So that really happened then? Tariq the loveable, but socially inept Techno Geek met a ‘sticky’ end at the hands of a dubious, ‘not-as-clumsy-as-we-originally-thought’ stranger with what one can only presume was a tainted kebab skewer, as he raced back to The Grid in the back of black cab to warn Harry ‘He-Man’ Pearce that all was not as it seemed with his ‘well dodgy’ ex asset/love interest Elena Gavrik a.k.a Tourmaline. I guess it had to. The classic Russian ‘Poison on the End of an Umbrella’ joke was a portent of doom, as was the whole ‘I had to prove everyone wrong to make it here’ speech given by the man himself. Aside from anything else nobody had died yet so the writers were obviously itching to make their next sacrificial kill in an attempt to appease their clearly bloodthirsty Gods. On a scale of one to head in a deep fat fryer it wasn’t necessarily the most dramatic exit we’ve seen on Spooks, but it certainly beat Beth’s off-screen decommission in between Series 9 and 10. (I’m guessing she’s either back to her old tricks in South America or stacking shelves in Tesco’s now. Either, or.) Let’s just hope he’s ascended to Geekdom where he can play Dungeons and Dragons to his heart’s content and hack the F.B.I. database purely for kicks. R.I.P Tariq. You will be missed, especially as we’re left with Calum the Charmless Tosser now. *Sighs*
Back to the beginning….
Following on from last week, at the start of the episode Mrs Gavrik gave Harry a silent call on her mobile, leading him to believe their pre-arranged meeting was still on, before removing her sim card and battery without breaking a single nail, a feat which I’m genuinely envious of. More on this later. Meanwhile the ‘Risk-to-National-Security-of-the-week’ came in the form of a lost laptop after feckless Calum sauntered into an ambush of hoodies. *Rolls eyes* As a consequence multiple assets, who are apparently graded like fridge-freezers as to their worth and reliability, were put at risk including John Grogan and Martha Forbes. Alas, not even Dimitri’s beauty can save the former as before he can get there Mr Grogan has already been offed in his swanky bachelor pad by the Iranians who he’d been ratting on. For fear of the internet rumours being confirmed that the deceased had been working for the British Secret Service, at Harry’s bequest Dimitri has to make the crime scene look that of a suicide and so has to hang the poor, recently departed from the ceiling like a Christmas decoration before leaving the situation in the capable hands of a ‘sympathetic pathologist’. Well let’s face it. Those don’t come ten ‘a penny. I’ve seen Silent Witness.
The case of Forbes, however, was much more fraught and fed directly into the whole unholy alliance of Britain and Russia as they move closer to realizing the ‘special relationship’ that was outlined last week. Before she’s outed by the mystery person who has intercepted the laptop, Harry and Erin – her handler- want her to find out as much as she can about Gavrik who just happens to own a 7% share in the company she works for. Cue adrenaline-pumped scenes with laptops, a ‘data spike’ and a fake call from a nursing home about a fallen Granny, sorry, Granny who’d fallen over, which was actually Erin telling her to get the hell out of there. After making her sit through a meeting with him, Gavrik of course senses that she’s a spy with the special powers imbued on him at Russian spy school, which I can guess is essentially Hogwarts with less broomsticks. This in turn leads to the obligatory chase scene followed by hulking heavies arriving in unmarked vans and kicking down doors like Eastenders’ very own Mitchell brothers on steroids. Ultimately though, her triumphant escape to a dreary safe house is all in vain as Erin drops her asset like a stone when Gavrik threatens pull the plug on the Anglo-Russian deal and hold Sir Harry responsible if she’s not turned away from the fold.
Going back to the covert assignation between Harry and Elena, the setting is suitably theatrical, in fact it can’t get anymore theatrical as a ballet dancer practices her routine onstage, a backdrop to their discussion of his lack of involvement in her being re-recruited and how angsty Sasha resembles his real father. By the end of the episode it becomes clear that the seamless, graceful dancing was of course a metaphor for the web of lies that Mrs Gavrik weaved around the still smitten Sir Pearce, and not just a juxtaposition of violence and elegance as Sasha, who’d followed his mother to the meeting, murdered his FSB colleague in a corridor just a matter of a few hundred paces away from his parents because he was about to out Elena’s involvement with MI5. As ever a phone call leads Harry to save the day and give Sasha instructions on how to dispose of the body, whilst imploring him to help find his Mother’s real handler; as touching a father/son bonding moment I expect we’ll see.
On the Harry and Ruth stakes things were frosty to say the least. Despite his declaration that he needs someone he can trust, ‘dependable’ Ruth quite rightly suspects that he’s not exactly being forthcoming with all the details and so when he asks her to pull a file on Coaver, the F.B.I. agent who keeps on popping up in all the wrong places, she also pulls his file. Who knows? Maybe she’s looking for naked pictures….
And the moral of the story is….
The buzzword for episode 2 seems to be ‘sacrifice’. Exactly how much are you prepared to give up? What will the consequences be? Is it really worth it? For Tariq his dedication to his job was fatal, and ultimately his efforts were in vain as he failed to let his boss know that it was in actual fact Elena who put lives in jeopardy by handing over the laptop. Similarly Forbes’ intention to do good led her at the very least to being an outcast and just as likely dead meat after she was unceremoniously left to fend for herself after MI5 dumped her. So is the moral of the story essentially that no good deed goes unpunished? If so, this could be some sort of foreshadowing and an indication that things don’t bode well for Harry, (or anybody else for that matter), who’s been dedicated to the Service for umpteen decades. It does indeed look he’s being lined up as scapegoat by all sides.
- Gavrik seriously reminds me of Christopher Lee circa Hammer Horror/Dracula years. I’m expecting him to lure Harry into his car and nibble on his neck any day now. (And who could resist eh? 😉 )
- Could Elena be acting as a double-agent for the Americans in order to bring the Anglo-Russian deal to a halt?
- Is Ruth ironically going to be that one that brings Harry down and takes his place? My money’s so on this.
- Didn’t spot the trendy Russians in their posh glass house this week. Maybe they’d nipped to Ikea to brighten the place up a little. A few ‘Billy’ bookcases and voila!
- Again no light bondage, except for the guy being hung from the ceiling which I’m disqualifying as he was already dead. A big prick though. (Am I talking about Tariq or Calum? You decide.)
- Still not totally convinced by Erin. She seems to know a little too much about Harry. Hmmm….