The end! The finale! The last ever outing for the BBC’s Spooks, the spy show that dared to ask: Is there anything we can’t get away with, as long as we do it with conviction, shouting and a reasonable budget?
For years, the sky was the limit for Spooks and their made-up intrigue, but now it’s finally over. Can they provide a conclusion that lives up to the last decade of nonsensical espionage and character slaughter?
Duck And Cower
They’ve been building a plotline all year involving Harry’s secret history with a Russian minister’s family, with the normal Spooks pattern of quintuple crosses and conspiracies within conspiracies, so there are plenty of chances for drama at the very end.
The tension has built well enough, but I found myself wishing for more scale and heart-stopping drama in the finale. Having all of our heroes locked in a bunker whilst the action happens in brief cutaways feels like budget cuts taking hold. They made good use of the locked rooms and claustrophobia a few times, but still.
For example, although I’d hate to wish earlier cancellation on them, concluding the whole series with last year’s Lucas North betrayal arc would’ve brought a lot more into play. Obviously, you’d need to rejig it to provide finality to other stories like the Harry/Ruth mess, but it was a more exciting storyline.
The End Of The End
Which brings us, inevitably, to the real ending. Proper terrifying spoilers lurk below, so last chance to turn back.
And… that was a bummer wasn’t it? I’m not even a huge fan of the Ruth/Harry coupling, but still thoroughly depressing. Not to mention the cameo from an old character, which was a nice touch, but also nailed home the central moral: no-one ever escapes from the horror. (Especially since that guy was written out of the show due to an attack of conscience, yet is now doing Harry’s dirty work.)
It did provide a final, meaningful ending to their stories of the year, I’m just left with a nagging feeling it could’ve done more. Peter Firth gives Harry presence as always, he definitely sold the misery, but we didn’t really get a cap to the whole enterprise, only the Ruth/Harry/Gavriks aspect. Fans of Erin, Calum and Dimitri: they were also there.
Nonetheless, that was that. Spooks is over, and the last two lines were “Bad people want to kill us” and “Harry Pearce”. Definitely apt, though I am disappointed no character uttered the words “MI5, not 9 to 5”. Make sure you watch the finale on iPlayer, then let us know below: was it enough ending for you?