SPOOKS Series 9 Episode 2 Review

Spooks 9.02

Episode 9.02 of SPOOKS finds the team trying to track down two gunmen who killed a group of businessmen in a lift. The catch? One of the survivors is none other than Beth, now part of the team and in the lift to track down an assassin. Whoever attacked the lift wanted the assassin dead – which means the initial target, an oil tycoon, may now be the man behind the murders.

After a twisting, turning plot, which divides the episode into three viewpoints – that of Lucas, Beth and the assassin himself – the team eventually find out who everyone involved is and what they’re up to. The awkward businessman they’re keeping safe is actually the assassin, Beth once worked as an arms dealer in Colombia, and the two gunmen were Colombians sent there to kill her.

The rest of the team only discover this after Beth and the assassin has killed them and dumped the bodies, however. Harry is most displeased. But Lucas asks Harry for trust, an A grade security clearance and the power to choose his own team. Harry seems happy with this, but he probably shouldn’t be.

There was more to this episode, specifically a minor plot involving a planned attack on Lagos that almost got Harry killed. But I think the character interactions were the best part of this episode.

Harry and Ruth are walking on eggshells after the defining of their relationship last episode. There’s an endearingly awkward moment where Ruth calls Harry late at night and he tells her that these calls have to stop. She points out that she’s actually calling on business – but was that the whole reason? The tension between these two is both low key and heartbreaking. I assume that something will eventually have to give, but this pair could probably hold out indefinitely.

Beth’s past catches up to her this episode, and she’s only saved from being thrown out on her ass by Lucas. Does he genuinely think she would be a strong addition to his team? Maybe, but there also seems to be an element of ‘keeping one’s enemies closer’. Indeed, she looked quite suspicious of him during their early morning computer encounter. And she should have been; Lucas was up to something. But then, so was she.

And Lucas. We get a look inside the suitcase he received from Vaughn, this week. Inside is the remnants of an entire life: passport, photos, videos, audio recordings. But after shuffling through his belongings, Lucas only has eyes for a photo of a woman, Maya Lahan. He goes to visit her at the hospital where she works, surprising Maya; she’d thought him dead.

Between dialogue with her and Vaughn, who calls for ‘help’ from Lucas but is turned down, we learn a few things. Firstly, he was in a relationship with Maya, but something happened in Africa that made him fake his death and leave her for her own safety. Secondly, this happened fifteen years ago. So who and what was ‘John’, Lucas North’s former identity? We’ll just have to wait and see.

I still regret not watching Spooks before now. Though split between different viewpoints and running numerous storylines, this episode was fast, tight and a thrill to watch. I would like to see more of Dimitri, Tariq and Ruth, but understandably Beth’s character’s past needed to be resolved – for now – and Lucas’ plotline needs a healthy amount of growing space. Hopefully those three will get some decent screen time before the end of the series. Either way, I’m sticking around to see how this all plays out.

What did you think of this episode of Spooks? Do you think it’s a mistake for Beth to join the team? And what do you think may be lurking in Lucas’ past?