Right, I will be the first to admit it. I said that last week new recruit Dimitri was a potential ‘Star Trek redshirt’ agent, set up to appear once and to then become the victim of a Tasha Yar-type tragedy. But no, it seems that it was not only the intention of last week’s episode to introduce us to Beth, but to also sneak new agent Dimitri in the ‘back door’.
Admittedly, I should have read all the promotional material on forums, online and in the TV magazines, that explained that in this series there would be four new players on the Grid, and that Max Brown’s (whom my wife informs me was in Grange Hill and Mistresses) character Dimitri would be a new regular ‘eye-candy’ (again, her words) agent working with Lucas in the field.
It’s my faux pas for not knowing that, as well as Beth (overly self interested and arrogant), Dimitri would be introduced as another new recruit, taking the junior position from Jo, who also perished last season.
So, with the setup for the series well established and the action in the Thames with the terrorists, EMP and Lucas’ rather nasty bit of counter-terrorism making up for all the shoehorning of characters into the new series, we can hit the ground running. It’s time for a whole new set of mysteries, lies and conspiracies.
We all knew that Harry wouldn’t resign and that Beth would join, and that Ruth and Harry wouldn’t settle down, get married and have a comfy life in the country. But no matter what the setup up is, Spooks‘ first episode was a great way to get back into the game and to set us up for what is to come..
So, to kick off this second episode, there’s the continuation of the introduction to Vaughn, the third new character to join the show, and the aftermath of the suitcase and his enigmatic statement to ‘John’ on ‘being Lucas North’, all of which were very mysterious.
A suitcase full of mysteries, nerve gas and our final new character, Maya Lahan (Layla Rouass), are all introduced this week as we start with a sting operation involving Nigerian oil business dealings (makes a difference from online scamming). And it seems Beth’s first case nearly proves fatal, as she is part of an assassination attempt.
In a plot involving Britain’s interest with African oil, Harry is put under pressure to leave the case alone. But, dogged and determined as ever, he pushes to find out the connection that the top brass has with vested oil interests: potential nerve gas attacks, a cunning assassin, dodgy transactions and billionaire businessmen (who never leave their country home fortress), which all lead to a Mission Impossible-style scenario, with split screen action and gadgets and gizmos galore.
It also shows Dimitri’s first foray into the field and that this new junior agent is every bit as cool as collected as Jo was. (I just hope he isn’t taken out in such a grizzly fashion as his predecessor.) And Beth may be be more of a handful and more trouble than she first seems.
With Beth potentially playing all sides (or making us believe she is), the plot twists and turns, with the setup once again being who trusts who, and which secrets lie within which.
Columbians, assassins, setups, secrets from the past and dodgy dealings all make for another great storyline from different characters’ points of views, played out for ulterior motives, making us once again think, “Who do we trust?”
As important as the mission is and the explanation of Beth’s former ‘Columbian adventures’, the really interesting plotline this week is with Lucas, as he opens the case given to him by Vaughn. We are taken back to his old life before the Grid, and before his time in Russia. And wWe are introduced to Dr Maya Lahan, who seems to be Lucas (or is that John’s?) old flame.
With a team full of secrets, we are given the situation of Lucas working on the side of the office, trying to track down his former life, and Beth on the other trying to delete hers. As the plot thickens, both operatives show that they have a lot more going on than the usual run of the mill weekly national crisis. And Harry, well, of course, Harry knows everything, even as far as to get his hands dirty in a mission.
Once again this was a tense, cracking episode that continues with the plots within plots we have come to expect. Oh, and one final thing. Lucas is promoted, being made section chief (Ros’ former job). But is it for the good of the team, or is he doing this for his own ends? We’re not getting the answer to that just yet…
Read our review of the season 9 opener here.