Spooks is a superbly crafted show. Well thought out, very close to what one feels the truth of the UK Intelligence service might be, sometimes so very close to the bone. Countless moves and twists in plots, 2nd guessing, MI-5 lives on the line and indeed, often taken.
For me though, one thing had become far too apparent in the show. That MI-5 lives were now constantly being threatened and at times, taken. Whilst all those episodes are still exciting and gripping to watch, the feeling of the show becoming "samey" began to take with me. We know that each week an MI-5 agent isn't going to be taken and thus, to keep on threatening them begins to make you feel....why bother, you know they'll end up safe.
This episode took the show back to the very basics. The surveillance techniques, the playing top officials off with one another, the manipulation of situations (I love the way they cut the power off when the Ice Hockey is playing too loud for the Spooks to here them.)
Also, the twist, upon twist, upon twist, within a twist. The scripting was ideal, the subject matter of Africa and poverty was also a refreshing change from previous terrorist plots etc. And then the final moral dilemma which the final decision backfires on Adam in many ways.
So many intertwined situations and emotions. Ruth and Harry at the end. Ros' excellent manipulation of Styles. Zaf's ability to adapt to any role (agency worker this week :-) he undertakes in his MI-5 position.
Many have felt that Adam hadn't quite captured that feeling of top dog, which Tom had previously given us. This episode, if not changed that, then re-enforced it. As this style of episode (one where MI-5 agents lives weren't continuously threatened and was more about Spooks looking out for other departments) was more regular in earlier seasons and something Adams character hasn't benefitted from.
Although maybe others wish to see Spooks threatened in every episode, (this episodes lower rating to others in this series seems to suggest that) I don't and I felt that this will be one of my favourite episodes of this excellent 5th run.
Long may Spooks continue and we get more episodes of this nature....frequenting back to basics sometimes helps a show mature even further.