Spooks series 8 episode 6 review
With the mystery surrounding Basel in touching distance, the Spooks team are diverted again, this time by money trouble. Rob takes a look…
Whether this episode was meant to go out on the day when the government were delivering their ‘pre-budget report' or if the broadcast of this financial based episode was a happy coincidence, I am not too sure. But with the notion of big bonuses, banks being all dastardly and the country on the brink of being bankrupt, I couldn't help but smile as the team try to help this week to prop up the economy as well as doing their usual bit of heroics.
We kick things off with Ros babysitting Ryan Baisley, a whistleblower banker who has been infiltrating the shady multi-billion dollar banking conglomeration DeWits. Interested in only one thing, Baisley (played by Ewen Bremner, Spud from Trainspotting) wants MI5 to ‘up' the amount they offered to get the information they require on the more dubious dealings the bank has been working on. However, unfortunately for Baisley, the banks want to keep their secrets and will do anything to stop him divulging the information, even going as far as to murder his new wife and step-son.
When an attempt is made on his life at the safe house, Baisley does a runner, panicking and trying to claw back the money he was promised, playing both sides off against each other to try and get a better deal and larger payoff. Not really knowing who he is dealing with, Baisley's life hangs in the balance as the bank, and some of its more sinister account holders, take it upon themselves to stop him at any cost from delivering the information he has stolen to the authorities.
Cowardly and not listening to advice from Ros, (who, frankly, would put Jack Bauer to shame this week with a lot of bad-assery and torture) Baisley is shot at, attacked and made to run for his life. And quite deservedly too as his whining and ‘I deserve' it selfish point of view gets his new family killed and also puts in jeopardy his divorced wife and his child, as the banks try taking his life apart piece by piece.
While Ros is trying to save his life and track down the illegal and dodgy bank information, back at the GRID HQ there are a lot bigger issues. The Home Secretary confides in Harry the UK is on the edge of bankruptcy and that one of the main objectives in tracking down Baisley is that the information he has listed will give the government the names and bank details of offshore accounts and money laundering businesses. All of which the government intend to raid to help prop up the economy, pay its own debts and stop sterling from crashing.
The Home Secretary also has other issues as, with a bit of Photoshop work, it seems that somebody has leaked an image of him in talks with the mafia and also conveniently dropped £4 million into his personal account. And while Harry jokes and asks the Home Secretary what it's like to be the most hated man in the UK (and that it's good practice if he wants to be PM), the faked scandal and media hype surrounding this money and the dodgy picture means that the Home Secretary has no other option but to resign.
While it's unknown who planted the money, the suspicion is that it is somebody who banks with DeWits. And after a failed Mission Impossible-like hack into the computer systems of DeWits by Lucas and Tariq, the information is finally given up by Baisley who has names, numbers and accounts on him. Quite literally, in fact, as the masses of data he has collated have been sellotaped around his body all the time. As he sheds his skin like some snake, we cut to Ruth who finds some curious information with some accounts, most notably an extremely large amount of money hidden away. The trail leads to the enigmatic Basel meeting and an mysterious organisation called ‘Nightingale' and that there are links to the CIA, the Chinese and secret government funded Bourne-like rogue assassins.
With Sarah under suspicion and the evidence that the Basel meeting is something that should really be worried about, Lucas finally confronts Sarah with the evidence they have on her, telling his lover that MI-5 are aware that she killed her own boss, has dealings with the Basel meeting and even that she attended. Ruining his relationship with her as well as an assassination attempt at his life, Sarah escapes and while the government get what they want and are able to pay off the debts for the country, the sacrifice is great with Lucas losing the current love of his life, the Home Secretary his job and putting Harry in a position where he knows that there is a conspiracy going on and he presently knows absolutely nothing about it.
As we fade to black once more, we are teased that the vast sums of money from the Nightingale accounts are being shifted to Pakistan. There's some journey ahead...
Read our review of episode 5 here.