29 September 2015

Spooks 3.2: The Sleeper - Micro-Review


A tense episode indeed! The whole thing is dominated by a very erratic, brilliant performance from Tom, as he falls apart.

Lovely stuff indeed then. It opens with a bang – a typically trailer style explosion – but it turns out MI5 have caused it as part of a terrorist sting. They enlist the help of a Nobel prize winning professor to fake a nuclear material (a decidedly mythical material, as they say themselves!) – and his journey, with his family, are pretty realistic, as he’s reluctant at first and then scarily enjoys it, despite his family being in danger and him falling apart.

Contrast this with Tom – who, since his turnaround, has been bold and erratic and enjoying it. Here he sadistically watches the professor’s life fall apart, before having a crisis of conscience and tries to take him out. It’s a terrific, sort of realistic approach to someone losing it with respect to working in MI5 – one that puts the rest of the team (who get overshadowed in this, bar Harry) in danger.
It’s close in the end whether they succeed or not (it turns out they just had to arrest the student guy and stop his terrorist friends from harming the professor’s family – so it’s not the most exciting payoff, even if we do have a shootout). The enemies also are compared to MI5 – in that they’re just as efficient, with spies and sleepers and surveillance.

As I said, the rest of the team are slightly overshadowed – but Zoe gets a new man in a reporter (that ends badly, doesn’t it?). Feels ever so slightly familiar this one though? Especially that scene, and tee guys getting shot at the end... hmm, not sure. But Tom gets a fine, fine farewell, with a good ending scene too. The thing more scary perhaps than death – them having a normal life. Well, final scene before that marvellous cameo at the end of the series. Such a good character, and it’ll be a shame to see him go – especially after he dominated this one so much. (and great that they rewrote the episode to include Tom!!)

Standout Moment: Probably the wonderful stunt of Tom driving the professor away...  and a helicopter comes down and shoots at them! I think, for some reason. Harry and the gang come down, and the scene ends, after a peaceful showdown, with Tom walking away and a helicopter flying over his head – marvellous.
Guest Star Watch: Ian McDiarmid played the professor... only Chancellor Palpatine in Star Wars!! Blimey. Great job indeed. Doh, course – new guy Will North, played by Richard Harrington, was Blumenheck the chef in MI High!! Jallal Hartley was in The Shakespeare Code apparently – and is rather a looker.
Hellos and Goodbyes: Tom exits – no! And there’s a new boyfriend of Zoe’s in Will North (hmm, who sticks around until episode 7... I thought Zoe leaves about Episode 5 or so? Maybe later)
Death Count: Two terrorists killed at the end, as special forces protect the family. And also a dog. The terrorists killed a dog!! Must be evil.

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