02 October 2015

Spooks 3.5: Love and Death - Micro-Review


Standalone emotional episode this one – two main plots, and it’s very much a Danny episode (again).
He and Zoe go onboard a cruise ship in order to track a nasty scientist trying to sell plague weaponry to North Korea. Not much is said on the man himself – it’s very much from their perspective – and it quickly turns out that they will have to have him killed (orders from above). Zoe feels seasick, so it’s up to Danny to deliver the lethal injection.

The other plot strand concerns Ruth, who’s fallen in love with someone she’s listening to, and decides to stalk him – sitting next to him at lunch, then going to the same Mozart singing group (with Malcolm!) and talking. It’s sweet, and obvious they have some nervous chemistry, but she’s shy and doesn’t feel comfortable entering the world of relationships again. It’s not as silly or unlikely as it sounds.

There’s a nice moment when both plots come to a climax – cue famous Mozart music being sung just as Danny has to kill the man. This sequence differs from when we first saw it, in a rare dream/nightmare sequence – in reality, it’s a difficult choice, and we definitely buy in his reaction at the end of the episode when, as Adam tells him, he feels sick and horrible.

This series seems to be much darker, and definitely ‘putting the characters through the ringer’. Zoe goes from happily engaged to horribly miserable when Danny says that her boyfriend must have told his brother that she was a spy (not totally conclusive proof, that – which is added bitter irony). It seems none of them can hold a relationship (another theme to the episode), and next episode it appears to go from bad to worse for her... Oh and Colin can fire a gun perfectly, ha!

Standout Moment: Contrasting Mozart choir with assassination. (Lovely direction in this episode, mostly set in a confined cruise ship too, cleverly in international waters and without the spies’ holding the blame)
Guest Star Watch: Debra Gillett, who plays a minor role at the start, was in The Idiot’s Lantern! (and she looks like Lesley Sharp a bit) And Barnaby Kay, who Ruth stalks, is married to her in real life – awwww! (And they have a son called Harry, double awwww!) Dermot Crowley played the target, he was in Luther.
Hellos and Goodbyes: Nobody.
Death Count: The assassinated guy – off-screen, but near enough surely, as we see Danny about to do it... No body though. So half.

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