Spooks s9 ep 2

Showing the same story a few times from different perspectives can be a difficult trick to pull off successfully, so I was a little apprehensive when I saw the LUCAS title card in big capital letters heralding that Spooks was going that way this week.  But actually, this tale of assassinations, intrigue and lie upon lie, was punchy, entertaining, and largely compelling stuff.

The episode zipped along at a much pacier rate than last week’s, with some great action scenes keeping things exciting. The opening shoot-out in the lift in particular was visceral and shocking, even if it did seem like the deaths hinged on our heroes being a bit inept.  Plus ca change on that front, I suppose.   And the outwit-the-security sequence in the middle was excellent; it’s the kind of thing they do all the time on Spooks as well but, damn, they’re good at it. 

But a lot of the real drama was in the looks rather than the running and the shooting.  Beth spent the entire episode making such shifty faces she might as well have written “I’M LYING” across her forehead. Ruth’s entire heart was in her eyes at the end of her telephone conversation (about tracking down escaped killers, hardly pillow talk) with Harry – a moment so pregnant with longing that it almost hurt to watch, so kudos to Nicola Walker for some quite superb acting there.  And Harry’s magnificent disdain when he found out what Beth was, yes, LYING about was a thing of beauty.  No one does utter contempt better than Peter Firth.

But, fittingly given last week’s revelation, it was the brooding, tortured Lucas who got the lion’s share of the “looking” to do.  Fear, love, panic, loss, desperation and sorrow – each etched across that beautiful face at various points, as he tried to deal with both the problems of the present and the pain of the past.  Lovely work from Richard Armitage as ever.

One thing is really bothering me about this storyline though.  I’m really not sure that Lucas having yet another “love-of-his-life” in the form of long-lost-but-very-easily-found Maya is a good idea.  Remember drippy Elizaveta and dreadful Sarah?.  His current camaraderie with Beth is much more interestingly and engagingly written than his love affairs have been, and I don’t think the “Who is John?” story needs a romantic dimension when Iain Glen and Richard Armitage seem to be doing brilliantly without it.  However, a romantic dimension is what we’re going to get.  Oh well.

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4 thoughts on “Spooks s9 ep 2

  1. Capt. Harold Dobey September 29, 2010 / 1:40 pm

    It was the perspective thing that didn’t work for me as it wasn’t strictly speaking from the the relevant person’s perspective. But, hey, I’m the guy who get’s annoyed when tv out-take shows have the out-takes edited together.

    What’s happening with Lady Penelope? I know there’s always been chat about her weight/shape, but hair and wardrobe aren’t doing her any favours. Make-up could pull the finger out too.

    I thought Harry’s character was developing last week, but I didn’t see him developing into a whiney girl.

    Nigel Lindsay was the best.

  2. CJ Cregg September 29, 2010 / 7:20 pm

    I quite like that she doesn’t look super-glam, Captain – surely not all MI5 agents run about looking fabulous all the time? Ros was always impossibly well turned out in every circumstance, much as I loved her (sniff). I wonder if they’re trying to keep Beth a bit dowdy so as not to distract from Dr Maya’s character being a bit glam?

    I keep meaning to mention it and not managing to work it into my posts, but I’m loving the new Home Sec. He’s kind of hilarious.

  3. Capt. Harold Dobey September 29, 2010 / 9:37 pm

    I reckon I would have pretended I was dead if I was involved with Maya. That seems to be how Lucas/John likes ’em.

    So, he’s been Lucas for 15 years? Round about the time he was Section Chief the first time? They better make this good.

  4. Capt. Harold Dobey September 29, 2010 / 9:39 pm

    Oh, and as for – what’s it like being Lucas North?

    Pretty rubbish I would imagine after being in a Russian prison for eight years, having to get a load of crappy jail gang tattoos and having flashback nightmare type things for a good four or five episodes.

    Yeah, the waterboarding was fun. Thanks, Vaughn.

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