Tag Archives: harry pearce

Spooks: Going dark for the last time

First things first. Do not read this if you haven’t already watched every second of the final (sobs) episode of Spooks. Despite my best efforts I had a thing near the end spoilered in the week and  the emotional punch was weakened as a result. (It still made me cry even harder than I already was though.)

Alright then. Into the valley of death and the vale of tears we go…

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Lustbox: Harry Pearce

As Spooks faces the final curtain on Sunday, and most of us cross our fingers for a happy ending for the top Spook and his favourite analyst, it seems
appropriate to welcome Harry Pearce and his almost-permanently clenched jaw into the PLA
Lustbox.

Spooks has given us much more conventional eye-candy over the years (Adam, Lucas and Dimitri, for example), but ten years’ exposure to Harry’s buttoned-up persona, super-dry wit and botched wooing of Ruth has left me with a soft spot for the head of Section D.

In our X Factor, look-at-me, sex-sells world, Harry’s understated, but always totally dedicated, approach shines like a  diamond in a pile of ordure.

Like my other favourite spy (Michael Westen), Harry may be the best in the intelligence business, but is undone time and again by his inability to manage his relationship with the woman he loves, Ruth Evershed.

Their relationship is like something out of a Jane Austen novel, all meaningful glances, misunderstandings, witty banter, brief touches of hands, bad timing and other people’s problems getting in the way. (Although as I recall, there weren’t quite so many dirty bombs and terrorists in Pride and Prejudice.)

I love the fact that the Harry and Ruth relationship has grown from the genuine affection and chemistry between Peter Firth and Nicola Walker. You really should hear the two of them talking on Radio 4 Extra while you can. Not only is it a lovely interview, it’s a chance to wallow in Peter’s wonderful voice too.

Now imagine that voice reading out these lines (just some of Harry’s greatest hits):

HOME SECRETARY: You know, back in my days as a student radical, our dreams were all about the glorious proletariat.
HARRY: We’ve still got those dreams on file somewhere.
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JOHN RUSSELL: What aren’t you telling me, Harry?
HARRY: John, I’ve been up all night, my psychic powers are at a low ebb. Please elaborate.
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FERNANDO TORRES: La vida no vale nada, as they say.
HARRY: Not an expression we hear very much around these parts, but then again we did have rather more success in seeing off the Spanish than you.
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HARRY: Did I not say to shut that bloody journalist up? We’re supposed to be MI-5, not the Stoke Newington branch of the Green Party.
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HARRY: I’m aware I have not played nicely with the other children.
HOME SECRETARY: Would it have killed you to pick up a golf club every once in a while?
HARRY: It may well have done, yes.
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DIMITRI: How was your, er, um, break?
HARRY: In one particularly dark moment I actually considered gardening.
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Farewell then Harry. All that remains is to keep our fingers crossed that he and Ruth get a good ending. For the rest of us, well, there’s always the boxed sets to fall back on…
Posted by Jo the Hat

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Spooks: Ros goes to extremes

Ros is suffering badly from the aftermath of Jo’s death. She’s normally hard as nails and cold as ice, but recently she’s been more emotional and extreme, and this culminated last night in a terrifying scene where she extracted information from someone by stringing him up in a disused warehouse and hanging him ever so gently by the neck until he squealed. She was like Bob Hoskins in leather, and I imagine this was the “violent scene” that the BBC were careful to warn us about before the episode began.

Extreme situations call for extreme measures, though, and Ros was acting to save the life of a bank insider who possessed such incendiary information that the world’s best hitmen had been despatched to get him. And if MI5 didn’t get him first, it could all lead to an economic meltdown. “Britain could be a third world country by the weekend,” the Home Secretary told Harry. Well, thanks to Ros that’s not going to happen, so our Christmas shopping plans are safe for now. Sadly the Home Secretary has been set up by some unspecified baddies so that it looks as though he’s been consorting with the Mafia (I bet you were wondering how long it would take for the Mafia to appear), and he’s been forced to resign.

All roads are currently leading to Basel, where something Very Big and Dangerous is brewing. And all roads lead to CIA Sarah, who until the very end of the episode was still Lucas’s girlfriend (this was before she pretended to shoot him and escaped, after admitting that she had been in Basel herself). She isn’t anywhere near as ruthless as Ros, though. She had Lucas on his knees, with a gun at his head, and what did she do? Run away. No imagination, some people.

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Spooks: Ros’s old mentor goes rogue

Last week Lucas had to face up to demons from his past when his former interrogator turned up. This week, when CIA agents kept being killed under mysterious circumstances, it turned out that the person behind it was a figure from Ros’s past. Coleville was her former mentor, the person who’d recruited her into the service. He was seeking revenge for a woman who’d been betrayed by MI5 as part of a deal several years earlier.

No-one knew him better than Ros, so they let Coleville believe Ros had been one of the agents involved at the time, which meant she was next on his hit list. In what was the most tense episode of the series so far (lots of split screen moments and Hermione Norris keeping her upper lip stiff even in the most extreme of circumstances), it was a cat and mouse game where Coleville evaded all the armed officers who’d been put in to cover Ros’s back, and the showdown was just between the two of them. When he heard that Ros hadn’t been involved in the former incident at all, Coleville turned his gun on himself.

Meanwhile, Section D were worrying about the death of Sam Walker.  A suicide note had been found which mentioned that he’d been diagnosed with cancer, so the official story was that he killed himself – but via some techie business to do with mobile phones, Tariq discovered he hadn’t been alone when he fell. There was only one other person in the building – CIA Sarah.

As if having to cope with a girlfriend with a very dodgy grip on the American accent wasn’t enough, Lucas now has to face the fact that she is also most probably a murderer.

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Spooks: A very, very bad day at the office for Ros

This week, Ros faced the situation that every Spook dreads.

A group of the world’s most powerful and richest men was kidnapped and held in a panic room deep below a house in London’s leafy Hampstead. No way in apart from a lift which the kidnappers were controlling. The whole place rigged with explosives.  They were using the situation to stage “trials” of the billionaires for their crimes against humanity, and the whole thing was going worldwide on the internet. Back at the Grid, Tariq was trying to shut the internet sites down, but it had all been fixed so a new site opened each time he tried.

When the executions started (voted for by internet viewers), the Americans got tetchy and wanted to go in with air strikes (on Hampstead? Surely not!). The Home Secretary ordered the building to be taken by force. Harry knew that this would mean the whole place would get blown up – and Ros was in there.

Ros Myers is exactly the person you’d want to be on the spot when it all kicks off. She spent much of the time watching and waiting (while Lucas was out busy punching people for information). You could see her brain ticking over, working out what to do. She was without weapons or communications, her hands were tied (literally). So she used psychology to work on the most vulnerable-seeming of the kidnappers, a woman whose uncle was one of the billionaires – and eventually got her to reactivate the lift.

Jo was sent in to try and negotiate with the kidnappers, and she managed to get the chief instigator in an armlock. His other hand was holding the trigger to the bomb that would blow the whole building. Ros grabbed the gun from the female kidnapper. There was only one chance at a shot – get it wrong and the bombs would be detonated. But to get it right, she’d have to kill Jo.

Ros has this ice cold exterior, but you could see the pain in her face as Jo signalled with her eyes that she knew what had to be done. I was hoping that something would happen – the kidnapper would crack, Lucas would arrive,  anything. But it didn’t. Ros took the shot, Jo crumpled to the floor. Tears rolled down Ros’s cheeks.

Good heavens. I didn’t see that coming at all, and I’m still in shock. The only consolation is that the trailer for next week featured Lucas’s tattoos…

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Spooks: Who’s got the uranium?

richard-armitage-spooksHurrah! Spooks is back! My Wednesday nights can get all tense and worrying again!

The opening episode ticked all the boxes apart from the “Richard Armitage speaking Russian” one (I love it when he does that). Oh, and the “Lucas North shows off his tattoos” one, but better luck next time on that.

Harry was being held by – well, by whom? Was it the nasty Russians? Nasty Islamic terrorists perhaps? No, it turns out it was nasty Indian terrorists. There were plenty of red herrings, but it didn’t take Ros and Lucas long to figure out what was what, even when they received a video of Harry apparently being executed. Isn’t Ros marvellous? She seems to have extra muscles just above her top lip, specifically there for additional lip-pursing or the occasional sneer. She was sitting next to a (nasty) man in a car when he got shot and she got sprayed with blood, but does this flap Ros? No, it does not. The woman is made of high tensile steel.

Meanwhile, Harry, who hadn’t been executed, was stoically refusing to spill any beans about A Big Secret. So the nasty man who was interrogating him (whom I couldn’t take too seriously because he’s previously been in Coronation Street playing Sunita’s brother) decided to apply a bit of pressure and had Ruth, Harry’s former co-worker, dragged over from her nice life in Cyprus. It turns out that Harry and Ruth both knew about some uranium that was supposed to be planted by the “allies” in Iraq to prove that there had, after all, been weapons of mass destruction. Heinous! Everyone wanted this uranium, as you do, but it was being kept nice and safe in… Norfolk.

To cut a long (and tense) story short, everyone was rescued, apart from Ruth’s Cypriot husband, which leaves her free to rejoin her old mates at the Grid. My fingernails are now chewed down to mere stumps, and for this reason I won’t be watching episode 2 on BBC3 tonight. I need to wait till Wednesday to allow for more regrowth.

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