SPOOKS Season 9 Episode 6 Review

Spooks 9.06

SPOOKS Season 9 Episode 6 – After the Taliban hack into a British portal and turn a US drone against its own base, MI5 have a lot to prove. The CIA want an upgrade to British computer system and so set about installing their own, Cybershell, in Thames House. To complete setup, they need codes input by an American civilian cryptographer, Danielle Ortiz. That’s where the fun begins.

MI5 find themselves compromised by hackers forged from a Chinese-Russian alliance. Everything they do and say is being observed, knowledge that is shared once Tariq initiates a fake-power overload which shuts down every system for two minutes. They try to figure out how to deal with the situation and eventually share information through classroom notes and a tablet PC.

It is decided that they’re trying to get into Cybershell. With the knowledge contained in this new top-notch secure computer system, the Chinese-Russian alliance would have the upperhand in every way. As Harry says, Britain and America would lose the cyberwar before it even began.

Their comparatively rudimentary way of sharing information works well until a nervous Tariq accidentally looks into one of the security cameras, alerting the hackers to their known presence. They lock down Thames House, leaving MI5 to listen in as the hackers synthesis Harry’s voice and order Lucas to kill Ortiz.

Up until then, Lucas had been taking Ortiz along on his own personal mission to appease Vaughn, who claims to have the location of the real Albany file. This lead him to Malcolm, an ex-MI5 agent, who literally dug up the file in his garden. This preoccupation nearly made Lucas listen to the kill order, but he eventually realises something is wrong and calls Harry back. “What’s your favourite opera?” he asks, but the hackers have no voice sample of Harry answering this and Lucas soon figures out the ruse.

Not soon enough, however. The hackers’ hired guns try to take Lucas and Ortiz out and succeed in shooting the latter. Lucas managed to dispense of them and is about to call for an ambulance when Ortiz, desperate to be helped by this man she doesn’t trust, promises him she won’t tell anyone about their visit to Malcolm – or the Albany file. Realising that Ortiz knows way too much, Lucas fakes the emergency call and then comforts her while they ‘wait’ for the ambulance, slowly releasing pressure from her wound to let her bleed to death.

Back at Thames House, Dimitri has a plan. For future reference, Dimitri having a plan should be seen as foreboding. Since his two impromptu bomb disposals, he’s decided to swot up on bombs, which apparently means bringing a deactivated bomb to work to tinker with it. His plan? Blow their way out of Thames House.

The hackers get a phone call from Harry. He offers to cut a deal with them; he will pay them more than their own countries if they stop the attack. But it’s all a distraction because soon enough in walks Harry and co. Dimitri’s plan actually worked out, although part of the interior of Thames House is now going to need some serious DIY.

Back in the office, Harry and Ruth talk. Tariq comes to let them know he’s found something during sweeps of the office – a tiny keystroke logging device under Lucas’ desk. After he leaves, Ruth admits that she put it there because Lucas can’t be trusted.

Meanwhile, Lucas is contacted by Vaughn who tells him that the Albany file he got from Malcolm was a fake. He wants Lucas to get the real file, no matter what or how. Lucas goes back to Malcolm’s house, but finds it completely empty. Malcolm, his mother, and all his belongings are nowhere to be seen. Lucas is definitely not happy.

This episode was the least complicated of the series so far, and for good reason. Lucas’ turmoil more than made up for it, as did wondering how the Spooks would get out of the office post-lock down.

It was fun seeing them try to pass notes and figure out ways of communicating that didn’t involve mobile phones and emails, but my favourite moment of the entire episode has to be Dimitri suddenly deciding to blow their way out of the office. Nice to know his newfound experience with bombs has come in handy. Also nice that he managed to keep his face intact.

Ruth and Harry being all evasive about their situation was cute. Does anyone else think the series will end with Ruth agreeing to marry him? I kind of hope it does.

Tariq finally got something to do beyond advanced-Googling – and, of course, messes it up. He gets A for effort, but a definitely C for execution. Of course, he did identify the issue to begin with, so I won’t be too harsh on him.

Lucas. Oh, Lucas, what are you doing? I could wittle on for paragraphs about how messed up he’s become, how he made so many obvious mistakes and how asking Malcolm to keep quiet would have cast a whole heap of suspicion on him, even if Ruth wasn’t already keeping tabs on him, but why bother? In his quest to stop Vaughn from telling Maya about his shady and secretive – even to us – past, Lucas actively let a young woman die. If he hadn’t been trying to get hold of the Albany file, Ortiz would have been safe and sound in Thames House.

Sure, that would have started a whole other issue with the hackers, but it still doesn’t change the facts. Lucas North is no longer the heroic good guy we thought he was. He is, for all intents and purposes, the enemy.

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