And it comes to this—the penultimate episode in Season 8 of MI-5, the British espionage show starring Richard Armitage and a whole bunch of other people with awesome British accents. You can view the recaps of MI-5 Season 8, Episode 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 also. Be warned—Spoilers ahead, and Spoilers aplenty!
As the episode opens, a Pakistani intelligence officer (Imran Mirza) is stabbed to death in south London, but before he dies, he manages to shoot his assailant. Ros and Harry arrive at Pakistani ISI Intelligence headquarters to meet with Hamid 'Dickie' Ahmed (Harmage Singh Kalirai), the head of the Pakistani intelligence service in London (his mother had a crush on Dickie Mountbatten, last Viceroy of India and Prince Philip's uncle). Dickie tells Harry and Ros that he has been running an asset who has infiltrated a group of Hindu nationalists, led by Harish Dhillon (Paul Sharma). Dhillon's group is now planning an attack targeting Muslims. Ros heatedly replies that they've had no intelligence on this. Because, you know, Ros hates being kept out of the loop.
The conflict between Pakistan and India has now moved to British soil. Harry is pissed that Dickie waited so long to inform MI-5. With tensions riding high between the Hindu and Muslim communities, Harry indicates that there hasn't been this kind of civil unrest since the English Civil War. Ros informs Dickie that his asset, 17-year-old Ashok Veerkal(Ashley Kumar) is now MI-5's.
Ros speculates that the 6 billion dollars in the Nightingale account could be linked to the dead Pakistani intelligence officer. She also tells Harry that according to reports, CIA Chick is supposed to be at CIA HQ in Langley, VA, but she's actually on the run (perhaps she's looking for a decent accent?). Meanwhile, Lucas is at CIA Chick's flat searching for clues. The dripping of the faucet in the kitchen leads him to find a flash drive hidden underneath the sink.
Harry meets up with the dishy new Home Secretary Andrew Lawrence (played by Tobias Menzies who played Brutus in the HBO series Rome, which I still haven't watched. Note to self: Netflix immediately). Harry explains that a terrorist group against the Muslims in the UK might be planning an attack. Hot Home Secretary is worried that an attack won't look good for Britain's image. Really, Mr. Home Secretary? Apparently he was chosen for his looks, not his brains. Harry assures the Home Secretary that MI-5 will stop the attack before it happens.
The team strategizes back at the grid. Ros informs them that Harish Dhillon's 12 year old sister was severely beaten by a gang of Muslim youths. She's now in a coma and for Dhillon, this campaign of his has become personal. They've also been able to identify the murderer of the Pakistani intelligence officer. His name is Victor Chatterjee (Sagar Arya), an Anglo-Indian Protestant who moves with ease between both the Muslim and Hindu worlds. As Lucas leaves to contact Ashok Veerkal, Ros stops him, wanting to know why CIA Chick didn't kill him when she had the chance. Lucas doesn't know, but she was frightened of whoever is running Nightingale. You know, I never thought I would say this, but I kind of miss CIA Chick, she was annoying but she had spunk.
Lucas meets up with Ashok near the London Eye, which is like a giant Ferris wheel on the banks of the Thames (I've been on it and it's pretty cool, particularly if you pay for the champagne option). A Muslim with a Hindu name, Ashok is terrified of Dhillon and is desperate to cut ties with him. Ashok explains to Lucas that all he wanted to do was play a game of football (soccer, for us Yanks), and the Hindu kids at the sports center where Harish Dhillon works, were the only ones who would play with him. When Lucas expresses doubt that Dhillon is serious, Ashok assures him that Dhillon is. Ashok has no idea what the target of the attack is going to be because Dhillon talks to his contact in Sanskrit. Lucas promises Ashok that nothing bad will happen to him. Poor kid, he's only 17, he should be chasing girls, not out helping British intelligence.
The team determine that since Victor Chatterjee is a linguist and he killed Ashok's handler, he's the most likely to be the one pulling Dhillon's strings, but the question still is, who is pulling Victor's? Ruth, the mother hen of the team, is worried that Ashok's handler may have given up his name before he died. Both Lucas and Ros agree that they don't have enough time to put someone else in, and unfortunately they don't yet have enough to arrest Dhillon. Harry senses Ruth's unhappiness about the operation. When Ruth laments that she's forgotten what it was like—people treated like pieces on a chess board—he tells her that he's glad that she's there to remind them. It's a sweet moment. Can these two get together already?
At the sports centre, Lucas gives Ashok a watch with a microphone in the strap so he can call the cavalry in at the first sign of trouble. Ashok manages to get Dhillon alone, trying to pump him for information. Lucas is about to try to get Ashok out but Ruth and Tariq discover that Victor Chatterjee's name was on CIA Chick's flash drive. Was she running him? Harry believes that the terrorist attack is all part of Nightingale's plan to provoke hatred and create terrorists for their own end. Dhillon takes Ashok and the chosen lads outside to show them the weapons they'll be using in the attack. Poor Ashok looks like he's about to wet himself as the other boys handle the guns.
Back on the grid, the situation gets worse. Tariq discovers there are two dates on the flash drive, meaning two attacks. Victor was running two cells. If they arrest Dhillon now, they lose any chance of finding Victor and stopping Nightingale. Crap! Ashok manages to discover that the attack is set at the Burton Street mosque. Since they don't know any details about the second attack, Lucas informs Ashok they are standing down.
******SPOLER ALERT******While MI-5 is searching local hospitals looking for him, the missing Victor is holed up an abandoned warehouse, in pain from the gunshot wound. Victor calls Dhillon and informs him that there is a traitor in their midst, but he doesn't know who. Lucas meets up with Ashok near Petticoat Lane in the East End. Ashok is worried that Dhillon is on to him, he's called a special meeting at the sports centre. When Ashok refuses to go back, Lucas threatens his parents. Realizing that was a bit harsh, Lucas promises to keep him safe.
At the sports centre, Kamlesh accuses Ashok of being the traitor. Dhillon says there is an easy way to settle the dispute. He demands that Ashok drop his pants; if he's circumcised then he's Muslim, not Hindu, and therefore is the traitor. Tariq and Lucas are outside the centre in a car. Tariq calls Kamlesh's mobile and makes it appear that he's the traitor, thereby saving Ashok. Dhillon removes the supposed threat by shooting him. Tariq is particularly upset that Kamlesh was sacrificed to save Ashok. Welcome to MI-5, Tariq, where you no doubt will have to make more questionable decisions in the future.
Ruth shows Ros photos that indicate that Victor Chatterjee was present when Dhillon's sister was attacked, suggesting that Dhillon was manipulated from the start. When Ros fills Harry in on the new information, he insists that they have to let it play out since they don't have Victor in custody. Ruth assures him that he made the right call, briefly touching his hand. Harry gives her a special smile. You know the one that says, 'I have deep feelings for you, but I'm a repressed Englishman of a certain age, and I will never tell you even if the world is about to end.' That special smile.
****OMG I TOTALLY DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING SPOILER ALERT *****The day of the planned attack, Dhillon, Ashok and the guys are on the move, followed discreetly by Lucas and the cavalry. Victor calls Dhillon and gives him instructions to go to a different location then they had originally planned. Ros informs Lucas of the change in plans but he loses sight of the SUV. Tariq has managed to finally locate Victor's position in Hells Dean Street. Ros finds Victor and gives him a choice: he can either tell her the location of both attacks, and she'll leave him to die. If he doesn't, she'll turn him over to Pakistani Intelligence, which has a nice cell waiting for him in a Karachi prison. Tough choice, Ros!
Victor reveals that the second attack is planned for Tavistock Park College, a Muslim sixth form college; the second cell is at a rented house. When Dickie complains to Ros that she promised to turn Victor over to them, Ros tells him to cry her a river. That's what they get for waiting so long to tell them about Dhillon. Ros is a total badass!
Ashok, Dhillon and the rest of the gang arrive at the girls school, terrorizing the students by shooting off their weapons into the ceiling. CO19 tells Lucas that they won't go to Tavistock College; they're only going to the Muslim cell in Hastings way. Harry calls the Home Secretary to say WTF, Dhillon is going to kill all the students if he isn't stopped. The Home Secretary, who isn't looking quite so hot now (but is still stupid), informs him that he gave the orders for CO19 to step down. He's worried about the implications if the girls get caught in the crossfire. He asks Harry to trust him.
When Lucas learns that CO19 aren't coming, he decides to go in like the Lone Ranger instead of waiting for negotiators. Smart, Lucas! When Dhillon puts his gun to the head of one of the students, Ashok tells him to let her go, admitting that he is Muslim. Dhillon has brought gasoline so that not just the girls but everyone will go up in flames. Lucas puts down his gun, and tries to reason with Dhillon, who has grabbed Ashok. Harry and the rest of the team are perplexed by Lucas' methods, telling Dhillon that the British hate both Muslims and Hindus. When his negotiation doesn't work, Lucas manages to grab Dhillon. Lucas tells Dhillon that Victor Chatterjee, his recruiter, was also the man who put his sister into a coma. Lucas is getting to the other boys, but when Ashok tells the girls to quickly leave pandemonium ensues. Ashok is shot in the leg during the melee. Free, Dhillon grabs one of the girls and pours gasoline on her. In the end, it is Ashok who manages to get Dhillon to stand down.
Ros and Harry update the Home Secretary, explaining that they plan on putting out the story that the second cell was an Al Queda sponsored group. Harry assures the Home Secretary that Victor Chatterjee was behind the whole thing. Harry admits to Ros that since Nightingale drove out the Home Secretary's predecessor, it is entirely possible that Lawrence could be part of the plot. It turns out that the London attacks were all part of a series of terrorist attacks by isolated Hindu and Muslim groups around the globe. Tariq discovers a photo of General Azim Ali of Pakistan on CIA Chick's flashdrive, proving that he too is part of Nightingale, and that they're trying to force India and Pakistan into open conflict or worse.
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.