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The Night Agent ending explained – why the killer is different from the book

The show's creator Shawn Ryan made some changes from the novel

The Night Agent - Peter and Rose hug in episode 10.© Netflix
Megan Bull
TV Writer
April 1, 2023
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The Night Agent has become Netflix's number one show this week. Following low-level agent Peter Sutherland as he's propelled into a conspiracy involving the oval office, the series culminated in an explosive season finale. So, what happened in the final episode? We're breaking down the main plot points, plus if you're a fan of the book, you might be wondering why the killer couldn't be more different. Warning, spoilers ahead! 

WATCH: The Night Agent trailer

The Night Agent ending explained

In a heartbreaking moment, episode 10 of The Night Agent began with a flashback from Peter's teen years. Eleven years before the events of the series, a young Peter watches on as his father is investigated by the FBI on allegations of treason. 

MORE: Will there be a season two of The Night Agent?

READ: All you need to know about The Night Agent's leading star Gabriel Basso

Cutting to the present, the episode then resumes with Peter and Rose, joined by Diane Farr, as they head to Camp Down to stop the assassination attempt on Omar Zadar – the original target in the metro bombing – and President Travers. 

Meanwhile, Vice President Redfield tricks his daughter Maddie and her security detail, Chelsea Arrington, into accompanying him to Camp Down. While Maddie intends to warn President Travers about the assassination attempt orchestrated by her father, her plans are quickly foiled as Redfield locks her in a safe room with him. 

Once Farr, Peter and Rose reach Camp Down, all hell breaks loose. While attempting to warn one of her colleagues about the bomb, Farr is shot by one of Redfield and Wick's agents. As they rush inside, Peter and Rose realise that they'll need to get the failed comms back up and running if they're going to warn the President. 

Deciding to split up, Rose continues to get the comms back up and running while Peter races to the aid of the President and Omar Zadar. It's at this point that Agent Arrington discovers the bomb at Camp Down and starts to evacuate the site. 

The Night Agent - Peter and Rose hug in episode 10.© Netflix
Peter and Rose raced to Camp Down to stop the assassination attempt

As Maddie convinces her father to let her leave the safe room, Rose manages to get the comms up and running, where Arrington uses her radio to warn President Travers about the bomb. With only 30 seconds left, Arrington manages to get Maddie out of the building before it explodes.  

Meanwhile, Peter, realising that the President's plane has also been compromised with a bomb, is forced to take Travers hostage, and demands that her agents check the plane first. As snipers prepare to fire on Peter, one of the agents manages to identify the bomb just moments before it goes off. 

Peter takes President Travers hostage© Netflix
Peter was forced to take the President hostage after realising there was another bomb on her plane

After a short time jump, Peter is then cleared of wrongdoing while Redfield and Wick are charged with the metro bombing and assassination attempts. Diane Farr is sent to prison as a traitor. 

Rewarded for their bravery and heroism, Rose and Peter meet with President Travers at the White House. Grateful for their service, she asks if she can do anything for them, prompting Peter to ask for his father's classified files. Arrington is also rewarded for her actions and is personally invited to join the President's security detail, fulfilling her lifelong dream. 

After realising that his father did in fact commit treason, but had been working to make things right before he died, Peter manages to put the past behind him. President Travers then promotes Peter to a Night Agent. Happy in his relationship with Rose, the pair share a passionate kiss before he boards a plane and heads off on his next mission, ready for season two. 

Why is the killer in The Night Agent TV show different from the book?

While Redfield and Wick are the masterminds behind the metro bombing and the assassination attempts on Omar Zadar and President Travers, the murderous duo Dale and Ellen do their dirty work. Responsible for pulling the trigger Rose's aunt and uncle, as well as Lorna, and Peter's close friend, Cisco; you might be surprised to learn that there's a completely different killer in the books. 

In an interview with Collider, the show's creator Shawn Ryan opened up about the key differences between the book and the TV show. "There were some changes we made to the book," he began. 

"First of all, the book's fantastic, and everyone should go buy the book and read the book. It's a different experience than watching the show. There's a lot that's similar, but there is a lot that's different. And I talked with Matthew Quirk, the novelist, about that. He was great with, 'Hey, this is gonna be a different thing', and said, 'You do it the way that you need to do it.'"

Addressing why he chose to abandon the book's original killer and replace him with two assassins, Dale and Ellen, who are also a couple, he explained: 

"There's a different killer. Dale and Ellen, the boyfriend and girlfriend assassins were creations that I had when I was working on my Secret Service idea, that I thought would be better on TV. In the book, it's an older Russian assassin working by himself, and it's a hard thing in TV to know what that character is thinking. In a book, you can do that with the exposition and tell the audience what the character is thinking, but that doesn't work on TV. And so, I thought it would be more interesting to see these two people who can interact with each other, and you get a better sense of them that way." 

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