Spoilers for season 1 of The Diplomat ahead.
The smooth-but-addicting Netflix political thriller The Diplomat not only delivers Keri Russell another well-deserved starring role, but alsoone of the better cliffhanger finales in recent memory. It’s tough to make government in-fighting feel anything other than satirical, overwrought, or outright boring, but The Diplomat pulls off the balance with aplomb: The series is juicy enough to remain engaging, serious enough to inch its way toward prestige status, and accessible enough not to deter those unaware of the difference between the FBI and the CIA. As such, a second season seems all but guaranteed—especially given showrunner Debora Cahn’s ongoing relationship with Netflix. Here’s what we know so far.
Will The Diplomat get a season 2?
Netflix has yet to officially announce a second season of The Diplomat. But fret not—because Cahn has signed an overall Netflix deal, it seems extremely likely the show will continue. (“I’ve seen firsthand Deb’s incredible work on shows including The West Wing,” said Netflix Vice President and head of Drama Development Jinny Howe, per Deadline. “She knows how to tell an amazing story, with character depth, stakes and surprises, all of which she’ll bring to The Diplomat. We’re thrilled to welcome Deb to Netflix.”)
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And Cahn herself is eager to do more, as she told ELLE.com in an interview. “I have been fortunate in my life to work on a lot of long-running series, so I think that’s how I think,” she says. “I look for stories that can go on for a long time because, for me, the excitement of being able to go in really deep with characters you already know and you have a relationship with is fantastic. I still don’t know if this is going to be that series or if it’s this eight-hour story. You plan for the best version and hope for the best version and we’ll see what happens.”
Russell similarly shared her interests in returning, telling ELLE.com, “[Actors] all have different jobs and some are good and some are okay or some are really serious, and this is a really fun one to be a part of. And I would love to do more. So we’ll see.”
What will season 2 be about?
An explosive season 1 finale ended on a cliffhanger, leaving the fate of Hal Wyler (Rufus Sewell), Stuart Heyford (Ato Essandoh), and Ronnie (Jess Chanliau) unclear. After U.S. Ambassador Kate Wyler (Keri Russell) and Austin Dennison (David Gyasi) infer that Prime Minister Nicol Trowbridge (Rory Kinnear) was the real source of the attack on the HMS Courageous, and that he hired the Russian Lenkov Group to kill his own countrymen, a bomb goes off in the car of Tory MP Merritt Grove. Hal, Stuart, Ronnie, and Merritt are all within range of the blast, and when Kate and Austin get the news, the camera cuts to black before we can learn what happens next.
The direction for season 2, then, is clear: The story would follow the recovery (or, if the writers go down a darker road, the funerals) of these characters while fleshing out Kate and Austin’s case against Trowbridge. (They can’t exactly accuse the PM of treason without the requisite evidence.) In the meantime, the White House’s efforts to slot Kate into the soon-to-be-vacant role of Vice President are sure to accelerate.
Who will be in the cast?
Part of what makes the series work is the easy charisma of its ensemble; a second season would need all these players to return to create the same effect. Thus far, it seems likely the cast will remain the same, featuring Russell, Sewell, Ali Ahn, Essandoh, Gyasi, Kinnear, Miguel Sandoval, and more.
When will season 2 come out?
News of Netflix green-lighting The Diplomat first dropped in January 2022, and season 1 premiered 15 months later. If the series gets renewal news soon, a season 2 could hypothetically arrive as early as late 2024. But since further intelligence from the mega-streamer is forthcoming, for now, we can only operate on speculation.
This story will be updated.
Lauren Puckett-Pope is a staff culture writer at ELLE, where she primarily covers film, television and books. She was previously an associate editor at ELLE.