Spooks s8 ep 6

Lots of up-to-the-minute topical stuff of the sort that Spooks justifiably prides itself on this week.  

The story is that the UK is temporarily, secretly bankrupt and needs money pronto before anyone finds out.  Harry’s pal the Home Secretary wants to seize the readies from a crooked bank used by mobsters, terrorists and this season’s big conspiracy group, the legendary “people who were at the meeting in Basel.”  To do that, they need to show the cash comes from illegal sources and to do that, they need account numbers.  What?  Account numbers?

No, me neither.  But like the best episodes of Spooks, it works best if you don’t think about it too hard.  Once you just accept that, ok, they need account numbers and ok, Baisley, the guy who’s supposed to supply them is not actually playing it for laughs, he’s meant to be serious, the episode is pretty great; almost entirely thanks to Ros. 

Her desperate quest to find the slippery Baisley, stop the Terminator-like assassins trying to kill him, and keep hold of him long enough to persuade him to give up the account numbers is fantastically played out, with Hermione Norris again proving her worth.  Despite Harry and Ruth’s worries that she’s not over Jo’s death (of course she’s not – it’s been three weeks, guys, not three years), any psychological trauma Ros may be suffering only seems to sharpen both her skills and her lines.  She’s on fantastic form firing out magnificently dismissive put-downs to anyone and everyone, friend or foe; eg Harry’s “Saving Baisley won’t bring Jo back” is met with “No.  But it’ll be nice for Baisley though.”  (Ha!) while CIA Blondie’s protest that the new US Administration don’t do torture any more elicits a sardonic “Oh yeah, got hybrid cars and everything now.” (Ha! again.)

There are a few things that take the shine off the episode slightly, though.  For one, despite all the work put in by Richard Armitage and Genevieve O’Reilly, I’m still not at all convinced by Lucas’ romance with Blondie – she’s so smug and self-satisfied that I struggle to see why anyone would like her, let alone love her – which is unfortunate given the big emotional scenes revolving around it this week.  And Ruth is a bit of a spare part in the story as well, aside from cropping up every few minutes in an Elena Delgado-type fashion to tell Harry “There’s something (of massive import to the plot) I need to tell you.” Can they not get her out in the field a bit for a change?  They are a bit short-staffed…

However, I don’t want to be too harsh on what was a super piece of tv.  With both a high body count and a high emotional one, this was often chilling, sometimes moving, but always compelling.  Good work.


9 thoughts on “Spooks s8 ep 6

  1. Susie December 10, 2009 / 5:18 pm

    After eight years spent in a Russian prison I should think Lucas North would be ready to fall in love with a barbie doll after all that. Hang on he has! (Only she’s called Sarah!)

    Seriously I love this twosome, although the relationship does seem to be rather one-sided (On Lucas’s side). I think what Richard Armitage has done with this character is nothing short of amazing. Let’s hope he makes it to series 9!

  2. CJ Cregg December 10, 2009 / 6:49 pm

    Hello Susie, welcome to Unpopcult. Poor Lucas, I do love him, but he has really bad taste in women 😉 Sarah’s very pretty but rotten to the core.

    Still, Richard is great as you’ve said, so please don’t kill him off this season, writers. I’m still mourning the loss of Adam!

  3. Angie December 10, 2009 / 10:21 pm

    I just can’t buy the Lucas/Sarah storyline . . . I can’t get beyond GOR’s horrific American accent which makes my ears bleed. I think she’s supposed to be an icy Hitchockian blonde with a fire beneath the ice but she only comes across as rather – bland and certainly annoying. Agreed not likeable, much less lovable.

    I love RA and think he always brings his “A” game to the table, but for me there is a fundamental lack of chemistry between him and GOR. And making him so gullible when it comes to Sarah makes Lucas look rather stupid and a bit desperate – NOT the Lucas I recall from S7. My dearest wish is to keep Lucas alive to see another series and to eighty-six Miss Caulfield. Frankly, Adam and Lucas had much better on-screen chemistry in their few scenes together than Sarah and Lucas has had this entire series!

  4. CJ Cregg December 10, 2009 / 10:33 pm

    Hey Angie, welcome aboard. I could not agree more about GOR’s faux-American accent – glad it’s not just me! It drives me up the wall and certainly doesn’t help me buy into the relationship. I don’t think GOR’s a bad actress, I just don’t think she’s right for this part, particularly not if they want her to play an American.

    How did you feel about the ending of this ep? I thought Sarah shot herself, but a scoot round the internet tells me that plenty of folk don’t think that at all…

    • Angie December 11, 2009 / 3:58 am

      I haven’t seen GOR in anything else, so it’s not far for me to say she’s a bad actress based on this role alone. I think she’s just really sorely miscast in this role.(I also thought Jonas Armstrong was a bad choice for Robin Hood – he should have been one of the gang, not the leader . . . but I digress).

      She can’t help how she’s being directed or how her character is written, of course, but that fundamental lack of a grasp of a decent, believable American accent is a huge stumbling block, IMHO. Way too distracting! I sit there rolling my eyes . . . and the way she says “honey” is not in the least endearing.

      I don’t think Sarah shot herself. She’s still out there somewhere . . . I don’t think we’ve seen the last of her (alas).

  5. Capt. Harold Dobey December 11, 2009 / 1:21 am

    What the… Was the Casting Director off sick the day they cast Ewen Bremner? He wsa bloody awful.

    Didn’t really like this. It all felt like filler building up to episode 8. Despite the fact the British economy was just about turn into Zimbabwe they kind of forgot.

    I’m sure Ros is fragrant, but she needs to wear different gear. Or maybe not wearing the same clothes all the time will take away her abandoned property finding skills.

    Tariq just wants to be in 24. It’s all patch me a socket and stick this entire broadcasting system in your ear. Bring back Malcolm and Colin with an old valve radio and some scones.

  6. CJ Cregg December 11, 2009 / 7:08 pm

    I don’t think Sarah shot herself. She’s still out there somewhere . . . I don’t think we’ve seen the last of her (alas).

    I fear you may be right, Angie. And we’re destined to hear “honey” some more. Argh. Maybe Lucas will end up shooting her for us. (Please.)

    Capt, I agree with you about Bremner. I had to pretty much ignore him to enjoy it, I thought he was acting like he was in a spoof or something.

  7. Chiara December 20, 2009 / 2:16 pm

    I don´t like Sarah, I prefer Elisabetta. Lucas should come back to her, make up and carry her off. They look cute together and I think he still loves her.

  8. CJ Cregg December 20, 2009 / 4:49 pm

    Hello Chiara, welcome to Unpopcult. Sarah is awful, but afraid I didn’t like Elisabetta at all, either. I’m hoping Lucas gets a worthy love interest in season 9!

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