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bbc, nicola walker, peter firth, richard armitage, spooks

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Old 20th Oct 2010, 14:30   #21
amner
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Default Re: Spooks - SPOILERS

Excellent work, as ever, ono. Very exciting episode, this, with everyone contributing brilliantly.

But Harry, what a man. I wish my boss would quote Kierkegaard at me when I've done a good job.
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Old 20th Oct 2010, 17:15   #22
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Default Re: Spooks - SPOILERS

Quote:
The greatest hazard of all, losing one’s self, can occur very quickly in the world. Almost as if it were nothing at all.
Discomfited Lucas somewhat, did it not?
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Old 20th Oct 2010, 17:23   #23
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Default Re: Spooks - SPOILERS

I was rocked back by the Iain Glen transformation. He looked, well, very handsome indeed. Debonair, in fact.
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Old 20th Oct 2010, 20:01   #24
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Default Re: Spooks - SPOILERS

I was so rocked, I didn't recognise him at all
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Old 27th Oct 2010, 14:20   #25
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Episode 6. So much happens in this episode that I should apologise in advance for inaccuracies - and many thanks to amner, who saved the day by remembering a crucial detail for me.
 
Thames House. Harry is in a meeting room with Alton Beecher, London's head of the CIA, and William Towers (Home Secretary). They are watching grainy monochrome footage of an unmanned drone flight somewhere in Afghanistan. The operator's voice recording indicates a malfunction with the controls for the drone. He can't get it back online. The three men watch as the footage shows the drone drop its payload of weapons on an Allied base.
 
The drone's operating system has been hacked by the Taliban. The Americans have developed a new system called Cybershell, which will protect against hacking and similar nefarious activities. A US military cryptopgrapher, Danielle Ortez, is on her way to London with the codes to activate the system within the UK security services network. Harry and Beecher trade insults about their respective network systems. Beecher says he has reservations about sharing Cybershell with the UK, but that he thinks they might as well "let the poodle into the house." Get him.
 
There's a ruckus in the main work area. Tariq seems to be having a tantrum. Tariq, who takes all kinds of crap from everyone senior to him (which seems to be everyone with the possible exception of Beth) having a paddy? How unlikely. Ruth goes in search of him. He's taken refuge in the toilet. I thought only females did that? Glad to see the Grid is operating an equal-opportunities sulking policy.
 
See, I knew Tariq wasn't the type to have a genuine huff. It's a ruse to get somewhere without access by the Grid's surveillance system. He tells Ruth the Grid's been breached. With the exception of a few blank spots like the toilets, someone is watching their every move. They've intercepted the CCTV, the phones, the computers, everything. Crikey.
 
Cue opening titles.
 
Ruth has to find a way to get the news to Harry. She starts a conversation about his proposal. He looks at her quizzically - surely all that was settled weeks ago? She uses some slightly awkward phrasing about how they mustn't talk about it, which makes him prick up his ears. She grabs his hand. It all seems very intense, and a bit much for Harry. He needs a drink, and pours himself a glass of water, allowing himself to gaze thoughtfully into it. Cupped in his hand is the message Ruth has passed him: 'GRID COMPROMISED. NO COMMS POSSIBLE.'
 
Tariq is messing with the power distribution system. I'm loving that he's playing such a starring role; it seems a bit unfair that sometimes all he seems to do is come up with techy soundbites. He causes a power outage to enable Harry and Ruth to brief the others. It seems that if the Americans' install Cybershell while the breach exists, the hackers will effectively be 'inside' the system, and as Harry says plaintively, "The Cyberwar will be lost before it’s even begun." Of course, Lucas, now Section Head, is on mission to collect the CIA's cryptographer, and the team now have no secure means of warning him about all of this.
 
Lucas is having a few problems, too. Vaughn / Michael is threatening to expose his past to Maya. The Albany file that Lucas procured for him isn't enough - it only points to another source of data which will have to be unearthed before he gets what he wants. Apparently the source is known to Lucas - intriguing. Vaughn gives Lucas a deadline which clashes with his mission to collect the US cryptographer. Eek, dilemma.
 
Lucas picks up the cryptographer, with CIA men in tow in a big black chrysler. She's not what you’d expect, although I'm not sure what you're supposed to expect of a US military cryptographer. Not this, anyway. She looks like Little Boots with wilder hair. I wonder about Lucas's penchant for American blondes, but I guess he's too preoccupied for those sort of thoughts. Plus, she seems to be needling him by constantly referring to him as 'James' (as in Bond).
 
Back at Thames House, Dimitri, Tariq and Beth pretend to go for an extended smoking break in one of the blank spots, to make plans to draw out the eavesdroppers. They have an idea that if they pretend to have detected another network breach that they can trace to a dummy location, the interlopers may want to check out their 'rivals'. The set-up evidently convinces the hackers, who follow Dimitri and Beth to the decoy address. Beth and Dimitri manage to get a number of photos to take back to the Grid.
 
Lucas is clearly twitchy about how to manage his covert operation for Vaughn in the middle of his mission. He spins Danielle a story about having spotted a tail, and tries to lose the CIA agents following them. He races the CIA to an underground car park, and manages to swap cars before the Americans get there. Danielle is unsurprisingly unsettled by his behaviour, but doesn't have much choice but to co-operate. They head off to an unspecified location. "Where are we going?" she asks. "Safe house," says Lucas. This worries me no end, because in the world of Spooks, a safe house is generally anything but. They arrive at a leafy genteel-looking victorian terrace. Lucas locks Danielle into the car. Not leaving her at all vulnerable.
 
Lucas knocks impatiently at an elegant front door. Malcolm answers! And he actually seems glad to see Lucas... oh Lucas, don't hurt Malcolm! Lucas spins Malcolm a tale about Harry being in trouble, and needing the Albany file to clear his name. In the middle of the conversation, Malcolm's elderly mother appears. Malcolm speaks reassuringly to her, saying that Lucas is an old friend... John. "What did you call me?" says Lucas sharply. "Oh you know me... Not very imaginative I'm afraid," says Malcolm. Yes we do know you Malcolm, we know your hidden depths of cleverness which made you, Ruth, and Ros such a formidable team. He says there are only 3 people he would give the file to, and Lucas is one of them. The other two are "not likely to come calling", which sets me off on a reverie of great Spooks characters we have loved and lost. Malcolm literally digs out the file, from beneath a geranium in his flowerbed.
 
Meanwhile, the cryptographic genius Danielle Ortez has managed crack the electronic locking system on Lucas's car, and managed to find some woods to hide in. Lucas tracks her down, though, and they're back to her sniping at him as they continue their journey. At one point I think she says, "Who are you, anyway?" Something we're all wondering.
 
Beth has managed to run face recognition on the two people they photographed at the decoy apartment, on a contraband tablet PC that Tariq routinely smuggles into the office so that he can play World of Warcraft when Harry isn't looking. Despite its being a prohibited piece of kit, Tariq seems to have loaded onto it MI5's entire database of foreign secret service operatives. He really is a sneaky computer genius. The man is identified as a Russian FSB agent, and the woman as Chinese Security Services. "The Russians and the Chinese working together?" muses Harry. He forbears from saying "What in holy hell kind of mess of crap is this?!" but we know he's thinking it.
 
Beth tries to hand the tablet PC back to Tariq, disguised in a heap of papers. O no! Spillage! Is the PC visible? It's not, but as Tariq picks it up, he glances directly at the subverted camera. Now the hackers know that the Grid knows, but does the Grid know that the hackers know that the Grid knows?
 
A new and sinister development. A call is going through to Lucas ostensibly from Harry's phone. Lucas answers and Harry's voice tells him he needs to go to a new location. Except it's not Harry, it's the hackers using voice simulation software to reproduce Harry's voice. It's impressively convincing and Lucas diverts as requested. It seems as though the hackers are going to try and kidnap Danielle in order to hijack the codes for Cybershell. Argh, not quite, now that the hackers have twigged that the Grid is onto them, they figure that Danielle is no longer any use to them.
 
They use their Harry-voice-simulation to put an order to Lucas to neutralise Danielle. He gets her out of the car. As you might expect, she's keen to escape, so Lucas locks her in the boot. This must be why security service agents drive saloon cars instead of hatchbacks. But Lucas can't quite believe what Harry's asked him to do, so he asks for confirmation. The voice simulation keeps repeating the coded phrase for the kill order. "Harry, what's your favourite opera?" asks Lucas. Relief as we realise Lucas has realised something's not right. Of course the hackers don't have an answer. I bet Harry hasn't even got a favourite opera; he probably prefers showtunes.
 
The hackers realise their failure to persuade MI5 to kill Danielle, and their guys start shooting at Lucas. But Lucas is a pretty good shot and he manages to neutralise the hostile snipers. He releases Danielle, but a shot must have penetrated the car, and she's wounded. He seems genuinely guilt-ridden - perhaps he hasn't totally gone over to the Dark Side. Matters are complicated when he has to deal with a few more shooters, and by the time he has dispatched them, she's slipping away. He can't save her. Poor Lucas. Or is he as distraught as he seems? After all, he no longer has to worry about her revealing the detour he made en route.
 
The hackers might not have cybershell, but they have the entire archive of Secret Service computer files. A slight worry. Since all parties know about each other, Harry attempts to negotiate with the leading Russian. He offers him untold wealth in return for their giving up the operation. The second-in-command is dismissive, but the head guy is interested and Harry manages to keep him talking. Cut to shots of SAS-type men abseiling down the outside of the hackers' building. Harry's still talking with the Russian, but refuses to look him in the eye down the videophone. Cue shot of a triumphant Harry walking in on the hackers as they and their equipment is seized by the SAS men. We can still hear his simulated voice down the line. Cue shot of Thames House interior, which has been blown out entirely by Dimitri to scupper the hackers. Sheer brilliance.
 
Coda: Lucas delivers the file to Vaughn, only to be told it's a useless decoy. In rage and confusion Lucas returns to Malcolm's home. Again, I'm terrified for Malcolm. But he's not there... there's nothing and no-one in the house.
 
It looks like next week Ruth will reveal her suspicions about Lucas to Harry. Only two more weeks to go... I sense an intense couple of episodes coming up.
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Old 27th Oct 2010, 14:37   #26
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Default Re: Spooks - SPOILERS

And it was only 6 or 7 minutes long! At least, that's what it felt like.

Great to see Malcolm back again.

But what the Lordy Pip happened in Malcolm's house? Lucas seemed to be asphyxiating, or tripping. He wasn't being poisoned by the walls, like when Adam painted Jeff's office with toxic gloop in Dynasty, was he?
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Old 27th Oct 2010, 14:50   #27
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Default Re: Spooks - SPOILERS

And was Malcolm's addressing Lucas as 'John' really just the lack of imagination that he claimed? Or was he trying to see if Lucas would have a reaction?

Did Lucas deliberately allow the cryptographer to die just so that she wouldn't dob him in (after refusing the false kill order, which he could have used as an excuse)?

We need answers!
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Old 27th Oct 2010, 15:34   #28
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Default Re: Spooks - SPOILERS

Unsure as to the first; yes, I think so, to the second. Lucas's moral compass has really swung out of line (though I still find it hard to understand why he is risking so much when we have seen so little of his relationship with Maya). I fear for next week: not so much Malcolm, but Ruth, who appears to be throttled in the trailer, and then we see Harry standing at the door looking down at someone/thing on the floor and looking horrified...

Good lord, you remember Dynasty so well, amner. Adam was my Dynastic villain of choice back in the day.
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Old 27th Oct 2010, 15:41   #29
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I'm hoping that this is all some über elaborate ruse set up between Lucas and Harry to flush Vaughn out into the open...but I fail to see how it fits together. And letting Ortez die (even if she was massively irritating) - because he did, didn't he? - doesn't sit comfortably with that plan.

Shit, I don't know!
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Old 27th Oct 2010, 16:09   #30
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Default Re: Spooks - SPOILERS

And don't forget the evil act of setting up the innocent employee a few weeks ago. I think that helped to perk up Ruth's suspicions. I did want to think that perhaps Lucas didn't want to just let Ortez die (echoed by Harry's political "Our man did all he could," remark to Beecher later) but I think it's just wishful thinking.

Dimitri's tinkering with the bomb in the very early part of the ep was a great example of Chekov's gun.

Colin Salmon is great, but I wish he was on the Grid rather than playing an American. "I'm from Cleveland. Grey skies, factories and freezing rain. It's like Britain Plus."

Col, I'm chilled to the bone by the possibilities mentioned in your spoiler. I'm clinging to the idea that it might be something like the apparent death of Beth in an earlier teaser trailer.
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