Lockdown TV Review: Spooks Series 2

Now this is more like it, Series 2 of Spooks settles into the classic feel that works so well

“This ridiculous James Bondery…do we need it?”

With this second season, Spooks really gets into its stride I think, recognising that it is an ensemble show at heart (and a rolling ensemble at that, although it’s a shame new recruit Sam doesn’t get more to do) and nailing the variation in tone and style of episodes which largely remain self-contained. Also, Nicola Walker finally arrives as Ruth, which is good news for the audience, Harry and the nation.

Topics-wise, we touch on hacker kids, Irish republicanism, Islamic radicalisation and Anglo-American relations among others. But it is ‘I Spy Apocalypse’, written by Howard Brenton and brilliantly directed by Justin Chadwick with a smothering sense of claustrophobia that really gets the pulse racing as a fire drill for a terrorist incident gets very dark very quickly – it’s possibly one of the best ever episodes of Spooks.

Nicola Walker-ometer
Praise the Lord – analyst Ruth Evershed finally arrives in Episode 2 in all her long cardigans and flowing skirts and though initially viewed with suspicion coming from GCHQ as she does, she soon wins over the team with her knowledge of Greek mythology, Russian crucifixion practices and much more besides.

Top 5 guest spots
1 Benedict Cumberbatch pops up briefly as a mole in the MOD 
2 Natasha Little stands out as the doctor who is extraordinarily horny for Tom (and who can blame her)
3 Sophie Okonedo Chancellor’s stone-faced political counsel 
4 A fresh-faced Leo Bill makes an impact as a troubled Army Corporal
5 Alexander Siddig‘s heroic Algerian agent making the ultimate sacrifice

Saddest death
Sophie Lombard’s Mariela Hernandez suffers a particularly brutal demise in Episode 9, made all the more sad by the amount of strong character work as Zoe and Tom insinuate their way into her life to get to her cartel boss lover

Most WTF moment
That final shot really is a doozy but Tom’s brief inadvertent foray into being a rent boy wins the day for me

BIggest betrayal
No choice but to give this to Harry, Danny and Zoe for turning on Tom the way they do

MVP
It has to be Esther Hall’s Ellie, for knowing exactly when to get the hell out of Dodge ,after the genuinely terrifying bomb scare

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