So we were back on classic Spooks territory this week with the ‘dirrrrrty bomb’ plot rearing its head again…
Devilish Dimitri and his wily ways with women…
After Tariq’s demise was more or less brushed under the carpet, Greek God Dimitri ate up most of the action in this episode, as he was forced to use his considerable jawline and impeccable dress sense, in order to convince the lonely sister of anti-capitalist activist John Grier he was an estate agent called Ryan so that she’d sleep with him and perhaps divulge secrets about her brother’s imminent bomb attack. (Sadly I’m inclined to think that this is a prime example of ‘Broken Britain’. *tuts*) Naturally Natalie was dazzled by his beauty and duly jumped on the spy after the obligatory awkward dance scene, only for her dodgy sibling to make a visit to her house the next day, much to her dismay and Dimitri’s restrained delight. However super cagey Grier already appeared to be a little suspicious about his sister’s new conquest and attacked Section D’s Next Top Model before he fled, soon to be followed by ‘Johnny’ who was attempting to check out ‘Ryan’s’ credentials as the housing market’s answer to Jesus. Cue a car chase, an intercepted phone call to an estate agent and a rather uncomfortable chat with this target just in the nick of time after sauntering out from a fictional house viewing. Dimitri appeared to have pulled the wool over Grier’s eyes. For now.
After a debriefing back at The Grid, due to the imminence of the bomb threat, it was decided that although it would look suspicious Dimitri would have to straight away resume his cover, and ended up going on an awkward date at the pub with Natalie’s wayward brother , who happily played gooseberry whilst engaging in the new national sport of winding up bankers and preaching about the hypocrisy and corruption of the financially rich and morally bankrupt. This of course was all a rouse to allow Erin and Calum the Tosser to sweep Natalie’s house and search for Grier’s very special anarchist version of Bridget Jones’ Diary. (‘Today I smuggled 20lbs of radioactive material into the country. Hurrah!’) It was nevertheless pretty much useless, and after tailing some of Johnny’s fellow activists, Dimitri finally confronted him about the bomb, only for Grier to deny any knowledge and divulge both that he has pancreatic cancer and that he believed he was smuggling cocaine into the country. Continuing to feign ignorance the activist agrees to help, only to lead them to an empty van as he meanwhile makes an attempt on the life of a particularly obnoxious, corporate fat cat not very much unlike Murdoch Sr. (I’m guessing they avoided emulating the whole plate of shaving foam debacle for fear of it being too upsetting.) In the final showdown Dimitri appears to recognize and empathize with Grier’s sensibilities and after evacuating everybody else from the building tries to convince him not to break the glass container which will release the elusive radioactive material into the atmosphere killing those who come into contact with it. Ultimately he fails and as the episode draws to a close Grier is in a coma and evidently won’t ever recover, leaving us the audience wondering how the hell Dimitri remained unscathed?
The main point of this particular plot thread seemed to be to delve under that beautiful exterior and figure out what Dimitri’s all about. In some ways it worked, and others it didn’t. The premise itself wasn’t that convincing and neither was the agent’s indignation at having to ‘use’ Natalie to get to her brother, but again like many other threads this series it seemed to feed into the ideas of sacrifice and duty which appear to be the pervading themes this year. What was really interesting however was that Dimitri did seem to empathize with Grier’s anti-capitalist ideology on some level. Perhaps this is an indication as to which side he will take should it come down an United States versus Russia stand-off with Britain playing an awkward piggy in the middle?
Harry, Ruth and RussianWatch…
Sadly this episode was comparatively light on the whole Russian saga, although there were a few twists and turns which are worth noting. After his mother’s confession about the execution of her innocent parents at the hands of the KGB last week, it does appear that angsty Sasha’s loyalty to the FSB may be wavering somewhat as he becomes more involved with Elena’s association with Harry and MI5, accompanying her to her meeting at the gallery with Ruth and then later rendezvousing with his unbeknownst-to-him biological father in what was meant to be their final contact, but probably won’t be. As a result of of last week’s revelation that Elena may be a double agent working for the Americans, or more specifically Coaver, it is entirely possible that Mrs Gavrik will try and recruit her own son, putting him at odds with both his biological and assumed fathers. It’s really not boding well for the Russian Bieber-lookalike, as by the end of episode the folks at The Grid appear to know that the CIA were responsible for Tariq’s death. Would Elena sacrifice her own son to stop the Anglo-British deal going ahead? Personally I’m in mental knots here.
The meeting itself between Ruth and Elena was rather intriguing. Aside from codes being handed over in a tiny gauze bag more suited to sugared almonds than state secrets, there seemed to a great deal of emotional politics at play here as Harry’s two love interests sized each up. By pointing out that she’d noticed the chemistry between Ruth and her boss at the ambassador’s party Elena zeros in on her achilles heel and puts her counterpart on the backfoot, cunningly diverting attention from the fact she’s actually a great, big fat manipulative liar. I’m actually begrudgingly in awe: it’s ingenious. I don’t think this is the last we’ll see of the Russian manipulating Harry and Ruth’s on/off relationship for her own gain either.
In other Ruth related news, King of the one-liner, the Home Secretary, appeared to be hitting on Ms Evershed over an awkward meal where he once more informed her that she was under-promoted and implicitly lined her up for the role of Section Chief if/when Harry becomes indisposed. Her response, (“I’m sick of secrets. They stop you ever knowing people. Everyone ends up feeling alone.”), is probably the most important piece of dialogue we’ve been given so far with regards to an indication of where this series is going. Since last series I’ve held the opinion that Ruth would be Harry’s natural successor, but this more or less implies she’s done with the isolation that the job enforces on people and she’s once again pining for a ‘normal life’. Is she now starting to wish that she’d accepted Harry’s marriage proposal? Of course this could be classic misdirection, but it does beg the question who else is capable of running the Section?
Other things to note…
- Towers – Aside from his excellent line about about ‘blowing smoke up the arse of big business’, his for plea for Harry to keep him ‘extremely updated’ had me in stitches. He’s clearly been consorting with Mark Zuckerberg about the ‘new and improved’ version of Facebook.
- Erin – Nope. Still not convinced by her. Her writing the ‘best ever Dear John letter’ for Dimitri to send to Natalie was an obvious indication that she’s probably been dumped by her own partner and father of her child and clearly has trust issues. Let’s see what these trust issues translate to. My money’s on keeping an eye on British operations for the Americans. She’s too shifty not to be up to something.
- Calum – In an effort to make Calum seem like less of a tosser this week, they made him look into Tariq’s death. He got the information they needed, but sadly it didn’t work. He’s still an equivocal pillock. To make matters worse they decided dress him in a Tom Quinn-esque quilted jacket. Epic fail.
- Trendy Russians- Still no sign of those pesky Russians in their swanky glass house. I’m guessing they’re still in Ikea and are currently filling up on Swedish meatballs.
- Light bondage- nothing to see here fans of the old rope, gag and imminent death sub-plot. It was definitely more genteel fare with dinner dates, gift-wrapped state secrets and pleasant chats between fathers and sons.