‘The Old Man’ Episode 4: Recap And Ending, Explained – How Does Dan & Zoe Fit Into New Identities?


Episode 4 of FX’s thriller series “The Old Man” has arrived with more exposition of the characters we have been watching. The sudden but also a gradually forthcoming reversal of the two female characters serves as the highlight of this episode, as Zoe and Angela are explored more since their current positions have already been laid bare. Action scenes have been limited to the scenes from the past, as the present is more embroiled in diplomacy and fighting one’s fights in official ways.

‘The Old Man’ Episode 4: Recap And Ending

“The Old Man” episode 4 begins exactly where episode 3 had ended, as Dan Chase is seen looking inside the trunk of his car; he reaches in and performs a short action to then walk away a few steps and wait, when Zoe helps herself out of the trunk. Dan explains the situation some more, as to why he had to abduct the woman and what the next consequences were, but Zoe remains silent throughout, both from anger as well as shock. The man asks her to call her son and say that she is safe and is being held hostage against her will by Dan, so that authorities will not consider her as a suspect in Dan’s escape. Zoe follows suit, but her son does not pick up the call, and she does not put in any message on his voicemail after calling multiple times. The two soon leave the place and drive away, picking up new clothes and a new identity along the way to Los Angeles. Dan takes on the role of Henry Dixon, a rich investor in an investment fund called Corsair Finance, and Zoe is given the role of Henry’s wife, Marcia Dixon. While it is not exactly made clear whether Henry Dixon is a completely new identity, the feeling throughout the episode is that Henry Dixon was probably an identity created by Dan many years back, and he now steps back into that role. He and Zoe start living in a large, lavish apartment, one that he owns, and Dan immediately meets with Henry Dixon’s professional accountant, Zachary. As Henry, Dan tells Zachary that he wants to make a large equity investment in a particular company very quickly, within a day or two, in order to grab the attention of the company’s director-general, Suleyman Pavlovich. Zachary is seen set back by this sudden demand, though, as he plays down such an idea.

It is quickly established that the man Dan takes the name of, Suleyman Pavlovich, was also intricately linked to his past and to everyone else’s back in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion. At the time, rebel leader Faraz Hamzad had already accepted Dan, then known as Johnny Kohler, as his very close friend and confidant. One night, Hamzad’s wife, Belour, and some of his men return to their base shaken up, after having been roughed up in a Soviet camp that had been torturing Afghan villagers. Belour had also been shot at, and Hamzad immediately wanted armed revenge against it, with which Belour disagreed, saying that it was too dangerous to attack such a large army outpost. Dan now stepped up and suggested that they conduct a sneaky invasion into the camp, which he also planned. Finally, he and members of the rebel group took down Soviet soldiers in the camp one after the other, hiding themselves in dark shadows amidst a heavy thunderstorm. At the end of the covert operation, the men bring back one hostage to their own base and to Hamzad—the Soviet camp’s head, Suleyman Pavlovich. While deep inside his conscience, Dan knows that the capture of Pavlovich will result in Hamzad ultimately growing too powerful (which is presented in the episode through a woman, supposedly his wife Abbey Chase, as she was later on in her life, telling him all this and warning him against making Hamzad more powerful, and then the woman is seen to be only part of Dan’s imagination), Dan does not stop the angry rebel mob from taking Pavlovich away. It is certain that Suleyman Pavlovich survived the time, and now Dan wants to establish a connection with him, possibly because the man knows something that Dan wants to be kept hidden forever.

Certain important advances are made in the FBI counterintelligence office as well, the most important of which is a call that Harold Harper receives from the assassin he had hired, Julian Carson. As he recovers from his gunshot wounds, Carson tells Harper that all the signs in Zoe’s house suggested that Dan Chase was already very ready to leave and flee the scene, and the man also suspects that Dan even knew that the police would come in shortly after Carson. The hitman insists that there is most definitely an informant inside his own FBI team who is revealing crucial information to Dan Chase, helping him escape the authorities every time. This makes Harper join the dots, and he, too, grows suspicious that such a thing might actually be happening. After the police and higher authorities finally officially admit that they have lost track of Dan Chase, some three days after the SWAT team invasion of Zoe’s house, Harper and his team set an appointment with Faraz Hamzad’s attorney to try and set up direct communication with the man and ask him why he is searching for Dan. However, this meeting takes Harper to quite a point of no return, as the attorney clearly states that she and her team have provable information that Dan Chase’s escape was helped by Harold Harper himself, and she cites that one phone call Harper had made to Dan in “The Old Man” Episode 1. In response, Harper tries to establish his importance in leading Faraz Hamzad towards all the answers that he is seeking, and when the attorney denies any such questions about her client, the FBI assistant director reveals to her about Hamzad, Belour, and Dan’s inter-mingled romantic past. The attorney gets in touch with her client and quickly informs Harper that he has been asked to take a private flight in half an hour to some unknown location, and Hamzad will carry out a conversation only if he follows. Despite knowing the danger of blindly following the orders of a man who was once the leader of an armed rebel group, Harold Harper has no option but to agree, and his devoted protégé, Angela Adams, also accompanies him.

At the end of a day’s work, Dan Chase returns to the LA apartment and finds Zoe waiting for him at the dinner table. The two seem to have somewhat settled into their new roles, and Zoe was also earlier seen practicing the signature of Marcia Dixon. However, the real reason for her doing so is revealed, as Zoe’s character is given a reversal from the meek and shaken-up state that she is seen in throughout the episode. Realizing that her back was already up against the wall and that she really did not have much more to lose, Zoe decides to take control of her life into her own hands. Completely taking on the role of Marcia Dixon, she gives Dan a letter which she promises to send to his (Henry’s) office within a short time if he does not comply with her demands. The letter, addressed to the company, Corsair Finance, states that she is filing for a divorce from her husband, Henry, and this would definitely cause major trouble for Dan and his company. Along with that, his intention of hiding from intelligence agencies will also be ruptured, as his cover will most definitely be blown. Zoe now states that she does want to help him, but only if her worth is guaranteed—she wants half of Dan’s wealth and property, and she insists that this sudden act of hers is not for the money but only to ensure her own safety and build leverage that she would have against him, as opposed to just being a puppet moved around by Dan Chase’s whims.

What Is Emily Chase’s Intention In Trying To Meet Faraz Hamzad?

“The Old Man” episode 4 establishes Emily’s role in this entire fiasco to be something very personal to her, as opposed to the procurement of any particular information or something like that, and the episode largely adds depth to Emily’s character. It is established very early in the episode that Emily, or Angela Adams’, warm relationship with her boss, Harold Harper, extends beyond the professional space, as Angela is very close to the man’s family as well. In the past, she had been very well acquainted with Harold’s son and also with his daughter-in-law, and now she is very close to Harold’s grandson, who tells her about his feelings and thoughts with much more ease than to his grandfather. This close relationship that Emily has established with Harold does not appear insincere or only to get her job done at all, as the woman genuinely seems to look up to Harper as a senior and even somewhat of a fatherly figure. This is not too amiss given the circumstances of Emily’s life either, as she is obviously terribly lonely in her life. Despite always having her mother by her side till her death, Emily always felt that there was something hidden about her mother. She reveals this to her colleague Ray Waters, as she says that she always felt that a part of her mother, a different life that she might have had some time in the past, had always been hidden from her. After her mother’s demise, or possibly after she grew up and found a professional posting in the FBI, Emily’s relationship with her father was also limited to secretive phone calls. Barring from the very first phone call seen in “The Old Man” Episode 1, all such communications between her and Dan are also always about the imminent danger in their lives. It is from this point that a crisis gradually develops in Emily’s life. Unlike her father’s spy instincts of always getting close to people to get his job done, Emily has been unable to keep herself detached from the few relationships that she has made. Despite knowing very well that Harold is at the exact opposite end of authority, working against her father, she cannot lose her sincere feelings and respect for the man with the snap of a finger.

When she informs Dan that she is about to accompany Harper and Ray to meet with Hamzad’s lawyer, her father begs her not to, asking her to flee the scene and change her identity, but Emily vehemently rejects the idea. Dan again repeats the same thing when he hears that his daughter is about to take the flight to the unknown location with Harper, most possibly to meet with Hamzad, but Emily once again dismisses him. Again, unlike her father, fleeing a scene and a set life to change identities and settle into a new life is never an option for Emily. Besides, she also clearly states that she enjoys her role as Angela Adams, that she has worked too hard to create her position in her professional field, and now is totally against throwing all that hard work away. Finally, in sharp contrast to episode 1, where Emily was seen asking Dan not to cut off all communications with her, Emily now tells her father that he cannot stay in touch with her anymore as it is too dangerous, while Dan pleads with her not to do so.

However, what Emily still seems to be unaware of though is the fact that a slight suspicion on her has already entered Harold Harper’s mind. When the two meet at Harper’s house at the beginning of “The Old Man” Episode 4, Harold asks her why she is so intrigued every time Belour is mentioned. Emily tries to pass this off by saying that her interest is purely professional, as Belour was the third person in the whole Dan Chase-Faraz Hamzad feud, and because comparatively less information is known about the woman. However, Harold is, after all, a veteran FBI agent, and his suspicions rise after his call with Julian Carson. When he tells Hamzad’s lawyer about Belour and her actions in Afghanistan, Harold is seen taking notice of Angela’s reactions, and the woman’s eyes understandably light up every time her mother’s past life is mentioned. Harold is not yet seen working on his suspicions, though, and his conversation with Ray at the episode’s end suggests that he did perhaps look at Angela as his own child, but is now terribly disappointed after realizing that she has been working against him.

What To Expect From ‘The Old Man’ Episode 5?

Staying put with the context, when and how Harold Harper expresses his realizations to Emma will be something to look forward to, as it is felt that such an exposition might be coming quite soon. What the introduction of Suleyman Pavlovich will bring to the series is also something to wait for, particularly with respect to what the Soviet hostage might have seen or learned during his time in Hamzad’s rebel camp. With Zoe’s character turning into an intelligent character not scared to create pressure on Dan Chase, where this side of the story goes is quite interesting. Finally, the biggest revelation still in waiting is definitely the introduction of Faraz Hamzad into the present, as what his exact demands are will clearly be laid bare to us then.

See More: ‘The Old Man’ Episode 5: Recap & Ending, Explained: What Does Dan Chase Do After Knowing Of Emily’s Danger?

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Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya keeps an avid interest in all sorts of films, history, sports, videogames and everything related to New Media. Holding a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies, he is currently working as a teacher of Film Studies at a private school and also remotely as a Research Assistant and Translator on a postdoctoral project at UdK Berlin.

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