On the day it screened my panic escalated. What if the writers stuff it up? What if they keep clapping Lucas and his booty call together for smooches and smack-up? What if she falls in love and grows a soul! No way, I don't want guilty twinges while plotting her downfall.
I snuck a peak at an RA forum where people were posting live commentaries. The squees rang thick and fast. "It's wonderful, RA is wonderful, gush gush! Oh and by the by, Sarah Caulfield is evil." I've been very calm up to now but YES!!!! I knew it! I was madly two-fisted air punching all over the place, and why shouldn't I, I was RIGHT!
This episode is all about trust and domination. Lucas' primary Russian torture master has found his way to London, contacts his old slave and wants ...something. I'm sure it was important, but I was preoccupied with Lucas' mental journey. The first time Lucas sees his old torturer Oleg again it felt quite ritualistic, re-establishing a wary unhealthy bond; Lucas is ordered to strip and put on a boiler suit before Oleg will appear before him.
Very Francois Truffaut
Seeing Oleg again draws disturbing memories to the surface and we get glimpses of his horrific past. Let's not delve too deeply into topics of perverted intimacy or trauma-bonding from torture. It's a sickening topic that I'd rather repress than dwell on, and it seems Lucas agrees. The producers have decided that to visually enhance the connection between Lucas' past and present, he should be given gulag-star accommodation.
See the misery and exposed pipes of his Russian cell? Cut to present day and Lucas now inhabits in some kind of decrepit warehouse. The kitchen has bars like a prison. Exposed pipes and wires run all around it, and there's a miserable-looking creeping vine.
Oleg in Lucas' kitchen prison feeling right at home
His love nest has horrible exposed pipes, wires, beams. Like so many half-buried memories, sigh.
The face-off relay in his flat made my jaw drop. It's deliciously tense, dramatic and enthralling. Between Lucas and Oleg there is a fragile intimacy and wariness as Lucas struggles to calmly do his job and Oleg dances around giving tidbits of info. When Sarah Caulfield stumbles in, the scene explodes with danger and accusation. The later confrontation between Lucas and Sarah is electrifiying. When she's also shown the door that's my cue to start breathing again. Whew!
Left alone in his flat Lucas revisits a time he gave up hope and confronts the dark part of himself repressed for so long. Rather than depressing I found it bravely cathartic. It was the emotional release needed after the volatile stand-offs. What a marathon performance. This is the sequence where I was too lost in Lucas' inner life to give a damn about plot holes or corny lines.
Or Sarah Caulfield. I have to sheepishly admit now I'm warming to his booty call. She's sneaky and evil, EVIL! Boy if looks could kill, shut up and give us more death-stares. There is some interesting editing at the start where they intercut scenes of Lucas dreaming of Sarah while Oleg escapes from a detention centre. OMG, does this forshadow how Sarah and Lucas' relationship will develop? That Lucas will perpetuate the slave behaviour and always fall for cruel, manipulative women who prefer to be on top? Suddenly Lucas' strip club crawling doesn't seem so unhealthy.
Run Lucas, she's a shover
It's a good thing we've had to wait for this fire-cracker episode; if it had come earlier the rest of the series would be such a let down! I don't look forward to RA going back to being a glorified extra again like he was in ep 3. My standards have changed.
I went to a Spooks forum where I expected to find the long time Lucas-booing fans suddenly sitting up with a newly discovered urge to rewatch Lucas bits over again. I wanted to stand over their stammering wowing and gloat so hard that my head explodes all over their Hairy and Ruth-shipping faces. That'll show them what RA can do. See what happens when you let him flex his powers of brood?!
But no. As I read page after page of "Hairy and Ruth" my disbelief grew and grew. I thought RA fans were blinkered; these people are chronic!! Their minds have filtered out the best performance of the season and upped a 2 minute scene on a park bench to sum up the episode! HELLLOOOOOOOOO??? Did we not ride the same emotional rollercoaster of what's-his-name Lucas? Talk about deflating, gift horse in the bum shot and all that. Maybe he's too good for this show.
Oh well. I wonder if this is how Jonas fans felt about RA's Guylovers on Robin Hood? Is this karmic retribution for scene stealing the heck out of that one? I suppose you can't win over everyone. I now have a new sequence to add to my favourite RA scene list.
- The proposal in North and South
- The necklace blackmail in Robin Hood
- The Lucas/Oleg/Sarah face-off in Spooks 8/4