Spoilers for Spooks Series 2 and 3 as well as Series 9.
Spooks 9 has ended and left me dissatisfied with the completion of the series and certainly with the completion of Lucas North. A part of me wanted to blame RA. Even though I am fervently biased in Richard Armitage’s favor, I said I’m honest, and I am honest, so I had to honestly look at his performance to see if it passed muster. That is a hard admission, but I’ve been pretty much telling you how I feel, albeit mostly couched in jests, so here I am again being as candid as I am able but without much humor today. His performance was fine in the context of the show, but I have a hard time saying it was great or should garner him a BAFTA. The melodramatic tone of it was a little hard to bear. Then again, I’m not sure what the BAFTA committee judges a great performance.
What I do know is the character’s turning was awkward and supported by a plot so thin it could be used to strain tea. There just wasn’t enough of the story developed to make it plausible for this character, and it left an icky feeling which made me want to cast off Spooks. Almost needless to say I’ve been very disappointed in the writers and believe they are a great part of the reason that RA’s performance is not great. I say almost needless, because, well, I have a great need to say that.
These thoughts as well as a host of others, of which I won’t bore you with all of them, have made this overwhelmingly familiar. Yeah, I’ve been here before, and for the last two series I’ve been fighting off the feeling that I’ve been sort of reliving another story. In very late 2006 a friend of mine had the first few series of Spooks, and she encouraged me to watch them with the comment, “the guy who played Darcy is in this, and you’ll like it.” Well, I did like it until I got to the Series 2 finale, and then Tom Quinn was no more, and his send off was an awkward piece of writing that left me with so many questions and being disgusted at the plot so shakily contrived to bring him down. I was so disgusted I thought I wouldn’t watch anymore.
Last week I had a great rant ready with my disgust of these last couple of series and was about to post it, but I caught sight of a comment that this was the best send off since Tom Quinn. I’m not sure yet about “the best,” but it was definitely similar in its feel and quite a few particulars. In fact, here are the similarities to Tom’s demise from my memory:
A woman who’s a love interest is at the crux
A person from the past comes back to haunt him
A student from university is involved
Some co-workers not trusting him
Harry chastising the co-workers for not trusting him and then doing an about face and having them hunt him down
A threat occurs to his love interest
Love interest is somehow co-opted by authorities to try to catch him
He threatens Harry
He’s in such despair at what’s happened that he kills himself at the end — or does he?
Harry hangs in the balance
And I wonder how many similarities there may actually be. Since I haven’t watched those shows in a while, it might be interesting to watch again and find out. At the least, the ones I remember have me more convinced than ever that Lucas doesn’t die. For those of you familiar with early episodes of Spooks, you know why I’m saying this. If you’re a novice at this Spooks watching, and I would deem a novice someone who has only watched the last three series, then you need to know that the story is never over no matter how it looks. Of course there are differences in Tom’s and Lucas’ stories, but at this point it’s a little hard to believe the writers would lift that much from Tom’s story, whether consciously or subconsciously, and not have lifted the final resolution.
Mostly I simply forgot this is a tv show where a character’s story arc can never eclipse the show itself. The show is only about the experience of an episode, and enough of those strung together can make for a thrilling ride of a series, which hopefully, will become addictive and increase ratings. Isn’t the thrill of a roller coaster the ride itself and never the ending? It certainly seems to be about things rushing at you, pricking your senses, and when it’s over, you are anxious to go again or relieved it’s done.
For those who were interested in my rant, it was a good one. LOL! I just don’t have the heart to post it. This is about as negative as I’m willing to go. Maybe I’ll gut it up and post all that crap later. Hopefully, not.
In the meantime, how about something to lift your spirits:
Photo courtesy of mokulen on LJ.