The Night Agent: The Well-Done Ordinary Is Always Remarkable

Rose and Peter crouch together in The Night Agent
Credit: Dan Power/Netflix

You might expect to hear me praising The Night Agent as a disruptive television series, or saying it shook the structures of the thriller world. After all, it held Netflix #1 for 24 days in a row (more than Dahmer and many other series). I am sorry for letting you down, but The Night Agent is nothing more than an ordinary thriller. A freaking good ordinary thriller.

You may ask why it would be so good if it is ordinary, and the answer is under your nose. I bet you have spent hours watching movies and series with characters who never make a logical choice. They always take the foolish path to keep the plot alive (but never kicking). And thrillers are the paradise for this. Who’s never cursed a silly girl who heard an awkward sound and went after it with the lights off, unarmed? C’mon! I would never do such a thing, and I hope you wouldn’t. Watching it gets on my nerves. And guess what? The Night Agent didn’t get on my nerves. There are no illogical and silly actions to keep the plot alive. This made The Night Agent worldwide Netflix #1 for so long.

Let’s highlight these little well-built details which make The Night Agent a remarkable series, beginning with the motivations it provides its characters.

Peter Sutherland is an FBI agent struggling to clean up his deceased father’s past. His father, also an FBI agent, was condemned for leaking information to foreign operatives, which led to a Pentagon breach. Several years after, it still haunts Peter, holding back his career for being the son of a traitor. And it is hard to change this story because Peter is the mere desk attendant of a phone that never rings. But it is more than just a simple phone. It is the night action mission phone, which only top-level FBI agents have the number to call in emergencies (AKA risk of being murdered).

Peter sits looking at a phone in The Night Agent
Credit: Dan Power/Netflix

The unwanted call finally comes. Rose, a young owner of a bankrupt fintech who lives with her seemingly ordinary uncles, is calling. How did she get this top-secret phone number? It turns out her uncles are not quite common people, and she discovers it in the worst way. In the night’s doom, Rose’s uncles are murdered by two hitmen hired to burn witnesses. Before being killed, they order her to run for cover and call an emergency number (it is not 911). That is when she meets Peter on the other side of the line, and he helps her to hide and survive the hitmen’s attack.

Now wait there. How are two FBI top-level special agents holding top-secret information murdered if no one out of FBI top heads is supposed to know their existence? If you are thinking of a leak, yes, that is it. An internal leak.

Peter is put as Rose’s protector, under the argument that she trusts him. A great excuse to put both together, the two remaining witnesses of a planned murder, witnesses that must be burned too, to sweep issues under the rug. It is better to make fire once than twice, right? Less smoke attracts less attention. Whoever warranted it (you will discover who and why), this person made a mistake.

Rose lies on her stomach looking at a computer
Credit: Dan Power/Netflix

Remember Peter’s need to climb in career to clear his father’s name? What better chance than solving the murder of two top-level agents to grow in the FBI. Even better if you have the only witness under your protection, and she is up to discover who killed what was left of her family. There is no better chance. Furthermore, there is no one else Rose can trust inside the FBI.

You can even question that Rose shouldn’t be so keen to investigate the brutal murder of her uncles right after it. Yet, we can’t say that Peter and Rose’s motivations are made upon excuses. Both have something worth fighting for. It is strong enough to have us supporting them to unfold this case.

What turns this investigation even more intriguing is that there are no FBI resources, secret information, big data, or surveillance images at their disposal. Nothing from the FBI. They are all by themselves. Peter with his training, and Rose with her computing skills. And turns out it is more than enough. After all, Google and social media are clogged with information every single day. The internet has a ton of information even about us, completely anonymous people. This and a hard drive Rose’s uncles left hidden is what they have in hands to join the pieces to find the criminals behind those hitmen.

But time keeps running, and the hitmen are running after them too. There is no time to waste, no time to sleep, and no time to hesitate. Peter and Rose don’t hesitate. Thank God for it! I was done with these characters that don’t pull the trigger when their enemy is under the gun. Peter and Rose are quite the opposite. They kill when needed, kidnap (for good) who they need to, and involve loved ones in the investigation without remorse because this is bigger than them. Believe me, you won’t have that feeling of watching a dumb character making silly choices.

Rose swings a piece of wood towards a man's head in The Night Agent
Credit: Dan Power/Netflix

The Night Agent is not the kind of series you will label as a classic or show to your kids when they grow up. It is not such a memorable creation. Instead, it is a series to enjoy in your free time, turn off your brain, and watch some reasonable investigations filled with well-built plot twists, good fights, and brave characters. It is far from annoying you and your common sense.

Plus, if you are someone who fears watching a running series that can be canceled midway, don’t worry. Yes, The Night Agent leaves a call for a second season, and Netflix has already confirmed it. Yet, Peter and Rose solve their investigation, leaving no mystery behind them. So, if it is canceled in the future, you won’t hang with unanswered questions forever and ever.

Written by Fabio Bassan

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