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Series 3, episode 04
Series 304
1st release (U.K.): 11/01/04
1st release (U.S.):
Production number:
Last update: 02/24/05

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Caroline Carver .... Catherine
Anton Lesser .... Nicholas Ashworth
Corin Redgrave .... David Swift

Writer Howard Brenton
Director Jonny Campbell

BBC-1, Mondays 9pm


The latest round of Middle East peace talks are abruptly halted when a key delegate is killed. With the peace process derailed MI5 start to investigate a newspaper mogul and renowned Israeli extremist, and a group he's associated with called the November Committee. Can MI5 prevent an assassination attempt on a pro-Palestinian British MP? TVTome

After a senior negotiator in Middle-Eastern peace talks is assassinated shortly after tipping off MI5, the team investigate the possible involvement of a newspaper editor (Corin Redgrave) and a left-wing MP (Anton Lesser). But then Harry discovers his daughter Catherine (Caroline Carver) may be involved in the conspiracy. Custard.tv

The latest round of Middle East peace talks are abruptly halted when a key delegate is killed. BBC


This synopsis is by Han.

Tonight on Spooks: Vampires!! Look, haven't you learned by now, I lie at the beginning?

We open on `Middle East Peace Talks' with a load of men and one woman. She's really in control and that. Her name's Patricia. Am told she was Cally in Blake's Seven. Oh no, apparently, it's before the talks. The caption must have meant the location. Adam and Colin are watching on a screen. Adam takes a call in which he gives his opinion on what a legend name should be. Eh?

Then, Adam sees a young woman and he's all :o, and she's very pixie- ish and smiley. She turns out to be his wife. They have the same kind of hair! Patricia comes over and says:

`The it couple of the British Security Services.'

Which I'm leaving on it's own because it's so bloody awful. I cannot believe they let that through . *puke* They all seem to be friends, her and the loose cannons. Patricia talks to Adam and gives him a tip-off about David Swift, then dashes off.

Then she's being driven somewhere, and they're not stopping at her hotel, oh, I think she's being kidnapped. Bugger.


Zoe and Danny are creating legends. His name is Chris, he's an acitivist, and she's a PhD. Woo. Then we watch the news with David Swift - Corin Redgrave, who was in Ultaviolet. Noisy debate thing, um, terrorist stuff.

Danny has a modified pen video camera thing from Malcolm. Woo hoo :)

Zoe takes a call from Will and Danny does his jealous, hurt puppy face. She's given him a key, but surely he'd need the alarm code as well, which she can't give him? (see last ep) So what's the point of the key?

Then Danny's watching a lecture/film showing of a documentary thing. It's being led the politician from the debate thingy (Ashworth). The filmmaker, Katherine Townsend, appears.

We switch to the office, Danny talking, and Harry gets up from his seat and walks nearer to the screen. Katherine's his daughter. They all make o_O faces. Oh, Katherine took her mother's name after the divorce. Hear that, people? DIVORCE. I KNEW there was no-one else in that house!!! (207, when the laptop got nicked). Now I don't have to worry about him dumping Ruth to go back to his wife (fic, people). He's quite sneery about her - `emotion over intellect. Her brother was always the one with the brains.' Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but the daughter has been mentioned before, but not the son, right?

They look at surveillance pics and see that Ashworth has a boyfriend, and Adam wants pics, and I just KNOW some of you are reading that a certain way. HOWEVER, the point of me mentioning it was that he then turns to Ze and asks her if she knows any good photographers. Cute. Is that allowed, though? Hey, your boyfriend knows about us, does he fancy some freelancing? Sam (hello, Sam! Have the writers decided what to do with you yet?) comes in and tells Adam that special branch are on the line.

He asks Ruth for some information he wanted her to work on, and then says that some bloody lunatic has kidnapped the UN's chief negotiator. The peace talks have been suspended. He tells Zoe to move her next meeting with Ashworth to that day, and she goes off to talk to him, and then we're back to the office. Adam wants to take Danny on op, but Harry tells him to take Zoe instead, apparently to keep Danny's presence in the campaign office.

Adam goes to some building and bribes the guard to let him in, telling him an unfaithful girlfriend story. He downloads a load of computer stuff and finds a knife of some sort in a drawer, which he photographs.

Adam's still downloading stuff and the security guard's coming up in the lift and this is all reminding me a bit of Hustle. As per usual, because he is Adam `loose cannon' Carter, after all. He catches the guard at the last minute, saying something about text messages.

Dear thinks I am mad as I have been going on about Ruth, especially her change of dress. Her opinions on this are 1) I need to get a life, 2) she still looks like a hippy, and 3) she might be interested in Adam. I can't believe the most romantic person I know isn't a spooks shipper at all. *despairs*

Adam asks Malcolm to de-encrypt the hard drive and give the results to Ruth for analysis, and they go to have a group meeting. He reckons the November Committee have something to do with the disappearance. David Swift is `an extreme neo-conservative with friends in high places'. Um, there's some complicated stuff about middle eastern politics, which I'm not going to go into detail about.

Harry and Danny go to talk. Amazingly, Harry says that `it's always better to keep personal feelings out of these things', which I can only presume is intentional, because it's ridiculous on every level I can think of. Apparently J-Fu's a rising star in the world of documentaries, and she lived in Tel Aviv but now she's back. He despatches Danny to go and talk to her while wearing a wire.

`She can be tricky. Argumentative, irrational, hates to be told she's wrong.' Runs in the family, obviously.

Danny catches up with J-Fu after the film, and they discuss Scorcese. I can't get over her looking like my ex-housemate. They go to a pub and talk about being activists. Then he asks what her parents think and she says that her dad's dead. He starts to say something, and then she says that he might as well be. Now, I know Danny knows the situation more than `Chris', but if someone said that to me, I'm not sure it'd give me a very good impression of them. She's a little bit dismissive of him, I think.

Zoe comes in to talk to Adam about Patricia, who has been found dead. Forensics reckon she shot herself in the head, but no-one believes that. Harry and Danny come in too.

`I said wander off-piste, not start a bloody avalanche!'

Harry mentions that the suicide note blamed the pressures of an extramarital affair, which Adam rubbishes and I can see why, because frankly? Whoever killed her is not even trying. The Ruth and Malcolm come in, having broken the coding on the data from David Swift.

He's definitely part of the November Committee, and he's got a list of people with various details and how they can be got at, i.e. blackmail, just surveillance and so on. He has an agent called Phoebe who he communicates with by email. Phoebe sent the last email from the Palestine Freedom Campaign address (21 Warrinder Gardens EC4).

`Nicholas Ashworth has long alleged that he would be the victim of an Israeli assassination team.'
`Which has rightly been discounted as a mixture of vanity and paranoia.'

They're likely to kill Ashworth after getting the information they want from him. There are others marked for the same thing, and Adam tells Ruth to warn them and make discreet arrangements for their protection. Zoe not happy, I think because these plans leave Ashworth out in the cold. They get a bit shouty and he tells her to live dangerously. You have no idea how odd that sounds coming out of his mouth. Unless you watched the programme, in which case you do. Harry says they can do it Adam's way, but no rash moves.

Then we're outside at Swift's car, and, um, Adam's there. That's not rash at all, is it? They have a snippy conversation, in which Adam informs him he *knows* about Patricia. Talkiness about peace.

`Word of advice - this is far too big for a middle ranking spook.'

Back in the office and Harry gets shouty, as usual. He defends his actions, and Harry says `if anyone gets hurt, there will be consequences.' To which Adam quite rightly points out that someone already has been hurt.

`The last thing we need right now is for Harry to go all King Lear on us.'

Harry's looking at pictures of J-Fu, and then we skip to her at the offices. She's sneaking through drawers looking for something, and Danny disturbs her.

`I haven't got the internet at home. Sometimes I let myself in here to use it.'
`Looking for porn?
`Do I look like the kind of guy who would collude in the objectification of women's bodies?'
`Seeing as you look like a guy, yes.'

She's a crappy liar. She says she hates talking about her father, and that he's a bully and he's belittled everything she's done. They go off for a drink and Danny is the sweetest thing ever, as he always is.

Somebody's photographing Ashworth. Oh, it's Hustler. There are also the photos Holy hell, Hustler just PROPOSED. To Zoe!!! (um, who else would he be proposing to?) Oh, she said yes!! Squee!! Buy hats, everyone!! Actually, in the cold light of day, it's a pretty crappy proposal.

`You know I don't want anyone else.'
`I should hope not.'
`No, like, ever.which is why I think we should get married.'

Back in the office, Danny's wearing a red shirt which is rather nice. Ruth interrupts whatever they were talking about with a phone tap they have to listen to. It's Swift talking to J-Fu, she wants to set up a meeting to talk to him about Ashworth.

Harry wants to know why a phone tap was authorised. He's really bugging me this ep. When he's told that everyone is being monitored, his response is that everyone in the campaign is not his daughter. Aargh. They give him more evidence, which ok is circumstancial, but he looks like he's going to have a heart attack.

Then Ruth says that there's something else, and he gets all shouty at her, and when Adam tells hm shouting at Ruth won't help, she says that it's ok, which shows.something. Anyway, she's being really calm when she tells him about J-Fu's ex, who was in Israeli Military Intelligence. Oh, I missed this line first time round: `Something else? That's your bloody middle name!'

Back to the offices, he's asking questions and managing to rub her up the wrong way. Obbo van, J-Fu's walking along looking snippy. Oh, sod it, Harry's turned up. Be sensible, man!! She thinks she sees his reflection in a door, but decides not.

Adam and Harry argue, because he's decided he needs to have a reunion. *froths at mouth*.

`It can't be her. You don't know her, Adam.'
`And you do?'

Adam wants to turn her, but Harry's suddenly sounding a lot like Tom. Damn. Danny speaks up for J-Fu not being a silly girl. Danny's told to stick with J-Fu.

`MI5 motto: preserve the status quo. Hardly liberte, egalite, fraternite, is it?'
`Hey, don't knock the status quo, Harry.'

Oh, God, Danny's trying to ask her out but not, but because he's Danny, it sounds cute. He gets her to invite him to her flat.

`Look, what I'd really like is to take a look at your footage.'
`Sorry, that, um, sounded a bit - you said some of the volunteers were a bit na´ve.'

Oh, Zoe meets Hustler's brother. Dear thinks he's cuter than Hustler. Neither of them are that cute. She tells him she's in insurance. Oh, they've left him alone with someone of the pictures and he's stolen one. Despite the fact that he was talking about being i) skint and ii) the black sheep of the family.

J-fu shows Danny pictures of her mum and that bloke they were talking about before. Gil or something. He's a bit dubious but she weasels out of it. Ooh, revelation - something to do with the November committee, and she's trying to make a film about them. Ooh, she filmed her lunch with David Smith! Danny does the spy thing without telling her he's a spy, pointing out that he could totally find out everything about her. Then she seduces him, though that might be too strong a word. Basically `Then they have sex'.

Next morning, Ruth calls Danny because the stolen photos have been offered for sale to the newspaper. He talks about all this stuff, mentioning Harry's name, and yeah he's in the bathroom and all, but still, it's lucky she didn't wake up, isn't it? Danny wants protection for J-Fu, and Ruth says it's fantastic news because, obviously, her bloke's daughter is not an Israeli spy. Ahem. Anyway, Danny leaves to go about his day, and then some guy comes into the house and threatens her with a knife. Ooh, I think they think she's working for 5. She calls Danny, and he goes straight back. She lives in a bloody big house, by the way.

Me: Oh, Ruth's wearing a poncho.
Dear: Oh, shut up. Not everything is -
Me: No, they're ugly.
Dear: Oh, I thought you were going to say it showed she was going to marry him.
Me: No, ponchos are evil.

Group meeting. Harry's still griping about J-Fu. Git. They have some subtle conversation about what they're going to do, which boils down to making it look like they've given up and putting a tracker on him.

`Katherine's information on Swift's libido was very useful. I have an idea, but it requires a woman who is ruthless, immoral, vicious and utterly lacking in human sympathy. [pause] Not you, Ruth. Terrifying weapon as you may be.'

Oh. My. God. Definite icon there I think. And the look on her face was so like she was expecting him to choose her. Love the Ruth/Adam interaction.

Adam's bringing his wife in on it. Her legend is as a restaurant critic.

Dear `what's with everyone's ugly clothes? He's wearing an ugly poloneck as well.' Dear also thinks that Adam has a Michael Palin look about him. Um.

Swift puts his plate down and someone takes it into the kitchen to remove a couple of hors d'ouvres. Then they're talking at the bar, Fiona and Swift, and Adam and Zoe are watching. They have a cute load of

`Excuse me, I've just had to watch my wife kissing a man who had the audacity to describe me as a middle-ranking spook.'

Ooh, Danny's confessing to J-Fu. She's getting annoyed, which is kind of understandable and kind of not. Harry's outside, looking sodding miserable. They have a conversation in the park about stuff, and Harry starts crying. *little ah*. They also talk about Graham, who is.hm, we don't get any details. Dear reckons he's in prison. Looks like a partial reconciliation in the end.

They're tracking Swift, and he's talking to, um, someone. Oh, the boyfriend. They're going to make it look like suicide. :( He warns him that 5 may still be following him.

Ashworth and boyfriend were supposed to be going to dinner, but are actually at the campaign offices. Zoe heads off to there and calls for back up.

Ashworth's boyfriend appears to be planning to hang Ashworth. He's angry about his sister dying in Israel [?] on a bus targeted by a Hamas suicide bomber. Zoe comes in and tells him she's an officer of the British Security Services, and tries to talk him down. Oh, ugh, the chair gets kicked and Ashworth is all choking but then YAY Danny bursts in. Apparently he's all the back up. Er, okay.

Ooh, Swift's office and Adam is there with his feet on the desk. He tells him the game is up. He shows him a video of Fiona saying that he beat her up and tried to rape her (it's faked, obviously, but it's believable because they've got the teethmarks off the pastry things from earlier). Adam wants him to lose the paper and leave the country.

Back on the grid, Zoe and Danny talk about J-Fu and he admits they slept together. Zoe gets a big bunch of flowers and then tells them that Will proposed and she said yes. Ahhh :) Everyone's all excited and then Danny sits apart :(

J-Fu is off to make more films and be stroppy. They say goodbye and she says she'll email him.

We end on Harry reading some poem that was quoted earlier on. I'm sure someone who knows/can be bothered will tell the rest of us what poem it was.

Next week: oooooooooooooh, North Korea and assassinations! And more Ruth, YAY!!


I can't say this episode did all that much for me except for all the great new back story on Harry. Thanks to the promos at the end of 3x03, I knew the big revelation about Catherine being Harry's daughter and was a bit apprehensive, because there are so many ways that could have been made to suck, but I think it worked out relatively well and doesn't blatantly contradict the few meager facts we know about Harry private life.

Having Harry completely estranged from his family really makes complete sense: since his one and only mention of a Mrs Harry in 1x01, there has been nary a peep. Based on two things that happened to him in the last two years, I would never have bought a sudden close relationship with wife and children. First, when the infamous briefcase was stolen from Harry's house in 2x07, I think either he or Tom or someone would have said something like thank god [Mrs Harry] was visiting her mother or thank god the kids are at university etc. if they were in fact still around. Second, the dude was shot! I know a lot was going on at the time, but you'd think someone would have called former-Mrs Harry if she was still current-Mrs Harry. In fact, I was looking out for her in 3x01 for just that reason.

So what do we know now? Former-Mrs Harry doesn't have first name, but her maiden name was Townsend and she is/was a teacher. Catherine has never felt appreciated by her father (with some justification) and ran off as soon as she could. Son Graham (older or younger?) is not doing so well. It's not clear exactly what's going on with him, but I suspect drugs or something like that. Poor old Harry. Thank goodness he has Ruth around to comfort his loneliness, right?

All of this was reveled in some plot where Corin Redgrave was sadly underused, but I have to say I had a hard time paying attention to it. Neocons evil - redrawing the map of the world to suit their purposes -- do anything to achieve their goals -- right wing media etc, yeah, I live in America, I got that memo. I guess with the importance of the election today, it is hard for me to take seriously any plot about that kind of politics, because the same subject in the real world right now is so much more suspenseful.

I was just looking at the cast list and I knew I recognized Patricia Norton. It's Cally! From Blake's 7! There she was forever being taken over by evil aliens until they killed her off, this time they skipped right ahead to the killing off part. You'd think there would have been a few more repercussions to the murder of the UK's chief UN negotiator, but I guess not. Except for motivating Adam, that part of the plot kind of got swept under the rug in favor of the I spy a spy with Catherine and Danny at the Palestine Freedom Campaign. But anyway, plot, whatever.

Well one final thing. If Harry found out about Catherine and Danny would he welcome Danny into the family and then have a stroke or would the stroke come first? I'm betting on the stroke first myself.

Ok, this is probably going to get me into trouble with some people, but I don't care. I cannot stand Adam and Fiona. Adam on his own is just tolerable when he's not talking about how beautiful, sexy, smart, etc his wife is, but the two of them together so far is like my worst nightmare of Mr and Mrs James Bond. Detest! Hate! Loathe! These are not people, they're caricatures of every ridiculous cinematic super-spy cliche perpetrated in the last 40 years and it's nothing I care about or want to see on this show. Please please let them show some flaws and please please please will everyone stop expositing about how wonderful they are? It's crap writing and I expect better.

And while I'm on the subject of things that annoy me: the prevalence of Macs in Spook's world. The Grid switched over from PCs in the 2.8 seconds between the 1st and 2nd season which is a good thing, since this week it saved Colin and Malcolm a lot of conversion time when Adam stole the information on the hard drive of the shiny Powerbook David Swift conveniently left in his office overnight. That alone was just a minor twinge of annoyance, what really got me was him copying over the *whole* drive on a single jump drive. There are things I can buy as artistic license, but stuff like that just throws me out of the illusion completely. Hey, I never said I'm rational.




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