Gosh. Where do I even start? This was breakneck, heartstopping, utterly exhilarating stuff and I absolutely loved it.
In a plot even more freakishly up-to-the-minute than usual, the Grid was infiltrated, the spies became the spied-upon and Lucas’s entire life went to hell in a shiny black Government vehicle (handcarts being decidely passé these days).
Richard Armitage started the episode looking mournfully handsome (prompting my internal music box to start playing “Oh. Why you look so sad?”), and the scene was set for an episode-long battle between his heroic streak and self-preservation, as he veered between doing the right things and doing the terribly, terribly wrong ones. It’s ironic and tragic that some of the character’s noblest moments this week were mixed with some of his basest, but, traitor or hero, most of those moments were just fantastic.
And as Lucas edged further down the road of no return (via an absolutely wonderful surprise visit to an old friend in “Hobbit country” – even more freakishly up-to-the-minute there), there were some equally fantastic moments back at the ranch, where Mama Ruth and the boys were stepping up to save the day.
The loss of Ros has given Ruth a chance to blossom again as Harry’s right-hand woman this season, but her awesomeness reached stratospheric levels this week, while Tariq suddenly turned from nerdy techno-boy to, er, nerdy but ace techno-boy, and Dimitri provided the brawn and the bomb. Awesomely though. Before foiling the evil plot and everything, so go Dimitri! The scene where he and Harry strolled into the villains’ lair was wonderful. (Even if it did seem to be the same lair/office space that nearly every villain in Spooks has used for the past three seasons. The international spies’ housing market must be kind of quiet.)
The only person who didn’t really have much to do was Beth, but there was so much going on with everyone and everything else that it didn’t matter. From the deceptively subdued beginning to the final ominous crescendo, this was an incredible ride. Brilliant.