Apr 17 2011 2:00pm

MI-5 Spooks, Season 8, Ep 5 Recap

MI-5 CastWe're recapping the BBC series Spooks (titled MI-5 over here) because we like Richard Armitage, espionage series, and British accents. (See episode 1, episode 2, episode 3, and episode 4 recaps by clicking on the appropriate hyperlink.)

Richard Armitage as Lucas NorthLucas meets up with CIA Chick at Samuel Walker’s funeral. She gives the impression of being horribly grieved in her black dress and blood-red lipstick, traitorous beyotch (remember how she tossed him off the balcony last episode?).

When Lucas questions the official story that Walker committed suicide because he had been diagnosed with cancer, CIA Chick feeds him some story about how Walker was under surveillance, that he was dirty, taking money from the Chinese. When she called to confront him about it, he committed suicide.

Meanwhile, back at the grid, Harry and Ruth are watching a newscast about Walker’s death. Harry doesn't buy the suicide story, revealing to Ruth that Walker called him up 45 minutes before he allegedly jumped. He wanted to talk about the meeting in Basel, claiming that it went to the heart of the intelligence services. Something doesn't add up.

Another CIA agent named Michael Braden suddenly drops dead while driving his kids’ home from playing in the park. CIA Chick turns up at Lucas’ apartment without calling, almost getting shot when he opens the door with a gun (I have to wonder why an MI-5 agent would live in a building with such lax security). She tells him that Braden’s death looks like MI-6, since the drug is one that they are known to use. Meanwhile, Ros Myers is contacted by her old mentor, Jack Coleville (Stephen Boxer), an ex-MI6 golden boy who suddenly quit the service. He claims that bad investments have forced him to write his memoirs. Coleville asks Ros to read them, paying special attention to a chapter about Harry and Gibraltar. But Harry insists he was never in Gibraltar, so what is Coleville's motive for lying? Or is Harry the one that is lying? It wouldn’t be the first time.

The Home Secretary tells Harry that something fishy seems to be going on. So far there is no connection between the two deaths of Walker and Braden other than that they were both CIA. When Harry tells the Home Secretary about Walker’s call before his death, he tells Harry to make the Basel meeting top priority.

Back at HQ, Harry finally shares details about the Basel meeting with Lucas and Ros. The team focuses on Walker’s death, but at first it looks like a dead end. All the entrances and exits to the building where he died were secured, and all CCTV feeds were conveniently disabled. A link is found, connecting Braden and Walker: Michael Braden was working on finding a security breach in the CIA. If he had found it, he would have told Walker, who would have told Harry, which might be the reason for their deaths.

Lucas shows up at CIA counter-terrorism surveillance posing as a messenger. While arguing with the security guard, he places his package on the security card entrance, while Tariq downloads the information on to his computer at HQ. The team reaches another dead end, the data indicates that no one entered or exited the building on the day that Walker died. Another MI-5 officer, who specialized in Balkan dialects, turns up dead near Canary Wharf, slashed to ribbons with a knife. The puzzle keeps getting murkier, especially when Ruth tells the team that he was found with a CV filled with every operation that he had worked on, much of the information top secret. The only clue is that he was stationed in Gibraltar. Hmm!

While looking through Coleville’s memoirs again, Ros discovers he's implanted a microchip in the binder which means that he has a record of every keystroke that she’s made, giving him access to her password to download data. Tariq sets up a mirror site so that they can shut down Coleville’s access to the MI-5 system if necessary. The horrifying truth dawns on Ros, the killer of the two MI-5 agents and possibly Walker is Coleville but why is the question?


Ros and Lucas North race to find Coleville at his London address. Harry suggests that they bring in special-ops, but Ros suggests that she talk to Coleville to find out what he’s up to. But when Ros goes in there's no sign of him apart from a copy of the play Macbeth (which is his favorite play) and she soon realizes the house is booby-trapped. Damn, Ros can run fast! She tears out of there as the house blows up. Ros escapes, but it's clear that Coleville means business. Coleville calls and Ros rips him a new one about trying to kill her. He hangs up when Ros demands to know what the hell is going on. Don’t you hate it when that happens?

A solid link is finally found between the three dead agents: They were all part of Operation Acorn, a joint US/UK op in the Balkans that was shut down in the 1990s. Harry tells Lucas to liaise with CIA chick for information. I hope this liaising doesn’t involve sex, I don’t think my stomach can take it.

Lucas meets up with CIA Chick to tell her that they think that Coleville took out Walker, Braden and the other agent. You can almost hear CIA Chick’s sigh of relief through the TV. He asks her for names of everyone involved with Acorn from 1991-1995. Coleville, in the meantime, accesses the MI-5 database to download a file on another agent named Roger Maynard. Maynard is at a television station giving an interview. Lucas, who is in the field, hightails it over there.

Guess who else is there? You betcha, it’s CIA Chick who is like a recurring fungus at this point. She’s told her super secret contact that she needs to get to Coleville before MI-5 does.

The whole thing turns into a complete clusterf**k. Maynard gets a text telling him that someone is after him and that he’s to proceed to exit 19. CIA Chick intercepts him, and with an English accent that’s not much better than her American one, informs him that she’s from MI-5 and that she’s there to take him to the appropriate exit. She leaves him for Coleville to find, and when Coleville shoots him, she decides to take Coleville out. Lucas interrupts her and Coleville gets away. As he’s dying, Maynard manages choke out that this whole thing has to do with a woman named Mina Baronova.

Ruth informs the team that Baronova was the sister of a Balkan bad guy. She was put into shadow protection (the UK equivalent of Witness Protection, I’m guessing) but then she was killed. When Coleville tries to access Mina Baronova’s file, Ros tells Tariq to put her name as the signature (lead officer) on her case to draw him out. At her flat, Ros finds a mobile phone hidden in her kitchen. It is Coleville calling—and he challenges her to find him. Harry gives her five before he calls in the troops. Ros grabs a gun tucked away in her fireplace (what an interesting place to keep it!), and sneaks out the back entrance of her flat. She corners Coleville in an abandoned building, but Coleville is too slick and gets the drop on her.

****OMG I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT JUST HAPPENED SPOILER ALERT*****The whole sordid story comes out. Mina was one of Coleville’s assets when he was working on Operation Acorn. They fell in love (of course) but Mina was put in shadow protection to save her life. When her brother decided to help MI-5 with information, however, the price was Mina. Now Ros must pay for giving up his lover to her brother. Ros confesses it wasn’t her who signed off on what was essentially Mina’s death warrant. When Coleville demands to know the name of the signature officer, Ros tells him that she doesn’t know and it doesn’t matter because it was the right thing to do. The information from Mina’s brother helped save hundreds of lives. Ros reminds him of something that he once told her, “Don’t make a decision you can’t live with.” Coleville puts the gun to his head and pulls the trigger.

Okay, here’s my problem with all of this, if Coleville was involved with Mina back in the 90’s, why did it take him until 2009 to take his revenge? The guy is clearly slow to action, is all I'm saying.

Back at HQ, Ruth tells Lucas mobile phone records prove that Sarah was in the building when Walker died, there is no mistake. Back at his flat, Lucas manages to keep his cool and not strangle CIA Chick as he tells her that Coleville didn’t kill Walker. CIA Chick spins a sad tale of woe about how she should have done more for Walker, that he wouldn’t have committed suicide if she had gone to confront him instead of waiting. Somehow Lucas manages to have sex with the skank; seriously, he should get some kind of medal for this. Later, Lucas calls Ros and tells her that CIA Chick just lied to him. The question is now did someone in the CIA put her up to killing Walker, or is she freelance? 


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

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Miranda Neville
1. Miranda Neville
I believe CIA Chick is played by an Australian, which is why she can't talk either American or Brit. If they're going to use a foreign actress can't they get the right kind of foreigner?
Kym Lucas
2. Kym Lucas
Richard Armitage -- the whole reason I started watching this series. Wow. Could watch and/or listen to him all day.
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