'The Little Drummer Girl': A new bond will be tested in Episode 5 even as fiction and reality blur for Charlie
She has been listening to Mossad's side of the story, and for the first time, Charlie will get a glimpse of the terrorists' side, and why they picked up weapons in the first place
BBC One's adaptation of John Le Carre's 1983 novel, 'The Little Drummer Girl', is gradually drawing to a close with just two episodes left in the current series. The show, helmed by Park Chan-wook, follows young and aspiring actress Charlie who is lured into posing as the lover of Palestinian terrorist Michel (played by Amir Khoury), by two Mossad agents Marty Kurtz and Becker. Starring Florence Pugh (who plays Charlie), Michael Shannon and Alexander Skarsgard (who portray the Mossad agents), the show has reached a point where the line between reality and fiction has blurred to give rise to catastrophe.
In the fourth episode, we saw Charlie awaiting a contact from Michel's people as she is being trained by Becker. He teaches her every tactic possible to outwit the terrorists who were following the notorious Israeli terrorist, Khalil (played by Charif Ghattas), which includes her gait, pose and even the way she responds to an answer and holds a gun.
The long wait soon comes to a close when, for the first time, Charlie finds herself directly exposed under Helga (played by Katharina Schüttler), one of Michel's close associates. As Helga runs her test through Charlie trying to figure if she was a fraud or, even worse, a spy, the young actress manages to pave her way through the unexpected audition with some excellent acting.
However, towards the end of the episode, we discovered that Charlie is finally pulled out of her hiding by a group of masked men who, in a way, kidnap her and move to Lebanon. This is where the story picks up, and as Charlie meets Fatmeh (played by Lubna Azabal) and Khalil, not only will her acting skills be put to test, but this time it will also test her loyalty.
Picking up from where episode four left, the fifth episode is set to follow Charlie as she enters Michel's world of guns and bombs. On meeting Fatmeh, who is also Michel's sister, Charlie will realize that she is no longer on stage, performing a fictional tale. These are real people, with real intention, whom she had to mesmerize with her convincing lies.
Charlie is already trained to believe that she is Michel's moaning lover, who apparently got shot during an encounter with Mossad. Kurtz had deliberately held back the information from her, in order to make her performance more authentic. It perfectly worked, when Helga informed about the death to Charlie who was immediately broken by the fact that there was yet another murder without her knowledge.
It will probably not be too difficult for her to pretend that she is heartbroken by the same intensity while interacting with Fatmeh and Khalil. However, there is still a lurking doubt if they will believe her since both Fatmeh and Khalil are keen in recognizing liars.
Will Charlie be able to gain their trust? Maybe, but in order to do that she might get too carried away with their stories. The notorious group is known to convince people to take their own lives for Islam, and Kurtz and Becker fear that Charlie might be their next target of manipulation. There is also the fact that Charlie, being the person that she is, who idealizes the whole concept of rebellion but hasn't gathered enough courage to actually be a rebel, will probably give in to Fatmeh and Khalil's stories about war and heroship, and the immense sacrifice that goes behind it.
Charlie is about to enter a territory from where there is no return unless, of course, Mossad intervenes on time to rescue her. She has been listening to Mossad's side of the story, and for the first time, she will get a glimpse of the terrorists' side, and why they picked up weapons in the first place. Charlie's shift from one end of the spectrum to the other almost represents a shift in consciousness when it comes to considering the Middle-East crisis. She is a British girl who has been sent by the Israelis to spy on the Palestinians, which makes her an onlooker as well as an insider.
Charlie is the collateral damage that any battle brings along with it. She has heard stories, worked with men in the top of the government and has taken matters into her own hands whenever it was necessary. However, now it is no more about how well Charlie can act, it is now about how well she can fathom the consequences of her actions.
Charlie is about to come into close contact with people whom the world fears. What will she find? Will this make her change her mind about the whole war, and her place in it?
'The Little Drummer Girl' will return with answers on Sunday at 9 p.m. on BBC One.