Lockdown TV Review: Spooks Series 10

Spooks comes to an end with a shortened series 10 which, while not perfect, is effective in many ways

“Wait Harry, this can’t be the end”

And so after a decade, it comes to an end. Series 10 of Spooks, a shortened order of six episodes, sees the writers flip from the Lucas North show to the Harry Pearce show. This naturally makes more sense, with Harry being the head of Section D after all, but I’m not 100% sure that it completely works as it goes against the ensemble ethos of the show at its best.

The argument here is that Harry is the heart of the show and given the jib of his recent decision-making at this point, you have to wonder if this is all that wise. Given all that transpires, the final scene of the show hardly inspires confidence. That said, the memorial is a beautiful touch and Lara Pulver’s new chief Erin Watts proved a strong addition to Thames House.

Nicola Walker-ometer
A tough one this, Walker rises brilliantly to the challenge of essentially co-leading the series as a result of the Harry focus. But her treatment in the final moments of the series can’t help but feel a little unnecessary, essentially cheapened by her reduction to nothing but an adjunct to Harry. She only gets killed because of the personal connection rather than a heroic act of Queen and country she deserved (if she had to die at all).

Top 5 guest spots
1 We only get a snippet of Josette Simon‘s head of the inqury into Harry’s fuckwittery but it’s a good’un 
2 In this series, it is Lydia Leonard who gets the archetypal role of the normal person whose life is ruined by their interaction with the secret service and she nail it
3 Asif Khan‘s Ashur is another moving portrayal of someone trying to do the right thing, in a world determined not to forgive him
4 Andrew Byron has made a career of playing Russians (and written a play about trying to undo the stereotypes) – his smooth-headed assassin is undoubtedly a powerful presence in the final episode
5 And this last one has to be redacted, though the clues are elsewhere on this page – of course he returns!

Saddest death
Despite this whole Spooks rewatch being predicated on Nicola Walker, the saddest Series 10 death actually belongs to Shazad Latif’s Tariq, a cruel demise for a kindly character who was a rare success in terms of additions to the team in its last few years. 

Most WTF moment
Over the condensed storytelling of these six episodes, I don’t think Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent put much of a foot wrong in terms of what-the-fuckery (possibly cos they got it out of their system in Series 9…). 

BIggest betrayal
Alice Krige‘s Elena gets this one with a titanic late reveal, although at this point, it is just further proof that Harry really isn’t very good at his job at all and Spooks has long been far too forgiving of him.

MVP
Of course it is Nicola Walker‘s Ruth Evershead. Who else would draw me back to watching all 10 series of Spooks?!

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