In other words, a top notch Spooks episode (and please don’t read any further if you haven’t seen it yet). It started with Calum (I still don’t trust him) having a laptop stolen. Despite Tariq’s genius with encryption, it didn’t take the thieves long to start opening the files, and popping the contents on to the internet. The contents being names of some of MI5’s top assets, this was bad news indeed. Asset number one was killed before Dmitri could get to him, and Dmitri was given the task of making the murder scene look like a suicide. He went at this with scary efficiency, though he did have the grace to look troubled by the task.
I liked Asset 2 very much. Her name was Martha Forde, and even though she was in grave danger of being exposed, Harry needed her to stay on the job just a little bit longer because she had to get some information about a petrochemical company that she worked for, that had something to do with Gavrik. Even though she was in deadly danger, she was a plucky soul who left the grim safety of the safe house Erin put her in (why can’t they make these safe houses just a bit more homely?) to go back and get the information.
There was a fabulous scene where Harry met old flame Elena in a theatre which was empty apart from a ballerina rehearsing to the Moonlight Sonata. This is where the doomed romance bit comes in – Elena told Harry that, out of many things she regrets, “I never regret how Sasha came to me. Never that.” Harry signalled his reaction and the strength of his feelings at this news by breathing just a little harder through his nose. He couldn’t breathe through his mouth because of keeping his upper lip stiff. It was stirring stuff. As the Moonlight Sonata cranked away, the fruit of Harry’s loins, little Sasha himself, was busy murdering his best mate in slow motion backstage, because he was about to expose Elena as a spy. It was like something directed by Michael Mann.
As was the ending. Tariq decided to work from home, trying to work out who’d stolen the laptop. And who was that mysterious figure he spotted on CCTV just before his computer started flashing up alert signals at him? Was it Elena? It was enough to get Tariq on the phone to Harry immediately, but then he rushed off into the street to flag a taxi down, to get to Harry in person. And in the back of the taxi, he started to die.
Die? Yes, indeed. The stranger who’d bumped into him seconds earlier had poisoned him, and Tariq only had time to make it to his destination before collapsing in the street – right in front of Calum, who happened to be arriving too.
This was almost as much of a shock as the loss of Jo, in that it was equally unexpected. In hindsight possibly not entirely unexpected, given that Tariq was allowed to make a little speech to Calum about how he had to work so hard to prove himself to everyone, and how much he cares about his work, which now seems to be a bit of a valediction.
It’s a high risk job, being a spook.
Posted by PLA (more Spooks here)