Spooks series 8 episode 5 review

Another cracking episode this week as a face from the past re-emerges on Spooks...

Warning: spoilers follow

After last week’s jaw-dropping fall, (well, push) of Sam Walker, the top brass of the British arm of the CIA, and the revelation that Sarah Caulfield is not the innocent order taking company girl we thought, we start this week with a little more info hinted at about her secret agenda, the meeting in Basel and why she had to dispatch her boss in the most gruesome way.

Teased at and hinted, there was a notion that this week’s episode would be about this secret meeting and why Sarah acted the way she did, but this isn’t the case at all as after the funeral of Sam, during which Sarah’s crocodile tears convince Lucas of her love for him and commitment to her country, we are given a shift in plot and a cruel curve ball that leaves the tantalising story about Basel and the ‘new world order’ for a later date. (Grrr.)

After this deceptive set-up, the episode’s main focus is actually about Ros and her former mentor Jack Coleville, a former Spook who is asking Ros for help and to publish his memoirs. While this innocent gesture seems to be genuine and Ros’ obvious affection and trust of Jack seem to all be above board. things, as they usually are in Spooks, are not what they seem and when members for MI5 and 6 start to be killed off in mysterious ways, Jack is once more back in the game and playing harder than ever.

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After dispatching an agent through a feigned heart attack, and another brutally killed in a subway station, the team are puzzled as to how somebody knows who these agents are and where they will be. It seems that Jack has a mole on the team in the form of an electronic surveillance device hidden in the spine of his memoirs that has allowed him access to the Grid’s database.

The agents killed have all, in some way, been involved in some dealings in the Balkans in the early 1990s in which war crimes, testimonies and deals were all made, with national security taking presidence over people Jack had a more ‘personal’ relationship with and now is looking for payback

With hidden identities and family betrayals, personal agendas and Macbeth all added to the mix, the team are one step behind Jack, whose slow, calculating methodical approach to take out his victims has the team racing around London and trying to protect the remaining agents who were involved in the Balkan case.

With Sarah added to the mix, the team are slowly losing the game as Jack uses every trick in the book to stalk his prey, leaving nothing to chance, even attempts to blow up Ros as she investigates what is going on.

However, Jack is not as clever as he thinks as the Grid team change the rules and as Jack once again hacks the Grid database, Tariq and Ros change the name of the last agent to work on the case, protecting the innocent agent and instead putting Ros directly in the line of fire and Jack’s vengeance.

In a nail-biting showdown, Jack has Ros at gunpoint and explains why he is doing what he is doing and that offing his former padawan will be the last piece of his vengeance. However, Ros reveals that she is not actually the last agent and that this is a ‘trap’ set for Jack to stop him. The former agent cannot cope that his plans and agenda has been foiled at the last minute and takes the coward’s way out, shooting himself rather than Ros.

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While the action and stand-off is taking place, it seems behind the scenes Ruth and Tariq have been keeping tabs on Sarah, tracing her phone calls and where she was at the time of the showdown between Ros and Jack and find that she was only fifty metres away and somewhere in the building with them.

With knowledge that she and Lucas are having an affair, Harry asks Lucas to ‘probe’ Sarah as to what she does and doesn’t know and if she is lying. Finding, in a bit of pillow talk, that Sarah is not as innocent as she seems, Lucas informs Harry that Sarah is not to be trusted and as we cut to black, his relationship crumbles away.

Another superb episode of Spooks filled with twists, turns and betrayals. The writers teasing at the beginning that Basel will be explored, then swerving off into another non-related story, was frustrating, as the dangling threads are all so tempting. Still it means I will defiantly be tuning in once again for next week where it seems some irate bankers and money men are taking things into their own hands.

Read our review of episode 4 here.