Home Television Recaps ‘The Old Man’ – ‘II’ – Review
‘The Old Man’ – ‘II’ – Review

‘The Old Man’ – ‘II’ – Review


After the brutal conclusion to Episode One of The Old Man, ‘I’, the audience was in no doubt about just how much damage former CIA operative Dan Chase could unleash on his enemies. After being left battered, bruised and bleeding, Chase is gonna need some R&R. But he’s still on full tilt, and ready to strike.

Chase finds a temporary hideout, but Harold Harper and the authorities are still after him.

Director Jon Watts threw audiences right into the deep end with Episode One of The Old Man, and the drama moves forward at pace as Jeff Bridges goes on the run as Dan Chase. Battered, bruised and bleeding he finds a quiet place to rest, and a sudden unexpected romance blossoms. But nothing is easy for Chase, and while he might be able to find some rest during the drama, his past claws at him, and this man of violence is ready to strike out. From the very first episode, Watts and his creative team are switching up what the spy genre is capable of in relation to pacing, character development and the visceral action that is brought to the screen in The Old Man, and this show is addictive.

Episode Two of The Old Man, ‘II’ moves the plot forward by going backward, and audiences are offered a peek at a younger Dan Chase in the field. Circa the mid-1980s, this is Chase when he was still an active field agent and embedded with the mujahideen in the Soviet-Afghan War. And the revelations of his past are eye-opening, presented through the eyes of his former handler and now nemesis Harold Harper (John Lithgow), and the audience gets a deeper portrait of who Chase was as a younger man. And it becomes all too clear that there’s a pattern to the violence that he’s willing to unleash. These flashback moments are a key part of shaping who this man is for the audience, and Chase is a very scary man.

This juxtaposition between the past and present keeps the narrative of ‘II’ interesting and uncertain. You’re not sure where Bridges is going to move as Chase, or what mask he’s wearing. Kind or cruel, caring or callous, you never know where Bridges is going to land in The Old Man, and there’s one particular scene of violent shock and awe that will throw you back into your seat with complete surprise. It’s the startling suspense of The Old Man that gets you with this series, and as we learn more about who Dan Chase was, this heightens our attention as to his current actions and the devastation that he’s ready to unleash.

‘II’ is also important as it introduces the critical character of Zoe McDonald, played by Amy Brenneman. A divorcee whose life has now seemed to pass her by, she comes into contact with Chase after he rents a room from her, and slowly but steadily they grow close. Brenneman acts as a mirror for the audience on which to examine Chase’s actions under a closer lens, and while there’s a tenderness and heart to his interactions with Zoe, he’s also a man who will not be cornered and this leads to a very shocking moment in the episode. Brenneman’s presence also allows for the teasing of key information about Chase as we move further into the story of The Old Man and I’m certain she’ll play a very key role in the events of this series as it moves forward.

We’re moving forward in the narrative of The Old Man and it’s getting interesting for Bridges’ Chase as new liaisons come into his life and an old enemy plots his death. But Chase is a wolf, and whatever comes his way, he’s ready to strike.

The Old Man is currently streaming on Disney+

Image: Walt Disney Pictures