The Old Man episode 6 raises big questions ahead of season finale

Jeff Bridges in The Old Man episode 6
Jeff Bridges in The Old Man (Image credit: FX)

NOTE:  This post contains spoilers for The Old Man episode 6.

Thank goodness The Old Man has been renewed for season 2, because after another great episode, having to say goodbye forever to this show may have been too much to bear. Beyond its own enjoyment, The Old Man episode 6 set the stage for a finale promising even more thrills and, as we’ve come to expect with this show, juicy one-on-one scenes that should be acted to perfection.

After following Chase, Zoe, Harper and Angela/Emily for six episodes, we’ve got a lot of questions about what could go down in The Old Man season finale. Sure, they already probably have answers because the series is based on The Old Man novel by Thomas Perry, but in case you haven’t read the book yet (like us), then you’re on the edge of your seat waiting to find out the next twist and turns the spy thriller is going to throw at us.

So let’s dive into our five big questions heading into The Old Man season finale:

Can Chase and Harper trust each other? 

It’s been a cat and mouse game between Dan Chase (Jeff Bridges) and Harold Harper (John Lithgow) all season long. Because of their shared history, Harper gave Chase a chance to disappear early in the season, but when Chase refused it was full steam ahead for Harper to try and stop him, by any means necessary, including hiring assassin Julian Carson (Gbenga Akinnagbe). However, at the end of episode 6 it’s revealed Chase and Harper are going to become allies again.

After Emily (Alia Shawkat) is kidnapped, Harper tells Chase Bote (Joel Grey) is behind Emily’s kidnapping, referring to him as "the old man" (we’ll get more into that complicated relationship in a bit). Now the two have a common goal, but the question is can they trust each other?

Harper could have gotten his life back by abandoning Emily, but when he realizes she is going to be taken he makes the choice to try and help her. It’s clear he cares about her, but does that extend to Chase or is this a marriage of convenience? If/when Emily is safe, will Harper try and use Chase as his new get out of jail free card? 

The inverse, Chase has shown he sees just about everyone as a potential enemy, so why would that stop for Harper now? Or are these frenemies going to solidify their partnership moving forward?

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What does Faraz Hamzad really want?

Faraz Hamzad (Pej Vahdat) is the one that started this whole thing, finally seeking revenge against Chase for escaping with his wife (Leem Lubany). We learned in episode 5 that there could be more to it than just the two running off together though, as she knew the location of a mineral-rich mine that would have given Hamzad extreme wealth and power as he sought to lead Afghanistan. But we can’t help but wonder if there is another shoe to drop.

With Hamzad likely to appear for the first time in the present in the season finale, we can hear from him directly what this is all about. Did Chase and Belour/Abbey do something else to Hamzad? Is there any chance that Emily is actually Hamzad’s daughter? One thing we know for sure, Hamzad is not taking whatever it is lightly.

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Where do Zoe’s loyalties lie?

Zoe’s (Amy Brenneman) journey on The Old Man has been one of the most interesting to watch. She has gone from lonely divorced mom to a globe-trotting spy in training, proving rather adept at it. Another wrinkle is added, however, when she is approached by Faraz Hamzad’s lawyer, Nina (Rowena King). Knowing who Zoe is, Nina says she can help her get out of this situation with Chase. 

When Chase has to escape, Zoe goes with him, but she does look back toward Nina. Zoe is upfront with Chase about what Nina was offering. When Chase asked what she was going to do, she simply said, "I’m here aren’t I."

She may have gone with Chase, but is she still on his side now that she has this potential out? Or is there something else keeping her with Chase? In the teaser for the season finale, she says if it’s a good time to tell him something important. What could that be? Is Zoe really who she has been saying she is?

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Who is Morgan Bote and what does he want?

Never trust the powerful old guy in a spy thriller. Morgan Bote (Joel Grey) has appeared only sparingly throughout The Old Man season 1, but he’s been behind everything, from assigning Emily to Harper, putting Harper in contact with Carson to assassinate Chase; giving Harper a way out of the mess he is in and finally teaming Carson and Raymond Waters (E.J. Bonilla) to kidnap Emily. It’s been "the old man," Bote, pulling the strings.

But just who is Bote? From what we can tell he is a powerful figure in the spy world and was something of a surrogate father for both Dan Chase and Harold Harper throughout their careers. While knowing what he is capable of, they both still saw him as an ally/mentor. But now his true intentions (at least in this instance) have been revealed.

The question is why? If he sees Chase and Harper as his "sons," why work with Hamzad? What is the long-game that he is playing?

Which father will Angela/Emily choose?

Living two distinct lives, Angela/Emily sees both Harper and Chase as fathers. However, now that her two lives are intersecting, in all likelihood only one can remain. Does that mean she is going to have to make a choice between her two dads?

Harper has seemingly been trying to sow the seeds of doubt about Chase, though Emily has been sticking up for him, saying the sacrifices that they each have made show how much they love each other. But Harper makes a sacrifice too when he throws away his chance to have his name cleared when he realizes Emily has been taken.

If it comes down to it, who is she going to choose?

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Oh, and one more quick one — are Carol and Dave coming back? Please?

The Old Man season finale airs on Thursday, July 21, at 10 pm ET/PT. The Old Man episodes 1-6 are available to watch right now on Hulu.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.