this theory in a previous thread and I was in denial but I have to bow down to their evil genius.

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BTW- Kasim never speaks. What's up with that?

Bad casting. They can't find a good child actor and pick those kids that can follow prompts but cannot act. then we get these not believable child characters. How I wish every other child was just like these, the silent ones

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I am a little lost on who the agent actually is.

 

If you mean the guy in the hospital/clinic with Nessa after the attack, that was Hugh, the MI6 guy. He's the one spying on his wife from across the street. (Aside: Lindsay Duncan is criminally underused in this series.) I don't know if he has a legal responsibility to report the assault, but I, too, got the feeling the rapist was going to get his via other channels.

 

My theory about who "she" is: I think "she" is Atika. And I think she agreed to the kidnapping. I think she's been a sleeper.

 

So basically, Atika set this whole thing in motion? Again, I think there had to be an easier way to eavesdrop.

Edited by dubbel zout
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So basically, Atika set this whole thing in motion? Again, I think there had to be an easier way to eavesdrop.

I understand what you're saying, but it seems pretty clear that all parties involved are playing a very long game. The Palestinians have made it clear how important it was to them to have someone next to Nessa to be sure "she was who she says she is" or whatever. I don't think the pregnancy necessarily was planned, but perhaps the initial kidnapping of Atika and Nessa was, in order forge a bond. Then the Palestinians rolled with it, allowing Atika to be installed in Ephra's house, etc.

 

Later, when Mechal was killed, they took drastic action again to make sure they had leverage on Nessa to choose another Palestinian vendor.

 

I don't think Atika is the mastermind. I do think she may be a soldier.

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I'm under the impression that the following is true, but I might quite possibly be wrong, so please let me know if I am.

 

1. Shlomo's company did Stage One & Stage Two of the fiber optic cable network project

 

2. Stage One started about eight years ago (about the time Nessa was kidnapped in Gaza)

 

3. The Israeli sniffer has been there since the start (or close to it)

 

4. The American piggy-back sniffer has been there since then as well (or close to it)

 

5. Shlomo either didn't know about the sniffers, didn't care, or perhaps both (didn't know about the American piggy back, didn't care about the Israeli one)

 

6. Shlomo's loose ties to "baddies" was based on a forged dossier that had a transfer to or from a Lebanese bank on a Lebanese banking holiday.

 

7. The dossier, or the info in it, originated from Chatwin and made its way to Nessa via her bodyguard (played by Tobias M).  If this is true, did Chatwin get it from the Americans?

 

8. Because of that fake dossier, Shlomo was out of the running for Stage Three.

 

9. Stage Three was originally awarded to a Palestinian whose murder was made to look like suicide.

 

I'm just not sure why the Americans would do all this (if they both created the fake dossier and killed the Palestinian).  Things seemed to be humming along nicely with Shlomo.

 

Maybe some of these are just red herrings.  Perhaps the Palestinians behind the Tariq from Tyrant, the guy who was just "awarded" Stage Three, wanted the business.  They kidnapped Nessa's kid, and killed the first Palestinian (his 4 second telephone call just being white noise).  But I'm not sure how they would have arrnaged the fake dossier (to get rid of Shlomo).  I'd also think they'd be a little less likely to have the Lebanese banking holiday error.

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Constantinople, I believe your listed facts are correct. The only thing I can come up with is that anyone who gets access to the cables via phase three would find the sniffer, which means that Monica is working neither for the Americans nor the Israelis nor the Palestinians. Does she intend to run some off-the-books MI6 operation for which none of the contractors for phase three will work for her? Or is she the she who agreed, was in league with Meshal, and has no llink to the Americans who took him out?

 

Can someone also clarify; I thought the burned-face man was the same soldier who raped Nessa/fathered Kasim. But I couldn't tell if he knew that Kasim was his bio-kid or not. There was something about the performance that made me go back and forth on that. Thoughts? Or is this guy not Kasim's father?

 

I do think he is both Kasim's father and the assassin of Bloom/Menzies; the name of the actor who played Saleh, the Palestinian rapist, was in the credits and I don't see who else he could have been. Are you thinking that the silent boy who shot himself accidentally was Kasim? I don't think that's the case. This boy was the son of the man with whom Saleh was hiding.
 

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The guy who was following her in the car. Isn't he the same one calling Stephen Rea and reporting what ness a is doing?

Yes. He's also MI6. Hugh had him watching Nessa after he started digging around in the Stein family and foundation's pasts. The watcher brought Nessa to the hospital and called Hugh. I imagine Hugh told him not to say anything to anyone until Hugh got there and could assess the situation.

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