Worth rewatching: Spooks final episode

Worth rewatching: Spooks final episode


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It’s been a rather lacklustre series of Spooks. Having lost Lucas North at the end of the last series, along with every other major character except for Harry and Ruth over the previous one, there was no compelling new figure for us to focus on. So the series was about Harry, but, the thing is, we think we know Harry Pierce and his semi-tortured conscience. And so it drifted on — right until the final episode, which is quite possibly the best episode they ever made.

In case you haven’t seen it yet, I won’t give the ending away, but I will say that the first 30 seconds contained a bigger surprise than all of the endings of the previous two series put together. I really, really had not seen that one coming, and, after ten years of watching (off and on), I really felt that time had been called on those kinds of surprises.

However, that’s just where it started. By the end of the episode almost everything we thought we had learned in the series so far had been challenged and quite possibly overturned. In the mean time, MI5 finally gets the drop on the CIA (good for them — after an unnamed marine assaulted a pinioned Harry at the end of the previous episode we were desperate for something like that), we get a superb spin on the ‘terrorists attack London’ motif which — one would have thought — had largely burnt itself out since 2001 when Spooks started, and — for once and once only, despite the obligatory loss of a main character — we get a happy ending.

There is more plot in that one episode than in several three-parters Spooks has had before. I was left wondering whether perhaps they had not saved a little bit too much for the final episode. Certainly it was a riveting bit of TV, and it definitely wasn’t crowded, but if they had pushed some of the details back earlier in the series we could have done without that Islamic suicide bomber episode which was nowhere near as good as earlier ventures into that territory, and perhaps not played so long on the build up.
Perhaps this is just gilding the lilly, wanting to have my cake and eat it, and various other tropes and clichés that can be applied.
It was a brilliant episode, and really makes me want to watch all ten years worth over again. Which, to be absolutely frank, none of the other episodes in the series so far did.
Oh, and, by the way, we get to see Tom Quinn again.

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