Thursday, April 14, 2011

MI-5 - Season 9

This recently popped up on Netflix' instant watch service, which is as far as I know the only way it's currently available in the United States. These eight episodes aired as the ninth series of Spooks on the BBC last Fall, and I'm pretty sure this is easily the quickest the show has ever been brought over here. Maybe being on Netflix has helped the series gain a bit of popularity, which has done well enough in its home country, but never caught on much here when they tried. It's still a solid series after nine years, though the speculation that the tenth series might be the final one isn't exactly bumming me out. I've seen 80 episodes at this point, and they've rarely if ever been bad, but after a certain point you've done so many different stories that continuing doesn't have the same excitement anymore. This ninth series tackled the one obvious spy story type that they hadn't really done yet, and it did it well enough that I've now seen pretty much everything I could have wanted to see out of a British spy show.

It might be a bit of a spoiler, but that story type is of the agent going rogue. They've had supporting characters betray the others before, but this is the first time they've really had a central figure end up playing the antagonist role in a significant storyline. Usually in these kinds of plots the spy going rogue is still the good guy, working against a system that's doing the wrong thing, but I liked how this time they pretty much just have them betraying their country for essentially selfish reasons. They were coerced into the betrayal, sure, but in a way that wouldn't have happened if they hadn't turned out to have a pretty sordid back story. The plot didn't totally work because it sort of seemed to ignore the entire previous season's development of the character's past and love life to serve its own purpose, but it still ended up being an exciting and somewhat heart wrenching tale. The rest of the season was fine as well, not exactly unique in the show's run but good enough as far as twisty plots and solid action. The reintroduction of the tension between Harry and Ruth was well handled also, and I find myself wondering if they can manage to get through the possibly final tenth season without one of them ending up like pretty much every other main character in the show's history. You know, dead.

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