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The Night Agent season 1’s ending, explained

The Night Agent, one of the newest shows on Netflix, is admittedly centered around a played-out spy trope. But the twists, turns, and movie-like action sequences throughout the 10-episode first season of the action thriller make it a worthy watch.

Curious about how the show’s first season ends? Digital Trends has all the spoilers about what happened in the season finale and what that means for a possible second season.

What The Night Agent is about

Peter shows his badge in The Night Agent.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Peter Sutherland (Gabriel Bosso) is not a night agent: he just answers the phones for them. His job is to sit in a windowless room in the basement of the White House, night after night, going through FBI reports and waiting for a phone to ring, indicating that a night agent needs help. It never does. But Peter is paying his dues, hoping to one day be able to do much more.

That day comes when the phone finally rings, and it’s a terrified young woman, eventually revealed as Rose (Luciane Buchanan), on the other end. She has the right code words, but has no idea who she’s calling nor why. She has just learned that her aunt and uncle are spies (night agents) — and not in acquisitions as they have always told her — and been hunted down. In a last-ditch effort to save themselves and their unsuspecting niece, they give her this magic number to call. Sadly, they are killed before she can ask them more.

Rose about to hit Dale in the head as he holds Peter on the ground in a scene from The Night Agent.
Dan Power / Netflix

What ensues from there is a cat-and-mouse game between two lethal assassins who are after Peter and Rose, the FBI, and White House officials, including Peter’s boss and confidante, Diane (Hong Chau). Peter is tasked with protecting Rose until she makes her statement, but he decides to put it all on the line when Rose reveals that she heard her aunt and uncle talk about there being a mole in the White House. Who can they trust, and what is the mole planning?

The more Peter and Rose look into the case of her aunt and uncle’s death, along with a train bombing Peter had saved passengers from a year prior and the sudden murder of the head of the FBI (Robert Patrick), the more puzzle pieces they uncover. And the more danger they find themselves in.

It’s revealed early on that Vice President Redfield (Christopher Shyer), along with a shady CEO named Wick (Ben Cotton), had something to do with bombing. What’s worse, they are likely connected to the murders as well.

The betrayal

Hong Chau as Diane in The Night Agent, standing in a White House office in front of an American flag.
Dan Power / Netflix

Shows like The Night Agent are often predictable, and whether fans are able to pinpoint the good guys and the bad ones, when the truth is revealed, everything comes crashing down.

All it takes are three words for a light bulb to go off for Peter. Diane references Peter’s “trooper friend,” who Rose is in hiding with, only for Peter to realize he never told her his friend was a trooper. Peter now knows that despite his beliefs, Diane was in on the plot the whole time. His closest ally and friend can’t be trusted.

Now on the run after magically managing to escape from The White House, Peter arrives at a pier in the nick of time to save Rose from being strangled to death by the cold-blooded assassin Dale (Phoenix Raei). A fight ensues, with Dale ending up dead in the water (literally) and his partner Ellen (Eve Harlow) screaming in agony when she discovers his body.

Themes of death and destruction

Peter holding down Colin, Agent Monks holding a gun to his, Maddie and Chelsea in the background of a shipping yard in a scene from The Night Agent.
Dan Power / Netflix

As the plot thickens, The Night Agent showcases an interesting juxtaposition between heroes and the death and destruction that’s often par for the course in making them such. It starts with Rose’s aunt and uncle. It continues with others, like Loma (Gabrielle Rose), the former engineer who helps point Peter and Rose in the right direction. It turns out that Colin (Andre Anthony), who has a twin named Matteo, was the hired bomber and the real target of the train bombing was someone above ground, not on the train.

Pour one out for Peter’s sweet friend and former partner Cisco (Curtis Lum) as well, who is killed by Ellen after trying to escape with Rose. Especially heartbreaking, however, is the death of American hero Erik Monks (D.B. Woodside), a rehabilitated secret service agent who again proved himself a hero, dying to protect others.

He dies at the hands of Ellen as well, who is on a rampage as she looks to avenge Dale’s death. She’s finally eliminated when pushed to her death by Rose in yet another valiant act of being in the right place at the right time and saving Peter from almost certain death. “I owe you my life,” she once told him, a sentiment he rightfully reciprocated.

The most gut-wrenching scene about death, however, didn’t actually lead to one. When Wick tells Diane his employee is seeking to find and kill Matteo/Colin, who had kidnapped Vice President Redfield’s daughter, Maddie (Sarah Desjardins), Diane coldly asks “just him?” He looks up questioningly, saying he can “change the order” if she wants. Diane’s blank stare says it all: she’s willing to kill Maddie to get rid of the young woman as a threat to the administration (but arguably more so to her own reputation).

Diane proves just as cold and calculating as her two co-conspirators, furthering the sympathy fans feel for the underappreciated Peter. She only hired Peter as a contingency plan, knowing he’d be the perfect fall guy if they ever needed one. His father was a traitor too, after all. It’s a bleak realization for Peter, who viewed Diane not only as a boss, but also a friend.

Sins of the father

Peter kneeling on top of a car, bloody and battered in a scene from The Night Agent.
Dan Power / Netflix

That brings us to an overarching theme of The Night Agent, which comes to a head in the finale: the concept of fatherhood, and more specifically, fractured fatherhood. Peter went through his adult life defending his father, an agent himself who was accused of betraying the American government.

Maddie views her father as a monster, happy to oblige her kidnapper’s plans if it means bringing him down. Young Secret Service agent Chelsea (Fola Evans-Akingbola) initially pushes back against Monks and his antiquated ways, but he eventually becomes a friend and mentor who dies before she truly gets to know him. Later, her boss and another mentor agent, Ben Almora (Enrique Murciano), is also shot and killed.

In the final episode, aptly called “Fathers,” the plot thickens, with these fatherly relationships paying the ultimate price.

The explosive end

Peter in a field in The Night Agent, holding a gun to President Travers' neck.
Dan Power / Netflix

After finally unearthing the plot and the location of the next bomb with the help of Monks and Chelsea, Peter and Rose force Diane at gunpoint to sneak them into Camp David. The plan is to kill not only the initial target, Omar Zadar (Adam Tsekhman), who Redfield ironically believes is a terrorist the U.S. government should not be allied with (Wick is looking out for his own personal business interests), but also President Travers (Kari Matchett). Diane is seriously wounded and Almora killed. Rose uses her cybersecurity skills to bring back the conveniently down coms so they can warn the president.

Chelsea is on the case too, noticing new agents aboard their plane carrying suspicious black briefcases. Upon arrival, Vice President Redfield cowardly heads to the basement of the building, dragging Maddie along with him, giving Chelsea the opportunity to spring into action. She locates the bomb and warns everyone to evacuate immediately. It works and everyone, including the President, is safe … for now.

President Travers is about to board the plane to presumed safety, but Peter grabs her and holds a gun to her head, screaming at the agents to check the plane because there’s a bomb inside. The President, terrified, intuits that Peter might be telling the truth and orders them to check. The moment is intense: Peter looks like a crazed man threatening to assassinate the president. He tells her he doesn’t want to hurt her and “loves his country.” It strikes a chord, and you can see that while President Travers is terrified, she believes him.

Sure enough, there’s a bomb aboard and a second, massive explosion occurs. Meanwhile, back at Camp David, Redfield is shocked to see not only Chelsea’s face, but that of his daughter’s, both of whom survived. He eventually let Maddie leave the room to save himself from her threats of exposing him after the fact, and now he knows it’s over.

Fast-forward and Peter wants to keep his name out of the news. He does not want the attention or a medal for his bravery. President Travers understands, but tells him to name anything he wants. Of course, he wants to know the truth about his father.

How does The Night Agent end?

Peter and Rose kissing on the tarmac in a scene from The Night Agent.
Dan Power / Netflix

President Travers sends Peter back to that dark, dank room where the story began. He opens a laptop to see video from his father’s interrogation. To his dismay, his father admits to everything. He even looks into the camera and says, ‘I’m sorry,” as though he knew his son would someday see it.

Travers tells Peter that his father had agreed to become a double agent for the U.S. government to right his wrongs, but was killed by an assassin before he could proceed with the plan. The assassin was killed years later, so there’s no vengeance left for Peter. But there is a job offer. “I think we’ve been wasting your talents in that room,” she tells him. Does he want the opportunity to be on the other end of the phone? The look in his eyes says it all. He’s ready.

Peter says his goodbyes to Rose (somewhere along the line, these two began a romance), promising to call her as soon as he’s allowed, then hops aboard a plane. Peter has officially been promoted from glorified 911 operator to an official night agent. What’s the top-secret task and where is he headed? We don’t know yet. But fans are hoping for a season 2 to find out.

Stream all 10 episodes of The Night Agent on Netflix. 

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Christine Persaud
Christine has decades of experience in trade and consumer journalism. While she started her career writing exclusively about…
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