Saturday, January 2, 2010

Spooks 8 - 8 Finale

I know what you’re thinking.

 I’m thinking the same thing: Lucas/Ros/Home Secretary love triangle. Forbidden lust between a Spooks section chief and the politician she’s sworn to protect. Only one colleague knows of it but harbours his own foolish passion, he keeps a yellow Rose in his pocket. This fanfic’s begging to be written. Who’s with me...

Lucas whips out a leatherman

So that's the wrap, no more Richard Armitage as Lucas North for nigh a year. The whole episode felt really condensed from the rush to get dialogue out; after Ros and Lucas get to the hotel things really crackled but I was left wanted more. This can’t be it! I missed half of it from the shaky cam. Despite the ominous foreshadowing the writers haven’t taken the Nightingale thread anywhere very revealing. I’ve been gunning for Sarah Caulfield’s death since they met at the morgue and nothing short of public execution would do.

Sarah: I'm not really american. I'm not even a real blond! 
Lucas: What next, that's not your real hair?

The build-up to a finale should feel like the need to pee. It should grow stronger and stronger before that desperately glorious moment of relief, thus ending the series. You can hold back a little info to make a cliff hanger, but We the Viewers deserve a satisfying end to one or two plot threads; we didn’t even get to see Sarah Caulfield die! Instead of a loud popping death it snuck away behind our backs, and Lucas was all misplaced torment visited by the ghost of ep6. 

How cute are they?

I think Nat had something of a premonition when she chose a picture of Ros and Lucas for her caption contest. Both are so driven, she gives orders and he follows. Those two are so compatible I thought the writers gave them too much dialogue. No need for words, they understand each other completely. Jokes and small talk can stay though.

 Has anyone tried Vietnamese civet poo coffee? (You knew sooner or later I’d resort to toilet humour) After asking a relative about this stuff I was told that Crappajoe costs 10 times a normal cup due to labour costs. The civet is a picky eater so it eats only the best beans, its digestive acids and enzymes do good things. 

How cute are THEY?

HS = Home Secretary = flirty gerty. I love him all needy and vulnerable around authority figures. Fondly stroking his tie when she’s around, he’s perfect for Ros. "He was actually quite relaxed without Harry there. I found him strangely..." What was next before Lucas cut in? “Sensual”? When she was dragging him along the hotel carpet I wished she’d been injured earlier to make their thwarted escape more believable. She can slam a man twice her size, why can’t she drag this guy? 

Friends of Little Guy 

I like the dilemma they created with the bomb. They’ve upped the likeability on HS and Ros for a super nerve-wracking climax, but also I wanted the bomb to go off faster to rid the world of that awful caricature tied to a chair. Ros can walk away from her lie the victor because he’s not only a traitor but sexually repugnant as well.

 Does anyone else think less of Lucas after the mess of Sarah? It’s a shame that this relationship has killed his credibility and good comebacks. (“Back off, Ros”) Instead of delivering punch lines he's become one! The path to unlikeable is paved with viewer revolt. I mentally mutiny when he even THINKS about Sarah. Do you think Richard’s powers of superbrood worked against him here?  Now I know how the Robin Hood fans felt as they saw their fave characters given up to plotlines so ridiculous week by week.

Lucas can't believe it's over

This source  confirms Spooks 9. Next time I want Lucas to learn from his mistakes. Hopefully he’ll spend the whole series fighting off the advances of a new Spooks recruit because he's been burnt before. Either that or no love interest at all - I've run dry on evil analogies. As for the other Spooks I hope Harry doesn’t stand around getting ignored again. Give him a Sugarhorse or something. Oh, and by some miracle, Ros and HS survive the blast and head for the beaches of Barbados. Or Bolivia, you choose.


Avalon said...

It is really hard for me to scroll through, only looking at the Spooks pics, and not being able to read your review! So far I have stuck to my vow that I am not going to cheat and wait for the DVD....But thanks for posting these because it gives me something to look forward to.

Mulubinba said...

A fanfic about a Ros/Lucas/HS triad? Yes please... a pity I don't write fics.

Ragtag, no I didn't think the relationship between Lucas and Sarah affected his credibility much at all. (Although, like you, I did mutiny every time he started to gravitate towards her). Tom Quinn and Adam Carter had embarrassing relationships too - it seems to be a fact of life for the alpha male on The Grid. I wonder if James Bond's credibility suffered when he was double crossed by "Vesper Lynd" in Casino Royale? (it's an excuse to show the spy without shirt thing ... or less clothing, if the name is Bond or Adam Carter ... with a little vulnerability thrown in for good measure).

I agree with the person on a Spooks forum who stated that in S9 they would like to see a little more of Lucas' eidetic memory and the type of spy he was rumoured to be prior to his capture in Russia.
As for the "superbrood factor", I'm not so sure - i'd like to not see RA brooding at all for a change. My wish isn't going to be granted from what I have learned about the next two projects he will do. I think he is being typecast.

As for the plotlines, people often imagine a character acting in a certain way - they then get disappointed when that character hasn't been written in the way they imagined. I'm finding this a very strong fact with Robin Hood - there is a difference between the way Guy was written and the way the fans desperately wanted him to be and act. By the same token, many fans of Robin were extremely disappointed. I guess we are at the mercy of the writers. I also wonder if we, as fans, don't have too high expectations. I'm noticing this over at C19 where every sentence RA utters is analysed and talked about. No script can hold up under that sort of scrutiny unless it is Shakespeare. perhaps.

Starheart said...

Avalon I admire your discipline. I'd have given up on the first episode.

Hey Mulubinba, maybe it's the likeability of the love interest. Vesper had reasons to cross Bond, and it made her situation more shaded and sympathetic. (BTW I really liked that whole remake except for the beach scene) Thus his credibility was intact. In SC I hardly saw anything appealing/real so when Lucas acts like theirs is an affair to remember I just want to hurl something at the tv. If someone bugged my flat and murdered their boss I wouldn't act crushed if they pulled a gun on me. His denial is worse than Guy's (about the Nightwatchman's voluptuous curves) because everyone else sees through her except him.

I do have 'guy and thornton tinted' glasses when I see RA, it's a by-product of having watched those shows over and over. Interesting new characters breath new life into a drama but it's also Writing 101 that the character stays IN character, or changes according plot twists, and this is something I think you've found is missing from some of the RH episodes too.

I think we HAVE seen the spy he was rumoured to be before his capture. He got caught didn't he? He's often reckless when he thinks he knows better than Harry. If in the next series they turn him superspy then this would still be ok because Ros is gone and someone needs to fill that uncompromising 'get it done' role in the team. I'm not sure how i feel about them turning him into a full time Polymath with eidactic memory. That'd remind me of Law and Order Criminal intent which never really had much suspense because that genius guy knew EVERYTHING and his partner never had anything to do.

YES i'd love to see him in something lighter more like VOD!!!!! Wouldn't it be great to see those pearly whites more often instead of the thunderface? I think every established actor gets typecast to some degree, it's a sign they're coming into the mainstream. I'll take the bad with the good. About Charlie i don't know much about his character there. THere could be some lightheartedness despite the war themes. Heavy moralistic war movies have been done before and i hope Mike doesn't recreate that gloom and death.

Go the Rom Com!! (OMG i can't believe i said that)

Starheart said...

Mulubinba, i forgot to add 1 more thing. Preparing for this finale review i rewatched series 7 and was amazed at how good it was! I didn't mind it first time round but was still a spooks newbie and wasn't on the right wavelength to appreciate it.

bZirk said...

Episode 7 reminded me of the early Spooks episodes, which I loved.

I haven't been crazy about Spooks the last few years, and I still don't like it as much as the first few years, but obviously there are things I like about it. :D

As for the Lucas' character, I HATED the thing (for lack of a better word) with Sarah. Not because she was a baaad girl, but because it just wasn't believable. So I agree wholeheartedly with wanting to hurl something at the tv when there was this pain over "an affair to remember." Give me a break. It didn't work. I'm not sure exactly why yet. I tend to think it was due to the actress and due to the pacing of the relationship. But hey, RA could have had something to do with it too. That brooding just didn't seem to work in this series. Oh, maybe a little.

Maybe he's still trying to play this character like a period character and the writers and directors have typecast him a bit. I don't know, but something needs to change.

Maria Grazia said...

I've always liked Spooks since the first series and the fact that RA "landed at MI5 section D" just added fuel to my interest in it. I usually tend not to analyze what I see and hear too much while watching something . I tend to concentrate, get involved and, afterwards, I analyze my reactions. So I'm not very good at "noticing", I have to re-watch and ... several times. In this case, I must admit I liked series 7 more than 8, I just found the scenes with Sarah were "fake", not involving, rather awkward and even unbearable sometimes. While I had been touched by the relationship Elizabeta/Lucas. There I could perceive tension, emotion. I also tend to justify the situation blaming the casting of the improbable sexy blond agent , her improbable way of speaking and acting, but there must be some other fault somewhere... the writers? Maybe. I still go on wondering, knowing she couldn't save the HS, was it worth to die with him? I mean, would a Ros in reality decide to stay and die? What for? I know it is not easy to find spectacular ways out for leading roles but Adam Carter HAD his heroic final blast. Was Ros actually heroic or only crazy?

Ricrar said...

Give me a moment please:)...I'm still enjoying the afterglow of your poetic words..."a buildup to a finale should feel like the need to pee." LOL...eloquence thy name is ragtag.

Thx for the first good laugh of 2010:)

As for Lucas/Sarah/Ros relationships. I'm going to give my forthright opinion - believe it's a matter of your nationality. I found Lucas' deep love for Sarah a bit puzzling but very RA-like. And despite the fact hubby seemed to find her no-nonsense approach to baddies rather endearing, it's impossible for me to envision her & LN in a steamy love affair.

Your supposition about a Ros/Lucas/HS threesome did trigger the thought that possibly she actually survived the blast and will return for Spooks9? Has Hermione moved unto another project or is it possible the rumors about her demise could be false?

Anyone else notice the new HS's strong resemblance to Tony Blair?

Ricrar said...

Oops, need to clarify that hubby found Ros' no-nonsense style endering, not Sarah's. Obviously I didn't proofread before posting...that's always a mistake:)

Meg said...

Looks like I'll have to find a way to watch this--is it available in the USA on DVD?

Starheart said...

@ Meg thanks for dropping by, Richard is in Spooks series 7...actually it's called MI-5 series 7 there. Amazon says it's available soon.

What i'm reviewing is Spooks 8 that's just been on tv in england so it'll be some DVD delay, let me know and i'll send you a link to watch online.

@ RiCrAr, I can't imagine Lucas and Ros in a steamy relationship but I CAN imagine Lucas pining away unrequited for her. I prefer that. :)
I'm glad you appreciate my toilet humour.

@ Maria, it never occurred to me that Ros might give up on the HS. I thought about alternate ways she could have pulled him faster, like by the legs is MUCH easier (I used my partner as guinea pig since the weight difference is similar)

@ Bzirk this Lucas/Sarah post mortem could continue indefinately. I asked my partner what he thought (the only person i know who watched it objectively) and he said he didn't like her much. I made him quantify out of 10 if 1 is hate, 10 is love, 5 is neutral, he's a 4. We are probably guilty of overanalysing something the writers didn't put much thought into. Initially i wanted to make this finale review one big megarant about Lucas/Sarah but that wouldn't be so balanced, so i saved it for the comments :)

bZirk said...

@Meg, I LOVE your blog! :D

I'm in the states, and I watch spooks via a tv streaming site here:

If you watch season 7 and have time contraints with megavideo because you're not a member, email me at bzirkblog@gmail, for some help.

Oh, and I've been buying the series to salve my conscience. :D

@Maria, extremely interesting. I also never thought of her leaving the HS. Now my mind is considering all sorts of possibilities. Wonder if all that thinking burns calories.

@Ragtag, Oh, we are so guilty of over analyzing, but hey, it's fun and fat free.

Starheart said...

RiCrAr I don't know what to believe about Hermione Norris leaving Spooks. I don't want her gone but it's what they've been saying all along.

In my mind I like to picture her retrieving her severed leg while keeping the HS entertained with one-liners about how it's been a blast knowing him.

mulubinba said...

I'd love Ros to survive as I'm not sure what the Grid is going to be like if she goes. I see the points you're making about Lucas and I seem to remember feeling like throwing something at Tom and Adam when they made poor love interest choices too. I hope Lucas gets over it ... and quickly!

As for overanalyzing, I'm a major offender given my all out battle to understand Guy and why he is like-able. (I fear I am weakening too!).

Do we know if there if definitely going to be a series 9? I wonder if it will be the last as sadly, I think Spooks is getting tired.

Starheart said...

bZirk I'll be getting the DVD too, in the hope that there will be special features like Deleted Scenes that reveal what else they filmed for Ruth and also Lucas, maybe some commentary explaining some of the directions they took.

Mulubinba, it's confirmed on the BBC site I linked to, but not on the main Spooks site...not that i know of anyway. I want Spooks to continue for as long as Lucas North is in it! The plot may get tired if they keep catching the same train of action but i heard they're changing locations. It might signal a change in mood too.

Perhaps because i've only watched a few seasons i don't feel the tiredness like you. I REALLY loved episodes 4, 6. If there was more like them, i'd watch them RA or not.

I liked 1, 8 and I thought the rest were ok except 3 which was too light on Lucas.

Ricrar said...

As far as Ros, thought I'd read somewhere that she had definitely moved on to another project. Since Spooks is only 8eps it's possible she could fit both into her work schedule. RA said the last scene was a cliffhanger as far as who survived, but we saw Lucas outside the building - possibly series 9 will begin showing Ros managed to exit in time as well?

Now for the really crucial question about Sarah:) Did anyone else feel the black hair complimented her facial features far better than as a blonde? She looked really pretty as a brunette.

Starheart said...

RiCrAr Any discussion of Ros maybe surviving is totally getting aired out here. If RA can do it why can't SHE? I don't know how many seasons she's been on it, perhaps she's reached saturation? I think the max is 4 years.

I actually have no problems with her physical appearance. She's a noice looking actress except when her Dark Roots extend. Get thee to a pharmacy!

Phylly3 said...

First I have to say Ragtag, I love that you photoshopped Little Guy into the picture of the 2 stiffs! LOL
I was so excited watching this episode that I had to stop it at one point to try and calm down! Probably when there was only 2 minutes left and Ros was still arguing with the rotten CIA agent. Yes, shades of Adam Carter! Is it poetic justice that she meets her death from a bomb because of her chatting up Adam while a bomb was ticking and was therefore partly responsible for his death last season? Is this why she said she "didn't fear death" or whatever, because she thought she deserved it? Especially after shooting Jo, it's no wonder if she she thinks she deserves to die.
That said, I still hope she survives!! And also the HS because I agree Ragtag, that sparks were flying! I couldn't understand why she couldn't seem to budge him either!
As for Sarah...yay! she's gone and no one should miss, not even Lucas. He'd better not be pining for her next season! I think that because they filmed season 8 out of sequence, the actors weren't sure how to play some of the key scenes. That could be the fault of the writing, because yes, the dialogue was pretty terse, but I would blame the Directing! It's the director that should tell the actors how much feeling they should put into their lines, they shouldn't have to guess! What, were the writers making stuff up on the fly? Why would they be so disorganized!? Although I didn't like Sarah's character or accent, I think she could have done a much better job with better direction. (I agree there must be some lost scenes).
Why did they only do 8 episodes? I feel short-changed!!
@RiCrAR Sarah definitely looked better as a brunette (which is probably a more natural shade for her. Most people do look better with their own hair colour -- or close to it.) Hence "she of the dark roots"! LOL I love your expressions Ragtag!
I am going to buy the Season 7 DVD soon and rewatch it, hopefully with my husband.

Starheart said...

Hey Phylly3 I'm glad you liked the pic of Lil' Guy and his Homies.
It's hard to accept that Ros is gone, can explosives penetrate that thick carapace? Until next series my wishful thinking can live on.
If Lucas pines for her next season I don't mind as long as there are no flashbacks.
Alright, I don't mind flashbacks as long as there's no audible dialogue.

Nat at RA FanBlog said...

Although I liked the finale in general, the series as a whole was a bit tainted for me by the Lucas/Sarah thing.
I just thought of a weird Spooks triangle... the guy who plays Home Secretary was also the creepy cousin in "Persuasion" which starred Rupert Penry-Jones, who was also in Spooks. Did anyone get that or do I just sound crazy?
Anyway- I'm going to miss Ros. I really warmed up to her in the last few episodes. Bummer.

Starheart said...

Nat, I've been looking for that version of Persuasion since watching Spooks7 ep1 last year. Not easy to get here. Is it any good?

Phylly3 said...

Ragtag, check out Maria's blog at Flying High for a great discussion of all the versions of Persuasion, also Charleybrown's Enchanted Serenity of Period Films has a post on that. I think Avalon had a post about it too on Robin Hood, Narnia, Native Actors and Period Films. You could also see it on Youtube! Personally I didn't think it was as good as the older version but RP-J is great eye candy.
Nat, I didn't recognize the HS as anybody in particular, but his face was familiar to me.
Has anyone seen that fanvideo that has RPJ from Persuasion and RA from North & South where they seem like they are in the same movie, and having a star-crossed romance with each other? Very strange indeed!

Starheart said...

RPJ/RA fanvid? I'll check that out FIRST.

Nat at RA FanBlog said...

I think the 1st version of "Persuasion" is better, but the newer version has better looking people. :) The RPJ version is definitely worth watching though! He's hot. And yes, the Home Secretary guy plays Ann's cousin. (Why are the weirdo cousins always proposing marriage to the heroines in Jane Austen novels?)

Ricrar said...

The video you mentioned sounds as though the creator might be one of those slash fans described at my blog a couple days ago. I'd never heard of them before - very strange. RA's fan base must be a patchwork quilt of unusual groups and then US....straight women who can't resist a good-looking guy with a fantastic voice and apparently a lovely person to boot. *sigh*