‘The Diplomat’ Season 2: Everything To Know So Far About The Return Of Keri Russell’s Twisty Thriller (Update For July 2024)

Long after the days when Keri Russell’s haircut changed Felicity‘s trajectory, the lead actress of FX’s The Americans remains a magnetic and reliable TV presence who can nab streaming clicks with the best of them. In The Diplomat, Russell once again finds herself (as Kate Wyler) not only in a complicated job but a heavily-featured marriage, and although her newest series does contain some adrenaline-fueled moments, a large focus rests on the messiest relationship of the thriller/dramedy show.

The Diplomat launched in April 2023 as an instant Netflix hit, and viewers soon began asking for a second season with Netflix making the rare call of a swift renewal. Not only does that mean more onscreen Russell — which she celebrates, and she recently told Dinner’s On Me podcast host Jesse Tyler Ferguson that she is “super thankful to have a job right now because so many of my friends do not” — but we will also not be left hanging by that explosive cliffhanger season finale. Let’s talk about what has been revealed thus far.


The most pressing question of the season finale is whether Kate Wyler’s husband, fellow diplomat Hal (Rufus Sewell) — who has a very different style, both personally and professionally, from Kate — might have been pushed out of this mortal coil. Sure, other characters could have lost their lives in that explosion, too, but whether Hal lives or dies is integral to the tone of The Diplomat because theirs is such a miserable marriage, which realistically will not end unless Hal does die. Vanity Fair actually explored that issue with one of the show’s consultants, ex-CIA official Kari Amelung, who reveals that married diplomats will delay splits because a divorce filing will cause them “to forfeit coveted overseas assignments to return to the States.” So, they will “just live in hatred [with each other],” which does speak to this show’s layers.

As viewers will recall, the season ended with the revelation that Rory Kinnear’s British PM Nicola Trowbridge had been the culprit of the attack on a British aircraft carrier. Not only that, but that second explosion throws not only Kate’s professional but also her personal life into disarray, and show creator Debora Cohn called this fully intentional to Tudum: “I wanted to bring together all of the different dynamics of the political relationships and the personal relationships in one event that splits apart all at the same time.”

Sewell might have also provided a clue on Hal’s fate by expressing hopes for a long-lived series: “All I know is that if you resolve it one way or another too quickly, we’re screwed … I like to think there are enough problems to last us [a few seasons].” Hmm. Russell, for her part, told Deadline that Cohn is “such a pro. She knows what she’s doing. I’m assuming she had that plan for a while, but I was completely surprised.”

Beyond that resolution about the second explosion, there will be a key shake-up in dynamics because Vice President Grace Penn will soon be seen rather than merely spoken of. Penn will be portrayed by Allison Janney, and Russell did tell Dinner’s On Me that she was nervous about her new colleague:

“I thought, ‘Oh God, well… she’s so good and also she’s so tall and I’m such a shrimp and I’ll look stupid and I won’t look smart and blah, blah.’ I mean like it’s bizarre what your stupid brain does. And we had really heavy dialogue scenes together and I thought, Oh, it’s not going to work and I’m going to look bad. And, and I went into the makeup trailer in the morning, Janney’s there and we meet each other quickly and she nice as can be, tall, like statuesque, quiet and slumping in her chair, how tall girls do. And I went and just in one second I went, ‘She’s just like us.'”

You can’t really blame Russell for feeling that way. Surely, she has seen I, Tonya, but Janney’s presence should loom large throughout the second season, and hopefully, more concrete plot details will surface soon.


Obviously, Keri Russell will return as Kate Wyler, and Allison Janney will visually surface as Vice President Grace Penn. Given the nature of the season finale’s final scenes, we have no way of knowing whether Hal Wyler has survived, now has there been confirmation that the Netflix series will being back Rory Kinnear as Prime Minister Trowbridge, David Gyasi as Austin Dennison, or Ali Ahn as Eidra Graham.

Release Date

The Diplomat is slated to return before 2024 ends.


Until Netflix drops a trailer, it’s never a bad time to revisit The Americans, which is streaming in full on Hulu.