Home > Spooks, TV > Spooks s8 ep 8

Spooks s8 ep 8

It was always going to end in a cliffhanger, and – if you’ve heard or read anything about Spooks recently – it was always going to be one particular character whose fate hung in the balance, so the end of this season wasn’t so much a shock as an inevitability.  What mattered then, really mattered, was how we got there.

It wasn’t completely perfect.  The plot was an interesting one, full of hot-button issues like the threat of India/Pakistan conflict and potential nuclear war, but lots of exposition made the episode a little dense at times, and I found myself rewinding a couple of scenes to try and follow some of the intrigue.  The direction didn’t always help either; I like a bit of hand-held camera work as much as anybody, but unnecessary reliance on it during some of the “meeting” scenes (particularly Ros and Harry with the Home Secretary) made them feel like the maiden voyage of the good ship sea-sickness.

But- fittingly, I suppose, given the end – the episode worked best when Ros and Lucas were on-screen.  Together.  In fact, it worked brilliantly.  Hermione Norris and Richard Armitage have fantastic chemistry, with their smart, witty banter a world away from Lucas’ lifeless relationship with the parasitic Sarah (back this week to continue her one-woman mission to induce the nation to put their feet through their tv sets), and they more than made the most of their time together this week.

Ros’s lines in particular were funnier, sharper and just better than usual (and they’re usually pretty darn good), with Norris letting Ros’s playful side shine through, and both she and Armitage infusing their characters’ relationship, despite their disagreements, with an affectionate, endearing camaraderie that was a delight to watch.  Shame we don’t have a Best Team category in our end-of-year poll or these two would be at the top of the list of nominees (although they both feature in other categories, if you need another incentive to vote…). Even their striding purposefully along corridors together was awesome enough to merit it. 

“All good things” and all that, though.   As the episode and the season began to draw to a close, the action and the excitement ratcheted up several gears and my heart rate soared accordingly.  Perhaps not quite as astonishing as last week’s episode, this was still uncompromisingly exciting, gripping tv.  Well done Section D, and see you next year, I hope.  But if you don’t all make it back in one piece, I won’t be surprised.  Gutted, yes, but not surprised. This is Spooks after all.

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Categories: Spooks, TV
  1. Capt. Harold Dobey
    December 25, 2009 at 2:10 am

    I wish Ruth would wash her bloody hair.

    I know it’s drama, but I’m just tired of how MI5 has so many dumb employees. Some of their security guys would struggle to get their SIA badge.

    Q1. A bad guy asks you to walk down a stairwell. There may be three answers.

    a) Tell him to gut stuff himself.
    b) Tell him to get stuffed.
    c) Stuff him
    d) Give him every opporunity to shoot you.

    Although, I struggled to find my way out of a hotel this morning. If there’d been a bomb, I’d be toast. It’s not easy.

    I’m going to slightly disagree on Lucas/Sarah though. They loved each other. It certainly was lifeless, but I enjoyed them struggling between fighting for their ideals or showing their feelings for each other. The wisecracking wisecrackers may drive the episode along, but Lucas/Sarah brought other levels. That said, it was dull and sucked the life out of the story whenever it came up.

    And I did feel sick with some of the camera work. I had to stop and get a drink of water.

    I think everyone will be back. Stay with Spooks or go to ITV and get another series canned on you? And as much as Spooks likes to be Spooks, sometimes their cliffhanger resolutions totally suck.

  2. December 25, 2009 at 4:16 am

    Totally on board with you about Hermione and Richard’s wonderful chemistry – more there in this ep alone than in the whole series of Sarah and Lucas.

    Loved the banter between Lucas and Ros. Lucas came off as witty and intelligent with Ros (who did have some of her very best lines) whereas he seemed quite the opposite when stuck with soddin’ Sarah. (Was it just me, or did her expression when a bullet had been put through her brain look much the same as when she was alive??)
    Knowing what a Wonder Woman Ros is, it seems to me she would have tossed the Home Sec right over her broad shoulder and gotten him out of there . . . however, I have been assuming this would be her last ep (very, very sad about that as Hermoine is simply awesome in this role and it was awfully nice to see her smile so much) . . . now that I know the Witch is indeed dead and it looks like Lucas is still alive (judging from some promo shots), bring on Spooks 9!!

  3. Sue
    December 25, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    Capt. Harold Dobey :I wish Ruth would wash her bloody hair.
    I know it’s drama, but I’m just tired of how MI5 has so many dumb employees. Some of their security guys would struggle to get their SIA badge.
    Q1. A bad guy asks you to walk down a stairwell. There may be three answers.
    a) Tell him to gut stuff himself.b) Tell him to get stuffed.c) Stuff himd) Give him every opporunity to shoot you.
    Although, I struggled to find my way out of a hotel this morning. If there’d been a bomb, I’d be toast. It’s not easy.
    I’m going to slightly disagree on Lucas/Sarah though. They loved each other. It certainly was lifeless, but I enjoyed them struggling between fighting for their ideals or showing their feelings for each other. The wisecracking wisecrackers may drive the episode along, but Lucas/Sarah brought other levels. That said, it was dull and sucked the life out of the story whenever it came up.
    And I did feel sick with some of the camera work. I had to stop and get a drink of water.
    I think everyone will be back. Stay with Spooks or go to ITV and get another series canned on you? And as much as Spooks likes to be Spooks, sometimes their cliffhanger resolutions totally suck.

    I agree about Ruth’s appearance, she looks like a bag lady at times. I know it’s in keeping with her character, down-to-earth and the conscience of Harry, but it doesn’t match her obvious intelligence.

    I think Lucas would be a good replacement for Ros, as they are very much alike in character, perhaps scriptwriters can give him a leg-up (as opposed to a leg-over I hasten to add!).

    I truly hope there is a 9th series, but I wouldn’t put money on it as things stand.

    Now where’s that sherry trifle!

  4. December 25, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Compliments of the season, everybody – hope you’re warm and happy, however you’re spending the day.

    Capt, I agree that a lot of the plots do seem to hinge on the security forces’ supposed incompetence – the stair thing, the “nobody go inside, the Americans say it’s a security breach” thing, the “let’s get our asset shot while sitting on a bench in broad daylight surrounded by our agents or while lying in a random hospital bed” thing – which can test suspension of disbelief a lot. But I guess we put up with it to get the good stuff….

    Also agree with you and Sue about Ruth’s appearance, but given the Crystal Tipps-like state of my hair today, I really can’t talk ;-)

    Angie, it was lovely to see Ros smile so much wasn’t it? Which makes me think she really is dead :-( I remember Jo seemed strangely at ease with herself before she died too. And Adam. (I’m now thoroughly depressing myself.)

    Anyway, I read somewhere that season 9 has been commissioned by the BBC so I hope Lucas at least is back. I’d love for Ros to come back eventually, – as Angie says, she’s been awesome – but I’m not holding my breath. Sigh.

  5. August 13, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    To be filed under “totally missing-the-point remake ideas”: http://www.deadline.com/2010/08/abc-to-adapt-british-spy-drama-mi-5/

  6. Capt. Harold Dobey
    August 13, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    Can’t wait.

    I had a dream this was back and Ros was back too.

    Now, I’m not one for moaning about American remakes, but this seems like a waste of energy. Write the script and cancel it then, don’t bother wasting time on a pilot.

  7. August 14, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Capt. Harold Dobey :

    Write the script and cancel it then, don’t bother wasting time on a pilot.

    Word.

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