TV series episode review: Spooks (2010), series 9, episode 7, directed by Edward Hall
Oh goodness, where do I start? Start by gushing over the performances, I think. Nicola Walker, I salute you! Richard Armitage, standing ovations I think are in order! Wow, those were some great performances! And what a riveting episode it was too!
While an informant – Vaughn (Iain Glen) – has info to sell to Harry (Peter Firth) about the Dakar bombings in 1995, Ruth (Nicola Walker) gets a letter from Greece or Cyprus or wherever she was before returning to the Grid a couple of seasons ago. Her partner’s parents want to sell the house and it brings back a lot of memories for her. While her inner turmoil is going on, a man from the council shows up and wants to be a spy, and provides some intel. As he’s deemed not a credible source, she brushes him off in no uncertain terms. And guess what happens? She lands herself right in the middle of a fight with a French assassin. But she does so beautifully. Very well played, I thought. Kudos to Nicola Walker for a solid performance.
Which brings us to the mainstay of the episode, which is the bombing of the British Embassy in Dakar 15 years ago. Guess who had a hand in it? Vaughn. And John. Who now has a surname, John Bateman (Richard Armitage).
John, WHAT THE HELL!! He turned out not just to be a bad boy, but something more akin to a homicidal maniac, blowing embassies up and generally causing mayhem. Killing perfectly decent would-be spooks called Lucas North and all. Bad, bad boy! Everything we ever thought we knew about Lucas was wrong. He’s not the hero we thought he was, he’s been hiding all along.
And everything comes out in flashbacks with Richard Armitage with a cute haircut, not really looking 15 years younger at all, but hey, who cares. For that matter, neither does Vaughn. The main thing is that around these flashbacks is Harry confronting John. With acting that was so magnificent that afterwards, I felt like standing up and giving them both a big round of applause.
He was so convincing! So he was just used by Vaughn all along and oh, poor John. I was glued to the telly, and when John had his final confrontation with Vaughn, who just said that he “seriously doubted” John had told them everything, and he was right. Wow, John is actually quite the creep! And it all sets it up for an explosive series finale. Which, of course, is another post altogether …