06 October 2015

Spooks 3.9: Frequently Asked Questions - Micro-Review

A very interesting episode this, and looking very polished (when it wants to be), thanks to great direction. The main star here is Owen Teale as a mercenary, who MI5 want to interrogate...
It’s low budget, but the interrogation is the point – trying to find the target of a terrorist attack (via laser guided missile, which turns out to be lead by an oil company on their rivals). There’s some very, very morally dubious operations (reminding you of Guantanamo and abuse in Iraq etc) with torture and horribly destroying a man’s life. Adam and Danny play the good cop/bad cop roles, but Adam’s been tortured before – and says he’s basically wrote the book – and goes much further than people normally would.

It fits in with Oliver Mace’s comments (and previous in the series) about their methods. Finance, friends and family are used against him – including also sanity depriving siren noises, and making him horribly sick, which is awful to watch. And then they use his sick daughter who needs a transplant. Well handled though, especially as Danny and Fiona (who’s joined the team full time now, as Zoe’s replacement – and spies on an oil company boss) are against it, despite Harry being Harry. And Rupert is stunning.

This main plot fits nicely with Harry getting an interview for the director general job, who ask him about morals and ethics. Ruth is particularly good in this too, and has some sweet moments with Harry as she helps him prepare, aww. But still, a dark episode, as they wonder if they’re going too far with things. Nice subtle sound too, well handled.

Standout Moment: Lots of gut-wrenchers, perhaps the best being when Adam is taunting him with a bottle of water, and Owen Teale grabs it... to which Adam says he’ll regret it in fifteen minutes. “Shit.” “There’ll be a lot of that.” Stylish, funny, tense scene.
Guest Star Watch: Owen Teale – from Doctor Who, Torchwood and a bloody good Welsh classical actor. Mainly he sits looking impassive, but he’s brilliant.
Hellos and Goodbyes: Nobody, though Adam’s wife Fiona sits in the meeting room, hooray!
Death Count: None. Luckily.

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