Giddy up! It’s the last episode in season seven and the last rewatch post in this series (Today is also the 5th month anniversary of the Spooks Fan Blog – hold your applause for the six months celebrations in 30 days time!). I’m super excited about this rewatch post because I freaking LOVE this episode. I’m not normally inclined to rewatch individual episodes on their own, I usually watch them while rewatching a whole season (like now) but on occasion I do pull out 7.8 to watch because its so damn good!
There is a big star in 7.8 that I want to mention from the outset. Who is it? Harry? Connie? Lucas? No! The star of 7.8 is not an individual character, it’s the music. The soundtrack to this episode is incredibly effective at creating the tension and drama that this high stakes story needs. If we’re honest, a portable nuclear suitcase bomb in London sounds kinda silly on paper, but the Spooks team realised this story brilliantly, making it realistic and, amazingly, quite believable (much more so than the plague mimicking virus in season six, I thought). To my mind the music in 7.8 was the most pivotal element to making it work.
There were more moments in this ep than usual where there was no dialogue, just action. Its in these sequences that music is incredibly important to conveying the mood or emotional intent of a scene. This was especially the case for the Russian sleeper, who does not speak at all. The pulsating rhythm that accompanied him when ever he was on screen instilled the gravity of the situation and the dread of what was to come.
Deciding where not to use music is as important as where to use it. Music can be effective at heightening the drama, but in some scenes the tension is sufficiently created without the aid of music or with silence itself. A clear example of that in this episode is the shoot out scene outside the safe house, which has no music.
Rarely does the music in Spooks impose itself in an obvious way, which makes the sequence leading up to when Lucas North takes out ‘the runner’ quite unique in the context of this show. Here, the music is placed at the forefront and is deliberately much louder than it normally is in other action sequences. Because this is rarely done its adds an extra dollop of excitement.
As I’ve mentioned previously, I love how much of Spooks is often filmed on the streets of London. It adds to the realism of the show and assists greatly in making the viewer buy the fantastic story lines. This was particularly the case in this episode.
Anyone notice these two blokes about 39 mins in, as the Russian sleeper emerges from the tube, these two guys are ahead of him, singing! They always make be laugh.
I want to take a moment to mention Lucas in this episode, to provide some background and context to the current speculation that he might be a Russian double agent. Lucas seems more affected by Tiresias and Connie’s betrayal than the others in the team. As he hands out documents pertaining to Tiresias at the beginning of the ep, he raises his arm to his head, implying a sign of (dis)stress. His dialogue in the same scene conveys a contempt for the FSB. His disdain for Connie is also clear, as is his loyalty to his country. Lucas has sacrificed more than most for maintaining that loyalty, so he feels the threat to London’s safety and security more acutely. If Lucas is an FSB agent – this was all an act, and a pretty convincing one at that.
During the exchange between Ros and Connie, Connie claims that she and Ros “think the same” – you need to have seen Ros in seasons five and six to appreciate the relevance of this comment, especially S6. Ros does share Connie’s contempt for American domination, but not her methods… although there are similarities. Ros has been involved in questionable activities in the past but she is consistent in her core values.
Despite her tough and cold exterior she is sensitive and compassionate to others – the scene when she and Lucas emerge from the underground after the bomb detonates highlighted this for me. I’ve been watching the season five repeats on the ABC (Australia) while rewatching S7 over these past two months, and it’s been interesting to notice the differences and similarities between S5 Ros and S7 Ros.
A favourite scene, Harry taking out an FSB agent. You can really do that with a tie? I must keep one handy on my late night walks. Harry is usually bound to the grid or meeting whomever in the vast corridors of power – so it’s always a perverse joy to see in him the field killing the enemy!
Click here for an animated gif of Lucas being cornered by the kill squad (found via Tumblr!) – this is another favourite sequence. The moment we catch a glimpse of Lucas, from the perspective for the kill squad, heading up the escalators the suspense sky rockets. I remember watching this for the first time being on the edge of my seat hoping Lucas/RArmitage would last more than one season!
Well, that’s it from me. Too many favourite scenes and moments to mention. 7.8 is Spooks perfection! Is it possible to choose one favourite moment from this ep? What’s yours?
ps. Apologies for the typos and poor grammar… it’s 2am and I’m too tired to tidy this up!