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'Mi-5,' Episode Eleven Recap: 'I Spy Apocalypse'

Miss an episode of this spy-centric BBC One series? Then read our 'Mi-5' recaps here!

Previously on Mi-5

When $1 billion in government money goes missing from a leading British bank, Danny (David Oyelowo) goes undercover as a stock trader and uncovers a link to the Russian mafia. For more, read the full episode recap here.

This Week's Episode: "I Spy Apocalypse"

Written by: Howard Brenton
Directed by: Justin Chadwick

When Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) goes to a café to have a quick word with Vicki (Natasha Little), his current doctor girlfriend, she surprises him with plane tickets to Egypt. Knowing that he would never get clearance for such a trip, Tom rejects the offer, but promises to meet with her for lunch later that day.

At headquarters, Harry (Peter Firth) introduces everybody on the grid to Bridget Sands (Annabelle Apsion) and Mark Wooley (Mark Lewis Jones), two St. Albans quizzers involved in an ongoing investigation into Sefton B. Just then, the Major Incident Alarm sounds off, a top-level red alert. Everybody who's in the grid must stay there until the incident is resolved, and nobody is allowed in or out for any reason. Except for Danny, who has shown up late to work.

This lapse in judgment is accepted, though, when it becomes clear that this is nothing but an EERIE (Extreme Emergency Response Initiative Exercise). Tom is assigned to be the Em-Ex (Emergency Executive Officer), and when they get word that there has been "an explosion" in Parliament Square, he gets everybody in gear to save their country entirely from within their own offices. Their first challenge is to figure out how to communicate with the outside world, as the Damper Cage has shut down and therefore has blocked all of their phone and mobile access.

Tom manages to contact Paul Dumbarton (Dale Rapley), the Em-Ex at Downing Street, who informs them that every important person, including the Prime Minster, has been evacuated. As the employees of Mi-5 get in (and then out of) their emergency protective clothing, their communication room shuts off completely, leaving headquarters very much in the dark. Considering how everybody they've been able to contact seems far more worried than necessary, the Mi-5 employees start to wonder...What if this isn's a drill?

Colin (Rory MacGregor) and Malcolm (Hugh Simon) somehow manage to restore a modicum of communication with the outside world, and they find a feed connected to a truck somewhere in London. Inside is a firefighter named Stephanie Mills (Jo Joyner), who has locked herself in the van and gotten into a Hazmat suit. But why? Stephanie writes on a piece of paper, holds it up to the camera in the van, and headquarters gasps: "VX."

VX, as Ruth (Nicola Walker) explains to everybody, is a deadly, odorless nerve agent that takes less than 10mg to kill a person with a couple hours. The only antidote for it is itself very toxic and must be injected directly into the heart. If a certain amount of VX was released into London, she continues, it could be as debilitating as Hiroshima. And she knows who could be behind this, a survivalist group by the name of Patmos who have vowed on their website to take out ten major cities in Great Britain.

After Tom sends Stephanie out of the van to investigate, she comes back and confirms the worst: Everybody she's seen is dead. This is further substantiated when Colin taps into the London transport cameras and sees many of the city's landmarks completely evacuated. The power fails again, and Mi-5 is left with no phone lines or internet. All they have is the cable link that connects them to other major government centers. Night passes.

Dumbarton comes back on and tells them the worst: the Prime Minister's helicopter has crashed, and the Royal Family is missing. For all intents and purposes, this means that Mi-5 is now making the ultimate decisions for the fate of the country, and Tom is the leader of the land. As the team is tasked with finding out how to declare martial law, Tom uses the cable link to get in contact with John MacLeish (Alastair Galbraith), their contact in Edinburgh, to warn them of the impending attack. MacLeish refuses to evacuate the city center, but Tom pulls rank and commands. This irks the trapped Wooley, who says what Tom is doing is nothing less than treason.

Tom goes to speak with Harry about the situation, only to find him sweaty and red, the first signs of infection. How could this have happened? Harry admits to sneaking out of the grid for a bathroom break, but the infection might have also been brought in by Danny, who Tom let in after the grid was shut down. Regardless, it's too soon to tell the staff and have them worry. Just lock Harry in his office, he suggests, and continue taking care of the national emergency.

This hits a snag when Sands and Wooley, eager to escape from the grid, wants to have a word with Harry. Tom is forced to reveal Harry's infection, sending the staff into panic. Sands and Wooley, demands that all the non-infected people get into a van and drive as far from ground zero as possible. Going against Tom's direct orders, Sands and Wooley go to the doors to the outside world and starts pulling them open. Tom and Zoe (Keeley Hawes) break out their firearms and point them at the St. Albans quizzers, commanding them to stay inside. When Wooley chooses not to follow Tom's commands, Tom has no choice, pulling the trigger. The gun goes off, but Wooley does not drop dead.

The lights at headquarters come up, communication is restored, and a healthy-looking Harry comes out of his office to congratulate Tom on "a superb display of leadership." The exercise is over. Having lost almost two full days of their life to this drill, the employees get on their phones and contact their loved ones, especially Danny's Edinburgh-based mother. Tom calls a furious Vicki, who he had been forced to stand up the day before, and breaks up with her.

Hey! I Know That Actor!

Annabelle Apsion, who plays St. Albans quizzer Bridget Sands, is best known for her performances as Monica Gallagher on the original British version of "Shameless," Margaret Barnes on "The Bill," and Joy Wilton on "Soldier Soldier."

Jo Joyner, who portrays firefighter Stephanie Mills, can currently be seen on the long-running soap opera "EastEnders," where she has played Tanya for going on 589 episodes now.

Marcus Gorman is the author of the novel "Triceratops" and the editor of the film blog Ten Years Ago: Films in Retrospective.


About the Author

Marcus Gorman is a pop culture writer and the author of the novel triceratops.
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