Smiley's People

Season 1 Episode 6

Smiley's Lighter

Aired Unknown Oct 25, 1982 on BBC Two

Episode Recap

Tony Esterhase lures Grigoriev to a secret location, pretending to be a bank investigator. George Smiley confronts the Russian with proof that he has been withdrawing money using a fake passport and has been cheating on his wife. He forces the counsellor to tell his story. Grigoriev describes how he was called back to Moscow in August, taken by car to a camp where a strange, priest-like man interviewed him. The man threatened to tell Grigoriev's wife of Grigoriev's many affairs unless he did something for him. Grigoriev was to take money from a special bank account each week and pay the nurses of a special asylum. He was to interview the patient each time, asking her questions, the anwers of which were to be returned by special courier to "the priest". The girl, Alexandra Borisnova Ostrakova, was apparently a hero of the Soviet struggle who had gone mad under the pressure. Grigoriev sensed that there was more to the girl. It was as if the girl was the priest's daughter.

Smiley orders Grigoriev to bring the next message of the courier to him. He reads the information and decides to look up the girl himself. Alexandra suffers from schizophrenia and confuses her position with that of Tatjana, the daughter of the most powerful and feared man in the Soviet Union.

Smiley writes a letter to Karla, explaining that he knows the girl is his daughter. He has proof of how Karla has been taking Soviet money illegally to pay for the girl in Switzerland. If Karla defects to the West, the Western powers will look after the girl. If Karla stays in the Soviet Union, Smiley will alert the Soviet authorities, Karla will be arrested and the girl will be left behind in Switzerland without any money. The courier takes the letter back to Moscow.

Shortly afterwards Smiley gets a reaction from the Soviet Union. Karla will walk over to the West on the Oberbaumbrücke in Berlin. Guillam, Esterhase and Smiley await the arrival of Karla.

When Smiley's nemesis arrives in the West, Guillam urges Smiley to celebrate his success. Smiley isn't sure that he actually won.