Finally we're at the last episode in Season 8 of MI-5, the British espionage show starring Richard Armitage and Peter Firth. We've already run recaps of MI-5 Season 8, Episode 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. If you continue, however, acknowledge to yourself that we will spoil you.
As the episode opens, the situation between India and Pakistan has reached a crisis point, as an Indian submarine ends up in Pakistani hands. The Indian Government has set a seven-day deadline before it retaliates and so the pressure is on to avert the first nuclear confrontation since the Second World War. Oh, is that all?
Harry and Ruth are leaving the Ministry of Defense as Ruth states the obvious that deadlines are bad. Harry suspects that Nightingale is behind the Indian submarine's appearance in Pakistani waters, especially since General Ali, the head of the Pakistani army is crowing about their coup. Russell Price (Mark Aiken), the annoyingly smug head of European operations for the CIA shows up, making Harry nervous. Price's solution is to get everyone around a table with some pizzas, sing Kumbaya, and the problem is solved. No nuclear war. Seriously, why are all the Americans on this show such a-holes or traitors?
Harry and Ros meet up with the Home Secretary who is updating his Twitter account proving how modern and up to date British politicians are. The Indian and Pakistani leaders are being invited to a peace summit in London. Harry seems a little put out when the Home Secretary brings up the fact that he and the Pakistani President Mudasser (Nicholas Khan)went to Cambridge together. The old boy network rears its ugly head. Section D is tasked with looking after security.
*****SPOILER ALERT*****Meanwhile at the London Regent Hotel, CIA Chick is watching a news report about the crisis. Talk about hiding in plain sight! Guess who shows up at her door? If you guessed Russell Price, you can pass go and collect $200. Yes, the head of European operations for the CIA is part of Nightingale. CIA Chick shows off what looks like some kind of bomb in a case that she brought back from India. Price questions whether she has any doubts about what they are doing. She says no (of course) but wonders if he doubts her. Price brings up the fact that she didn't kill Lucas when she had the chance. He then puts the moves on her which she repels by pulling out her gun. He demands that she kill Lucas to prove her loyalty.
Back on the grid, Ruth runs through all the key players thus far: General Ali, a billionaire fixer named Hans Lindemann, and the Home Secretary Andrew Lawrence, who has a big question mark next to his name. It appears that he spent time at Lindemann's Tuscan retreat just after the meeting in Basel. He could be dirty. Last on the list is our favorite blonde CIA Chick. They are all linked in an attempt to provoke a war between India and Pakistan. Ros wonders what CIA Chick's motives could be; Lucas doesn't think that she's betraying her country and her principles just for money. Ruth tells Harry that they shouldn't jump to conclusions about the Home Secretary. He could be bad or he could just be a pawn.
Lucas and Ros head off to Lindemann's posh office in Belgrave Square to set up surveillance. Ros tells Lucas that a war between Pakistan and India would sort out a few issues. Lucas wonders why Nightingale hasn't tried to recruit Ros yet. Ros replies, “It's been gnawing at me as well.”
While Lucas is planting the bug, CIA Chick comes out of the shadows. She admits that she was ordered to kill him, but instead tells him to get of town while he still has the chance. She'll meet him wherever he chooses. Lucas is flabbergasted by her chutzpah (as am I, the chick has balls). Ros, however, is not, and she and CIA Chick have the fight they both have been waiting for. It's dark, so it's hard to see who is winning, but my money is on Ros. Lucas has the chance to kill CIA Chick but doesn't. Dumb ass.
Delegates start arriving for the big meeting at the Summit Hotel. Harry gives Ros the task of going to see the Home Secretary; he doesn't want their decisions informed by his prejudices. Ros gets off a crack about how everything they do is informed by those. Harry wants Ros to bring him in but give him false information that won't help Nightingale but will alert them if he's a traitor. Ros tells Harry that he's playing a dangerous game (so what else is new?); if the HS is innocent, this could ruin their future working relationship. Ros gives the Home Secretary a flash drive to give to the Pakistani president containing a code to let them communicate. Confession time: the Home Secretary tells Ros that Harry reminds him of his dad. This guy is so adorable; I'mm going to be really upset if he turns out to be bad as well!
Ruth heads off to the park to meet an MI-5 asset. He tells her that there will be war because the Pakistani president is weak. Out of the destruction will come a completely new set of rules for world government. On that cheery note, the asset is shot before he can reveal more. I see a large drink in Ruth's future. Meanwhile CIA Chick, wearing a fetching black wig, gives Price information about an Indian political analyst whose room is needed to set up the bomb. The poor thing is immediately killed. Did they really have to kill her? Couldn't they have told her that the maid discovered bed bugs in her room or something? Just moved her to another floor?
Lucas and Ros meet up with Price, who proves once again what an obnoxious little bastard he is. And he has small hands, I'm just saying. Price plays dumb when asked about CIA Chick and Nightingale but needles Lucas about their affair, claiming that he had a taste of her first. Yuck! I think I just threw up in my mouth a little at that thought. Too bad Lucas didn't punch him out.
Lucas meets up with CIA Chick, turning his back as Ros shoots her in the leg. God, Ros has all the best lines in this episode:
“Don't be such a crybaby. It's just a graze in your tutu.”
And now a human moment, where the episode cuts a little too close to home for one of the MI-5 team. Tariq shares with Ruth that he has family in Lahore, and demonstrates on his computer the devastation a bomb would have on the city. At the hospital, CIA Chick tells Lucas that her reasons for doing all this is to stop the Taliban from potentially taking over Pakistan the way they have in Afghanistan. Finally Lucas sees the light and tells her that she disgusts him.
Ooh, I think the Home Secretary is flirting with Ros! He's just offered her Harry's job, which Ros politely turns down. Now he informs her that the Pakistani president is worried that elements at home are going to use his absence to escalate tensions with India forcing the peace talks to breakdown. CIA Chick still hasn't told Lucas anything beyond wanting to go somewhere far, far away with him. It's a little too late for her to be getting all sappy and sentimental, don't you think? When Ros turns up at the hospital for a progress report from Lucas, CIA Chick is killed while they talk out in the hall. Oops! Lucas freaks out on the assassin once they catch him and has to be stopped by Ros. Damn, I think he really had deep feelings for her.
Ruth and Harry have another one of their intimate yet ultimately frustrating moments on the roof. I just want Harry to stop being so bloody British, grab her and drag her into one of the many supply closets they must have at headquarters. Neither one of them is getting any younger, and I'm growing old waiting for them to finally get busy. Tariq traces the number that the assassin was supposed to call after he finished the job to Russell Price.
****OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT REALLY HAPPENED SPOILER ALERT***** In the Indian delegate's room, Lucas locates the detonator and the bomb. They only have 30 minutes before Kaboom. The bomb squad informs him that it's too late to dismantle the bomb. They must evacuate the Home Secretary and the President of Pakistan. Price intercepts the two men before Lucas and Ros can get to them, and injects them with a paralyzing drug. Pandemonium ensues at the hotel. Ros grabs Price and ties him up in the room with the bomb, promising to leave him there unless he tells her the room number where the Home Secretary and the President of Pakistan are being kept. There are only minutes left before the bomb goes off. My nails are nubs now.
Price finally admits that they are on the 5th floor in Room 507. He demands to be set free, but Ros leaves him tied up with the bomb. Good Ros! Lucas manages to sling the President of Pakistan fireman style over his shoulder and carry him out, while Ros is stuck trying to drag the Home Secretary out but he's dead weight. Outside, the President of Pakistan manages to give an order releasing the Indian submarine. Lucas is just about to go back inside to get Ros and the Home Secretary when the bomb explodes and the screen fades to black.
I'm stunned, shocked, surprised. How can this be? I think Ros is really dead dead this time, not just pretend dead. How is MI-5 going to survive?
Thankfully, Netflix has already put Season 9 up for streaming.
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.