The Honorable Woman - new series on Sundance

Anybody else watch the season opener last night? Maggie Gyllenhaal in the starring role in a series about intrigue and spies. The opener left a lot of questions, but in a good way. They’ve left a lot of different avenues for this to travel, and the cast and writing seem solid. Not sure why they picked Ms. G for this, as American actors seldom get the English accent right, but I’ll leave that for our friends across the pond to comment on. It had enough ‘grab’ to bring me back next week and possibly further.

I have to watch it again- it looked interesting but I got confused really quickly at the timeline and what was going on, especially with the nanny.

Yeah, there were a few fuzzy bits. It helps me to turn on closed caption, as the accents can be thick at times.

How the hell are the accents thick. The bald Israeli has a thick accent, but that’s about it?

Not British, but lived there and AFAICT Maggie G got most of the accent right, but some words were pronounced the American way. Especially “opportunity”, she pronounced it “oppo TWO nitty”. That stood out.

A little hostile, are we? It doesn’t help that my hearing isn’t as good as it was, and the Israeli guy had some key dialog that I would have missed. I lived overseas for about 12 years, but that doesn’t mean I can always interpret English as spoken by a non-American. It doesn’t help when colloquialisms are thrown into the mix.

We’re up to episode 5 on this side of the pond. Stick with it, it’s good stuff. But if you think the opener was fuzzy… let’s just say there’s lots more intrigue to come.

I’m seriously going to have to watch eps 3 and 4 again before I have another go at 5. I made the mistake of doing my usual pissing about online when watching, but this is something that actually demands complete attention. It’s very Le Carre that way.

We just watched the first episode. I thought it was generally well made and interesting, although I thought at times the artsy little touches went a bit too far. Also, were we supposed to know (JUST from watching episode 1) what was going on with the two electronic devices (timers?) that the suicide (?) guy turned on at the very beginning? Also, was it made clear what the relationship is between Ephara Stein (Maggie’s brother) and the lady whose kid was kidnapped?

Also, the kidnapping (or failed murder?) plot at the concert was one of those evil plots that are either overly elaborate, or depend on the good guys doing one exactly precise thing, or both. Someday some TV character will actually have competent security arrangements, and some TV villain will concoct an evil scheme which is actually sensible.

My wife and I do a mental stockcheck at the end of each episode…what do we actually know ? What’s confirmed ? It’s wonderful.

I’m Irish, but I thought Ms. Gyllenhaal’s accent was just about perfect. My English brother-in-law can’t find fault with it.

Yeah, I didn’t really get what happened to suicide guy either. Obviously, it wasn’t a suicide, but it wasn’t at all clear to me what actually took place in that sequence.

I almost gave up on the entire show right after that scene, because it seemed like the whole thing was going to be vague and confusing little artsily-composed vignettes full of visual symoblism yada yada yada. Fortunately it settled down into more normalcy for the rest of the episode.

Ah, Sundance. I thought it was Showtime. No wonder I couldn’t find it.

I’m looking forward to this. From the reviews I’ve read, it seems that a lot of stuff doesn’t get explained until much later in the series.

Yeah, I’m definitely still intrigued at this point. But to me there’s a big difference between a reaction of “ooh, that was so mysterious, I can’t wait to find out what it meant, or who that masked man was” and “umm, what just happened? Did I miss something? I can’t tell whether that was supposed to be a mystery or just a piece of confusing editing obfuscating what happened… Agh!”. At least a few bits of episode 1 leaned toward the latter rather than the former.

And she said CON-tro-verse-y. Also, a syllable here and there struck my ear as American. Overall, though, a good job (but not flawless).

I’m not clear, either, but I think the alarm clock (?) out on the balcony was set to ring so that he’d go out on the balcony, and also so that in the course of picking up the device and turning off the alarm, he’d get his fingerprints on the “suicide note.”

I suppose we’ll eventually get a flashback from another angle, showing the killer lurking to the side of the balcony doors or such.

Possible spoilers for latter episodes, but I don’t think Americans will like it much. The US is not portrayed in a nice way.

Well, the CIA are not very nice people, and some of our foreign policy has led to the problems in the Middle East, so I’m not surprised.

Chefguy’s response is probably a good illustration of why “the US is not portrayed in a nice way” won’t be a problem for the show’s success in the US: the target audience for this show was never the “America, love it or leave it” crowd. The target audience is those better-educated folks who are well aware of the moral ambiguities of global politics, including that practiced by the current government and by its predecessors.

Okay, the series is on demand, so I went back and watched the scene of the “suicide”. The guy is in his apartment, changing clothes. He hears the chirp of the timer, which is sitting on his keyboard and goes to investigate. There is a document on screen in Arabic. He touches the keyboard, leaving his fingerprints, and sets the timer next to it. He hears another chirp and goes out onto his deck, where he sees another timer sitting on top of a printed letter, also in Arabic. He picks up the letter (getting his prints on it), and looks around, first at his flag, then over at what is clearly the American Embassy (with its flag flying). There’s a noise, and we see a shot up the flagpole. Next scene is him hanging dead from the flagpole rope. Jumpscene to the laptop computer which now has a sealed envelope sitting on it, pan to the left where we see the beeper is now gone and we see his name on an envelope that is sitting there. Jumpscene to the banquet and the same name on a place card.

So it’s obvious that his suicide is an assassination, and quite possibly the Americans are behind it, although that could be misdirection (since he’s Middle Eastern, it could be the Mossad, and perhaps Ms. G is a recruited agent for Israel).

Just saw the second episode (spoilers for it ahead)… I’m still overall enjoying it, although it is a veneer of gritty authenticity over some total nonsense. I’m sure that any top secret spy agency in the world has offices with huge floor-to-ceiling windows outside all the offices. Sure.

And that FBI agent was too stupid for words. Although I suspect that the entire operation to kill her was also needlessly overly elaborate.
I have a VERY strong suspicion that I know what the big secret is that Atika and Nessa are talking about (spoiler boxed only if you don’t want to read my totally uninformed guess):

Salim is really Nessa’s son, presumably one due to rape while she was held captive. When they were freed, they agreed Atika would raise him as her own, to avoid the stigma that would accrue to both mother and son

I agree with your spoiler, and thought it was pretty clearly shown that that was the case. I like the show. It’s sort of like Homeland, without the quivering chins.