Following a thrilling story about a tragic terrorist attack in the Netherlands, the Dutch crime show, ‘The Golden Hour,’ brings the story of Mardik Sardagh, a Police Officer gone rogue. Mardik, with roots in Afghanistan, can’t help but be suspicious when a string of brutal terrorist attacks coincides with news of an old childhood friend, Faysal Tehar’s return. As a result, the cop finds himself resorting to desperate measures as he goes against his department to launch his own private investigation. With the AIVD on his trail and massive attacks unfolding in the city, Mardik’s search for justice pushes him to his limits.
Within the season, the narrative charts a tumultuous path for Mardik as he battles against social prejudices and the AIVD’s particularly vicious manhunt while trying to prevent Faysal’s plan from coming to fruition. Thus, since the odds remain stacked against our protagonist, viewers must be curious to see how his story unfolds. SPOILERS AHEAD!
The Golden Hour Recap
Mardik Sardagh grew up in Afghanistan and moved to the Netherlands at seven. Now, he lives in Amsterdam with his wife, Michelle, and daughter, Pip, and works as a Police detective. Even though he has a good track record in his career, the man comes under suspicion of the AIVD, who sends their agent, Joelle Walters, to investigate his case. After some routine questioning, Mardik realizes Joelle thinks he has a potential for corruption due to his Afghan roots since he recently took a solo trip to the country.
Joelle also has an interest in Mardik’s acquaintanceship with another Afghan man, Malik Fardin. Although Mardik maintains Fardin is a respectable man with no ill intentions, he also learns about Faysal Tehar’s arrival in town through the old man around the same time. While Mardik and Faysal grew up in the same village as kids, their paths diverged at seven when Mardik moved to the Netherlands, and Faysal found himself down a different path.
For the same reason, when a terrorist attack leaves numerous dead and injured in a Dutch market, Mardik has a nagging feeling that Faysal has a connection to the crime. Similarly, Fardin comes to the same conclusion and shares an address with the cop about Faysal’s whereabouts. Consequently, Mardik, alongside his stubborn partner, Shannon, decides to ditch the department briefing about the market attack and check out Faysal’s lair.
However, the plan backfires when Shannon realizes Faysal’s apartment is booby-trapped, leading to an explosion that kills the woman. Yet, when local cops arrive, they prioritize arresting Mardik over calling an ambulance for Shannon. As such, the man pulls his gun on them and goes rogue.
While the investigation had gone south, it confirmed Faysal’s involvement with the market attack. Therefore, Mardik plans to track the other man down and stop him, avenging Shannon’s death in the process. Nevertheless, he’s reluctant to contact Riad since he knows about the other man’s secret relationship with Joelle. Deciding to fly solo, Mardik seeks out Fardin to get more information about Faysal.
Meanwhile, Riad deals with the fallout of the market attack, and Ilja, Joelle’s boss, who seems to carry a distinct hatred for Mardik, launches a hunt for the man. Eventually, Mardik tracks down one of Faysal’s accomplices and employs Fardin’s help to make the other man talk. Simultaneously, Faysal’s plan moves to the next level, wherein the man opens fire at a wedding while his men take over a mall, shooting anyone in sight.
Joelle’s team, under Ilja’s leadership, continues to grow desperate, unable to find any way to prevent the attacks or track down the terrorists. Ilja remains certain in his belief that Mardik is involved in the attack. As a result, he illegally kidnaps Michelle to intimidate the information out of her. Consequently, Joelle starts second-guessing her allegiance to the man and abandons her team when Ilja abducts Pip to raise the stakes.
Ultimately, Joelle ends up teaming up with Mardik, who decides to trust her since his wife did. Furthermore, Mardik manages to track down Faysal, but his attempt to reasonably communicate with the man remains futile. Thus, he stops pursuing him and returns to save his family, finding surprising help from Joelle and Riad. With Riad back on his side, Mardik stops running from the police and decides to confront Faysal at the location of his final attack: the Mall.
The Golden Hour Ending: What Happens To Faysal?
In the final showdown, Riad brings Mardik back to his squad and the CSI tactical team, who are doing damage control outside the recently attacked mall. Given his career, Mardik has had to learn a lot about terrorists. As such, he recognizes Faysal’s predictable pattern of hitting numerous locations to attract the most attention and exponentiate the level of fear among the public.
From his earlier investigation, Mardik knows that Faysal is planning something big for the grand finale of his run at terrorism in Amsterdam, with evidence pointing toward a major bomb blast. Thus, he concludes that the man will likely return to the Mall to finish the job since the location already has a lot of coverage from the media to law enforcement.
While in Afghanistan, Faysal and Mardik used to be close friends. Eventually, the former’s family decided to relocate to escape the constant violence that the villagers saw. However, on the way, an extremist group attacked their car, killing Faysal’s parents. During that time, a seven-year-old Mardik, who had followed his friends, tried to distract the violent men from killing his friend.
As a result, Mardik ended up getting shot in the chest, leading Fardin to seek out help from the American troops at the village border. Thus, Mardik arrived in the Netherlands while his friend, Faysal, remained among the violent extremist Afghani group and grew up to be just like them.
As such, Faysal has become a recognizable figure among those who are craving revenge against the West for the violence they imparted to their homeland. For the same reason, Faysal is carrying out this mass attack. As night settles in and paramedics/officers continue to arrive at the mall to help the survivors, one of Faysal’s men arrives at the location with a bomb in his car.
However, Mardik spots the car before Faysal can detonate the bomb and confronts him on the top of a nearby building. The altercation between the two men is charged with emotionality, with Mardik reluctant to put a bullet in the same he once tried to save as a child. Nevertheless, Faysal’s conviction is strong and unbreakable. Consequently, Mardik has no choice but to shoot the other man, saving numerous lives by preventing the bomb’s detonation.
Is Mardik Arrested?
While Faysal’s attacks and the cops’ pursuit of the man remain the narrative center throughout the show, Mardik’s run from the law is another significant thread. After Shannon’s death, Mardik is compelled to act fast to catch Faysal. However, he knows he’s likely not going to get help from his department since he believes Joelle has an instrumental influence over Riad’s judgment.
Therefore, since Joelle has only shown signs of suspicions toward Mardik, he knows she and her colleagues won’t listen to reason. In many ways, he’s right as well, considering Ilja and his people spend their entire time hunting Mardik, going as far as to torture his family to get his location. Therefore, since he refuses to cooperate with the department, he becomes a suspect in Shannon’s death, and Riad has no choice but to launch a manhunt for him.
Even though, near the end, Joelle and Riad realize the man’s real motives and allow him to help the cops substantially without worrying about being arrested, they can only keep him from the law for so long. Once he neutralizes Faysal’s threat, the cops have to start cleaning up after the attacks and hold the attackers responsible.
Despite not being Faysal’s accomplice, Mardik still incriminates himself by actively going against the law during numerous instances. For the same reason, when the time comes, he’s deemed guilty, leading to his arrest. In many ways, Mardik always knew this was going to be his ultimate fate. People already hold their prejudices against the man, which has only grown in the wake of Faysal’s actions.
As such, Mardik was prepared to deal with such unjust repercussions the minute he decided to go rogue. In the end, Mardik stops Faysal and his massive terrorist attack. Yet, instead of a reward, he only receives a holding cell.
Did Faysal Have Inside Help Within The Police Department?
As the show ends, it leaves one big mystery unsolved. When Faysal prepares for his final attack at the mall, his entire scheme hinges on one man driving in a van to the location. Since the man appears to be a police officer, his car enters the crime scene without any issue, allowing Faysal to set up his attack.
However, the same has grave implications for the bigger picture. Joelle recognizes the same and visits Mardik in his imprisonment to discuss the issue. She manages to cut off the security cameras for a moment to have complete privacy, in which she tries to get the former cop to identify the car driver. Although the evidence points toward the driver’s identity as an official officer of the law, neither can know for sure.
Nevertheless, the fact remains that if Faysal had an insider within the police department, his network ran much deeper than anyone anticipated. Still, the season ends without any tangible answers regarding the same, setting Joelle and Mardik up for an eventful ride in a potential second season.
Read More: Is The Golden Hour Based on a True Story?