After last weeks’ thrilling and dramatic series opener, one pondered over the last week, which way this series was going to go. Would episode one be the place where we got most of the action and excitement from, or would it just go totally nuts towards the end of the season, as has been the case previously. Between a timely Wikileaks storyline, Russian intrigue and an untimely and ultimately shocking death I think we have our answer.
This week the episode opened with Callum, new tech spy on the block getting mugged outside, with the attackers making off with a laptop full of some very secret stuff. Stuff about MI5 agents, underground spies and important assets which, in the wrong hands could be extremely damaging. Cue a Wikileaks style stream of information getting leaked to the press, with agents being compromised whilst out on the field. This main storyline leads to some great Spooks moments, including Callum and Dimitri disguising the murder of the first leaked agent as suicide, as well an extremely tense scene where Martha Ford, another undercover agent, attempts to escape Gavrik after her identity has been revealed on the TV. We also get a bit more of the tug of war of conscience in Erin, new Section Chief, who you can clearly see struggling with both the brutality of betrayal and hard spying and being a mother.
Unfortunately for this series, it appears they have so much back story and action to get through in a mere six episodes that this plotline is concluded rather disappointingly – the person leaking the encrypted information is actually an ex-MI5 officer wanting revenge. However, the storyline is saved by there being an air of mystery over who delivered the suitcase to him – a mystery which lead to the shocking death of Tariq, who was investigating CCTV footage from home when his security was compromised
The way Spooks deals with death and murder, particularly of its main characters is one of the things that gives it its tension and drama – never afraid to kill off its main stars when you least expect it, it keeps viewers like me on their toes, and maintains that “what will happen next?” thrill. Nevertheless it was sad to see Tariq go, as I’ve enjoyed watching him over the last few episodes develop into quite a witty and sharp character.
The main series plotline of the new Anglo-Russian alliance and the interactions with the Gavrik family were dealt with only in passing, but we were to glean some useful information which I am sure will be relevant in forthcoming episodes. Sasha Gavrik, (Harry’s son) murders a fellow FSB agent to protect his mother, when her meeting with Harry is witnessed. The scene between Harry and Sasha, after was interesting, and you already see similarities in their character and attitudes. The reveal that Harry is his father to Sasha will, I think, provide some real dramatic moments, and I look forward to seeing how this is portrayed. The overwhelming thing to take from this episode was that the FSB were on to Elena’s betrayal, and just how far that goes up the chain remains to be seen.
As mentioned, the episode ended with Tariq’s death, but before he died, the CCTV footage he was watching appeared to show someone looking
suspiciously like Elena Gavrik delivering the briefcase with the laptop. That would be a very interesting twist indeed – perhaps she is connected to those shady looking Russians we saw in episode one who plotted the assassination attempt of her husband? Now that would be a turn up for the books…
Next week’s episode on BBC One Sunday at 9pm.