Sunday, November 28, 2010

MI-5 - Season 3

Well, I was hoping that MI-5 would raise the stakes after two mostly predictable (but still good) seasons, and boy did it ever. There was a bit of turnover from season one to two, but what we have here is a massive cast overhaul over the course of the season. All three of what I'd call the main characters leave the show for various reasons by the end, and while it's a bit obvious how their niches in the ensemble are getting replaced by other actors, it was still an impressive showing that the stories in this show are more important than the comfort of seeing the same faces every week. There are still a couple guys who appeared in season one left, but they've definitely established at this point that no one is safe.

And it's not just characters leaving, the stories this season were really damn good as well, several easily among the best in the series. The cliffhanger had much more immediacy than last time, and the whole first episode was dedicated to resolving one of the better schemes the show has cooked up. It also had two outstanding, emotionally powerful episodes back to back dealing with Danny's struggles to commit his first assassination and the political fallout for Zoe of an undercover operation that goes wrong. This is definitely not the typical glamorous pop culture spy life getting depicted here, things get dirty and they're hard on everyone involved. Even more typical missions seemed to have more weight than before, with complex character drama woven in to make the guest stars more than just a recognizable face. I mean, I haven't even been watching the show for that long, but I definitely have more confidence in it making good use of appearances by guys like Gollum and Palpatine going forward than most others. And while the season didn't end with a cliffhanger like the first two times, that's actually a good thing, because the episode itself didn't need it and was again a pretty damn great hour of drama and action. I like this series a lot.

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