'The Old Man' Episode 7 Review: Despite the flaws, Jeff Bridges' spy thriller ends on a solid note
It's excruciating to sit through at least over twenty commercials even as 'The Old Man' puts the pedal to the metal in the season finale. Episode 7 is hampered by the constant commercial breaks, the slow pacing of the story, and the lack of Jeff Bridges in what is ideally the most important chapter of the season. Amy Brenneman fans will be disappointed that her Zoe McDonald has a rather abrupt exit, even though it's safe to say that we haven't seen the last of her.
'The Old Man' generally spans just over an hour, but the finale may have as well ended in 45 minutes if not for some clunky conversations. Nonetheless, the slick action sequences that give it a rather 'Homeland' feel still make it a solid episode. Much of episode seven hinges on one massive reveal — Emily (Alia Shawkat) is Faraz Hamzad's daughter. Chase (Bridges) and Belour/Abbey (Leem Lubany) whisk her away when they flee to the United States after the Afghan warlord realizes that his own wife was leaking confidential information to keep her husband and his people safe. Hamzad doesn't buy it and still suspects her of foul play.
That Chase and Belour may have fallen in love is explicitly mentioned, but there is enough to suggest from the former's account that he was indeed played by his wife at the end, who did keep secrets from him. John Lithgow's Harold Harper is a bonafide actions star when he wants to be and he demonstrates that side of his acting chops when he's involved in a car chase sequence. There's some Expendables feel to the who scene where two decorated Hollywood veterans still kick ass. It's a neat refresher to an otherwise slow episode.
Technically, there is no sequel to Thomas Perry's novel, so that would mean Season 2 putting in additional material to span the same number of episodes as Season 1 did. The finale ends with Emily reunited with her actual father who despite his failing age, is still deadly and in control. Maybe a few episodes in the upcoming season would all be about the father and daughter even as her actual "dads" are hot on her trail. Brenneman will surely return in some capacity while the same can't be said for EJ Bonilla's Raymond Waters who is the major casualty in the first installment.
Minus the flaws, 'The Old Man' is still a great show. It's perfect for those wanting to binge, and it's got all the elements that go into the making of a perfect spy thriller. It's unfortunate that the series stumbles a bit in one of the more important episodes, but there's no taking away the fact that it had one humdinger of a run.
'The Old Man' will return with Season 2 on FX.