Spooks – Series 10 – Episode 3
I can’t quite believe we are at the half way point of the final ever series of Spooks. It feels that all too soon, just as we have got used to this new team of MI5 assassins, we will have to say goodbye. Judging by the plotlines and thrilling twists however, this series is certainly aiming to go out with a bang. This series has really got into its stride, with the new characters settling in nicely (even Callum as it goes, who gets more sarcastic and hilarious as the episodes go by) and the Gavrik-Pearce plot bubbling under the surface.
This week, the Spooks writers pulls out a typical honey trap sub plot for us to enjoy, led masterfully by the woefully underused Dmitri Levendis. It is a shame this series is ending just as we get to see how brilliant he actually is – all the makings of a Section Chief in the mould of Adam Carter, and I can’t be the only one to have noticed the simmering tension between himself and new girl Erin. That would have been an interesting storyline to see played out. As it goes, we have to settle for a brilliant portrayal of how ethics and morals are incompatible with MI5 agents trying to save London from a radiation attack from a crazed terrorist, played with aplomb by Max Brown, whilst the main Russian plot hovers in the background.
Johnny Grier, an anarchist well known to the security services arrives back In the UK, bringing with him some sort radioactive substance, and it feels like it is going to be a race to the finish for the Spooks team before it gets set off somewhere devastating in London. The problem is they know nothing about the target, or why Johnny is back, so in comes Dmitri as undercover estate agent Ryan to woo the sister, Natalie and to quickly find out the deal with the bomb. Am I the only one that found it hilarious that they sent Dmitri undercover as an estate agent? No? Good. After some masterful behind the scenes tinkering with online dating profiles (I sometimes wonder how much MI5 agents do this sort of stuff in real life…scary), Dmitri is good to go on a date with Natalie, which will hopefully lead him to our anarchist at large.
And it certainly does. The whole episode is a blur of bugging and trapping and double crossing that would leave any Spooks fanatic reeling, and the pacing and tension I believe made it one of the best episodes we have seen in recent series. The particular highlight was when Johnny convinced Dmitri that he smuggled through something completely different, which led the whole section to an incredibly tense and thrilling climax at the end of the episode.
What I love more than anything is that Spooks makes you think, and the writers make you question all that you believe is right – so much so that I was almost agreeing with Johnny’s particular crusade this week, especially as the writers I’m sure so clearly based the bomb target on little known unpopular owner of a media empire. Dose of realism anyone?
This was no filler episode, but with the information Tariq revealed just before his death on CCTV, and with the UK-Russia-US diplomatic triangle dangling by a thread, I can’t be the only one gagging to find out what happens next. And with Harry Pearce delivering us more secrets per minute than any other spy with a back-story, I’ll be glued to my sofa next week.