“The Comey Rule”–Inner Conflict
In this two-part Hulu and Showtime series, FBI Director James Comey (Jeff Daniels) begins a collision course against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (Brendan Gleeson). Based on Comey’s book, “A Higher Loyalty”, the first part of The Comey Rule follows the investigation into Hillary’s email and its impact on the 2016 election. Part Two follows the aftermath of the election on Comey’s career and on his family, together with his investigation into Russia, code-named “Crossfire Hurricane”. This is not just a political docudrama but an emotional account of what happened: Comey’s side of the story.
The Comey Rule attempts to give the viewer insight into the stress intertwined within the decisions government civil servants make on a daily basis. The major question being raised: Why did Comey do it? Why did he thrust a hand grenade into the gears of the Democratic Party’s campaign for Hillary Clinton– not just once but twice. There was no going back.
Watching The Comey Rule we see the moral compass that rigidly guides Comey’s every thought. What an impossible situation he finds himself in, based on the fundamentals of what he stoically considers his only course of action. Without reflecting on the consequences of his actions from a more complex moral gradient, the middle-aged Comey seems to have the naive behavior of a twenty-something bureaucrat not yet used to the bloodsport of politics in DC. The Comey Rule is both engrossing and maddening: seeing how Comey makes his decisions and how shocked he is by their repercussions.
“What would I have done in Comey’s position?” The Comey Rule offers no simple answer other than Comey sincerely felt he was saving the integrity of the FBI. There does seem to be tentativeness in how Comey is portrayed in “Crossfire Hurricane”, the catalyst for Trump terminating his career at the FBI . A man so morally stalwart by his own standards, Comey seems to have wanted to do the right thing no matter what. Refusing to cross a line he had drawn for himself, regardless of advice from his own team members in the FBI and from his family, Comey is portrayed as a tragic figure.
Jeff Daniels, as is expected, embodies the tortuous conflict within James Comey. A superb, extraordinarily subtle, but very credible performance. Regardless of one’s political proclivities, The Comey Rule tells a story that needs to be told. And listened to. It is of Shakespearean proportions.
As a drama, this was so well-executed. Historians will have to decide. what is fact and what is fiction.
Although we are too close to truly see what happened, watch The Comey Rule. It is disturbing.