'The Little Drummer Girl': Charlie and Becker's love story is the heart of the plot in Episode 4
The two characters have been maintaining their distance from each other, but it's about time that they set their differences aside.
Episode 4 of director Park Chan-wook's show, 'The Little Drummer Girl', was a long wait for Charlie (played by Florence Pugh) who is now back with her drama troupe in London. As she awaits a message from Michel's (played by Amir Khoury) people, she is not only put through the biggest audition in the script but for the first time, Charlie actually gets to know Becker's (played by Alexander Skarsgard) real story. Since the beginning, the two have developed a strange yet strong bond but never really opened up to each other. Finally, in the fourth episode, the chemistry between the two characters who have been acting as catalysts for each other has taken the center stage in the story.
As reality and fiction gradually begin to mingle in this episode, Charlie realizes that she is not a part of any script or an act or a play. Instead, this was a real-life conspiracy by the authority to bring down an organization of terrorists, and Charlie is in the center of it all. Although she has been quite the rebel herself yet all this while it was a rebellion without a cause. However, things are different this time. She is with real people, in real time, dealing with situations that she was always passionate about but never truly understood. Speaking with the Boston Globe about Charlie's situation, Pugh explained, "Charlie doesn’t quite belong in this world she gets drawn into."
The closest she got to this unknown world was through Becker and Marty Kurtz (played by Michael Shannon), both of whom are extremely complicated and clever men. While Kurtz has held the reins of the theatre of the real in his hands, Becker has been the wheel of the play. As Kurtz kept throwing instructions at the other Mossad agents, Becker's duty was to take Charlie ahead in the play, push her boundaries, sometimes beyond limits. Unlike Kurtz, Becker falls weak each time he has to push Charlie to do something. He clearly knows that whatever was happening to Charlie was unforgiving, but that is the only way. This is where the fourth episode strikes a chord with the viewers.
Throughout the last three episodes, Becker has been able to maintain his distance from Charlie; he lied to her the least he could and resisted her approaches as calmly as possible. However, with Michel's people trying to contact Charlie, Becker seems to have realized the actual danger coming their way. He knows that now Charlie's life is at stake and any wrong move could not only hamper the course of the mission but also bring disaster to an entire nation. He lets down his guard probably to make Charlie realize that she is not the only ordinary citizen involved in this game. A widower and soldier, Becker has seen the worst of it all and he is well aware of what could happen to Charlie.
Skarsgard said, "The love between Charlie and Becker, and how it grows, is in many ways the heart of the story." Charlie and Becker act as catalysts to each other, one always seems to push the other into indefinite directions. While Becker has been guiding Charlie through Marty's script, Charlie has been leading Becker out of the script. This constant pull and push between the two characters collide in the fourth episode, where they finally open up to each other- probably for one last time. The long scene of consummation was more of an act for Charlie to walk through the bruised maps on Becker's body.
This act of discovery between the two characters seems to add a new dimension to each of them. Charlie realizes Becker's need to pull down the terrorists, a former war-hero he has seen the worst and the best in men, and Charlie has always wanted to experience human nature in its extreme. Becker is not a dreamer of freedom, he has fought for it and has paid the price. Charlie, on the other hand, spent her life reading and learning about freedom, she has taught herself to admire freedom. Becker is the closest impersonation of freedom that she could see, and it was more than enough for her to know his story about war.
The consummating act seemed to embody Charlie's growing understanding of Becker, as she absorbed his entire past. His story was like a final push for her before she would set foot on the actual battleground where she would meet Michel's people. When the enforcer Helga (played by Katharina Schüttler) finally arrives, Charlie pulls off her most brilliant and convincing act to date. She is told for the first time about Michel's death, and the precise shift from anger to grief was skilfully done in the situation. She not only managed to convince them she is the real catch, but she had also assured them that she was on their side in this fight.
However, this little piece of information does form a crack between her and Becker but it certainly proved to be a complete success as towards the end of the episode, we see Fatmeh (Lubna Azabal)- Michel's sister- take Charlie in her grip. Charlie was first under the manipulative eyes of Kurtz, and now she is under speculating eyes of Fatmeh. Although she had passed the former's test successfully, it is only a matter of time before we know if she has passed this test too. However, Becker has prepared her for the most of it, and for the rest, he knows, Charlie will manage to improvise her way through all the schemes and manipulations. 'The Little Drummer Girl' returns on Sunday at 9 p.m. on BBC One.