Season 1, Episode 1
A hotel night manager receives a plea for help from an elegant guest. His actions draw him into the terrifying world of the worst man in the world.
The Night Manager is not currently in season.
In January 2011, protestors march and chant on the streets of Cairo, Egypt. Jonathan Pine walks through the crowd and makes his way into the Nefertiti Hotel, dodging gunfire along the way.
Jonathan, now dressed in a sleek suit, assumes his duties as night manager of the hotel. He stands in the lobby, assuring an American woman that the hotel is safe just as an explosion goes off outside.
That night, Jonathan works the reception desk as an elegant Arab woman, Sophie Alekan, strolls in. In French, the Maître D' tells Jonathan that she is Freddie Hamid's mistress.
Sophie invites Jonathan to sit with her. He hesitates, citing work, but then obliges. "Do you know who is footing my bill?" she says. "Freddie Hamid is everything the protestors hate — incredibly wealthy, corrupt to the core. The Hamid family owns half the city. And Freddie Hamid owns me." Sophie inquires about Jonathan's visits to the Cairo yacht club. Jonathan explains that Simon Ogilvey, the second man at the British Embassy, and a friend from Jonathan's army days, invites him. Sophie asks if Simon can be trusted before pulling out an envelope of confidential documents she wants copied.
In his office, Jonathan copies Sophie's documents and sees that they're a stock list of weapons and warfare chemicals, and correspondence between Ironlast Limited and Hamid Interarab Hotel & Trading Companies. Sophie instructs Jonathan to keep the copy of documents he just made in the hotel safe. She advises him that "if an accident was to happen" to her, he is to take the documents to his friend Simon.
In the hotel's kitchen, Jonathan greets one of the dishwashers, Youssef. In Arabic, Jonathan asks for information about Hamid. Youssef agrees to help but warns, "You don't want to get on the wrong side of the Hamids."
In his office, Jonathan phones the Corniche Bar at the Ramses Hilton, disguising his identity, and learns that Hamid is with "Mr. Roper." Jonathan researches Ironlast online and finds a video clip of CEO Richard Roper addressing a crowd during a presentation about his safe haven project for refugees. "My good fortune means nothing unless it also lifts up my fellow man," Roper says.
At home, Jonathan lies in bed as people on the streets of Cairo celebrate President Mubarak's resignation.
The next day, Jonathan meets Simon at the British Embassy and shares the documents. "There are enough toys here to start a war," Simon says. "Or crush a popular uprising," Jonathan adds. When Simon asks where the documents came, Jonathan says he "found them." He advises Simon to send the documents to the authorities in Britain and maintain that he received them anonymously.
A courier delivers the documents to the International Enforcement Agency in Victoria, London. British intelligence officers Angela Burr and Rob Singhal recognize the name Ironlast. Angela instructs Rob to find information on Richard Roper, but to be careful not to gain attention from the River House, a.k.a. the headquarters of British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6).
That night, at the Nefertiti, Sophie phones Jonathan and requests he personally bring her a drink. He arrives at her penthouse suite where Sophie, her face bruised after a visit from Hamid, informs him that Roper has called his deal off. Jonathan moves Sophie to another hotel room and apologizes for giving the documents to Simon. "You were right to do what you did," she says. "If I'd been brave enough I would have done it myself."
Back at his desk, Jonathan leaves an urgent message for Simon just as Hamid storms in. He forces Jonathan to take him to Sophie's penthouse suite, but finds it empty. Jonathan pretends he doesn't understand Arabic and listens to Hamid take two calls, including one from Roper.
Jonathan packs Sophie's belongings and tells her she can stay at his friend's empty home. She asks him to join. Youssef drives them through the Egyptian desert to their destination.
Sophie asks about Jonathan's multidimensional personality. "I want one of your many selves to sleep with me tonight," she says. The next day, Sophie and Jonathan lie post-coital in bed.
At the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London, Angela Burr meets with her boss, Rex Mayhew, and urges him to pursue Roper, but Rex argues against "indulging a whole new bunch of religious lunatics about whom we know nothing." He assures her that the Joint Intelligence Committee will meet.
In the desert, Sophie deems Roper the "worst man in the world" because "he sells destruction, pain and death. And he laughs." Jonathan receives a text from Youssef about Hamid's continued search for Sophie. Jonathan promises to help Sophie relocate to England.
Jonathan meets with Simon at the Nefertiti. Jonathan tells him that Roper was tipped off and "my source had her face smashed up in her hotel room by Freddie Hamid." Simon deduces that his source is Sophie and reminds him of the Hamid family's power in Britain. Jonathan asserts that the government has a duty to protect her, but Simon says flying her out is a "confession of her guilt."
Jonathan phones Sophie to tell her that London won't be an option.
That night, Sophie returns to the Nefertiti and requests her key from Jonathan.
In London, Angela and Rob dig for information on Roper, but turn up empty. Rex's office calls to announce that the Joint Intelligence Committee meeting is canceled and that "an inquiry into the Cairo papers would not be productive at this time." Angela tells Rob to contact Simon Ogilvey.
At the Nefertiti, Jonathan receives a call from Angela, urging him to get Sophie out of her suite and somewhere safe immediately because "her life is in danger." Angela gives her number and tells Jonathan to call her when Sophie is safe. Jonathan runs to Sophie's suite and finds the door open. He cries over her bloody body, lifeless on the floor.
Back in London, Angela stares across the Thames at River House.
Jonathan answers questions for the police and implies a connection between Hamid and Sophie. A police officer dismisses the idea, blaming a burglar for the murder. When Jonathan asks why the police won't acknowledge Hamid, the officer challenges, "What do you care? Maybe you know her better than you say? Maybe you kill her?" As the officer walks away, Jonathan looks helplessly at Sophie's body.
Five years later, Jonathan shaves his face inside his apartment in Zermatt, Switzerland. He makes his way to the Meisters Hotel to relieve Herr Strippli of his shift. Fraulein Vipp greets him in German.
In the office, Strippli tells Jonathan that a late booking came in and gives him a parcel for the guest. Jonathan recognizes the addressee's name: Richard Roper.
A helicopter lands outside the Meisters hotel. Roper, protected by bodyguards, walks in. Jonathan greets him and his entourage. Roper asks if Jonathan is new to the Meisters. Jonathan tells him he was in Italy and Tangier previously. As Tabby, one of the bodyguards, reaches for Roper's room key, Jonathan spots a 9mm pistol tucked inside his jacket.
Jonathan shows Roper and his group to a tower suite while inconspicuously listening to several of their phone conversations and meeting plans. Roper asks Jonathan if a package came in, but Jonathan feigns ignorance and leaves.
Jonathan rushes to the public toilet and vomits.
Later that evening, Jonathan makes his rounds and asks Fraulein Vipp for a copy of the hotel's late arrivals registration forms. After Fraulein Vipp leaves the desk, Jonathan picks up Roper's parcel and removes the contents: SIM cards. He writes down the numbers and then places them back into the package. In the kitchen, Jonathan asks the bellhop Alfred to deliver Roper's parcel and empty his trash.
Moments later, Roper's girlfriend, Jed, descends the stairs in just a robe and asks if the pool is open. Jonathan obliges, brings Jed towels for her moonlight skinny-dip and then heads to the garbage bins. He finds six SIM cards hidden in a champagne bottle.
As Jonathan studies the SIM cards, two of Roper's bodyguards approach the front desk and ask Jonathan if the bar is still serving. Jonathan pockets the cards and escorts the bodyguards to get a drink.
The next morning, Jonathan returns home after his night shift. He pulls a book off of his bookshelf and leafs through to a piece of paper folded inside. It's Angela Burr's phone number, scribbled on Nefertiti Hotel stationery the night that Sophie died. He dials.
That evening, at the Meisters, Roper hosts a business associate, Juan Apostol, in a private dining room to discuss potential buyers. After his meeting, Roper joins Jonathan outside for a cigarette and tells him that he's leaving tomorrow.
The next day, Jonathan meets with Angela at a restaurant. He hands her an envelope with the six SIM cards and the list of phone numbers. "Do whatever you want with them. I don't want to be involved," he says. Angela reminds him about his two tours of duty during the Iraq War as a soldier. "You know what those weapons can do to a body," she says. She also talks of Sophie's death. "I know you can't forgive the man who did that," Angela says. "The question is: What are you prepared to do about it?"