In Patriot, New Zealand actor Michael Dorman plays John Tavner, a N.O.C. (Non-official cover) for the CIA. It’s a real thing. He’s basically a CIA spy without any of the protections typically afforded a CIA agent, which is to say: If he gets caught, he goes to jail. If he murders someone, he can be executed. Neither the CIA nor the U.S. government will save him. In fact, N.O.C.’s are trained specifically to deny any connection with their government.
This, by itself, is a fascinating career. But in Patriot, as an N.O.C., he also has to work undercover as an engineer in a piping company, a job which probably requires years of specialized education. John Tavner has no such education. He’s completely and totally out of his depth. He crams enough before his interview, however, to nearly get hired, but there’s another guy, Stephen, with a better shot at landing the job.
So, John pushes Stephen in front of a moving van.