Saturday, December 12, 2009

Spooks 8 - 6 Lucas/Sarah

Part 2: Lucas/Sarah

(Spoilers - This is the continuation of an earlier post)

Their climactic scene in her apartment was so thrilling some of my mind blew away from the shockwave, but there was a distracting nasal voice in my head muttering "Lucas is looking more supersap than superspy". The tug of war between boo and yay was driving me bipolar, and when I get like this there's only one thing for it: a session with Nugget the shrink in my head.

How do you feel about Lucas after this episode?

I've been through a whole daisychain of reactions to Lucas. After watching the climax my broken heart jumped so high up I had to swallowed it back down again. After I took a few deep calming breaths, I then thought 'What a needy lovesick idiot'! Which became 'Maybe I'm overreacting'. After all, he's not Mr Thornton or Guy anymore, and I should stop expecting such things from Spooks. But as blown away as I was by Richard Armitage kneeling and pleading, Lucas' reactions felt a little off.

I miss her shellfish breath *Mope*

A needy lovesick idiot? What makes you think that?

He's supposed to be buffer than Bourne. His memory backs up every glance for later weaseling, and he's got that MacGuyver thing going where he can make booby traps out of any old junk. Lucas knows what her dark roots did to Walker but despite the last episode when those dooming brooders promised some serious backlash, he's done nothing about it. How can he be spooky when his human judgement is so poor? Whenever she says 'Honey' I feel like I'm being slapped in the face. Ughh, that stuff can't be unsaid. It reminds me of my friend who's dating someone so wrong for her. We have long talks where she tells me their latest disaster, but she always forgives him, makes excuses for him, and even if she's miserable she can't let go.

 His face of thunder foretold a big confrontation smack down.
Didn't deliver.

Actually it reminds me of what happened when you were -

Let's stick to Lucas ok?

Alright, are Lucas and 'She' in love?

No I don't think so, but the storyline thinks they are. It started out as a sex game then somewhere along it's decided to become a tragic love story. He knows she's a murderous harpy, and he's still surprised when she pulls a gun on him. "No, not you!" he said. As if she were Darth Vadar saying "Lucas, I am..." He may wish the bug in her handbag was a figment of his rose petal dream, and that she thought Walker wanted help bungy jumping but wishing doesn't make the noodles. Then just before she was going to pull the trigger he whispers "Take me with you" as if nothing should stand in the way of their love. It felt a bit Whitney Houston.

What if he was just playing her by saying that, so she'd not kill him?

I'd love to think that, but I'm still reeling from the old Kevin Kostner imagery. After she leaves and before the team Harry sent got there, Lucas just sits there moping. At best, it's not moping but him replaying the scene over in his mind thinking 'I'm such an ass'. Either way, he didn't try to stop her getting away.

So they're not in love. Yet the scene was still heartbreaking, but you mock most of his poignant lines. 

Yeah, it's totally possible! On its own it's beautiful and heart pounding; Richard does a spectacular job with what he's given. The scene just doesn't fit in with everything that led up to it, so as long as you quarantine it in your mind you can still enjoy it. I can mock HER lines too, not just his. She tells him at gunpoint "You deserve more than this, you really do". You don't say! Christmas has come early, and here's my list: A more consistently written relationship, or at least a better edited one. A better edit of her American accent or at least a more consistent one. Better wardrobe would be nice. I think he's had the same shirt on since Malcolm left. In an earlier scene she says "This is bad, Lucas!" and I burst out laughing. Now that's a line with great replay value.

Indeed! On so many levels.

I think you're overreacting. You've built up Richard Armitage to be this hunkalicious loverboy and anything less than Thorton thud just doesn't cut it. When will you just accept that Spooks is an action-packed spy thriller not a period drama? 

Nugget, you're not helping! Lucas has let me down because in the earlier episodes he showed lots of promise. He was strong enough to get one over Oleg his old torturer, but with Sarah he's regressing. How many lightbulbs does it take for Lucas to see he's being screwed? In the same episode even Ros managed a deep and meaningful meanwhile he's moping around falling behind.

It's not my unrealistic expectations. Ok, I'll admit I get a LITTLE worked up about small things, but there's gotta be something wrong first before I pounce. No their affair didn't convince me but I'm such a big Richard Armitage fan that I can mentally cut out the scene in her flat and paste it into the storyboard I've made up in my mind where things work out how I'd like. Up until this episode they'd done a good job painting her as the sneaky evil we love to hate. That climax would have worked better if she hadn't been torn pink about killing him, and played it with an icy cold stranger voice instead. That would have fit in with the prior lack of relationship cred. Alternatively, they could have built her up to be more sympathetic and tragic earlier on so that we'd understand why Lucas has gone operatic about her. There's a moment in her flat where they had that chance:

Sarah: What I am doing is so far undercover I woulda killed him if he was snow white. Nobody can know what i'm doing.
Lucas: And me?
Sarah: What do you think, Honey?

She says this last line from the other side of the room. It would have been more poignant if at this point she walks over and hugs him, saying that line really tenderly like 'how could you doubt my feelings about our tragic shellfish love'. Instead, it sounds like the reply to "Should I get the low-fat cheese?"

 I think your ass is spreading. Low fat it is.

But if it was anyone else playing Lucas you wouldn't have cared if the relationship was lost in space.

Yes and no. I'd still be unconvinced but I wouldn't blog about it, and my mind wouldn't have played musical chairs with all the reasons it did or didn't work. The character Lucas has a very interesting back story, so I'd find him interesting no matter who played him. This scene would have tanked in the hands of lesser actors. It's got problems, but still shocked and awed.

Maybe they'll show her redeeming qualities later?
Perhaps. There's still a chance she'll end up saving the day by sacrificing herself Connie-style, but I'd rather bomb-strapped Ros and Sarah hug for an explosive finale. In my mental storyboard, she'd whisper "Take me with you". Ros would say "Hold on tight".


Ricrar said...

Hi Ragtag, sorry it took me this long to discover your blog:) I've been so immersed in trying to learn the various functions at my own blog that it had not entered my mind to check whether or not you had your own. And indeed you do have a fascinating blog with an interesting analysis of the Lucas/Sarah relationship. Can't waiting until tonight's ep...will he regain some emotional composure and assist the rest of the Spooks team as they pursue the Nightingale Group?

bZirk said...

Okay, on the shallow side. If she were super hot, this would all be believable. Not amount of acting on RA's part can make her more appealing. There I said it.

Sarah Hilary said...

According to the subtitles on BBC iPlayer, she shot herself at the end of the episode. Now I think the subtitles made a mistake - what do you think? Excellent review, as always. With some good writing this might - MIGHT - have worked as a relationship but giving Lucas lines like, "Oh god not you! Please not you!" to utter was an insult to his mouth never mind his intelligence. Bah.

bZirk said...

If it had been paced correctly, even that line would have been fine. But as it was, it was pretty lame. I just got a queasy feeling from the whole scene.

Starheart said...

Sarah H, yeah i think so too. I think it's a door slam. I watched it with my partner and he thought she offed herself too. I wish.
Thanks for the comments!

RiCrAr, me too looking forward to it. But i have to wait an extra day. *Mope* I'm glad you like my blog so far, thanks for swinging by. I'm new to it all as well, and am too impatient to play around too much with the settings. Last time i did that I accidentally posted something i hadn't finished, and deleted something never to be found again.

bZirk, super hot like who? The first faces that pop to mind are rachel weisz or monica belluci for the looks department. Hmm, the one that played lady marian seemed to pull it off against guy.

Phylly3 said...

So right again Ragtag! The writing was very poor for this whole relationship thingy, but especially THIS episode. I totally agree that RA did an incredible job with such silly dialogue. And I couldn't figure out why she was all of a sudden so caring about him. It's like she was trying to step it up a notch to match him!
Plus I totally thought she offed herself, and that's why he was so broken up at the end, but I was wondering, where's the body?
It would make some sense, because she knew they were on to her so where could she go, if both sides were after her? And he wanted to go with her? Really?? THAT part was astounding! That's when I thought, maybe he is a double agent, and even further undercover! Please NO!!
I don't like him this needy either, but only because she doesn't deserve it, at least according to anything we saw on camera.
Great review!

Starheart said...

Phylly3 actually I also thought maybe that scene was the most likely time he could have been turned into a double agent. I remember watching an interview he did just before this series started where he mentioned there was a point where he personally decided that Lucas could have turned.
Yeah at this point we haven't seen her do anything to deserve it, and the viewer is always right! Perhaps they'll release some deleted scenes on the dvd where it'll show this rich layered backstory: Lucas and Sarah, a tragic love saga nipped in the bud by nightingale. :P

Nat at RA FanBlog said...

You know I'm a huge RA fan, but I enjoyed the Ros/Baisley scenes in this episode better than the Lucas scenes due to the fact that Sarah had something to do with them. (Whether she was being mentioned or there in person.) Seeing Lucas act this way over such a dislikeable character made me want to slap him! (And then hug him better.)

Mulubinba said...

I'm not going to draw a comparison to the certain other female betrayer to an RA character I could name. The final scene was him, the one in black leather, all over again, yet why do RA fans not see it, I ask myself? An RA character falls for the two faced woman who is happy to lead him on .... now where have I heard all that before???

I enjoyed this episode although like Nat above, I felt like slapping Lucas for falling for Sarah's tricks. I confess, i asked myself if she could be fighting for the goodies and not the baddies - all will hopefully be revealed in Episode 8. Perhaps she will return to Lucas ... or maybe she will turn him???

BTW: Just watched Episode 7 and Lucas is everything we want hime to be - tough, heroic - a true Jason Bourne-type.

Starheart said...

Nat, I'm with you: *SLAP* Oh sorry! Here, let me rub that ugly red welt better. ; )

Mulubinba, I can see where you're coming from (I alluded to a parallel ending to their relationship in my ep5 review) but I also see why it isn't mentioned much. I think other fans mentally Cannot reconcile the fact that Lucas is in love with her. Thus negating any comparison to Marian because it's not a believable relationship in the first place. It's far eclipsed by the Ick factor. Firstly, every feeling revolts! Secondly, most people mention her accent - distracting because prevents you becoming absorbed in the storyline. I think it rubs the US people more than the Aussies, or maybe it's because my second viewing is always on mute it's easier to disregard.

I've been wondering about how it will all end for her too. She's done too much bad stuff to be redeemable in the spooks storylines i think, but then again who knows with this show! As a long time fan you'd know better than me. I can't see her returning next series as a recurring character, especially considering the negative reaction from fans... not just the RA ones. Wouldn't it be nice if she could do a 'Rebecca DeMornay from the 3 musketeers' redeeming death scene? Hmm, i've rambled.

bZirk said...

This is Nuggest speaking in my alter-ego (a hazard of the profession from too much role playing, ahem).

You're almost there. But do you think this relationship can be reconciled without her having much more screen time? Can you live with that? Oh,I hate to be unprofessional, but I can barely listen to anything about her now. If this continues, you may have to get another therapist.

Starheart said...

Bzirk/Nugget I have a storyboard idea where she loses her voice and can no longer stun us with the great technicolour accent. Oh drat i just mentioned her again. Somehow i don't see Spooks reconciling her relationship with Lucas through texting.

Sarah: I kill u now, take off shirt 4 1 last look
Lucas: No plz, no kill. I <3 u :(
Sarah: I <3 u 2, BFFs 4eva? : )
Lucas: K LOL XOX

Phylly3 said...


bZirk said...

Sarah: I kill u now, take off shirt 4 1 last look
Lucas: No plz, no kill. I <3 u :(
Sarah: I <3 u 2, BFFs 4eva? : )
Lucas: K LOL XOX

Lucas: wb k?
Lucas: srsly wb!
Lucas: wth?!
Lucas: No!! I <3.......

Starheart said...

Lucas: My <3 wll go on
Lucas: H8 U 4eva
Lucas: CU @Claridges?
Sarah: I kill u L8r
Lucas: ok ill brng shellfish

bZirk said...


Oh, if I really could laugh my ass off.

mulubinba said...

Great text speak but I am showing my age! I had to look up a few things in the urban Dictionary ..... maybe I am more Harry and Ruth's vintage....

bZirk said...

Oh, we're probably the same age, but my two college girls and my high school aged son keep me up to speed on some of this shtuff. Frankly, I don't like txt speak, but I do like texting for informational purposes, i.e., where r u? u have school 2morrow. Need 2 get home @ decent hour! Let me know!

Starheart said...

I had to google some of bZirk's text speak! But had a go of guessing "wb" anyway. 'wb' = welcome back? walk by? whereby? My phone has pretty good predictive spelling so i rely on that.

bZirk said...

wb = write back

mulubinba said...

I thought it was welcome back but I see it has two meanings.

Nat at RA FanBlog said...

Ragtag, you're right- Sarah's accent does bother Americans more because we know how awful it really is! People who aren't used to speaking/hearing how Americans talk on a daily basis still know something is off, but can probably shrug it off better than those of us from the US. It would be like me doing my Steve Irwin impression for a bunch of Australians. I might get a laugh out of Bzirk or Avalon (even Phylly from Canada), but you and Mulubinba would be shaking your heads in disappointment at my horrible attmept. :)
I always admire those who can pull off great accents- like Russell Crowe (Australian) did a wonderful New England accent in "Cinderella Man," Heath Ledger sounded just like a Wyoming boy in "Brokeback Mountain" (I've only seen clips of that movie) and he was Australian. Wait a mintue... I'm seeing a pattern here! Maybe they should hire an AUSTRALIAN to play the next American on Spooks!
(Okay, I'll stop now.)

Starheart said...

Nat I admire them too. Especially if they're an american who can do an australian accent. I mostly mean from real life since not many aussie characters on US tv. A previous job of mine was for an american company with an aussie branch and the US employees coming to visit would sometimes repeat our words...british-ishly.
If only they'd gotten Genevieve an accent coach or something. Though that 'Caahnt'/'Caayynt' scene from Singing in the Rain just flashed through my mind.

bZirk said...

Frankly, I feel bad for Genevieve O'Reilly. She's done a good job. It is truly a shame that she did not have the help she needed to conquer the accent. In fact, I wonder how the director could have let that slip past.

Starheart said...

Agreed Bzirk. I feel bad for her too, it'd be hard not to take the backlash personally. I make a point of watching every episode with her in it twice, the second time on MUTE so i can focus on her performance, and considering what she's given to work with, it's still good.

bZirk said...

I'll try watching it on mute -- the second time. :D

As for the super hot comment I made, I've been rethinking that. Performances are so affected by very small things that the accent being resolved might have made all the difference. Because that makes me do such a stutter step when I hear it, it's hard to stay in the flow of a scene. I've noticed that the scene I'm thinking of doesn't bother me nearly as much when I've watched it in fan videos (with their mouths only moving and no sound but music).

Nat at RA FanBlog said...

You can look at it two ways...
If Sarah is supposed to be a villian, then G'OR has done a good job because we're meant to dislike her character. I think this is the case.
If we're meant to be attached to Sarah in some way (like Lucas) then G'OR has done a poor job because I don't know anyone who's a big fan of Sarah.
If G'OR would've had some help with the accent, I bet I would've liked her character a bit more. Like someone else mentioned, I was too distracted by Sarah's weird talking to judge GO'R's performance as a whole. So I start to think I'm unfair, but then remember an actor's voice is a HUGE part of their performance! Remember Kevin Costner in "Prince of Thieves?" Everyone else in the movie had a British accent, and then there he is... star of the show, speaking in his every-day American voice! It prevents us from being sucked into their world.
Another thought occurred to me: I bet the director and crew members thought G'OR was doing a good job on the accent and didn't even think to correct/help her. Why would they think differently, unless they (or someone they know and speak to often)are Americans?
Okay, I'll stop. I'm not anti-GO'R, just anti-Sarah/Lucas and bad accents. :)

bZirk said...

Well, a couple of things are going on. The pacing for their relationship just seems off. It's just not believable, and I don't think it's their acting. I guess I was grasping at straws about someone being super hot. I'm not sure that would have made it believable either.

As for GO'R (yeah, that is much easier to type :D), I'm not anti her at all. Frankly, I could care less. I just HATE the accent. It really is a stumbling block for me.

Yep, the cast/crew/director or whoever else was standing around must have been clueless. That's the only good explanation.

Starheart said...

I don't think their relationship has been well written either, but editing might have played a big part. Wouldn't be surprised if the DVD came out and the deleted scenes showed some of Lucas and Sarah that 'fill in the blanks' of our understanding. Or maybe it's my wishful thinking.

I've read somewhere that Spooks doesn't really write relationships well. This and the Ros/Adam affair would be good examples of that. It doesn't look like they THEMSELVES know what to make of it. Agreed Nat that you have to pick an approach eg "I have decided team evil" but then episode 6 came along and we got lines that belonged anywhere but here. So it didn't help that they changed the plea in the middle of the trial - so to speak.

You have to guess at what's happening in the background because there's mixed messages on screen.

Starheart said...

Yet another speculation about her accent: Maybe when they were filming it didn't sound so bad to everyone? Cos you've got lighting, make up, microphone, line prompters, all those people standing around on a set with so many distractinos.
But after it was put together the penny dropped. I'm grasping at straws here.

I mention this because i don't think anything's amiss when i speak but if i tape myself speaking I want to hit 'delete' immediately.

bZirk said...

From what I've read about Spooks' lightening rounds of editing, the relationship could very well be an editing blunder. Yeah, I know blunder is a strong word, but c'mon, we've got to totally buy into this in a short time. You would think after eight years they would have learned how to write and edit relationships -- even the combustible kind that don't last long. Heck, especially that kind given the premise of the show.

You may have a point about the set distractions, but isn't this their business? As for not wanting to hear your own voice, I'll bet 98% of the population feels the same about their voices. I know I do about mine.

Okay, bark off the tree. I've had plenty of time to bat this around in my head -- as well as with all of you. :D Even with the sound muted, I'm not too thrilled with Genevieve O'Reilly's portrayal because quite simply I'm having a really hard time believing in her character. Yep, she's just not believable in this role as an alluring baddie who provoked such a visceral reaction from Lucas and now may be conflicted over it. She's more the English Rose who sneaks up on you. Or maybe Genevieve just needs to watch Robin Hood to get a lesson on how to play a really appealing baddie in conflict? :D

But frankly, the more I think of it, the more I think she's just miscast. She's just not right for this part because she's not pulling off the American demeanor, the accent or being a siren.

I hope all of this doesn't make me anti Genevieve O'Reilly. I have nothing against her personally. I would certainly watch her in something else, and I am watching her in something else. Currently watching The State Within, and she's good in this. I'm only in one episode, but I like it, and I started watching it because she's in it.

Starheart said...

Guess they don't know how to write an American, and she doesn't know how to talk like one.

The funny thing is that i'm so curious about GO'R now. I saw her for half a second near the end of the second matrix movie and was jumping up and down yelling "IT'S SARAH CAULFIELD!!!!!" Like how you're watching The State Within i watched the rest that matrix thing just in case it was a speaking part. It wasn't.

bZirk said...

"Guess they don't know how to write an American, and she doesn't know how to talk like one."

Yeah, that's the net of it.

I'm going to watch Cyber Wars next. :D

Anonymous said...

I thought this was an interesting comment from Hermione Norris in Ian Wylie's blog...

"At a round table interview with Hermione in September, she revealed that it had been particularly difficult for the cast this year.

Hermione Norris: Is that the script?
“Because we shot episode one and two, then about episode seven, then episode four, then episode five, eight…it was all over the show.

“Obviously they’re very complicated stories that are changing all of the time.

“So the first script you receive at read through doesn’t bear any resemblance to what you’re saying on the floor or what you see in the cut.

“It’s working very immediately.

“For example, the last scene of this series I was handed on the floor a few minutes before turnover. So to try and work out where you’ve come from, where you’re going, who’s involved…often we have to stop."

I think there are lots of additional scenes shot that don't make the final edit and sometimes what they do use can be unintentionally ambigiuous - I am thinking of the door slam that could have been a gun at the end of episode 6 (and by episode 7 in the "previously" bit was re edited to take away the ambiguity) and also at the end of episode 5 when Lucas calls Ros - I "saw" him behind glass and took him to be out on the balcony or fire escape when making the call but to a lot of people he came across as a rubbish spy because he appeared to be calling from two feet away within earshot of Sarah.

Maybe it will all make sense in retrospect after episode 8 - here's hoping for a Ros/Sarah smackdown of epic proportions.

Love your blog. thanks x

Starheart said...

Izzicat that is an interesting quote. Last minute changes and shooting episodes from everywhere, and that this is all different to what they're used to.

If i transplanted those lines into my workplace I would interpret such a comment to mean that planning and organisation was poorer than usual. The timeline disruptions meant that everyone downstream was negatively affected. Thinking back to that Lucas/Sarah ep6 the actors may have been as confused as we were. Having it filmed out of order making it more difficult to gauge the appropriate level of heartburn to inject.

bZirk said...

That's the article I was thinking of when I made my comments above.

Even though lots of shows are filmed out of order, how nerve wracking would it be to work with so many last minute changes in addition?! I'm sure Sarah's voice was the last of their worries.

Nat at RA FanBlog said...

I want a girl fight between Ros & Sarah! *Imagining Ros tossing Sarah around the room by her hair.* However, it might not end the way we want it to because we all know Ros isn't returning next season. I just hope Sarah isn't returning either. (Sorry, G'OR... I'm sure you're good in other stuff.) Maybe they'll both die in crossfire? Maybe Sarah will kill Ros and then Lucas must avenge her death? The finale better be awesome!

Starheart said...

OMG if Sarah kills Ros I'd totally chuck an apoplectic! What an annoying way to go. Ros' fury would create a swirling vortex of indignation that would destroy everything in its path.

I hope Ros dies either
1. Taking out a team of terrorists
2. Saving the pakistani and indian politicians

bZirk said...

I think I voted somewhere that Spooks will keep Sarah into the 9th series. If nothing else, people will come back the next year just to see if she gets it, and if she kills Ros, that would totally bring people back to root against her.

Starheart said...

Wow bZirk you're hard core!

I never thought there was any wiggle room left in counting people rooting against Sarah. As much as it'd make my blood boil, an ambiguous ending for her char would leave people guessing and talking for sure!

judith madore said...

Dear Nat,
Actually, I suggest that Canadians are the best bet for other accents. Because we don't have an accent. Everyone else has (giggle).