Sunday, November 8, 2009

Spooks 8 - 1

Num num! The Richard Armitage TV drought is over and we can all do a RArgentinian dream tango if we're in the UK or viewing by other means. I raise my hand with a plea of extenuating circumstances, I need my fix and I need it now.

Not having been a Spooks fan before season 7 much of the pathos is lost on me. In fact, not sure why I'm even writing an entry for it but I can't be the only Armitage junky who jumped on the Spooks spywagon for his national treasure and gratuitous chesticle shots. I wonder if time stood still for the make-up person gazing at a pliant topless Richard, and if that had anything to do with why it took hours and hours.

 Harry has his own 'Look back at me' moment with Lucas

I've tried watching the first series but the look, feel and threats du jour to British safety were a little outdated. After the deep fat fryer and Matthew Macfadyen's underpants I'd seen everything series one could offer, so skipped to series 6 where the first 2 episodes were so engrossing and polished they might deserve their own blog entry. Afterwards it dragged a little between pockets of outrageous action goodness like the 'near bath experience' and the 'most disruptive plane passenger' before my DVD library loan week was up.

Here's a quick tour round the table:

Papa spook: Sir Harry, this guy got a knighthood.
Ardent spooks fans drool when his top shirt button is undone.

Scary spook: Ros the ball breaker.
Ultra aggressive and brash - in a 'put the kettle on' British way of course.

Baby spook: Jo the doe-eyed sweetie.
She's the underused bleeding heart of the team

Techno spook: Malcolm the team's talking encyclopedia

Wonder spook: Adam hogged all the good disaster plots

I can see why the Adam Carter character was so popular but suck it up, there's only space for one heartthrob on The Grid. I would have preferred to sacrifice someone else to bring Lucas on but 3 seasons is the use-by date for any active field grunt and it was Adam's ride home.

Can't objectify RA's character Lucas with a single word, but perhaps...
Suspect spook because MI5 don't know if he can be trusted.
Slutty spook because of those strip clubs. What's with that.
There's gotta be better words, help me out here?

Is Spooks 7/8 for the ardent RA fan? We're too varied for generalisations but maybe one day Nat or Mulubinba will have a poll to rate the show out of 10. I love a good action thriller, but find political thrillers brain-numbingly boring. I'm also too cynical to believe any small group of civil servants could bypass bureaucracy and save the world from danger every week, but it's-just-TV and stop-spoiling-it right? Speaking of spoilers I WILL keep the worst ones out.

Crisis of the week:
Last season Harry got himself kidnapped by the Russians, and in this first episode everyone is scurrying about trying to find him. On the way an ex-MI5 named Ruth gets involved. Even if you aren't an Armitage fan, this episode is worth watching just for her. The character has back story, tension, conflict and real vulnerability. She's suddenly my favourite female Spook character.

 Villain of the week:

 I LOVE this guy's bad guy face. He's got the arched eyebrows, lumpy nose, dark eyes and chiselled cheekbones to pull it off handsomely.

Interesting tidbit:

Right at the start of the episode there are 2 very slick and fast fight scenes. At first I thought Lucas was involved, but it's just someone with a similar nose and prominent profile.

Spooks is a team show but I wish they gave Lucas more screen time. Especially after seeing series 6 where Adam-boy always saves the day. Can't they give Lucas more good plots? Just cos they don't trust him having come back from a Russian gulag; he's not the first double agent. He keeps getting stuck watching naked women dance.

Speaking of stripping, his supposed love interest is introduced here: Sarah Caulfield. I have a baaaaaaaaaad feeling about her. Having her play off Lucas makes it so much more obvious she only has one facial expression. Every time she opens her mouth I cringe at the accent. Please please please get better Sarah.

Here's my episode summary:

 Someone gets shot. Oh well, there's Lucas in a black jacket.

 Oooer, a close-up. Get her head out of the way.

 Someone's held at gunpoint. There's Lucas coming to help.

 The end of an era? Oh look there's Lucas smiling.

It's not just my RAdoration distracting my attention from the plot. I have to watch each episode a few times to understand how all the events fit together, how they work out who betrayed who, who killed who, why they did it, how did they find out where everyone was hiding? It's like a 2 hour Jason Bourne AND James Bond movie crushed and chopped down into one, and a lot of the explanations are too fleeting (for me) to catch first time round. I promise to concentrate harder next episode.


Mulubinba said...

I have to watch the epsiodes a few times too. There is a bit more Lucas in Episode 2 and Sarah's accent becomes a little better, IMO. I absolutely love this show and all the characters in it. I've watched S1 through to S8 - Lucas' journey with The Grid is just beginning. Hopefully we will see a lot more of him in this new series.

endorwitch said...

I dont HAVE to watch the ep a few times to understand whats happening....I have this bizarre ability to take stuff in in one viewing that other people will sit there afterwards going 'but what was up with blah blah blah' and i have to explain. BUT i have watched ep one and 2 more than once...for research purposes of course!!

Avalon said...

Sorry I cant read the review, I am waiting for the UK dvd release but I scrolled through the pics. It will be a hard wait, lol, you are so lucky.

Phylly3 said...

Your reviews are always so entertaining! I had a hard time not laughing at loud, (because I was reading it at work!) shhhhhhhh!!
I have been watching season 7 online, I think I watched 4 episodes this weekend!
It's very good, and also easy to be distracted by Mr. A.
Here is the link to watch all the past episodes:
I saw Season 8 there too!

Nat at RA FanBlog said...

"Someone gets shot. Oh well, there's Lucas in a black jacket."


Hilarious... I love it. You speak for so many of us, but have a wonderful way with words. :)

bZirk said...

LOL! That line really does sum up my watching. Oh, wait, I'm caught up in the political intrigue of course. Okay, where was I, oh yeah, scrumptious spook.

florence said...

you are hilarious!!! i love how you smurf-named them all! =)

Traxy said...

You summed up Spooks very well, and hilariously too! How about Lucas being "Sexy Spook"? :D I mean, he's is definitely completely drool-worthy. He just had a scene with Sarah that made me melt a bit. Just the look he had... squeee! (It's about half an hour into episode 2.) I need to re-watch this episode when I'm not on the computer. Too distracted to follow the plot. :/