Spooks: Code 9 episode 2 review

Episode two of the Spooks spin-off series seems very close to, er, Spooks, argues Mark...

After a somewhat shaky start, episode two launches into a character-centric episode that could have so easily been lifted directly from the parent Spooks show. In it, Jez (Heshima Thompson) demonstrates poor strategic thinking and discipline when he sleeps with an ‘asset’ that then turns out to be a terrorist. Given that we’ve only got four subsequent episodes and more characters than that, they can’t keep doing this, which possibly isn’t a bad thing. What we end up with here is a very formulaic story which first hints at redemption, but ultimately is about how little each of the characters knows about each other. Some of what’s revealed is interesting, but hardly shocking. I’ve already decided who I like and those I certainly don’t. On the plus side I’ve got Charlie, Kylie and Jez, while Rachel, Rob and Vik I couldn’t give a stuff about. It will be interesting based on my assessment which ones get put in jeopardy as we progress into the series, or even killed.

Based on how Rob approached the task of finding someone who might be dangerous in this story, he’d last about five minutes in the real intelligence services. He also can’t take on two men who aren’t expecting a fight, which as he’s the ‘physical’ one doesn’t bode well. But wet blanket of the week goes to Rachel (Ruta Gedmintas), who wears smug like she’s marketing a perfume called ‘superiority complex’. This seems to stem from being the character who always knows what the rules of engagement are in any given situation, and in addition to being a know-it-all, she’s the romantic love interest for at least two of the male spies. Yawn.

My biggest disappointment of this episode is that we got relatively little of Kylie, played by the now red headed Georgia Moffett (previously the progeny of Doctor Who). But the trailer for the next one suggests she’s more evident in episode three.

The whole premise of Code 9 was to do something different than Spooks, which the pilot show hinted at, and then in second outing they go straight back to a typical Spooks idea that wouldn’t make a best of series shortlist. What I really want to see is more going against the grain of the government they supposedly serve. One of the working titles of the series was Spooks Rogue, so let’s see them upset some people while defending what tiny chunks are left of our national identity.

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At the end of the episode we’re given the titbit that there’s a mole in MI5 responsible for the nuclear destruction of London. Who could it be? What’s the betting we’ll get a hint in episode 6? Frankly I hope it’s that asinine bitch who’s supposedly their superior, but that’s a little obvious I guess.

I think Code 9 needs to get its ducks in a line and then take them out with C4 plastic explosives, because a third of its run is now done, and they’re still trying to decide if they’re good or bad spies. If the characters exhibit and more doubt, I might get the same feeling about this series.