0 6 mins 12 yrs

I love the penultimate episode of Spooks. It is fast and action packed and has amazing lines from the Home Secretary, and my wish is finally granted (after 3 weeks of moaning): some serious Harry-and-Ruth, who take centre stage! Sasha (Tom Weston-Jones) questions Harry (Peter Firth) about his former relationship with his mother Elena (Alice Krige). Harry pleads that he didn’t abandon Elena when he failed to extract her from Russia, but was threatened by Jim Coaver and forced to leave her behind with Ilya. Harry tells him he will deal with Coaver.

With Jim Coaver about to leave on a plane at any minute, Harry decides the only course of action is for him and the team to kidnap the CIA Deputy Director without any sanction from above, thereby making himself a rogue officer. Ruth (Nicola Walker) has now taken up her position working for the Home Secretary William Towers (Simon Russell Beale). Sensing all is not well she pulls rank on Calum to find out what’s going on. Fearing Harry is still in love with Elena she has no choice but to tell the Home Secretary what she knows. Coaver reveals that both the UK and US are in trouble as the CIA assassin from last week is in fact a private contractor who requested the meeting. Coaver is killed by mercenaries posing as the CIA. He is thrown from a moving van and in his dying moments he helps his old friend by telling him he needs to retrieve his laptop, as that will tell him what he needs to know.

Desperate and now facing deportation over the death of Jim, Harry is left with no choice but to turn to Ruth to help him retrieve the laptop from the American Embassy. We finally get a talk of feelings as Harry admits that he doesn’t love Elena but feels guilty about what happened and especially about Sasha. He tells her he plans to leave the service and confesses “we both know it’s time” but he needs her help one more time to get the laptop. I was relieved he finally told Ruth how he feels, although he should have done it a lot earlier, to save her jealousy.

Ruth in the field does what she does best, and shows what a born spook she is, by retrieving the laptop during a visit with the Home Secretary to the Embassy. Simon Russell Beale really has been great this series with line after petulant line; it’s added a great comic element to the series. His great lines this episode included, “Some American foetus just said they’d get medieval on my backside. Whatever that means.” And I loved Ruth passing him his pills. After retrieving the laptop Ruth has a crisis of conscience where she asks Harry if she is like Elena “and just another asset,” which of course we know she’s not. Harry replies with “This is the man who proposed to you at a funeral, Ruth”; in other words his timing is bad but his feelings don’t lie. Before Ruth can get the laptop to Harry, Sasha takes the laptop and discovers what we the audience know, that Harry is his father and not Ilya Gavrik. Anyone thinking Star Wars?

Calum, Erin and Dimitri discover that one of the mercenaries was the former bodyguard of Ilya Gavrik. Just as a bomb goes off by the HS’s car, he escapes – just! A visit to Harry’s house from Ilya reveals that Elena was interrogated as a Western spy and his love for Elena is so strong he got her released. Ilya says he has no interest in the Russia/UK deal so I’m confused as to what his motive for being in the UK really is! During his whole speech to Harry about his family (not forgetting the tortoise), we see a look of pure loneliness in Harry. Ilya shows him what the cost of being a spy really has been: loneliness!

With the CIA waiting for Harry we have the heartbreak moment of the episode, on the beach by the Thames. Mirroring the goodbye kiss when Ruth left 5 series ago, Harry kisses her goodbye and she pleads “This can’t be the end” to which he replies “let’s pretend it isn’t”. Poor Harry is in the custody of the CIA with a complimentary punch thrown in. I think we shall all “pretend it isn’t”. I loved it and can’t wait for next week’s episode, the last ever of Spooks. If it’s half as good as this episode, it’s going to be amazing!