Mar 13 2011 3:00pm

MI-5 Spooks, Season 8, Ep 2 Recap


still here? Okay, then:

Ruth (Nicola Walker) and Harry (Peter Firth, who is not related to Colin) are having a very tense conversation while out for a stroll on the Millennium Bridge. She is still not in a forgiving mood after that whole George-getting-killed incident in the last episode, not even when Harry promises to sort out her status. Ooh, Ruth's just admitted that she and George were never married, and that poor Niko, who is probably traumatized and will need years of therapy, has gone back to live with relatives. When Harry asks if Ruth will be going back to Cyprus, Ruth snarkily replies that there is nothing left for her there, and she wouldn't exactly be welcomed. Harry says that he is trying, but Ruth isn't buying what he's selling. Poor Harry—I kind of feel sorry for the guy. It can't be easy having his job.

There's a new cutie-patootie named Tariq (Shazad Latif) on the grid, replacing Malcolm, and Mama likes! Although he may not have this job very long if he keeps wearing t-shirts to work. MI-5 apparently doesn't have a dress-casual policy, not even for IT guys.

Ros in MI-5Uh-oh, it appears that there has been an explosion at the West Sands gas processing plant. Ros (Hermione Norris) and Harry assure the Home Secretary that it was just an accident and not a terrorist plot for a change. The Home Secretary admits that Britain doesn't have enough gas for more than 20 percent of its power plants.

In other words, the country is up shit’s creek without a paddle unless they alternate sources. Their only hope is to buy the gas from Tazbekstan (which is not a real country, although doesn't it sound real?). (And let's just pause for a moment to ponder the idea that Britain, a nation that survived the Blitz in World War II, would be caught with their pants down in an emergency of this nature).

Ros informs the team that the Tazbek Trade and Industry Secretary Rustam Urazov (Jonny Phillips), now codenamed Thumper, has promised to supply Britain with energy, but he expects that Section D will turn a blind eye as he wipes out one of his enemies, exiled poet Bibi Saparov, whose family he has already killed. Why? Because he's EVIL, that's why. Bibi, who now lives in London, has been waging protests outside the hotel where the trade delegation is staying. Harry is worried that she could derail negotiations.

Ugh, Lucas (Richard Armitage) is having dinner with CIA Chick (Genevieve O'Reilly) at a posh restaurant, with dim lighting, and romantic music. It looks more like a date than a business meeting. What, Pizza Express isn't good enough for her? Unfortunately, Lucas is too much of a gentleman to stick her with the check. CIA Chick cracks a joke about since she’s the new liaison officer, they should liaise. Of course, this isn’t just social; CIA Chick wants something from Lucas, and not just his very fine body. No, apparently the Americans aren't happy that the Brits are negotiating with the Tazbeks because of the country's human rights record which is dismal. Even they are aware of Thumper's plans for Bibi. Not very subtle, is he.

Lucas tails Bibi (Julia Krynke) who meets up with a journalist named Matthew Plowden (played by Richard McCabe, who was in Persuasion—the good version, with Amanda Root) at an internet cafe. Hah, Plowden tells Bibi that he didn't want to meet at his house because it might be bugged by MI-5. Seriously, dude, you don't think they'd have bugs planted at a cafe that you use everyday? Plowden warns Bibi that Thumper is going to try and kill her, and that the British are going to lift an arms embargo on Takbekstan. Ros, who is listening in a van nearby, is livid and wants to know where Plowden is getting his intel. Bibi says that she is not frightened of Thumper, she has nothing to lose. Plowden, who thinks that he's Britain's answer to The Drudge Report, promises to reveal what he knows.

Lucas and Ros split up. Ros tails Bibi, who is also being tailed by a suspicious character who tries to kidnap her. Ros takes him down before he can inject Bibi with a drug, but she lets him go when a car pulls up. Lucas threatens Plowden with an IRS audit if he posts what he knows but Plowden is not put off. He tells Lucas that he will be postponing their conversation on his blog! Harry seems not to care that an innocent woman is in danger. Ros worries that he hasn't reconciled what happened with Ruth.

Lucas and Harry in MI-5The clock is ticking, and the Home Secretary tells Harry that the Tazbeks know that they have Britain by the short and curlies. Lucas has to go to a strip club where Thumper and the other Tazbeks hang out to try and plant a bug. Poor baby. With his trusty camera watch that Tariq rigged up, Lucas is able to get some interesting information. Thumper's sidekick, an old army buddy named Gosguly Garadanow (who Ros has codenamed Flopsy), was the one who tried to kidnap Bibi. Lucas suspects that the Tazbeks have something else up their sleeve besides offing Bibi. Tariq, who is turning out to be pretty awesome, has lip-reading software, and has figured out what the Tazbeks were saying on film. Lucas figures out that Plowden is next on the Thumper's hit list. Tariq tries to warn Plowden through one of the social networking sites the journalist frequents but it is too late. Plowden is shot dead, not that anyone in the Internet cafe seems to notice.

Tariq discovers that one of Plowden's on-line friends, Violet Franklin, is actually none other than CIA Chick who was feeding him intel to try and teach MI-5 a lesson for screwing her over in the previous episode. Jeez, hell hath no fury like a CIA double-crossed. When Lucas is pissed, she tries to flirt with him. What a cold broad; she doesn't seem to care she got a journalist whacked. Harry is still taking a hard line about Bibi, so Jo (Miranda Raison), who has made Bibi her personal project, decides to ask Ruth to intervene. Apparently Ruth is the only one who can touch that human part of him. Although I’m pretty sure that she wants to touch other parts as well. You know what this means—we get another Ruth and Harry scene! They meet at their usual spot on the bridge, where Ruth apologizes for being so hard on him; she knows that he had no other choice when it came to the uranium. Harry, in turn, apologizes to Ruth for getting her boyfriend killed. It’s actually a very sweet scene in a weird way.

***ANOTHER SPOILER ALERT****Lucas has to go back to the strip club with a nifty new device, a pack of matches that has a listening device. MI-5 now learns how evil Thumper really is. The plan is to attack an autonomous region in Takbekstan, launching a civil war. The skies will be black with smoke and there will blood in the streets. Thumper will then sweep in, playing peacemaker. In gratitude for ending the bloodshed, the people will make him Prime Minister, and lots of lovely foreign aid will end up in the appropriate pockets.

****HUGE SPOILER ALERT***** Since Thumper is making such a mess of the talks, Section-D come up with an ingenious plan to use Bibi to kill Thumper (Urazov) in order to shift responsibility. Bibi agrees to go through with it. At the hotel, Ros uses Jo as a honey trap to lure Thumper upstairs to his hotel room. Ugh, I think I’m going to be sick as Thumper tells Jo to take off her dress as he lounges on the bed. However, I do like the dress she’s wearing. It’s white with a red belt, very Roland Mouret. Tariq, dressed as a room service waiter, slips Bibi a gun. Meanwhile downstairs, Ros is reading The Economist.

****OMG TOTALLY CAN’T BELIEVE THAT HAPPENED SPOILER****Crap, Bibi flakes out, and despite her hatred for Thumper, she can’t kill him. This is what happens when you send a non-pro to do a job. Luckily, Jo is there to help her pull the trigger. Racked by guilt over what she’s done, Bibi commits suicide after Thumper is dead, leaving Tariq and Jo to get rid of two bodies. Still, with Thumper out of the picture, it looks like smooth sailing getting the Tazbeks to sell Britain the oil, saving people from being Internet-free for a few days.

Uh-oh, looks like there is a fly in the ointment. The prime minister of Tazbekstan storms into the conference room and throws down a stack of photos in front of Harry, Ros and the Home Secretary. The photos are of Jo and Bibi meeting in her council flat. Harry tells the team that Britain has no choice now but to approach Russia, but they need the Americans to sound them out. Lucas meets with CIA Chick and her boss Samuel Walker (Brian Protheroe). The Russians are willing to deal but they want details about the Tazbeks prime minister’s flight back home. Seems that they want to have a little chat with him. Hmm, do you get the feeling that this is what the Americans and the Russians wanted all along, Urazov out of the way? Lucas certainly thinks so. Still, that doesn’t stop him from meeting CIA Chick later on. I heard smooching but I couldn’t bear to look. CIA Chick, in a bold move, tells Lucas that she booked a hotel room at Claridges under the name Violet Franklin. Lucas says it’s his favorite hotel. It was mine too, until now. Great afternoon tea with little individual crème brulees for dessert.

Just when you thought it was safe to have a cocktail, the Home Secretary tells Harry that he heard from an American source that there might be a threat to the world order as it stands. Apparently there was a secret meeting in Switzerland and he wants Harry to check it out.

Will Harry find out who was at this mysterious meeting? Will I ever be able to watch Lucas and CIA Chick making out without gagging? Will Tariq ever wear a real shirt?

Best line of the episode: “Harry's always troubled. He chooses his frown with his tie in the morning.” —Lucas North.


Elizabeth Kerri Mahon loves to write about Scandalous Women & the men that loved them. Visit her at

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1 comment
1. Marisa
Elizabeth - I love this series and have been waiting weeks for it to arrive from Netflix. The first disc with the first two episodes finally arrived on Friday and for two hours I was lost in the world of MI-5. So very glad to have Ruth back and I'm hoping that she and Harry can finally be together.
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