Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Season 1 Episode 7

Flushing Out the Mole

1
Aired Unknown Oct 22, 1979 on BBC Two
8.6
out of 10
User Rating
10 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Flushing Out the Mole
AIRED:
The waiting has paid off and the trap closes on Karla's mole. It is agreed to trade him against several English spies who were captured by the KGB, but Prideaux is still not found and he has an open account to settle with the mole. With the command structure of the Circus hollowed out and containment in progress, Smiley cannot come in from the cold but remains to pick up the pieces. And then there's Ann Smiley...moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Smiley realises that he himself has been the chief dupe in the devilish plan of Karla and "Gerald".

    10
    Personal loyalty and national loyalty - where do these things diverge, and when does the former become more important? Is the betrayal of a country less important than the betrayal of an individual, of a friendship, of a marriage? In its last episode, "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" gets right to the centre of its theme, and it's overwhelming. George Smiley learns that the roots of the plot lie in his own troubled marriage, that it was his own Achilles heel - his love for the faithless Ann - that inspired the whole operation. At the same time, Jim Prideaux is finally forced to grow up, and accept the unpleasant truth about what he has always regarded as the closest friendship of his life.moreless
  • No more loose ends. But is it a happy end?

    8.5
    In the first few minutes the mystery is solved that has been keeping George Smiley occupied for six episodes. What happens next in the remaining forty minutes? (Warning: spoiler alert.)



    We know that Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was never meant to be an ordinary spy story, where only the plot could keep the viewer's attention. It's a study of loyalty, ambition and the British society. Is it any wonder that the mole turns out to be the English gentleman, and not the cryptosocialist, the bureaucrat with the foreign name or the out-of-his-depth manager? Bill Hadyon's flippancy after his arrest may feel rather absurd, but considering the people who have been revealed to have acted as spies for the Russians, it's rather realistic. That strange mixture of haughtiness and an inferiority complex.



    The coda is brilliant. All through the series we have been given hints that there's something wrong with Smiley's marriage. When we finally meet Ann Smiley (in the shape of the formidable Sian Phillips) it turns out that she's the one person George Smiley can't possibly fathom. The spycatcher flummoxed.moreless
Siân Phillips

Siân Phillips

Ann Smiley

Guest Star

Alec Sabin

Alec Sabin

Fawn

Guest Star

George Pravda

George Pravda

Polyakov

Guest Star

Hywel Bennett

Hywel Bennett

Ricki Tarr

Recurring Role

Ian Bannen

Ian Bannen

Jim Prideaux

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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