A rather sombre, earnest episode this week, with Section D trying to make sure not-so-secret Middle East peace talks went ahead in London, despite various attempts by various sides to sabotage them.
An added frisson was provided by the not-so-secret chair of the not-so-secret talks, whose identity was known to just about everyone on the planet apparently but never mind. At least it gave Ruth the chance to say the Queen was “in on it” – probably the funniest line in what was an episode conspicuously lacking in humour, especially when contrasted with last week’s wittier offering.
It was also an episode lacking in speed and any form of obvious expense. For the first 25 minutes or so, I wasn’t even sure whether I was enjoying it or not; poor Richard Armitage spent a fair bit of time searching dingy rooms, while the head of one delegation tried to reconcile with his angry (and somewhat charmless) daughter and the other tried to sneak a sly cigarette in the non-smoking hotel. Much more of that and it was in danger of turning into Crossroads.
Thankfully though, around the half-way mark, things suddenly started to move, and it all turned exciting, interesting and, if not exactly surprising, at least slightly different from the usual way these stories go – as explained by the head of the Palestinian delegation in a nice meta comment for those of us keeping score.
Points to the writers too, for sensible use of Dimitri and Ruth. Dimitri’s not exactly Lucas, but he’s shaping up nicely, and Ruth’s quietly fierce dignity when dealing with the journalist determined to derail everything was strikingly effective. As was the shocking twist at the end of the episode. Now that was pretty cool.