Who do you trust?
Not all’s fair in love and war, as maggie gyllenhaal’s character finds out in her critically acclaimed new series.
the honourable woman Season 1 Sundays (From 8 February) BBC Ent 21:15
rom the outside, life’s good for nessa stein (maggie gyllenhaal) in eight-part miniseries the honourable woman (2014). nessa’s rich and she’s a businesswoman who’s taken her family company from dealing in arms and ammunition to making billions in the communication world. she’d better watch out though, because nessa’s private life is about to explode onto the public scene in a very messy way.
nessa’s been head of the stein group for eight years, ever since her brother ephra (andrew buchan) stepped down and made her the big cheese. and while she’s done a stellar job (israeli-born nessa’s just been elected to the uk’s house of lords, their version of our parliament), there’s a lot for nessa to worry about, especially when it comes to who to trust and who to keep an eye on. and it all stems back to her dad’s murder when she and ephra were kids.
nessa’s father was killed in front of her thanks to a business deal gone wrong. it still affects her and she recalls that day as she’s made a baroness. but there’s a bigger matter at hand – nessa announces a major business deal that sends shockwaves through the industry, rubs family friend and businessman shlomo (igal naor) up the wrong way and ruffles feathers at the cia, mi6 and israel’s military forces. cue drama!
it’s not long after handing the deal to a palestine firm that things start to fall apart, starting with a suicide. or is it? the head of the firm awarded the tender is found dead, with the obvious signs pointing towards suicide. that would be a cut-and-dry case if not for the fact that everyone’s agreeing on things for once, which is suspicious.
but there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes, personally and professionally for nessa. for one, the cia’s locked up files relating to her kidnapping in gaza eight years earlier. even mi6 hotshots like sir hugh hayden-hoyle (stephen rea) can’t get access. when no one’s looking, nessa’s steely public façade falls away and she’s a weak, defeated and broken woman. she lives in a multimillion-pound mansion with a bedroom most would die for. instead, she locks herself in a bomb-proof hidden panic room where she cries herself to sleep. she slips out when her security aren’t looking to meet up with a friend in a dingy cafe before breaking down and sobbing loudly. and she’s going to sleep with the help when her hunky bodyguard proves to be too much of a temptation, even though she thinks that he works for hayden-hoyle.