03 October 2015

Spooks 3.6: Persephone - Micro-Review


A very different, landmark episode of Spooks. A Zoe episode – the Zoe episode, and Keeley Hawes is stunning in her very last episode.

She doesn’t die – and it’s not necessarily a shock either. Instead, it’s Spooks does courtroom drama (quite unique), and told very cleverly. The case is told in flashbacks through the trial, so we know what has happened for most of it, but it’s still gripping. (And it’s nothing to do with the photos – something I misremembered, or rather misunderstood!)

The mission is first told from the enemy’s point of view as he gives a testimony, then what Zoe tells the trial – Zoe befriends a member of the Turkish mafia in order to find more about his boss. It feels very gritty and dangerous as she’s in too deep – but then we see the MI5 backup and that most of it is planned! (Particularly the faked roulette wheel in the casino, and Sam playing a Polish receptionist for Zoe to have a go at!)

In the end, Zoe prompts her new enemy cocaine addicted (which we see, surprisingly) boyfriend into killing his boss – and as she later tells Danny, they had advised her that the boss was dangerous and with Al Qaeda links. There’s a particularly uncomfortable sequence where the boss tells Zoe how good 9/11 was, and her cover is almost blown.

But an undercover policeman dies in the process, prompting the – very political – trial. She gets found guilty (quite rightly from a public point of view, even though MI5 do this sort of thing all the time, and that it was in the interest of national security. But they get cross and issue her with a new identity rather than her serving ten years in prison – quite rightly and realistically, as they has been assured she would have got off. So she leaves the service, unwillingly.

And that’s probably the most ham fisted, overly linear account of the episode – it’s far better than that, honest. Superb drama, and tragic.

Standout Moment: The ending, where Danny finally says goodbye to Zoe, forever. And he loves her. And it’s done so well – a very good episode all round really.
Guest Star Watch: Prosecution was in The Shadow Line, Defence was Danny Llewellyn in The Christmas Invasion. And the judge was Ian McNeice – ha! Uniquely perhaps, James Laurenson appears in Series 6 as a different character.
Hellos and Goodbyes: Zoe leaves. The photographer boyfriend shows up again... and also next week!
Death Count: Three in the tragic boss killing scene – we see most of them too I think.

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