Welcome to the 7.2 rewatch. Oh where to start! Oh where to end! It’s so hard to keep these things relatively short and concise. Let’s start with one of my favourite lines in 7.2, it came from Malcolm in reference to Adam: “I’m too angry to go home”. Brilliant.
For me this episode was about establishing our two new leads, Ros Myers and Lucas North. Ros of course is not new to the show, but she has taken on a new role as section chief, leaving the mistakes of the past behind her. She’s better and more ruthless than ever.
Due to the time consuming nature of my other commitments, this follow up post to our conservation on 7.1 will be brief. First up, thank you to everyone who has participated in the 7.1 rewatch and offered your thoughts. I hope more lurkers will come out of the woodwork for the next discussion on 7.2 (which will happen on Monday so don’t forget to watch this ep!).
I must also thank the fabulous Teena who sent me a massive file of 7.1 screencaps. I was so excited to receive them, it was better than Christmas morning! As a result I’m posting this cap of Ben JUST BECAUSE I CAN! As much as I dig Lucas, this blog is about Spooks so it’s quite frustrating to try and come up with posts when there are so few screencaps of other characters around (I’m hoping to set up a Spooks screencap gallery soon, more on that shortly).
One benefit I wanted to highlight of doing a rewatch in a collective way, is that it offers the opportunity to help each other understand those minor details that we did not fully comprehend while watching the show on our own (or with other equally bewildered viewers). Something I never quite got my head around in 7.1 was the fight between Lucas and Tranquility. I did not realise that she had taken a ‘poison pill’ of some kind and Lucas was trying to stop her chomping down on it. I realise it’s pretty obvious in hindsight but because I didn’t see Tranquility put anything in her mouth I didn’t make the connection. D’oh! Thanks to your comments it all makes sense now!
Some details that might pass some viewers by are culturally specific. Another commenter, for example, was not familiar with Eaton (the English private boys school) and therefore did not appreciate its reference by Lucas towards Adam. Hopefully we’ll be able to help each other out on these kind of points as the rewatch progresses. I know there’s one scene coming up in either 7.2 or 7.3 that I didn’t get some aspects of. So folks, please don’t be shy about asking for clarifications – there is no such thing as a stupid question on this blog!
Seeing as 7.1 is the episode in which Adam Carter departs and his son Wes is left an orphan, I thought it might be a good time to revisit something his wife Fiona Carter said in a previous series. Was it “selfish” of Adam and Fiona Carter to have a child? Any thoughts?
I hope everyone did their homework and watched 7.1 for today’s class (or at least can delve into their memory banks). Before we get stuck in I must thank Mulubinba and Shaijinx for coming to the rescue with some screencaps. Hopefully I’ll get these technical shenanigans worked out before next week. Even though I’ve seen 7.1 quite a number of times, I had forgotten just how darn good this episode is. There is just so much we could talk about (so forgive me for what I leave out). It’s actually quite a challenge to figure out how to handle these proceedings. Consequently I’ve adopted the Adam Carter method; dive in and see how it crinkles out.
So it begins! Series seven, episode one. The season opener was full of major events. We learn that Jo Portman has survived her ordeal (hooray!), a new character in Lucas North is introduced (hello sailor!), Ros Myers returns (awesome!) and Adam Carter departs (sniff). The opening set up of the British soldier being taken hostage by extremists represents another fine example of the great casting that one finds in Spooks pretty much every week. The non-regular supporting artists haven’t received much credit on this blog so far and I hope to rectify that soon because they are really critical to the success of each episode.
It was quite poignant and impressive to see the soldier refuse to read the propaganda (great dialogue). If anyone has actually flat out refused to do this in real life we would never see footage of it because it would not be in the kidnappers interest to show a stoic and defiant “infidel”.
The arrival of Lucas North is probably one of the best character introductions we’ve seen in Spooks so far. Normally someone is either recruited or casually swans onto the grid from MI-6. With Lucas, an anticipation builds. I love this shot of Harry waiting for his former protege to return. As we learn more about the dynamic between Lucas and Harry as the series progresses, this shot has even more resonance on a second viewing. He looks pensive. What is he thinking about? That he let Lucas down? Is he anxious about the condition he will be in?
I have to say, I did wonder about the fish and chips craving. Obviously this was used to symbolise/signify LN’s time away from England and his longing for a literal taste of home. Have you ever had to endure eating bland food for a long period of time? (In my imagination that is what you’d get fed in a Russian prison!) As much as I love fish and chips, I think I’d be craving a hearty meal of nutritious goodness – with broccoli!
How great is this shot of Malcolm? That is one happy face! Throughout the episode we see Lucas trying to alleviate the sense of unease that others feel towards him; guilt, pity, sympathy. He uses humour to do this, suggesting that this trait may have been what enabled him to survive his incarceration (a discussion that we can leave for another time!). The moment between Lucas and Connie takes on a different meaning when we learn her truth later on; she is the stuff of nightmares!
I love the reference to Tom Quinn from Lucas. For those who aren’t familiar with Spooks from day one, he was the Section D chief before Adam Carter. Harry diplomatically responds that Tom took “early retirement”. Harry tells Lucas that they will talk “properly” later. As it presently stands, I think we are yet to see Lucas and Harry have that conversation. Possibly in season nine?
This is one of my favourite scenes in 7.1. The image of the guy slumped over his meal is brilliant. I like to think that Ros killed the FSB guy with a fork, but it was probably a knife.
What did you think of Arkardy Katchimov? He seemed to bring out Harry’s witty best! I enjoyed their banter. He’s a fine foe for the show.
In hindsight it is a sad moment when Adam and Ros see each other for the last time. I wonder, did this brief moment cost Adam a few precious seconds that, hypothetically, could have given him time to escape the blast? Incidentally, I think the memorial scene would have benefited from having more extras around. It didn’t feel like that many people were there (consequently in my mind they could have been evacuated) and therefore for me the stakes for the bomb going off were not as high as was implied. A minor detail, but my mind is detailed like that! (there was also a slight problem when we see Malcolm “monopolising the system” with the voice recognition software… the same faces were being looped on the computer screen… oops!)
Because I watched season seven in complete ignorance of any press, I had no idea that RPJ / Adam was leaving the show. So it was a genuine shock to see him die (I was still reeling over Zaf!). As much as I enjoy being involved in the online Spooks community, I will miss watching the next series with no knowledge of teasers and rumours.
– Favourite scenes? General impressions? Credible story?
– How did you react to Adam’s demise (when you saw it for the first time)?
– What did you think of how Jo’s story was handled (personally I like that Adam and Jo had a sense of humour, it made it realistic. Plus, if you have any familiarity with the experience of rape survivors, you’ll recognise that Jo’s comment that she felt like she didn’t matter, like nothing matters, rang true).
It’s late, I’m tired. The floor is yours…
P.S – To those of you with blogs, I invite you to write a post on 7.1 if you’re feeling so inclined. Send me the link and I’ll add it to the end of this post or comment with the URL below.
Anyone care to join me for a Spooks season seven rewatch? With season eight due to air in Australia in a few months, I figured it would be a good time to get a rewatch started. The idea is that we watch one episode a week and meet up each Monday for a discussion here on this blog. I’ll get the conversation started with a blog post on the episode and off we go.
The rewatch idea comes from the Spooks Forum who have an ongoing Spooks rewatch thread. When I joined the forum a few months ago I had literally just finished watching seasons one through to seven, so I haven’t joined in the discussion there as I didn’t fancy watching them all over again! I do fancy watching season seven (yet) again because it is by far my favourite series of Spooks. It’s the series that elevated my Spooks fan status to that of fanatic, and drove me to buy the show on DVD for the first time.
The revelation about Connie was the main thing that made me want to watch it again. I was curious to see how she acted throughout the series before we learn the awful truth. And, of course, with Richard Armitage joining the cast and the brilliant Ros Myers taking over section D, season seven can’t be beat in my books!
So, who’ll be joining me? See you here next Monday?