‘The Veil’ Episode 3 Recap & Ending Explained: What Is The Terrorists’ Plan?

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FX’s new thriller series The Veil streams its third episode this week after building an interesting premise in the premiere episodes, and the threat of an ISIS terrorist attack looms larger over its world. The show is focused on Imogen Salter, an agent for the British intelligence service, MI6, who is currently recruited by the French DGSE authorities on a particular covert mission. As Imogen had rescued the target, a woman named Adilah El Idrissi, the authorities determined that she had indeed been telling the truth. Imogen, however, remains steadfast in her belief that Adilah is not who she claims herself to be and is determined to uncover the whole truth.

Spoiler Alert


Why is Imogen helping her target?

The Veil had established through its two premiere week episodes that the protagonist, Imogen Salter, is a hardened and veteran spy who can master almost every situation she is in. After being hired by the French Directorate-General for External Security, the MI6 agent reached a camp on the Syrian/Turkish border, rescued the target she had been given, and then went rogue on the mission as well. Her companion was Adilah El Idrissi, a woman believed to be a notorious ISIS leader known as the Djinn of Al Raqqa, and she was to bring her to the DGSE office in Edip Koyu. However, Imogen disobeyed the order and instead took Adilah to Istanbul, where she even arranged for her safe passage back to France illegally. In The Veil episode 3, the two women are seen returning to Paris, and they make it through the immigration authorities without any hitch.

Despite the authorities in the Western world believing her to be Sabaine Al Kubaisi, the Djinn of Al Raqqa, Adilah had always claimed that she was just a normal woman from Paris who had gotten involved with the militant organization mistakenly. She stated that she had to leave her young daughter behind in Paris while she had to spend her days at the refugee camp, and this story was fact-checked by the authorities in the background. With the threat of the resurgence of ISIS very possible, the American authorities had also gotten involved in the matter through the brash but effective CIA agent, Max Peterson. It was Max and his CIA team that briefly kidnapped the young girl, who matched the description of Adilah’s daughter, and ran a DNA test on her. Although the test confirmed that she was indeed related to Adilah, and the authorities subsequently eased their investigation slightly, Imogen refused to retract from her case.

The protagonist still very firmly believes that Adilah is indeed an ISIS general who has been lying low for so long, only to take control of a unit at present. There had been solid evidence that Imogen got at the end of the previous episode as well when she wiretapped Adilah’s phone and heard her talking to someone about the imminent success of their plan. However, the character of Imogen, and especially her particular way of working, is integral to The Veil, so helping the target she has been assigned is also part of her very detailed plan. Imogen simply wants to make Adilah trust her to a great extent, almost blindly, so that she can exert control and power over her. Ever since her meeting with the woman in the refugee camp, she has been pretending to believe the French woman completely.

Imogen tells Adilah that she believes her to be a very normal French citizen who had gotten caught up in an unwanted situation, and therefore, she wants to help her out. Her process of building trust continues in Paris as well, when Adilah is finally seen meeting with her daughter, Yasmina, and the two are naturally delighted to see each other. Although she had gone rogue from her mission, Imogen had still maintained contact with the DGSE officer and her supposed fling, Malik Amar, telling him about the fact that they were headed to Paris. Therefore, the agent knows all too well that Adilah’s apartment will be bugged by surveillance devices by the authorities, and she warns the woman about the same. Imogen tells her to take shelter at some other address instead, once again pretending to be her friend.

It is not like Imogen is merely pretending to help Adilah, but is genuinely doing so in the short term to ensure that she will open up to her when the situation comes. Imogen does not tell the authorities about the real location of the target, and neither does she help Malik out in any other way. When Adilah calls up Imogen’s phone, both of them are aware that their lines are being listened to by the DGSE and the CIA, once again, because Imogen herself had warned about this possibility. Therefore, they have a fake but convincing conversation over the phone, fixing a meeting at a certain restaurant where they are obviously not going to go. Incidentally, Imogen and Malik get romantically intimate in Paris during this time, and the real nature of their relationship is also revealed. Neither of the characters trusts each other, despite their physical proximity, which in itself seems to be born out of necessity.

It can now be understood that Imogen had first gotten intimate with Malik, knowing very well that he was in the DGSE, only so that she could get in touch with Adilah. Similarly, Malik now makes use of the romantic day they spend together by slipping tracking devices into the woman’s bag and even on her shirt. Unfortunately for him, Imogen had seen through this plan, and as soon as she steps out to have a meeting with Adilah, she gets rid of both the trackers. Finally, when the two women meet at an old cemetery, the real personal reason behind Imogen’s decision to help her target is revealed. Along with this personal drive, though, there is also a sense of ego and pride in Imogen, which makes her get more involved in this case. As she admits to Malik, she too can change identities and her background stories at the drop of a hat, just like Adilah, whom she believes to be the Djinn of Al Raqqa, called so because of her ability to hide and change identities. Therefore, Imogen sees Adilah almost like a worthy competitor and wants to bring her down through calculated moves, just like in a match of chess.


Does Imogen lie to Adilah?

The Veil does not leave any dilemma about Adilah’s character either, and although we do not know exactly what she is up to, it is very evident that she is not as simple-minded as the others think her to be. Adilah is indeed part of a network of terrorists who have religious inclinations and are almost definitely members of the Islamic State. Therefore, as soon as the woman is back on her known turf, she is quick to question Imogen’s identity and motives. When the women were readying to take their flight to Paris from Bulgaria, a man walked up to them and rather suspiciously informed Adilah about certain developments made by her superiors. Imogen ignores this act, most definitely to build trust in her target’s mind, and Adilah seems to question this very decision of hers. Over a phone call to a close associate, she expresses her growing doubts about the woman pretending to be her close friend, and soon, a confrontation follows.

During their secret meeting at the graveyard, Adilah takes Imogen to the grave of her grandfather, pulls out a gun from behind it, and holds it against her, forcing her to reveal her intentions. It is now that Imogen reveals to Adilah that she is an MI6 agent who has been working for the French authorities. She talks about a very personal incident from her past in which her father, also an intelligence agent posing to be a diplomat, was reported to have died in a terrorist car explosion. The incident had taken place in Turkey, where Imogen’s father had been posted at the time, and it was revealed that the Revolutionary Communist Party, or TDKP, had been the ones behind the attack on the British diplomat. After growing up and definitely pursuing the matter, Imogen learned that at the time of her father’s death, the TDKP was being controlled by the CIA, and this gave her an important lead into investigating why her father was so brutally murdered. 

Although she does not directly answer Adilah’s question about her motives, Imogen is able to convince her that she is telling the truth and that she genuinely wants to help her and her daughter build a good life. It does seem like the protagonist simply lies about her past to get rid of the growing suspicion, and that she has basically told Adilah a made-up story. She does make use of the story and the situation to get rid of Adilah’s doubts about her, and she continues to grow the bond between them stronger. However, towards the end of the episode, it becomes clear that Imogen has not entirely lied about her past. In fact, she meets with Max Peterson, revealing that she has been communicating with the CIA agent behind the backs of their mutual friends at DGSE. This is because both of them can help each other, and so they have decided to eliminate the middlemen completely.

Max Peterson and the CIA want Imogen to continue acting friendly with Adilah and getting close to her so that she can retrieve information about the possible ISIS attack and warn them about it. However, Imogen also wants something in return, making it clear that she is part of the plan only because of her personal motives, which are to learn more about her father’s death. Imogen asks Max to find out about the links between the TDKP and the CIA around the time that her father, Marcus Seabright, was assassinated. When Max refuses to do so, she threatens to leak information about something he was involved in in Morocco in 2013, and the mere mention of this makes the CIA agent change his mind. 

Thus, the man seen in Imogen’s short but intense flashbacks in The Veil episodes 1 and 2 was her father, whose love and guidance she dearly misses. She has now been making use of Adilah, almost like a piece of negotiation against the CIA, ensuring that she would hold power against the agency through the terrorist attack plan, and so would be given all the information she wants. However, Imogen’s plan is going to get trickier, as Adilah and her associates are also planning to deal with her soon. The French woman receives a message from someone informing her to bring Imogen to a meeting the following day so that the MI6 agent can either be killed or held hostage. It would be interesting to see how Imogen avoids this situation or at least fights against it.


What is the terrorist plan in the works?

The Veil episode 3 also sheds more light on the terrorist attack that is actually being planned, with conspirators preparing to execute it very soon. Before leaving the refugee camp, Adilah had buried her phone at a specific spot near her tent, and a man is seen retrieving the device at present. When the camp director and his head of communications tried to question the man, they were shot dead in a style that very much resembled the Russian FSB’s operations. Although the Russian link has mostly been kept unexplored so far, it is very possible that this will become quite integral to the terrorist attack plot because, after all, the attack is being planned against the USA. Right after the man at the camp, Hasad retrieves Adilah’s phone and establishes communications through it, putting a whole plan into motion.

Two men, who had been chosen to be martyrs for their religion, are told to carry out their orders at an abandoned hospital in the Iraqi city of Mosul. They are sent into an old wing to retrieve the toxic cores from two old radiology machines and place them inside secure lead containers. As the exposure to the extreme radiation very quickly kills the two men, it is revealed that the terrorist attack is actually an act of biological warfare. Over the episode’s duration, it is also revealed that a ship from Bulgaria is scheduled to sail to the east coast of the USA in the coming days as part of a goodwill pact decided in a recent NATO meeting. The captain of this ship happens to be a man named Emir, who had earlier spoken to Adilah over a phone call. 

Therefore, it is no surprise that the containers inside which the radiation cores are kept are brought over and placed inside the ship. The plan is to launch an attack on the USA with these cores, the exposure to which can easily blind and kill people within minutes. Emir seems to be the one overseeing part of the entire plan, which included retrieving Adilah’s phone from the refugee camp. It is possible that he is also the link between ISIS and Russia, as he is currently a national of Bulgaria, a country that has been a strong supporter and member of the communist USSR. But how exactly the Islamic States and some Russian terrorist cells have united to launch an attack against their common enemy, the United States, will only be revealed in the upcoming episodes of this intense spy thriller series.


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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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