Spooks

Season 9 Episode 2

Episode 2

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Sep 27, 2010 on BBC
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8.8
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  • If the Secret Service ask to see your security system: don't show them round.

    6.5
    The good news is that Beth (Sophia Myles) already sounds less like a prefect at Mallory Towers, and more like a normal human being. But the jury is out on whether Myles can step up from playing assistants and damsels in distress (Dracula, The Girl in the Fireplace, Moonlight) and take the lead. Until she does, we're left with Richard Armitage growling like a bear who's been scared off with a courgette - his performance is drier than a vacuum-packed cream cracker, and without shade or wit. Couldn't the producers secure Alfred Molina and Dawn French?

    The plot is less expansive than lass week, but worse for it – despite a fantastic, Bruckheimer-esque opening. When an episode is is retold from multiple viewpoints, as happens in this one, each retelling shouldn't just "fill in the blanks", it should force you to change your opinion. Fortunately there's a fantastic climatic confrontation in a golf club between Sir Harry (Peter Firth) and the villain (James Faulkner) over a bag of deadly nerve agent; it's beautiful underplayed, tense, touchingly British, and could have been scripted from John le Carré novel. And the great thing about Spooks is that when, as happens a few moments later, a sniper is lining up Sir Harry, you're heart is in your mouth wondering "Is Peter Firth about to be written out?" And that, at least, is one plus to a constantly changing cast.