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SPOOKS
(MI-5)

EPISODE SIX
(---)


EPISODE NO. 22
Series 3, episode 06
Series 306
1st release (U.K.): 11/15/04
1st release (U.S.):
Production number:
Last update: 02/24/05


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CAST & CREDITS
SYNOPSIS/ANALYSIS
COMMENTARIES


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

BBC-1, Mondays 9pm







SYNOPSIS/ANALYSIS:

This synopsis is by Han.

We open on Specialist Crime Division, Alembic Buildings in London. Zoe's being interviewed by some guy, and Harry's there. Um, complicated stuff I'll come back to later.oh, there was an operation, and they're talking about her legend for it (a German-speaking woman called Sophie Newman).

I recognise the interviewer, not sure who he is. Will check. The big problem here is that a policeman has died, and they're not happy.

`Massacre? That's a bit of a strong term for the murder of three people.'

Harry wants to leave, but Mr Policeman won't let Zoe so he stays. She's actually under arrest. Ooh, Harry gets all angry. This will not be a happy episode.

`This whole investigation is a farce, whipped up by a police force motivated by revenge and a media obsessed with attacking the security services.'

`Miss Reynolds, I am very sorry to have to say this, but I am satisfied that we have the evidence to charge you.'
`Charge me with what?'

Essentially, manslaughter and conspiracy to murder.

Titles. This is my second viewing of the ep, and the teaser for next week is playing in my head.

`A slapped wrist, even if they do obtain a conviction, that's all she'll get.'

Harry walking with some guy - have we seen him before? He looks familiar. He's probably appeared as the Attorney General before, but what else has he been in? Harry reckons that this should have been dealt with internally, and there's a lot of politics talk that as per usual, I'm going to gloss over.

`Someone always has to pay, Harry.'

`Come to the club later, I'll buy you a cotch, make amends.'
`You think that's all she's worth to me? Bloody scotch.'

`There's a lot of anger about this Harry.'
`Danny?'
`Everyone, but especially Danny.'
`Keep an eye on him.'

Hustler round at Zoe's flat. She calls him Billy. Oh, finally someone funking figured out that it was his brother. Oh, El may have been right. Sorry, that'll ,eam nothing if you aren't El. She said they'd get back together. She tells him she's scared and lonely, and he laughs all bitter. She's crying, and they kind of cling on to each other :( He keeps telling her it's going to be alright.

Newsreader outside Zoe's trial. They talk to the dead policeman's wife.

`I just want justice for myself and my children, and the sense that we live in a democracy, where nobody, least of all a member of the security services is above the law.'

Adam `loose cannon' Carter and oh, everyone else is in court. Er, as if. They all got a day trip out of the office? It looks like only Sam stayed behind.

From here on, we switch between the court and flashbacks. This is quite confusing, and is giving me a bit of a headache because of all the tricksy camera angles.

Um, Mr Turkish mafia is on the stand. He met Zoe - Sophie Newman - one night in a casino. I recognise Mr Tm (I'm not even going to attempt the spellings in this ep because I always get them totally wrong). Zoe in very slinky dress and lovely jewellery.

`I don't let strangers buy me drinks.unless they've just won a large sum of money on the roulette table.' Er, WHAT?

`You know what, I don't like guns.'
`I do.'
`Well why don't you buy your gun a drink? If you think that impresses me, you're very much mistaken.'

She's acting like a bitch, which presumably is part of the act.

He and his men were in the casino to celebrate sorting out some important business, which a flashback shows us involves beating someone up. Nice.

Court - he's talking to the prosecution about Sophie.

Flashback - he finds her in his office, and she reckons she's looking for wife and child pictures so she'll know if she's going to be chased away. That's a crap cover story. \his boss (Bossman) comes in, and he's the main target of the operation.

Court - the judge adjourns, so he can go and have a seven course meal with lots of brandy (he looks like that kind of judge). Oh, Harry was there too.

Danny talks to Policeman's wife outside. Adam comes up and defends him (and by extension, the service). God, he's good. Also, was I the only one going `oh, he's defending his boyfriend!' Knowing some of you, that's unlikely.

`If we sneak about in the dark, it's because we have to. Because there are people out there who also move in the dark.we do our best to protect them from people who would happily hack them to pieces. You can happily question our methods, we do that all the time. But doesn't question our motives.'

They walk off, and Adam says `Don't talk to her again, Harry.' Oh, how you can play with the lines in this episode ;).

In court, Mr Tm says Sophie `changed' when Mr Tm's boss was around. Mr Tm gets a bit jealous and goes off to snort some coke. When he comes back, Bossman has made a proposition that Sophie accompany him to Frankfurt. The prosecution suggests that he was jealous and he agrees.

Flashback - Sophie and Mr TM have an argument and he grabs her by the neck and she taunts him, saying Bossman thinks he's weak. She essentially tells him to go and shoot the guy to prove he's not weak so they can be together. If this is what happened and not just his side of the story, that's a really shaky way to get someone to do something. I don't like this episode very much.

The court is listening to playback of Mr TM shooting Bossman, Undercover policeman, and other people. It's mixed in with a flashback, and do they like torturing me? Undercover policeman begs for his life :(

`Tell Sophie that life is only a dream.'

Zoe's flat - Harry comes in. Would she back at the flat on her own? Oh, Danny's there too.

`Go and tidy your room, Danny.'

`I hope you say nice things.'
`Well, I won't tell them about the stapler you stole.'

`I need to be sure Zoe, that you will not deviate from the story that has been agreed.'

`I'll stick to what we agreed.'
`Truth is a highly elastic concept.'
`No. We make it elastic.'
`Try and get a good night's sleep.'
`Harry? Everything's going to be ok, isn't it?'
`Of course it will.'

Zoe on the stand. Her defence questions here. The first she knew of the op is when Malcolm and Colin wander in with a funny roulette table. It's pretty much the only funny bit of the ep.

Group meeting. Zoe's all on her own at the end of the table. Ruth and Adam (sat together) tell them about Bossman's activities.

Adam goes through details of the op with Zoe. The camera goes a bit slo-mo with Danny watching as she walks over in her outfit, but, um, who isn't watching?

Oooh, Sam looking dead nice as cloakroom attendant in the casino. This is her only appearance this ep. Funking writers. Oh, no, wait, she walked past the camera a minute ago. Adam and Danny are watching in the van. Ditto the next day. There's a fairly cute guy who's outside Mr TM's workplace, reporting back to Danny and Adam. Hope he sticks around.

`Love this job sometimes.' He and Adam share a grin. I melt.

Zoe in court, she goes on about meeting with Mr Tm, and then she's in his office replacing a bug, which we've already seen. In court, she reckons that Bossman despises Mr Tm. Also she says that they had no idea of the undercover policeman's existence. Think that's true.

Zoe being questioned by prosecution. The woman is fairly missing the point, and starts focussing on tapes that have gone missing. Zoe's excuses are crap. She accuses Zoe of having little regard for human life and gets all shouty.

Zoe denies everything.

The lawyers sum up, and it's all very lawyer-y. The judge manages to say something other than `let's adjourn so I can go eat and drink.'

Rainy rain - Zoe's sitting at a window.

`Zoe?'
`Don't come near me, Danny. I've lost all regard for human life.'

He says he'll stay up with her. They talk about the jury. He asks her to tell him what really happened, and says he's the only one who can truly understand. She eventually agrees, and tells him. Evil funking camera angles all over the place.

Harry and Adam get Zoe on her own. They tell her that Bossman might be involved with Al Qaeda and stuff.

`Come on Danny, you know how these things work. It was vaguely hinted at as being a long term option.'

She goes to Frankfurt, and he asks her if she wants a drink. They go into her room and he starts talking about 911. He's a smooth-talking bastard.

`Compare their trivial lives to those men who rushed to their deaths on that beautiful morning in New York.'

`If you don't like death and destruction I suggest you look away for the next thirty years.'

He noticed the way she looked at a lost child on the station, i.e. not like Sophie Newman. And then he goes off on one about how he could have the cloakroom attendant killed because her mission in life is not to be bored.

`So how much pain does she deserve for losing your beautiful scarf?'

`Life is only a dream, and one day we all wake up from it.'

Back in the office, Zoe reckons Bossman has seen through her legend.

`Sadly in this job we don't get to deal with nice guys.'
`I don't want to do this anymore.'

`I am very uncomfortable that a man who can do business with Al Qaeda is in his position.'

Back in the flat. Zoe admits that she interpreted what Harry had said as an order to kill. She says she wasn't seeing him as a potential asset, but as someone who didn't see the difference between one life and a million.'

`You have to live with the consequences of your choices, Danny.'

Hm, well at least she's taking responsibility for it in herself, even if Harry won't let her do it in court.

`Whatever happens tomorrow, whatever the jury decides, I want you to know something.'
`It's okay.'
`I love you.'

`I'm so tired, Danny.'

She lays down on the sofa, and he sits with her. Er, hello people, two comfortable beds in your flat??

The flat now has big old French windows, by the way. It must be a magic flat.

Harry/Ruth scene! Ok, it's only a few seconds, but it's all we're getting this week.

Oooh, verdict: AAAARGH funking camera angles! Guilty on all three counts :( Judge handed out a 10 year sentence. Bit more than a slapped wrist, eh?

Harry goes and argues for Zoe with the Attorney-General. There's a scene with him and Adam walking along and it's like they're talking about their kids *g*. Oh, right, the show. Harry goes and gets shouty with the AG. Yay shouty Harry!

`We know where the bodies are buried.'
`You're playing a very dangerous game here, Harry.'
`So we appear to have reached an impasse.'

Zoe's sitting in a room, and Adam goes back to the grid, and oooh they're so going to swap her!! Someone with her height and build who's doing a 20 year sentence for drug running is going to stand in for a reduction on her sentence.

Danny goes in to convince her to go to Chile. He even says he'll call Will for her.

`Leave my family, leave my friends, leave my job?'
`There is no job, anymore. And the time between visits will feel like forever.'

`What, are you still appealing to my sense of duty?'

`.and Harry had to threaten a coup to get it.' He manages to convince her by outlining how crap prison is, and she accepts.

They hug. Awwwww.

`I'll never see you again.'
`Maybe one day when nothing matters anymore, I'll come out. We'll sit by the ocean and laugh about all this.' They're both crying by the time she walks out.

`Danny?'
`Gone.'

Danny gets a lot of the end shots this series.

Next week: funk!! Will! Computers!! Ruth all tied up (no, I did not just make that up)!! Ruth tied up, people!! Damn, I hope Dad'll let me watch it on Saturday.



COMMENTARIES

Rose
I knew Zoe was leaving so that wasn't a huge shock, but I really wonder why this particular way was chosen. The only thing I can think of is it is to make sure Zoe will never ever be back since she can no longer show her face in the UK without being hauled off to the pokey.

Anyway, the episode wasn't as bad as it could have been, I guess. I do think it was a mess though and as usual the emphasis was entirely misplaced. Why did we need to see the whole trial? Why didn't we get to see the reactions of any other members of the team to Zoe's conviction? Maybe we'll get something in 3x07, but it should have been here. I know I go on and on about Malcolm, but dammit, he's consistently been shown having a crush on Zoe and if there is no reaction from him about her being gone I really will feel cheated. Poor old Malcolm: first Tom and and now his platonic girl-crush taken from him without warning.

There are two things about this ep that bothered me the most:

1. Why did Zoe even go on this mission except the obvious meta-reason of wanting to leave to go make babies with Matthew? She may be many things, but sex kitten is not one of them. There is a reason her best (if most annoying) undercover mission previously was as a spinster school teacher. She doesn't as much exude the sensual boredom this mission required as much as she does "finishes all her homework and asleep by 10:00pm." It kills me to say this, but wonder woman Fiona would have been a much better match for this particular job since we've been beaten over the head with her Mrs James Bond-super-sexy-spy-shtick.

2. I'm not sure how to put this in a way that makes sense, but I found the reasoning behind the plot more than a little implausible. Not the infiltrating filthy gangsters part because that's what MI5 does and I have no problem with that, but the going to trial part. The government does sanction hits and you know they weren't crying over the loss of Turkish Hannibal Lector so why even put Zoe on trial in the first place? Sure the undercover guy was killed and that's very sad and all, but they have the confessed shooter and a plausible story, why drag the security service into it when it could severely jeopardize other operations in the field by drawing attention to undercover agents? I guess it boils down to, since when on the show does Special Branch ever have more juice with the people that run things than MI5? That really bugged me.

On the flip side, there were a couple of things I did like. I liked Harry going to bat for Zoe even if the set-up for the bat going struck me as poorly thought out.

Even more, and the thing that ultimately saved the episode for me, was the lovely final scene between Danny and Zoe. Those two care so much about each other and the depth of emotion when Danny was telling Zoe to leave really moved me for the first time in a long time with this show.

Next week, photographer boyfriend is back. Will he never leave me alone? Although, I guess I shouldn't complain because it would be a lot weirder if he didn't show up considering what he must think happened to Zoe.

And how ridiculous was it when Malcolm and Colin rolled their magical plot device of the week right through the Grid? It's always nice to see them and all, but come on guys, even Q had the dignity to keep his toys in the lab.




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