Mar 1 2011 12:00pm

MI-5 Spooks, Season 8, Ep 1 Recap

MI-5 Volume 8 DVD artAt the end of the previous series, Harry had offered himself to FSB Agent Victor Sarkisian (Peter Sullivan) instead of Lucas, only to find himself kidnapped and stuffed into the trunk of a car. Now Victor lets Harry know that he's going to sell him to the highest bidder. He also tells him that he should be proud of the high price he's going to fetch. Right, like that's every MI-5 agent's dream. Yippee! A group of what look like black ops guys break into the mansion where Harry is being kept. Uh-oh, false alarm: Sarkisian informs Harry that he's not being rescued after all, but the highest bidder has decided that he doesn't want to pay the money after all. Harry is shocked to discover that the bidder is an old friend from the Indian Intelligence Bureau, Amish Mani (Ace Bhatti). Mani pulls a gun on Harry and a shot rings out just as the opening credits begin to roll. Could Harry be dead? They wouldn't pull a stunt like that at the beginning of the episode, would they? Torturing the audience as the team tries to find Harry's killer? The BBC couldn't be that cruel, could it?

Cast of MI-5Section D—aka Lucas, Ros, Jo, and Malcolm—watches a video of Harry's apparent execution by the Sacred Army of Righteous Vengeance that has been posted online. The team is freaking out; seriously, the video totally looks realistic. Malcolm is sure that the video is real. Ros, cold as ice, asks him if they should start choosing the poem for Harry's funeral. God, she can be an evil beyotch, but Malcolm is not about to put up with her bitchery and reams her out. Showing a brief sign of humanity, Ros actually apologizes. Wait, I think that Hell just froze over but that might just have been the recent snowstorm that we had.

Efficient Ros, wearing a snazzy short leather jacket, decides to visit the Home Secretary (Robert Glenister, who I always get confused with his brother Philip from Life on Mars) to sound him out about the video and the possibility of questioning Abdul Hussein, who is considered to have ties to SARV, but the Home Secretary refuses, citing National Security. MI-6 agent Stephen Hillier (Andrew Scarborough), however, proves to be surprisingly helpful, almost too helpful, telling Ros she's moving in the right direction. Ros returns to find out that Victor Sarkisiian is now dead. Hopes of finding Harry alive start running short. Ros tells them what the Home Secretary said, but informs Lucas and Jo that she plans on taking matters into her own hands. She's discovered that Hussein attends a clinic for trauma counseling. Lucas warns Ros what might happen if she gets caught.

Meanwhile, Lucas meets the new liason officer for the CIA at the morgue.  Her name is Sarah Caulfield (Genevieve O'Reilly), and she's tall, blonde, and skinny. CIA Chick with the Bad American Accent banters with Lucas over Sarkisian's dead body. Why do I get the feeling that these two are going to end up having a relationship? I seriously hope that I'm wrong about this one. Although I guess when you've been in a Russian prison for 8 years, anyone looks good.

Thanks to Malcolm's quick work isolating the video of Harry's supposed execution, he discovers that what sounds like a language that is native only to Kerala in India, which means that SARV are not involved after all. This information is confirmed when Ros returns from stealing Hussein's notes from his counseling sessions. Ros suspects a rat because Hillier was the one who pointed her in the direction of Hussein to begin with.

Amish Mani tells Harry that if he won't talk than he knows exactly the woman who will help break Harry. MI-5 fans know what this means. There is only one woman that Harry cares about and that's Ruth Evershed.

SPOILER ALERT! As we know, reports of Ruth's death were greatly exaggerated. She's been living on Cyprus with her hottie husband, George (Daniel Rabin), and equally cute stepson, Niko (Luke Tzortzis), in a house that has a pool in the backyard. What kind of Witness Protection Program is this? While her husband goes off to get a bottle of wine, a strange car shows up at the house. Ruth, who must have some sort of Spidey sense from all her years in MI-5, grabs their passports and Niko, and then runs to the car.  The goons pound on her car, but for some reason they don't have guns, so Ruth and Niko get away. Thank god!

Somehow she manages to get to London with her family. I'm not really clear on how she persuaded her husband and child that they needed to travel with no luggage to England on the spur of the moment or what they used for money, but somehow she did. Malcolm tells the team that Ruth has surfaced. When Ruth arrives, she has no idea why her family has been threatened. Ros fills her in on what has been happening to Harry, and that they think that she is somehow involved. Racking her memory, Ruth informs the team that Harry thwarted a clandestine operation to smuggle weapons-grade uranium into Iraq to justify the war and only he and Ruth are privy to its true whereabouts. What's scary about this storyline is that you know that this could totally have happened in real life. Ruth identifies CIA liaison officer Libby McCall and Stephen Hillier from MI-6 as the other two rogue officers involved along with Amish Mani. Now it appears that these guys want their uranium back, and they are prepared to go to any lengths to get it, including coming after Ruth.

At the safe house, Ruth's husband is laying a guilt trip on her about lying to him. Seriously? What was she supposed to say to him? “Hi, my name is Ruth, and I used to work from MI-5 but I had to pretend to be dead because I was being framed for a crime I didn't commit?”  To make it worse, he complains that the house where they are living doesn't have a yard for Niko to play in. Ruth, the patron saint of people pleasers, agrees to see if they can be moved to another safe house.

Holy Guacomole! Ruth is kidnapped too when Malcolm puts the information about the new safe house in the computer. Hillier passes the information on to Mani, who brings Ruth to where Harry is being held. Finally, the moment that we've all been waiting for, Ruth and Harry together for the first time. They exchange longing looks, pregnant with emotion, which amuses Mani, who wonders aloud if the two of them ever got it on in Baghdad. He concludes that they probably had an old-fashioned Brief Encounter kind of situation. He leaves them alone.

The tension is killing me as Ruth and Harry make small talk about her life on Cyprus, how she and George met at the hospital where she was doing clerical work. Oh, and did she mention that he was a doctor? Harry makes an unfortunate remark about Ruth being made for better things which pisses Ruth off a bit. She snaps back that her life was simple and elegant, aka normal. Harry finally asks the question we all want to know, does Ruth love George? Ruth is taken aback by the question. She dances around it before finally telling Harry that she's not going to share something so personal with him. Mani comes back in and ruins the moment.  He hooks up a laptop computer so that Ruth can see George and Niko playing soccer at the new safe house. He tells Ruth that unless she tells him where the uranium is, both her husband and son will die. Ruth apologizes to Harry for giving up the secret.

Okay, I need to stop here for a moment to school Ruth. Honey, you don't need to apologize for not wanting your family to become roadkill. Are we clear? Great, now back to the recap. Ruth admits that the uranium is hidden in Norfolk. Before anyone can heave a sign of relief, Mani orders Ruth's husband shot. Waah! It turns out that Harry moved the uranium from Norfolk without telling her. Mani informs the two of them that Niko will be killed as well if Harry does give up the uranium. Ruth, crying and in pain, begs and pleads with Harry. 

OMG, I have to put the DVD on pause for a moment. Harry's between a rock and a hard place. He tries to explain to Ruth that if he tells Mani were the uranium is, there is chance that it will be used to make a “dirty bomb,” which will potentially kill more children. Ruth doesn't give a crap—all she cares about is Niko. Harry gets that stubborn look on his face, refusing to give up the uranium. I kind of get where he's coming from, that whole saving the world vs. saving one child, but, unfortunately, Ruth doesn't. Harry tells Mani that it doesn't matter if he kills Niko because he still won't tell him where the uranium is. She calls him a heartless bastard, which does not bode well for any future relationship.

Back at Section D, Lucas and Jo realize that Ruth and her family are gone from the safe house and Ruth isn't answering her phone. Poor Malcolm blames himself for putting the information about the move in the computer where Hillier could access it. Bad Ass Ros meets up with Hillier and points a gun at his crotch to find out where Ruth and Harry are being held. Before Hillier can tell her, a sniper takes him out, spraying blood and brains all over Ros' snazzy leather jacket. Thank god leather is so easy to clean.

Ros tells Lucas to use his charm on CIA Chick to get her to help them out by putting a tracker on McCall. Lucas, looking sexier than ever, promises CIA Chick that not only will she get Mani but also the uranium as well, although he doesn't really have the authority. CIA Chick falls for it, and agrees, thinking that she's going to come out of this smelling like a rose, despite the fact that she had earlier warned McCall. What is with agents going rogue in this episode? Malcolm, feeling guilty, offers himself to the rogue officers to save Niko. Lucas and Jo find Ruth and Harry and take out Mani and his men.

As the dust settles, Ros lets CIA Chick know that the U.S. will not only not be getting Mani but the uranium will stay hidden for now. CIA Chick is not happy, and promises that she will get payback for getting screwed over. Oh, goody, I can't wait. At the grid, Malcolm shocks Harry by announcing that he's retiring. Can Malcolm really be leaving? I can't blame him, but he's actually the only sane person in the whole outfit. Who can possibly replace Malcolm? I consider stopping the DVD and taking a medicinal sip of wine, but there's only 5 minutes left. Harry feels the same pain that I do since he's hitting the whiskey, as he contemplates a Malcolmless world. END EPISODE

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon loves to write about Scandalous Women & the men that loved them. Visit her at http://scandalouswoman.blogspot.com.

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Liz Maverick
1. Liz Maverick
I feel like it's been five years since MI-5 last aired. No matter, because it's all about Ruth & Harry! Wait, she's married? That's SO wrong. I'm not okay.
Elizabeth K Mahon
2. Elizabeth K Mahon
You are right Liz, this season is all about Harry and Ruth. The season gets really intense.
Megan Frampton
3. MFrampton
I cannot wait! Even reading this--and getting spoiled--just makes me want to see it more.
Elizabeth K Mahon
4. Phylly3
Great recap! This was a really exciting episode. Malcolm will be missed.
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