SPOOKS Season 9 Episode 4 Review

Spooks 904

SPOOKS Season 9 Episode 4 – The Spooks catch wind of three Chinese agents having entered the country on fake British passports. It leads them to ‘Amphitrite’, which at first seems to be a desalination project that could potentially create potable water from seawater, but is actually the codename of the woman behind the project. Amphitrite – Jiang – was originally from China, but she’s now a British citizen working for the Americans.

With the help of double agent Kai, the Spooks find Jiang, but not without some hitches that deliver her into Chinese hands and make Kai look like a traitor to the UK. Once Kai’s innocence is determined, they move to get Jiang back. It leads to a standoff, with the Chinese threatening to detonate a bomb if Jiang isn’t left with them. Harry – with the help of an armed Kai – stalls proceedings; Tariq finds the truck containing the bomb and Dimitri rushes to disarm it.

With the bomb threat gone, the Chinese have no choice but to let the Spooks take Jiang and Kai. They can’t keep them, however, as the Americans want both and they have to be appeased for the sake of politics. Jiang understands that her talent makes her a commodity, but Kai is less than happy. So Harry and Beth give him the option of going anywhere he wants instead. He chooses the Chinese embassy, imprisonment and possible death, but the chance to see his family one more time.

While all this is happening, Lucas works to reclaim his life. He can’t get the MI5 file Vaughn wants without using someone else’s account. So he uses the login account of a 22-year old agent to download the file – and even sets up a money transfer to make it look like he committed fraud. When Lucas then hands over the file to Vaughn, he’s reminded that he just ruined a man’s life to save his own fake identity.

But Lucas doesn’t confess when Ruth brings up the situation in conversation, instead going to see Maya, to tell her that they can be together at last. One little problem: Ruth saw him leaving the server room. It won’t take much for her to add 2 + 2 and realise that Lucas used the young agent’s account. Will Lucas come clean before then? Or is there a much darker, ruthless side to Lucas coming to light?

And why did those three Chinese agents have a photograph of Lucas and claim that he was the real reason for them coming to England?

This was a strong episode, much better than last week. The use of drinking water, instead of the usual oil or nuclear arms, as a way to secure power was both brilliant and frightening. While the Chinese didn’t get Jiang in the end, the Americans did, and as Harry pointed out, oil rich countries are usually lacking water.

Does this make the Americans just as bad as the Chinese? Probably. But we still played nice with them and gave them Jiang anyway. Ah, Spooks, you do politics so well.

The Kai/triple agent fake out was well done, mostly thanks to great acting by Sophia Myles. This is the first episode where I’ve actually liked Beth, I think because she genuinely cared about Kai. We’ve been told – and we’ve seen – that Beth can be quite self-serving, but that makes her an even more intriguing character when she’s working for the greater good.

Side note: Dimitri seemed to be reaching out to her quite a bit this episode. Just being friendly or setting up yet another possible office romance?

Speaking of Dimitri, he and Ruth both got out in the field today. Ruth showed her ingenuity – and intelligence – by masquerading as a translator before faking a hypoglycemic attack, while Dimitri disarmed a bomb with help from Tariq. I love these three characters. While Lucas, Beth and Harry are great, it’s these three characters, mostly in the background, that really interest me.

That said, I can’t wait to find out what Lucas is hiding. Why did he leave his old ‘John’ identity behind? Was that the real ‘Lucas’? Or was it a fake identity too? Either way, what did he do that he wants to escape from so badly – and how did giving Vaughn what he wanted ensure that? The biggest question is probably, how are the Chinese agents involved? Lucas North, how little we know thee.

What did you think of this episode of Spooks? Let us know in the comments below!

  • tiff

    I have loved all this series and this week was the best so far.

    I have thought the weekly stories are a bit more fresh, ingenious and complex than they have been for a while and I love having to cope with the twists and turns. As you say, sometimes the issues and the politics can be uncomfortably relevant and accurate, even if a lot of the mechanics and action is a wee bit far fetched.

    Like you, I can’t wait to find out what is happening with Lucas, even if I am scared it will turn out for the worst for him and make me look back on all this not quite so fondly.