Whoosh!
Online Edition ...
And Danny gets shot at!
And no, it's not Zoe


SPOOKS
(MI-5)

EPISODE THREE
(---)


EPISODE NO. 19
Series 3, episode 03
Series 309
1st release (U.K.): 10/25/04
1st release (U.S.):
Production number:
Last update: 11/01/04


Previous Episode | Spooks Guide |Episode Guide |Next Episode


CAST & CREDITS
TV GUIDE PROMOS
PRESS RELEASE
SYNOPSIS/ANALYSIS
COMMENTARIES LINKS



RECURRING CAST
Harry Peace PETER FIRTH
Danny Hunter DAVID OYELOWO
Tom Quinn MATTHEW MACFADYEN
Zoe Reynolds KEELEY HAWES
Sam Buxton SHAUNA MACDONALD
Adam Carter RUPERT PENRY-JONES
Oliver Mace TIM MCINNERNY
Ruth Evershed NICOLA WALKER
Will RICHARD HARRINGTON

GUEST CAST
Oliver Mace TIM MCINNERNY
Muhammed Khordad PAUL BHATTACHARJEE
Danny Hunter DAVID OYELOWO
Zuli SIMON DE SELVA
Harakat ANUPAM KHER
Colin Wells RORY MACGREGOR
Zoe Reynolds KEELEY HAWES
Will North RICHARD HARRINGTON
Adam Carter RUPERT PENRY JONES
Malcolm Wynn-Jones HUGH SIMON
Harry Pearce PETER FIRTH
Sam Buxton SHAUNA MACDONALD
Ruth Evershed NICOLA WALKER
MI6 Officer ALISDAIR SIMPSON
Tube Engineer JAMIE MARTIN
Deep Throat HARRIET WALTER

CREDITS
Writer Howard Brenton
Director Jonny Campbell

BBC-1, Mondays 9pm







TV GUIDE PROMOS

Danny and the team must uncover the truth behind an assassination attempt on controversial novelist Zulifakir (Simon de Selva) while he's under Close Quarter Protection. Harry uncovers evidence that nasty MI6 man Oliver Mace may have been involved in terrorist activity. TheCustard.tv

Danny and the team must uncover the truth behind an assassination attempt on a famous novelist. BBC

Danny and the team must uncover the truth behind an assassination attempt on a famous novelist. But was he the real target, or is there a more sinister conspiracy behind it? UKNova

Danny and the team must uncover the truth behind an assassination attempt on a famous novelist. TVTome



PRESS RELEASE

Danny, on Close Quarter Protection, is shaken when his charge is shot at. The charge: Zuli, a controversial writer living in Britain under a fatwa. Zuli survives but immediately sacks MI5, appalled at how they - especially Danny - could have allowed this to happen.

On closer examination Adam picks up on something crucial - the hitman missed his target, but almost hit the innocent Harakat, bookseller and friend to Zuli. Surely a professional hitman wouldn't make such an error? Following through his hunch, Adam tasks an unconvinced Danny to put Close Quarter Protection on Harakat.

The team track down the hitman to a house in East London. They watch and wait, but nothing. He doesn't move an inch. Ruth uncovers the application for UK citizenship Harakat filled in 20 years ago - it reads like a bad legend and the team are immediately suspicious. Harry goes to see his MI6 colleague, the shady Oliver Mace. Mace denies any dodgy dealings, but Harry is irresolute.

Meanwhile, Zoe is forging a relationship with Will, the photographer - to Danny's slight consternation.

The team receive a photograph from an anonymous source - it's Mace talking to the head of a Pakistani terror group a couple of years ago. MI5 are worried. Why were they meeting? Harry puts Adam in touch with a source who will shed some light on the photo. But it's vital the identity of the source is kept secret. The team launch an elaborate surveillance detection route in the hope Adam will make it to the meet without being followed.

Mace, desperate to stop Adam talking to the source, does his best to outsmart MI5 - but he's no match for Adam.

Adam, unfollowed, meets the source and she's a senior government official. She reveals that Harakat is in fact a double agent, working for both Pakistan and MI6. The situation is now too hot and MI6 have cut a deal to allow him to be 'removed'. The hitman they are watching is only a decoy. The real one is out there now.

Can the team get to Danny and Harakat before the hitman? But Danny, who has forged a deep friendship with his charge, is out of contact. Adam races on foot to get to him - but it is too late - the hitman has got there first and much to Danny's horror, Harakat is shot dead in front of him.

Mace is unrepentant - as he tells Harry, post 9/11, no-one is off limits.



SYNOPSIS/ANALYSIS:

This synopsis is by Han.

303 - in which the writers remember that yes, they *do* have minor characters.

So, we begin, as ever, with a request for other people's opinions and the slightly obvious warnings that this review contains MASSIVE SPOILERS.

We're somewhere on the West Bank, with Percy. Glad you're back, boy. He's wearing inscrutable sunglasses and being talked to by Some Guy who wants to know if Some Other Guy is still under witness protection. Then we skip to Danny in a bookshop, one month later.

They're under surveillance by Zoe and Colin, and Some Other Guy is revealed to be an author called/known as Zuuli (pronounced Zoo-lee, but it's obviously not going to be spelt like that properly) who is under a fatwa. This is such a good name I don't think he needs a pseudonym, do you? Zuuli it is, until I find out how his name is spelt. Ah, hang on, now they're saying Zulu…

Apparently this 'tea with a friend' in the bookshop is a bit low-status, as he normally hangs out with the glitterati (oh, who can this be based on? I wonder…), and the Home Secretary's a big fan. Ooh, Colin's such a bitch.

'There's only one thing that worries me - the last thing we want is to keep Zuuli alive long enough to inflict another one of his novels on us.'

Zuuli's friend thinks he should renounce what he wrote so the fatwa will be lifted. Danny is so obviously bored, but he plays along, going all 'But what about me? What would I do then?' sweet.

Oooh, all of a sudden all the cameras scramble and then men come into the bookshop! Danny pushes over a bookcase and tries to shoot some people, and more people come and there's more shooting and Danny's shouting 'Code Red!' and Zuuli's friend gets himself shot. THEN some people jump through the front window, and Zoe's just stood there holding a gun (and seemingly without body armour). ALRIGHT!!!

Titles, and then 1 week later. Danny's asleep in the flat, and Zoe and boyfriend are off out to a wedding, and she wakes him up to say goodbye. Would he be allowed about if Danny was there? Or does he not know about Danny? Zoe's in a rather fab dress, and she says he should get some sleep (so I guess he was dozing, because he was lying there with his eyes shut).

He says he's been thinking about Tom (I know the feeling, bastard won't leave me alone) and he was right, you have to seize the day, talking to her about…oh my God, he's asking her out!! What happened to Sam, you? Zoe points out she's with Will, and he tells her to think about it this weekend.

Hustler is very smart. Dress and brain. There's a bit of banter about an ejector seat, which is quite cute, and at least he has more of a personality than Mr 'I am an Italian Banker and That Is It' from last season. He asks if she and Danny have ever had a thing, and she says no, but kind of stumbles over it. Seems a bit odd. Of course, there's the possibility of a drunken thing having happened offscreen, I suppose. I think, like me, he presumes that and says she doesn't have to tell him.

We then go to Thames House, 1 week earlier. Waah!! This is all confusing!! Adam 'loose cannon' Carter is in jeans and so is Zoe! He's infecting the rest of the staff with his casualness! There's an odd little exchange about Zuuli being in the hospital:

(Z) 'He's gone to the hospital.'
(A) 'Best place for him, there's more police than nurses in that place.'
(D) 'That wouldn't be hard.'

Danny's looking through a book for the type of gun (the short stock Scorpion, fact fans) and he says it had a silencer thing. Malcolm's all 'I really don't think so.' And then when Danny goes away, he has this look. It's really funny. Yay Malcolm!

Zuuli is slightly pissed off that his friend got shot, and it's quite hard to be on the spooky side, because, er, his friend got shot under their surveillance. This is apparently The Episode of The Weird Lines, because then follows this:

(Zu) 'Look.I arrange tea with a friend and the friend ends up getting shot. That's not what I call full protective surveillance. We might as well have just gone to Starbucks on our own.'
(D) 'Coffee.'
(H) 'Danny?'
(D) *slow head turn of importance.* 'Starbucks. That would have been for coffee, not tea.'

Er, okay. Zuuli throws a strop and says he's organised his own protection, and walks out. Then Danny looks at Adam and throws a strop, saying that across the river at 6 they might do things differently - and then Adam stops him, saying he's got a point, but he's here, not over there. He also says that it's not about Danny, his work was outstanding, and I swear, he's the 5 cheerleader. Also, I got the feeling with this scene there is a little bit of Not Tom tension. *Finally*.

Adam has a very, um, soft voice. He says they were compromised, and need two things - who did it (it wasn't me! Haha ha ha, um…well, my sister would've laughed) and what are they going to do next? In case you're wondering, there should be a 'to know' in there, but I'm kind of quoting here.

Adam 'loose cannon' Carter is considerably less fit this episode. *sigh* He asks Danny what happened then, meaning in the scene. They have a very low-fi drawing on the wall. We have a flashback and books are being shot. :*( Adam notices that the gunman had a clear shot, and time, but didn't shoot Zuuli, and he wonders why. Danny says it might have been because he started shooting, but he had a chance... (ooooooooh)

Adam *again*, but this time talking to Ruth, yay! (I was going to say something about how they've had zero interaction so far. Glad to be proved wrong). Ruth has her hair tied back, and it looks much better than mine ever does like that (though NW's hair is straight and mine…just isn't). He wants her to look into the bookseller, and says 'I sometimes think it's useful to look at an operation from a less obvious viewpoint.' Which seems fairly simple to me, and pointless exposition, because I think Ruth gets it too. OMG then he says 'Harry tells me you're the soul of discretion', which I will add to my evidence for their affair. OMG! And then se goes all bashful and looks down and says 'Did he? Oh, well, I try.' OMG OMG they're so having an affair.

THEN he walks away and she calls after him

'Ooh, and Tom - Sorry. Oh, um, God. I'm *so* sorry. I -
Adam -I assume that means that you don't want me to distribute my research to the rest of the office personally.'
'That's right, Ruth. I'd also prefer it if you came to me, Adam, rather than Tom.'
'Yes, yes, of course, Adam.'

Now, someone was bound to do that sooner or later. I love Ruth. Oh my frigging God, then what does she do? Goes straight to Harry to check it's alright. He says yes, he brought Adam in to 'resolve the Tom problem'. He says he hasn't decided whether or not he's keeping Adam on, but whoever joins the team, he sees Ruth as one of the senior pros (!!!!) which makes me squee like mad (though under my breath, because I'm watching this at 11.35 and everyone else is asleep). He says it's an old cricket expression, and she says

'And what, Adam's our new captain?'
'I don't know, all I know is that I want someone from outside.' She goes to walk away and then turns back.
'So all that makes someone like Malcolm what, head groundsman?' She says it all kind of 'is he higher up than me?', and Harry responds
'I think we can probably take the analogy too far, don't you?'

*****LOVE*****

Back to Adam and Ruth's research. Ruth thinks that Bookman's application for citizenship looks like a bad legend - it's too real to be real, and 'looks like something an MI6 case officer would make up.' Adam says something about giving him the highlights, which rings a bell with me. Has this line been used before, anyone? She also very carefully say 'Adam' at the end, and he turns round and says 'Thank you [beat] Ruth.' They're not going to let this go… I know I'm a squeeing Ruth fangirl and all that, but they have ace chemistry.

Adam wants Danny to look after Bookman, who I assumed had died, despite the line about him going to the hospital. Right Han. Danny goes to talk to him. Bookman is talking about there being two types of people - ones who look for trouble and ones who try to avoid it - and how when the shooting started he stepped over the line, which is really…not sweet, but something like that. He also wants to know why he's having protection - because he saw the gunman.

'But you saw the gunman too.'
'Maybe I need protection as well.'
'But who guards the guards, then?'
'I think they expect us to be able to look after ourselves.'

David SurnameICan'tSpell has a lovely smile.

'I'm happy to go and ask Mace but we must remember that one swallow does not make a summer and all that.'

I like that line. Harry and Adam, in Harry's office, and Harry goes to talk to Mace in da club again.

'Why should I be interested in this man's visa application? Does it now say visas and passports on my door?'
'Actually, it says department of livestock and freshwater fish.'
'There's no need to be facetious, Harry.'

Harry then says to him, the application looks like something written by an analyst, when what he really means is that's what Ruth told him over dinner. Ahem.

'I'll keep it simple. You oversee both 5 and 6. Is there anything you're not sharing about Harakat?'
'Harry. We're on the same side. Surely instead of pursuing this childish interagency rivalry, you should concentrate on trying to plug the gaps in your own security?'
'Meaning what?'
'As I hear it, the reason this poor chap got shot was that half of London knew Zuuli's schedule.'

(May I add now there is some politics in this section but as per usual I am not following.)

Back at the grid, and forensics found a scrambler thing that buggered up the cameras. Loads of people had access to the schedule (well, loads of government people, anyway). Ruth comes up and Zoe's trying to get a match for the gunman, going through the embassy information. Ruth, meanwhile, is left with 'the assorted mercenaries and nutcases.' Zoe's response is much funnier when taken out of context: 'Well, you might get lucky.'

There's a Syrian who Zoe wants to put under immediate 'surveillance', i.e. he's cute (well, not cute, that's the wrong word, but he is fit), and she says something about Ruth getting night duty. I think she's trying to be nice, but I'm not sure. It doesn't matter anyway, because Ruth is, of course, with Harry. I swear, if it ever actually happens on screen, I will DIE.

(Z) 'Malcolm, what do you think about Mr. Handsome over here?'
(M) 'He's okay.'
(Z) 'Okay? That is more than okay. That is…'
(R) 'The business?'
(M) 'I'd say it depends what you think makes a man attractive to women.'
(Z) 'Well, um, [pointing] somebody that looks like that, and somebody that makes me laugh,-'
(R) 'Oh…' (As in stop being mean, I think)
(M) 'No, Zoe's right, I'm too serious, I should lighten up. Maybe you could help me. I could practice jokes. Stuff like that.
(Z) Mm. Ruth? [walking over] She'd love to, Malcolm.

Now, let me just add my own opinion here. This 'Malcolm-has-a-crush-on-Zoe' thing was a bit of a joke in season one, and has barely (if ever, I can't remember but don't trust my own memory) been referenced to since. It's totally unnecessary - why bring it back? And the writers had better not be indicating Ruth/Malcolm because that would not be good for my OTP, and just NO.

Time goes on, and Ruth and Malcolm are the only people in the office, going through the files to try and find a match. Now, I've just had a thought relating to something that a lot of people have been saying - why are the writers suddenly acting as if Section B is the whole of MI5? Could part of it be explained by the fact that 'our' grid is empty at night, and therefore another section takes over? Personally I think the problem is explained away by the fact that it's a tv show, and the writers are always going to focus on their characters, but I can see why it bugs some people. And I would say better we never see them than get some flimsy story for Section A shoehorned in or something.

Malcolm's joke:

Man walks into a doctor's surgery. Doctor, doctor I've got a cricket ball stuck up my bum. Doctor says how's that? And the man says don't you start…

Ruth laughs a little bit, and you have to, because it's a very Malcolm joke. Then she says

'In some ways, Malcolm, I don't think I'm the best person for you on this.' Which I'm taking to mean that she has the same sense of humour, but I'm not sure.

Meeting room. Mr Bookshop (not Bookman) is a hitman with no particular allegiance. Ruth has her hair kind of up, not just a ponytail, and looks even cuter than before. He was in the bookshop a week before the shooting.

(R) 'Apparently, the regime was strapped for cash, so they paid him in kind - with a Russian military helicopter.' (this line is accompanied by a picture that looks so 'Mum! I'm on holiday! I've got a helicopter!' because even hitmen need holiday snaps)
(M) 'Put that in the back garden and the neighbours would know you mean business.'

Ruth and Zoe walk out of the room, and Ruth is teeny. Teeny! Hustler has asked Zoe to go to a wedding, and I'd forgotten we were doing the time jumpy thing. Aargh! It's his best friend's wedding from college.

'Well that's great.'
'Yeah, it's just that it's the first thing we've done in public together.'
'So are you going to get him vetted?'
'He already has been.'
'I've always thought it a shame that the service has to know when we're serious about someone.'
'Especially when it's before they do.'

Zoe has a shiny black car. That dress is actually not that flattering from this angle. More banter which is cute, and they're talking about work stuff. Outside. At a wedding. With other people about. She's telling him about legends and stuff.

Back in the office, Zoe asks Ruth where Adam is. He had to dash out to buy an anniversary present for his wife. He is, and it's underwear. Wouldn't catch Tom doing *that*, would you? There's something about immigration that I missed. Hang on. Right, the hitman's come back into the country. Adam comes back into the office, and they're checking him. Adam turns round, and Ruth's trying to look in his bag.

'Oh, sorry Ruth. That's mine.'
'Oh! Right, fine, good. Course it is.'

You have no idea how hard it is to laugh quietly at 12.30 in the morning (for anyone *really* paying attention, the timng's out because I keep pausing it to type). Adam gives her a *look* which I will think of a name for eventually, but it's pretty close to 'wtf?' and Ruth makes an embarrassed retreat.

We follow the car to, um, somewhere suburban. Sam is spoken to, if not seen, and Adam wants Danny to get Harakat to a safehouse and stay there.

They're getting ready to go, and Harakat wants to know when he'll get to go home:

D: Truthfully…?
H: Danny, you work for British intelligence, that's the last thing I expect.

Harakat's beginning to realise this won't be over for a while. He asks Danny to get him some books and says that if he wants some… Danny says there are probably rules about freebies - 'there are about most things.'

Walking down a corridor, Harry, Adam, Zoe and Sam, amazingly! They've got surveillance on Al Youm (the hitman) and Adam tells Sam to put in a house officer 'and get whoever's in there out sharpish.' Does he mean 'put someone in a house and chuck someone out of their own house' or am I misunderstanding again? Ah, no, there are the dangers of pausing. Zoe's obviously in a happy mood because of Hustler, as she actually gives Sam advice! 'Holiday in the sun competition usually works, Sam.'

'What postcode are we talking about?'
'E8.'
'*sigh* When will someone give me an NW3? So much more interesting. Costa Blanca sounds right. Maybe Benidorm.'
'Malcolm, has anyone ever told you you're a dreadful snob?'
*rolleyes*
Sam makes the call to the homeowners and does it rather well. :)

In the safehouse, Harakat has his books but wants to go outside. Danny says something about being in danger, Harakat says 'not my favourite feeling' and Danny says 'You sound like you've experienced it before.' There is a Look but he doesn't elaborate.

Ruth and Adam again. Still nothing with Al Youm, and Harry got nowhere with Percy. Ruth says 'sometimes this happens. You get these lulls.' As if he doesn't know (though of course he comes from woo swishy 6 so maybe he doesn't). He says it's frustrating, and the guy's done nothing since he got there. Ruth leaves, and says if there's anything else she can do, all he has to do is ask.

Safehouse. Harakat has something for Danny - a book. He says that Zuuli was not speaking on behalf on him in that interview - how would he know? Who told him? It's a 1913 Wisden, and they have a cricket conversation. o_O What is it with cricket this episode? We're getting closer to some big revelation.

Sam brings Harry photos of Percy with that guy from the beginning. They were delivered anonymously. Other guy is leader of the Pakistani terrorist group The Path Of Light. Have recently expanded their operations to South East Asia.

They (Danny, Zoe and Colin) go to the American embassy to use the image enhancer which maps the contours of the skull to create an image of the face (as the photo shows the back of the head). Is this real and does it only work on bald men? Picture comes out as Percy.

Adam reckons there's some sort of deal. He gets slightly snippy with Harry -

'Anything you can bring to the table would be more than welcome. Like what are they talking about?'

which is odd, but I suppose could be interesting if they keep the conflict going - after all, as far as Adam knows he's only temporary and has no reason to be deferential - Harry's a friend and equal, not a boss.

In da club. Percy's on the phone.

'These days, most people's idea of a secret is something that you only tell one person at a time.'

He tells the other end of the phone to tell 6 to put a team of watchers of 'Harry Pearce's lot'. Oooh intrigue.

This time it's Harry and Adam on the grid. The source behind the pictures is willing to talk. Harry can't go near her, so Adam's going to do it. She's a very senior government official.

'Don't let me down on this, Adam, because afterwards I think we should talk about the future. You and MI5.'

Group Meeting. The team are told there's going to be loads of counter surveillance. He wants Zoe to run it.

'Now before we start, there's something about Tom I want to get straight. He was an outstanding case officer, who with all of you established a great team. And this is no disservice to him, because his record stands for itself. I need you to forget about what's happened. I need you on my side.'

He picks a suit and checks the location of the signage. Ruth is suddenly wearing less hippyish tops (very similar to Zoe's, actually) and more colours. This is obviously because she has a man or is trying to impress one. Ahem.

Adam's walking across one of the bridges, watched on surveillance. Zoe says something about how Adam made his name with this in the Middle East. She's also doing tech exposition. I know I keep calling him scruffy, but he doesn't look right in a suit.

Percy is rather pleased that Adam is going to be the one doing the meet. He puts down his tea and goes off.

Safehouse. Harakat and Danny are leaving for pastures new.

The grid, and undisclosed location for counter surveillance. Adam goes to change into scruffy gear, and is spotted immediately. Percy and Malcolm would get on; they're both total bitches.

'Oh Adam, don't you have another hat?' (it is ugly)

There are LOADS of watchers on Adam. It all gets very confusing. More exposition, and the word BRIDGE flashes up on one of those Evening Standards boards*. He takes the hat off. Two people get out of a car with a matched plate, and 5 follow them following Adam. As Zoe says, they must be 6 because they're the only ones with the manpower, and 'he probably trained those guys'. The message goes onto a menu board outside a restaurant. Woo!

Then we're at the fugly Barclays building, which is right next to 30 St Mary Axe/Swiss Re/the gherkin (hopefully you'll recognise one of those names, if not, it's a big cone type building in London. I like it) and there are a load of joggers. Not sure who they're working for. Oh, right, 5.

Harry's on an escalator, following the progress and then Percy notices the diversion tactic. Confusing!! Adam's on the Jubilee line and he gets off at Charing Cross. Charing Cross is on the Jubilee? Having consulted a tube map, it isn't, so either the line was wrong, he changed already, or I misread the sign. It was about 1 a.m. Harry keeps the doors on the tube closed so Adam's follower can't get off, and then Adam gets on a train going back in the other direction. And that's all it takes. THEN Percy sees Harry on one of the cameras, ha ha ha.

Adam puts something in a bin and goes over to a bench where Government lady is waiting. He tells her it's a jammer. Ah…

Danny and Harakat are at the Oval. Sweet! Though if he doesn't get shot or something, I will feel cheated by the piano music.

Oh, yeah, there we go. As part of the deal, Terrorist Man gets Harakat. Back story time: he was the top engineer for The Path Of Light, and eventually grew a conscience and worked as a double agent for 6. He got too hot and they got him out. And now 'our government, in it's infinite wisdom, has decided it needs the previously unspeakable Other (could be Kordan, Kordite, something like that) as it's new best friend'. Nice line in bitterness, this one.

'And they're going to try and hit Harakat again?'
'The way they see it, they've got no choice.'
'Will it be Al Youm?'
'NO, this time he's just the decoy. I don't know who and I don't know where, but it will be soon…the reason I'm here, the reason I passed the photographs on, is that I disapprove. This is being done more for the corporations than for anyone else…It's not something I approve of.'

Adam runs out of range of the scrambler and phones in, telling Thames House what's going on. Danny has his phone off, or something. Adam's running towards Lord's, and Harakat and Danny are back in the car and driving off. Adam sees them drive away and shouts after them. All Thames House can do is watch them talking and wait…and then he gets shot through the back of the car. Danny looks like shocked, then angry, and gets out of the car and for crying out loud, do we HAVE to have that bloody wailing woman music every sodding time??

Back on the grid, Danny and Zoe are left. He wants to know if she thinks that if Tom had been there, it would have been different.

Harry and Percy walking and talking. Percy's talking very coolly about breaking deals and Harakat and Other.

'if you're asking me is there anything at present we shouldn't do to achieve our aims, then I frankly don't know. Post 911, we made a decision than nobody, nothing was to be off limits anymore.'

They have one of their arguments, which I will report in more detail in the morning. (note: this is a lie. I had to iron instead)

6 want Adam back, and Harry says that the loan period is over when he says it is. He also lets Percy know he wants to make it permanent.

'They're right about one thing though - he is rather good.'

Back on the grid, and this is the Episode of Late Nights. Harry wants Adam to stay, and I think he agrees.

We end on Zoe and Hustler at the wedding, being all sweet and he quotes a sonnet at her. She says something like 'I promise to always tell the truth as long as you promise to laugh in the right places.' And then we finish on Danny, on his own, with the book.

Next week: I am screwed, people, because the actress in the teaser? Look like my hated ex-housemate, J-Fu the Magnificent. Funk. On the good side, Corin Redgrave, who was in Ultraviolet. W00t!

* For those of you not in London, there are some advertising boards around with info things like you get on trains, that scroll sentences across. The one in Charing Cross often says something about Arsenal.



COMMENTARIES

Rose
Well, I take back everything I said about third episodes of this show: without a doubt this was the rockingest hour of Spooks I've enjoyed since the first season.

For sure, I have a couple of nits to pick, but on the whole I found this a solid hour with some sweet character interaction, cool spy stuff and a plot that didn't have me reaching for the no-doze half way through. Good times!

Before I get to actual episode analysis (yes I am pretentious enough to call it that) I want to thank the good folks at BT Efnet for having the episode available to download within something like 3 hours of its airing. That was amazingly fast and I appreciate it greatly.

Anyway, onto the show.

Bits I really liked:

*All the nice character moments in between the action: Zoe and Colin in the van, Ruth and Adam, Sam and Malcolm about postcodes and snobbery and later Sam's perky turn as sweepstakes girl, and especially Zoe, Ruth and Malcolm talking about men. Even though everyone was still busy with the mission, it was really nice to see this kind of interaction because no matter how intense the job, people aren't just all business all the time and talk with each other as friends and human beings. More of this please. Especially if it involves Malcolm!

*The wacky timeline was really cool. Not being a slave to strictly chronological storytelling really opened up new possibilities. If everything had been strictly chronological, I doubt there would have been room for all the lovely character work.

*Seeing more of the behind the scenes stuff for missions. There was a lot of this in the first season with the forgery suite, and I'm happy to see the nitty gritty work being shown again. Danny and Adam reconstructing the attack, Danny and Malcolm trying to ID the gun, Colin playing with fancy American toys (even if I do have some reservations about that -- see below) and so on.

*The Ruth and Adam scene where she calls him Tom and afterward when they keep emphasizing each other's name. I'm still not loving Adam for all the reasons I stated last week. However, I was really pleased that there was some significant acknowledgment of Tom's absence since after the Tessa thing, I was almost sure his name would never be mentioned again on the Grid. Still, show some personality boy that goes beyond frilly underwear!

*Ruth and Harry. No not like that, even though I know at least a few people who would be totally thrilled if that were the case. I mean Harry acknowledging that Ruth is one of the most together people he has working for him, even if he was shall we say, less then tactful in the way he expressed himself (poor old Harry).

*Percy trying to use MI6 to outsmart Harry and being shown how the big boys play. That will never get old.

*Danny and Harakat. Who knew Danny is such a cricket fan? It was nice to see Danny get some nice screentime with someone not evil and not from work. Too bad Harakat was destined to die horribly.

*Conversation between Harry and Oliver (yeah, in this case I'm using his real name) on the Embankment: it was a great distillation of two of the most widely held positions on our so-called War Against Terror. Oliver's zero sum approach is frightening as all hell and Harry's response showed me that for all their faults, the MI5 crowd under him are still the good guys.

Bits I wasn't thrilled with:

*Since when is Danny still mooning over Zoe? Ok, I can go with what Zoe said about Danny having a bad week, but unless I'm forgetting something wasn't Danny still going out with Sam last we saw? (If I'm forgetting a dump scene somewhere then never mind) Considering that Danny has not shown any overt romantic interest in Zoe since their abortive kiss back in the first season, all this seems a bit out of left field (or the appropriate cricket equivalent).

*As much as I enjoyed having Colin race off to the American embassy to play with their toys, why did they need to go to such lengths for that particular picture? Even if I hadn't seen the opening of the episode, wasn't it pretty obvious whose enormous melon head they were looking at?

*Adam's endless journey around London. Ok, I love the spy craft as much as the next girl, but it just went on forever. Walking, walking, walking. Oh look, he's walking some more. And again, I thought the Harry outside the office taking part in the mission was gratuitous. I couldn't help thinking that in seasons past, the job of stopping the trains would have been left to someone like Sam. Ok, I know the payoff was the CCTV shot so that Percy could see who had bested him, but it still didn't work for me.

*Mopey Tom is gone and now we're being saddled with Mopey Danny? No no no no no. Please, it was hard enough the first time as Tom's overwhelming angst took over everything, please let Danny escape the same terrible fate.

Loose ends:

*Does the evil Percy have a spy reporting to him from the Grid? He seemed to know everything they were doing almost as soon as it happened.

Things that made me go huh?

*When Zoe was talking to Will about the use of aliases (and what's up with her spilling all her trade secrets to this guy anyway? Loose lips sink ships Zoe, you should know that!) and she said that generally you should use a name with your own initials. That makes sense, but it was a bizarre thing for anyone on this show to say because when has that ever been the case? I can't think of a single time an alias has had even one initial in common with the person using it.

Silliest line of the week:

Zoe: (about Harakat getting his head blown off) "Nobody could have foreseen this?"
Me: "If they'd ever watched tv before they could have. Dude was toast as soon as Danny befriended him!"

Best line of the week:

Harry (of course): (about Harakat's immigration file) "To me this looks like something written by an analyst. One of those spotty MI6 mutants they keep in the dungeons of Vauxhall Bridge Road beside where C grows his magic mushrooms."



LINKS:

Preview clip, Danny tries to date Zoe.

Video clip for this episode




Previous Episode | Spooks Guide |Episode Guide |Next Episode


Episode
Guide Table of ContentsBack to Whoosh!