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'Mi-5,' Episode Fifty-Five Recap: 'Isolated'


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

Previously on Mi-5

As the United States prepares to attack Iran, Ros' (Hermione Norris) secret alliance with Yalta finally comes to light, putting her at odds with her shocked colleagues. At episode's end, Adam (Rupert Penry-Jones) helps her fake her own death flee the country, never to return. For more, read the full episode recap here.

This Week's Episode: "Isolated"

Written by: Neil Cross
Directed by: Alrick Riley

Now that Ros has faked her own death--a result of the fallout in re: her affiliations with the shadow organization Yalta--Adam seems to have nothing much to live for anymore. No longer capable of trusting his government or much else other than his colleagues, Adam meets with investigative journalist Ben Kaplan (Alex Lanipekun) to blow the whistle on the Tehran bombing, in which Mi-5 was tricked by unknown conspirators into setting off a devastating explosion in order to stop the transfer of a deadly bio-weapon, and how it led to the impending American air strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities. "I'll give you the whole story," Adam tells him. "It's on a memory stick. No 45 minute claims, no spin, no government intervention. Hard proof."

But in this line of business, there's always somebody listening in, and who should be watching on surveillance but Iranian Special Consul Dariush Bakhshi (Simon Abkarian).

Since the Yalta fallout and implications of Ros being a double agent, Section D of Mi-5 has been suspending pending full investigation. With no cases to work on and no gadgets at their disposal, Jo (Miranda Raison) decides to have a daytime meet-up with occasional lover Kaplan while Harry (Peter Firth) takes the rest of the team out for drinks. But at the pub, Connie (Gemma Jones) takes a trip to the restroom, only to be stopped in the hallway by a man she recognizes all too well: Davie King (John Lynch), an IRA fighter known for his brutal bombing massacres. He hands her a mobile phone and asks her to pass information along to Harry, and it's implied that he and the Section D chief have more than the lion's worth of shared and tattered history.

"There's a bomb in London today. A car bomb. I want you there. All of you. Don't contact the services. You do and I'll know... And be sure to tell Harry that I'm back for him."

Connie returns to the table with the rest of the information. As King is known for killing multiple targets with one explosive device, it's clear that the team has just been asked to gather for their deaths. But if they don't, the car bomb goes off and innocents die. It's them or civilians. They must stop King, but without the Grid at their disposal, what are they to do? And why aren't Jo and Adam answering their phones?

After receiving a call and finding a dead drop reading "Sun Strike Protocol," he finds the team (sans Jo) as a declassified safe house, where the gadgets are ancient in technology terms, and Adam is still in his "I want to quit being a spy" mindset. Luckily, Malcolm (Hugh Simon) has never met a gadget he couldn't work brilliantly, and soon he has the place up and running. So first things first: How did such a wanted man like King enter the country in the first place without anybody noticing? King must have a friend high up in the British government, but who?

Following her instincts, Connie breaks into the office of CIA liaison Bob Hogan (Matthew Marsh), and when he finally arrives, she has some questions for him in re: King. He swears he has nothing to do with the day's threat, but might have a lead of his own for her. "Your Home Secretary's policy advisor, Jason Belling, has been making some slippery little visits [to the hospitalized Bakhshi]," he tells her. "Back door jobs. Whatever he's doing, he's not dropping off grapes and lifestyle magazines."

Jo, still with Kaplan, finally turns her phone back on and finds she has 30 new messages. As he calls into Adam and is warned to keep clear of a "white male, 5'11", dark, with a ponytail," she spots King approach her with a knife. Turning to the IRA fighter, she takes a stern stance and slowly reaches for her inside coat pocket, forcing King to take the hint and leave the area.

Kaplan: "I didn't know you carried a gun."
Jo: "I don't."

As Jo and Kaplan meet up with the team, Malcolm goes to a nearby café (turning on the ancient computer at the safe house would reveal the team's location) and follows his own clues, a license plate number that might lead them to the car bomb. Using the Vehicle Registration Database, he finds what he needs: "London Cab, black, registered 1984."

Hogan makes a visit to Whitehall, apprehending the aforementioned Jason Belling (Sam Spruell) and "taking him for a ride." Now at an abandoned, blown-apart building, Adam shows up and joins the interrogation.

"What is it, Jason?" he shouts. "You found out I was about to blow the whistle on the Tehran bomb? Biological weapons on the streets of London. If the British people found out about that, it would be the end of you, the end of everyone like you. The end of this government. And the end of whatever you've been cooking up with Dariush Bakhshi."

Whatever Belling is doing with King, call it off now before it's too late. While Belling says nothing, Adam gets physical with him, allowing him to secretly place a bug underneath Belling's collar. This was all just for show, because once released, Belling immediately goes to a payphone and calls King. Belling asks about the bomb, which he knew nothing about until only a few minutes earlier.

"I threaten civilians, therefore I control Harry Pearce and his team. I use that as leverage to gather them in one place and then blow them over two square miles of Central London."

Meanwhile, Belling meets with Bakhshi, still recovering after the BBC hostage situation, and tells him that with the U.S. ready to strike Iran within 36 hours, Britain will have no choice but to lend support. That is, unless Iran and Britain finalize a deal. But Bakhshi will not cooperate, not as long as Harry and Adam are alive, their collective knowledge too great. Bakhshi's order stands: Kill Harry and Adam.

At the safe house, Malcolm returns with the information on the black cab. Harry turns grim. He knows King's father was a cab driver, and this is a taunt aimed directly at Harry. Story time: King was once Harry's asset in the IRA until he started murdering too many civilians. The British intelligence services couldn't punished him directly, so instead they planted false evidence that King's father was a British informant. He was murdered shortly thereafter.

"It was the single filthiest order I ever gave," Harry bemoans, "and it didn't work. This is Davie's game now."

King calls in, telling the team the location of the bomb, but only with stipulations. All must stand within three feet of the car. Nobody can summon emergency services. Come unarmed. Once they have followed the instructions, they have 30 seconds to clear civilians of the blast area. Get to Gabriel Plaza within one hour, and prepare to die.

The team arrives at Gabriel Plaza after doing some sly reconnaissance--Malcolm goes through CCTV in order to identify where King would likely take his vantage point--and take their positions at the cab. The 30 seconds begin, and Adam immediately takes out his ID and informs people to run for their lives. Amid the chaos, Hogan passes the team and hands Jo a large bag. King, standing behind a powerful sniper rifle, makes the order to detonate the bomb.

But nothing happens. Connie has jammed the signal from reaching the bomb. And she would know, too, as she taught King and his IRA faction how to build them in the first place.

Hiding behind the cab from King 's sniper fire, Harry looks at his terrified team. He knows what to do. Standing up and revealing himself to King's sniper sight, he looks directly at his former asset, then takes a bullet directly to the chest, acting as a decoy in order to grant Jo and Kaplan cover to run into the building they know King is in and head up to the ninth floor. Adam runs to Harry's body, but no bullet comes his way. "I will not fire on these people," King says to his associate. "I didn't come here to shoot them. We're still on the timer and they're not going anywhere."

Adam manages to get Harry back to safety, and a bruised Harry takes off his bulletproof vest, happy that King decided against taking a headshot. With two minutes left on the failsafe detonation (in case the signal, you know, jammed), Adam waits for Jo and Kaplan to complete their task before he can open up the trunk of the cab and gets to work defusing the bomb.

Meanwhile, Jo and Kaplan make it to the ninth floor, reach into the bag Hogan gave them, and set off the homemade smoke bombs inside. With King no longer able to see out the building, and therefore unable to shoot any who wishes to tamper with his handiwork, Adam goes to the bomb and shuts it down. Nine floors up, Jo gets into hand-to-hand combat with King, but just as she is about to lose the fight, she manages to find a pipe and knock him out. Kaplan, meanwhile, takes out King's associate with a fire extinguisher.

The mission completed, Connie visits Belling at Whitehall and plays back his bugged conversation with King. "Give him up, your boss, or we will begin to care about you very much."

Harry, meanwhile, goes to the Home Secretary (Robert Glenister) to get answers. The deal with Iran was this: Britain was going to call Iran on its bluff on wanting a peaceful nuclear program, offering an integral fast reactor, a nuclear plant that cannot be used to produce nuclear weapons. This way, nobody has an excuse to bomb Iran, and a war is averted. But Bakhshi would only take the deal if Harry was dead.

Home Secretary: "We've been teetering on the brink of war."
Harry: "Thanks to a bomb you ordered."

However, Harry knows he has sworn allegiance to the Home Secretary and will not reveal the plan. But cross him again and it could be a different story.

Hoping to ease tensions, Adam and Jo visit Bakhshi in the hospital. But they're not there to threaten him. They're there to help him. His wife Ana, they tell him, is pregnant, and while it's unclear whether or not the father is Bakhshi or Adam, it doesn't matter. If Bakhshi takes the British deal, they will bring him to Ana and will do everything in their power to protect the new family.

Section D is now reinstated, but they might have a new member of the team: Kaplan. Realizing that he made more of a difference in one day with Mi-5 than he did in his entire journalism career, perhaps it's time to rethink his occupation.

Hey! I Know That Actor!

John Lynch, who played IRA fighter Davie King, is a Northern Irish actor best known to American audiences as the title character in Pat O'Connor's 1984 film "Cal," co-starring Helen Mirren. Among his other projects, he has appeared in "Hardware," "The Secret Garden," "In the Name of the Father," "Sliding Doors," "The Secret of Roan Inish," and BBC's "The Fall."


About the Author

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