Jeff Bridges stars in the FX espionage-drama series “The Old Man.” FX Network photo

Just as we had decided to move on to newer pastures, we find ourselves stuck in the quick sand of “The Old Man,” a superior CIA thriller, Episode Three.

“The Old Man” AKA “Dan Chase” ( Jeff Bridges) is getting deeper, smokier, darker, more intense.

It’s a like a rich dessert we take in after dinner, and we can’t stop. How long has it been since we felt that way? “Slow Horses?“Tehran?”

Thrillers like that leave us hanging, and we sit around in the pandemic smog looking for another covert to love.

In “The Old Man,” we now know more, and trust less than in the first two episodes, but we can’t stop ourselves.

To borrow a worn out corny cliche, “I wish we could quit you, “Old Man.”
Dan Chase, to borrow another cliche, thought he was out for years, and now they’re dragging him back in, and we’re delighted.


“Old Man” just won’t stop running, and we can’t give up running after him.
If we keep our fingers out of our mouths long enough, and sit still, we will hear that voice on the phone back in Zoe’s (Amy Brenneman) house promising her that.

Dan is “one of the good guys, and you have to trust him.”

Okay, Zoe reluctantly accepts the voice, but we’re not sure we do. Dan seems trustworthy, I mean, would the “Big Lebowski” really be a bad guy? If so, I want the sweater.

We have a cadre of new, interesting, curiously delicious characters on the plate now.

We meet that voice on the phone. It’s Emily, Dan’s daughter (Alia Shawkat, “State of Grace” and “Arrested Development”) who keeps telling him that it’s “High Noon,” and he has to get out of Pennsylvania before the bad guys find him. Who doesn’t need a reason to get out of Pennsylvania?

Then we get zeroed in on Angela, who is really Emily, the daughter the CIA thinks is dead, and … LOOK OUT, there she is standing next to Harold Harper (John Lithgow ) who, wait a minute, didn’t he send a hit man Julian (Gbenga Akinnagbe) to take Dan out?


And how deep inside the company is Emily/Angela, anyway, that Harold treats her like she’s HIS daughter?

Episode two showed killer Julian appearing at Zoe’s. Dan is knocked out, but Zoe “lets the dogs out” and they take Julian down, but not out.

The dogs seem to be the only ones we can trust now. They may just wind up having their own show next season, “Dave and Carol go to Ukraine” streaming on Disney+.

This we now know. Emily is Dan’s daughter by the ex-wife of Faraz Hamzad, the former Afghan fighter who is now old and hunting for Dan. You following this? “Old Man” is a soap opera with Shingles, Do we mind? No.

It’s all back, and as we leave episode two, Dan has just expertly shot down a drone and is about to open the trunk of his car where … Emily? Emily?

“The Old Man” plays on FX Thursdays or can be streamed on Hulu.

J.P. Devine of Waterville is a former stage and screen actor.

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