28 September 2015

Spooks 3.1: Project Friendly Fire - Micro-Review


New series! An episode I’ve NEVER WATCHED BEFORE. Eeeeeee!!

Lovely, gorgeous episode. Tons of new attitude and style, and frankly some of the best direction and stunning camerawork I’ve seen so far (circular shots going round and round!). The plot concerns a brilliant new villain in Oliver Mace, a man in a high governmental post that uses the previous episode’s events to try and ruin MI5.

It’s very fast, and yet the plot is very concise. Their mission is to prove Tom Quinn’s innocence – something which is pretty hard, especially as Herman Joyce from the previous episode (lots of links back) is killed rather memorably by Tom in a church.

Yes, Tom. Matthew returns – for the first two episodes of this series as we know – and has been living rough on the streets for a couple of days, presumed dead. He helps them through the episode, and comes back to work at the end. But it won’t last. He’s great in this, as a broken man, a shadow of his former self, and gets a good poetic line in: “It’s like it stopped raining in my head.” Also, Christine gets a final sendoff (I think) as she is forced to betray him and then resigns from spy life.
We also get new guy Adam. He looked very out of place in the opening credits, but I didn’t realise he’d be so in this first episode.  His first appearance as a tramp took me by surprise a lot – and then he reveals himself as the new member. Interesting that they keep Tom AND Adam on – for this episode at least! – and they sort of acknowledge it. He proves his worth, however, with a cracking acted scene with Joyce’s wife, talking her into confessing and committing suicide. He’s the new guy, he’s been described as a loose cannon, and is very charismatic – a very different lead to Tom. Played by the charming and lovely Rupert Penry Jones.

Lots of lovely traditional moments too – conspiracies in the government, interrogation and coding and the Natural History Museum and everything. No slow mo walk however! The Grid also seems very sleek and shiny – silver and black really, with traces of red and green. Stylish. (P.S: Ruth says she ‘loves’ Harry, but then lies by saying she’s having his baby, which is a shame after what we know now!)

Standout Moment: Ooh, tough. Veeery tough. Oliver Mace’s chat forcing Christine to help him was particularly good, as was Tom’s chat with Christine, and Zoe’s reaction to seeing Tom again. Think I might have to go with Adam talking with the evil wife, and Tom realising what he’s up to. Mix of old and new there.
Guest Star Watch: Tim McInnery, woop! He plays a great baddie, like in Doctor Who but nastier here. But obviously coming out safe and sane in the end. His mate, Jason Belling, is expertly played by Sam Spruell (who surely will be in a big role somewhen soon, he was good – though he is trying at a lot of Hollywood stuff)... but Jason Belling doesn’t show up again this series. In fact, he makes a reappearance in the 9th episode of SERIES SIX?!?! Whaaaa? Didn’t remember that one.
Hellos and Goodbyes: Hello to Oliver Mace! Hope he returns – and his nasty political friend. And goodbye to Christine (hopefully, probably!) and to Joyce, he of the previous episode. And – duh!!! – Adam Carter! He also mentions his wife – an MI6 asset, “viewer, I married her”.
Death Count: Two: Joyce gets executed by Tom (and sent to MI5), and Joyce’s wife commits suicide. Don’t think anyone else cops it that badly, just a few scuffles with goons.

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