If you like British espionage shows, Richard Armitage, and the Queen's English, you might want to queue up the MI-5 series (known as Spooks in the U.K). We're doing recaps of Season 8 (available on DVD and Netflix, et al, but not shown on any networks), and have done episode 1, 2, and 3 thus far. Because we like British espionage shows, Richard Armitage, and the Queen's English.
The team is still reeling from Jo’s death; everyone is affected, even Ros, whose ice queen façade cracks just a little. Poor Ruth has just lost yet another person who she cared about. Of course, Harry with his poor sense of timing, wants to know if Jo was the only reason that she came back to MI-5. Ruth puts him off.
It’s all so English and proper, yet you just want the two of them to just jump each others' bones already! The suspense is killing me! There is little time for the team to mourn, however, because Lucas North's past begins to catch up with him: First it’s the nightmares, which get in the way of his private time with CIA Chick. I’d like to think that the look of fear and disgust on his face when he wakes up are for her, but . . . his former Russian prison torturer, Oleg Darshavin (Emil Hostina), turns up in London and wants to talk to him. Harry is worried that Darshavin might setting a trap, but Lucas and Ros are in agreement that Darshavin would be a major get for MI-5.
On the way to the meeting, Lucas shares with Ros that between torture sessions, he and Darshavin bonded over bird watching and the work of the Victorian social novelists. Of all things. Lucas goes alone to the meeting place, where he is instructed to change into a boiler suit, giving us another chance to admire his assets. Darshavin tells Lucas he has intelligence about a Sudanese terror attack on London. It seems that a Sudanese prisoner he was interrogating had been at a training camp in Chechnya, but he later disappeared. Darshavin's information comes at a price, however, a UK passport with a false name and $1 million dollars in used currency. Lucas informs the team of Darshavin’s information. Ruth, the uber-smart whiz, manages to find out that the One Light charity was recruiting volunteers for AIDS work in Islamic countries, but they seem to have gone dormant in the past few months. Harry, Mr. Skeptic, believes that Darshavin is lying about there being a terrorist attack, but Ros feels that they have to go on faith that the information is for real.
Ruth also manages to find out information about the mysterious meeting in Basel, Switzerland. There were 25 guests, and the buzz is that some of them were intelligence agents. Meanwhile, Harry tips off CIA Chick’s boss, Samuel Walker (Brian Protheroe), about the covert intelligence meeting in Basel. Walker, in turn, tells CIA Chick to keep an eye on Lucas North, who may or may not be a double agent. The raid on the One Light charity offices turns up empty. The place is deserted. The only outgoing calls were to 5 pay-as-you-go mobile phones which are dead. The only real lead is that someone called a mysterious phone number. Tariq reveals that the number is for a Russian military phone and there is no way of tracking who the recipient was. Ros tells Lucas to lose CIA chick for a few days, the situation is too sensitive (We'd like her to disappear for longer!).
Ruth tells Harry that one of Malcolm’s contacts, a computer-obsessed recluse called Nick Manning, has missed a meeting. When she went around to his house, she found that he too seems to have disappeared. The only clue is a business card with a name and a phony phone number. Harry’s not too worried, even when Ruth mentions that Manning is an expert on African terrorism. Ros reports to Harry that the FSB chief in London claims to know nothing about a possible Sudanese terrorist attack on London but he was interested to know what they knew about Oleg Darshavin. The Russians want him back badly.
****SPOILER ALERT*****Despite their reservations, Harry and Ros agree to Lucas meeting Darshavin as he requests. Darshavin lures Lucas to a Waterstones bookstore where he finds a wire in a copy of Oscar Wilde’s Picture Of Dorian Grey. Darshavin (Codename: Mr. Wilde) tells Lucas (Codename: Mr. Grey) to lose his tail, which Lucas does. Darshavin still believes that Lucas has betrayed him to the Russians. Lucas writes his address on a postcard and leaves it for Darshavin to find. Ros and Harry are worried when Lucas goes off the radar and meets Darshavin at his own really unattractive flat. Lucas informs Darshavin that the FSB are involved with the Sudanese. He also gives Darshavin the passport, but tells him that there will be no money unless they learn the target. Lucas struggles to keep control of the situation, they dance around each other, playing cat and mouse but who is the cat and who is the mouse is the $64,000 question here. The scene is getting a tad homoerotic.
Great, CIA Chick has incredibly bad timing. She uses her key to stop by Lucas’ flat, thinking he’s out, throwing the whole operation in jeopardy. Darshavin grabs her. Unfortunately he doesn’t hurt her. CIA Chick, thinking on her stilettos, comes up with a cover story that she thought that Lucas was cheating on her and she wanted proof. With Lucas and his lover's lives in danger, he has to use all his powers of persuasion to get the Sudanese terrorist's name, Omar Selim Al-Hallad, out of Darshavin.
Once Darshavin is gone, Lucas checks CIA Chick for a wire, ripping open her blouse. Well, well at least she has nice taste in lingerie, although I still hate her. They have a huge knock-down drag out fight, especially after Lucas finds the bug in her purse. CIA Chick tells him that her boss think that he’s a double agent, that she agreed to keep an eye on him to pacify them. Lucas is not buying what she’s selling, thank god.
**** BIG SPOILER ALERT*****CIA Chick calls her office to report that she couldn’t plant the bug. Guess who’s in the back seat? Yes, our pesky Russian, who now knows that the whole scene in the flat was a lie. Back in the flat, Lucas has a flashback to a moment when he tried to commit suicide and Darshavin saved him. Umm, again it’s a little homoerotic the way that Darshavin is hugging Lucas’s legs. Ruth tells Harry that she believes that Nick Manning knows who or what the target is, but is too scared to tell anyone. Harry tells her to prove it. Tariq types the number on the card Ruth found in Nick Manning’s flat into a search engine which brings up an invoice for a bogus company called Ren Con. On the invoice is an address (the Square Mile) and a time (9:30 a.m.) for the next day.
Ros, looking trés out of place, goes to a squat full of druggies in Bethnel Green to try and find Omar Selim. She meets up with an MI-5 asset who tells her that a Sudanese guy has taken a room on the first floor, which he never leaves. Ros sneaks into the room of the drug dealer next door and puts in a bug. As she is testing it, she hears a voice and then a shot rings out. Omar Selim is assassinated and Section D is back to square one.
The only person who can help them is Darshavin, but Darshavin lets Lucas know that he has CIA Chick. He plays mind games with Lucas. Back at the grid, Ros plays the tape of Omar Selim’s assassination for Boris Gulyanov (Gerard Murphy), the FSB Chief, who claims ignorance. When Lucas hears the tape, he recognizes the voice on it as Darshavin’s. Harry was right, Darshavin was playing him. Lucas speculates that Darshavin learned of the terrorist attack, but instead of telling his superiors, he killed the other interrogator, helped the prisoner escape, and faked his own death.
It’s D-Day for Section D as they prepare to deal with the terrorist attack. Ros is heading into the City where the attack is expected to take place and special ops are standing by. Lucas, in the meantime, has decided to head back to the marshes where he initially met Darshavin to see if he’s there. Tariq notices a Ren-Con Solutions truck on CCTV heading towards the Northfield Insurance building. Ros hurries to the target to try and disable the bomb. Out in the marshes, Lucas finds Darshavin holding CIA chick in the same building where they had met earlier. He pleads with Darshavin to give him the code to disable the bomb. Darshavin yells about how he saved Lucas while Lucas yells that he doesn’t owe Darshavin anything. Seriously, they need to just hug this out and get over it, people are about to die. While Lucas and Darshavin are arguing, Ros keeps giving Lucas a countdown of how much time is left. Finally, with only seconds to spare, Darshavin gives up the information.
Lucas hands Darshavin over to the FSB but before he does, Darshavin tells him that he has info about the top-secret meeting in Basel; apparently there were agents from the West there as well as the Chinese (if this meeting was so top-secret how come so many people know about it?). Before he gets out of the car, Darshavin tells Lucas to “be careful of who you trust.” Harry plays dumb when Lucas tells him what Darshavin said.
***OMG I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT JUST HAPPENED SPOILER**** CIA Chick's boss Samuel Walker tells her that when he looked into the flight bookings for the Basel meeting, he discovered that a US credit card was used. The card wasn’t traceable, but Walker has asked Swiss immigration to send photos of all passengers who flew to Basel that week. CIA Chick grabs him and throws him over the balcony. Who knew that skinny bitch was that strong? I totally didn’t see that coming. Lucas comes home to find CIA Chick, sitting in a chair, as cool as a cucumber. She apologizes to him and they make up. Sweet Jesus, she just had the nerve to tell him that she “loves him so much.” Oh, Lucas my sweet, you are so in for a rude awakening.
FYI–We never did find out what happened to Nick Manning in this episode. Was he killed? Did he just disappear? Will he be back?
Elizabeth Kerri Mahon loves to write about Scandalous Women & the men that loved them. Her first book, Scandalous Women, was published by Perigee Books in March 2011. Visit her at scandalouswoman.blogspot.com.