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All the Old Knives Ending Explained

Chris Pine appears to be well on his way to establishing himself as the major star in the action-thriller genre, having previously published ‘The Contractor’ and now ‘All the Old Knives.’ If ‘The Contractor’ is about the murky realm of mercenary employment, ‘All the Old Knives’ is about the CIA. Surrounded by equally effortless performers such as Thandiwe Newton, Laurence Fishburne, and Jonathan Pryce, Pine offers an easy performance as a spy probing his lover for the hijacking of Flight 127 and the deaths of all on board. Here’s everything you need to know about ‘All the Old Knives’ finale. WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD.

Plot Synopsis for All the Old Knives

Eight years after Turkish Alliance Flight 127 was hijacked by the notorious terrorist group Al-Da’irat, killing everyone on board, Henry Pelham (Pine) is notified by his supervisor Vick (Fishburne) at the Vienna station that Langley is reviving the Flight 127 case. Ilyas Shishani, a Chechen national, was apprehended in connection with the hijacking. Prior to his death, he reportedly told the CIA that he obtained critical intelligence from within the Vienna station, hinting that there was a mole at the time. The obvious suspect is CIA operative Bill Compton (Jonathan Pryce), who made a phone call to a Tehran number. However, Bill was not the only one using that extension at the time. Celia Harrison (Newton), Henry’s lover and coworker, worked immediately under Bill and could have made the call as well.

Image Credit: Stefania Rosini/Amazon Studios

Henry then pays trips to Bill in London and Celia in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, to question them. The story alternates between Henry’s meeting with Bill and Celia and the hijacking incident eight years earlier. Celia is now married and the mother of two children. She and Henry meet at a beautiful restaurant with a view of the sea. Except for an old couple, there are no other visitors. Before entering the restaurant, Henry contacts Treble, a codename for an assassin. Treble’s presence becomes clear as he prepares to eliminate Celia. He assures Henry that he will discuss it with him before carrying out the deed.

The End of All the Old Knives: Who Is the Mole?

The video begins with the premise that anyone who worked on the Flight 127 event at the Vienna airport could be the mole. After the Vienna station is informed of the hijacking, they discover that a CIA spy is on board Flight 127. Ahmed, the aforementioned operative, sends signals from within the plane asking the CIA to launch an attack through the jet’s back undercarriage. The plane is at a Vienna airport, and the only thing the CIA can do is provide recommendations to Austrian authorities. The Al-Da’irat organization wants several of its affiliates released from German and Austrian custody, but the governments of those countries understand that doing so would be political suicide. As a result, they bide their time, putting the lives of all those innocent individuals in peril.

The operatives at the Vienna station are well aware that the Al-Da’irat will not accept anything less than their demands. Henry suggests that they storm the plane, like Ahmed recommended. Ahmed’s messages, however, quickly alter. He instructs the CIA not to launch an attack since the undercarriage has been penetrated. It is accurately deduced that Ahmed has been detected, and that the messages are now being sent by someone else – most likely one of the terrorists. Ahmed is eventually executed in front of the media before the terrorists use Sarin gas to kill themselves and everyone else on the plane.

Image Credit: Stefania Rosini/Amazon Studios

Henry informs Bill and Celia about the call to Tehran eight years later, during their discussions. It is revealed that Celia was aware of the call but chose not to report it. The audience is originally lead to assume that she did it out of a misguided loyalty to Bill. However, it is later revealed that she discovered the same Tehran phone number on Henry’s phone. Ilyas was one of Henry’s contacts while he was stationed in Moscow years ago. Ilyas was a gentle and caring family man with a wife and a daughter at the time. Despite Henry’s protests, the Moscow station handed him over to Russian police. This, together with the murder of his daughter in Iran, triggered his metamorphosis into a terrorist.

After the Flight 127 incident, Celia left Henry and the CIA. She just wanted to get away from it all. When Henry arrived to question her, she saw it as a threat to herself and her family and contacted the CIA. Ilyas allegedly told them Henry was the mole before his death. Celia’s revelation validated their suspicions. They brought Henry to the restaurant with Celia’s help, and they disguised their operatives as employees and customers. When Henry arrives, he requests a vodka martini, but the bartender informs him that they only have wine. They poisoned his wine glass, from which Henry had been drinking all evening.

Celia inquires about Henry’s motivations as he nears death. Henry responds by saying he did it for her. One of his sources brought him to Ilyas on the day of the hijacking. Meanwhile, while following a lead, Celia unintentionally runs across one of Ilyas’ subordinates. The terrorist leader informed Henry of Celia’s whereabouts and wanted information in exchange for her protection. And Henry didn’t have a choice but to comply.

Does Celia Die?

Image Credit: Stefania Rosini/Amazon Studios

Henry tells Celia to go as he is about to die. She eventually does, oblivious to the fact that Treble is following her. Treble asks Henry for permission, but he dies before he can respond. The fact that Celia arrives safely at her house suggests that Treble did not complete the assignment. We eventually learn that Vick was aware Henry was the mole and collaborated with other high-ranking officials to eliminate his former colleague. Whatever his motivations, Henry’s actions resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people, and he had to face consequences at some time. Meanwhile, Celia returns home to her family, leaving her life as a spy in the past.

All the Old Knives Ending Explained
All the Old Knives Ending Explained


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