I’m not kidding when I say spoilers. Please take me at my word.
My thoughts as of Wednesday, 11/03:
With respect to Lucas North’s story, the plot of Series 9 has been completely predictable. Almost nothing has been surprising, and unless I’m stupid, that’s the crux of this story — the unexpected unraveling of the web of who he is. Each week I work myself up for a thrilling show, but sadly, I’ve been underwhelmed by the revelations about Lucas. Not one cell in my body was shocked by Lucas/John being a sort of bad guy, and I’m surprised at anyone who was not expecting this. I keep waiting for something really interesting, and yet if it comes, it’s not going to be a big surprise because I’m expecting it! And why is that? Because of the blasted spoilers. We already knew he wasn’t going to be who we thought he was. If that knowledge hadn’t been telegraphed, and then repetitively tapped out for us like a drumbeat by the BBC, I might be jumping at every new revelation and barely able to wait for the finale. As it is, I’m just waiting to see if the ending stops short of being lame. Wow. Is that what Spooks has come to?
Perhaps significant spoilers have always been a big part of Spooks. I don’t know because I watched the first seven series without reading or seeing any promotional coverage. Oh, some things were predictable, but then I cared enough about the characters that it didn’t bother me. But this series has been a lumbering elephant to get to the point already made — Lucas isn’t who he says he is. Yeah, yeah, now what?
Then added to all of that is minutiae that seem designed to do nothing more than make this story look complex, and yet much as I try to make it so, the information looks like simple plot devices to create tension that the surprise of Lucas not being Lucas would have done without all this mess. I can almost hear the writers in a room saying, “Perhaps we can construct this to confuse them?” And yet they confused themselves I think since the character development is all over the place with the plot going in several different directions and yet it really means nothing? Which would be great if the revealed truth were more interesting than what the scattered pieces possibly portend. For instance the whole thing about Blake. Where did that go? What does that mean? Was that supposed to go somewhere? Or was it just something they came up with on the fly and didn’t know how to really pursue? My gut says it was the latter. Yet the possibilities about Blake were so fascinating that I actually broke down and read the biography by Peter Ackroyd. If I had nothing else to do, then that might be fine, but I had to work that into the other 430 things I do on a given day. No, I had no gun to my head to do that, but in hindsight I could have been doing something else, and maybe next time I will be. It just seems the pistol hung on the wall by the writers, or in this case the painting, is going to mean very little or nothing and the big reveal doesn’t mean much either. But I hope I’m wrong and there really is something which the writers take down and use to blow me away.
And my gut feelings about the love interest were right. It was unnecessary — at least so far. It looks like more of the minutiae, and it’s pretty much boring and sometimes downright irritating. Maya has zero personality. She’s almost atonal when she speaks and certainly not inspiring of Lucas (yeah, he’s going to remain Lucas in my mind) doing a 180. Frankly, if she had been blown to hell last episode, then we might see some justification for Lucas going off the deep end. As it is, the more I see of her, the less inspiring she’s becoming. Apart from Lucas looking at his laptop and that first kiss, this relationship is becoming more nothing as it progresses, and damn! we didn’t even get the kitchen table scene. That was a spoiler I could have lived with!
So far, my secret desire has become Lucas really being a bad guy. I mean yank the mask off of him to expose something really ugly at the end. If he’s bad, then chuck the half-hearted attempts at the conflicted officer for someone who really is evil through and through and just boggles our mind. Say something smacking of Keyser Söze? That might actually be interesting and might be easier to pull off for the writers than a conflicted character, and unless the writers are under a rock somewhere, the use of Bateman as the last name was not random. Manchurian Candidate did flit through my mind and apparently crossed the minds of some others in cyberworld, but maybe we should be thinking American Psycho instead. Oh, it’s not believable with the development of Lucas’ character in the other two series and even with some of the episodes in this series? When did that start mattering again?
Further thoughts as of Monday morning, 11/08:
Oh shit! I’ve seen the rooftop spoiler. Stumbled onto it, and yes, I watched it. I was mad at myself when I realized what I was watching. But what difference does it make now? It’s exactly what I thought was going to happen. I cringed. The caged animal routine? Is that all the writers had? This is so obvious it’s pitiful. Well, that and maybe Lucas will fall backwards off the roof or shoot himself, and we won’t know if he’s really dead until next season ’cause Harry’s not going anywhere, my friends. I hope this clip is misleading! But as I watched, I thought that these people at the BBC really don’t want any surprises do they? Haven’t had any so far. I so hope I’m wrong. If I’m not, then what the heck are these spoilers about? I really don’t get why they would sabotage their own show.
Question for the writers: if the character development has to be somewhat obliterated each series, can we at least have a thrilling plot? Maybe you need to shoot the people in the PR department.
Post script: I was not going to post this out of fear of offending some fans, but the spoiler pushed me over the edge. I’ve been so good about staying away from spoilers, but I watched that one, and I’m mad as hell at myself. It severely eroded my hopes of a great twist. I was so hoping to get on this ride or at least get doped up somehow to enjoy it.
I’m still a rabid Richard Armitage fan, but this shows sucks, my friends. Of course that’s my not so humble opinion. :D But give me a chance to redeem myself with a piece on why I don’t think this show worked for RA. LOL!
And I’m serious when I say I want to be wrong. I would be happy to fall over in a faint at a killer ending.
Note: need a new tag, “rant.”
Screencap is mine.