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Previously on Mi-5
This Week's Episode: "The Deal"
Ever since they were tricked into releasing a biological weapon in Tehran, the vise has been tightening around Mi-5's Section D for weeks. Nobody feels this more than Adam, who has suffered torture, near-fatal gunshot wounds, and his wife's murder over one very long spy career. So when he is mugged outside of the Safe House--where he is secretly shacking up with Ana, the wife of Iranian Special Consul--Adam fights back and accidentally smashes the mugger's head into a metal grate, calls an ambulance to pick up the dying man, and runs away.
Adam reaches the airport to meet with Ros (Hermione Norris) and wait for a designated target to arrive. Adam lies as to his recent whereabouts just as their target appears: Sergei Valentino (Yuri Klimov), a.k.a. the Russian Mule. Valentino has entered the country carrying blueprints for a nuclear trigger which he hopes to sell to the Iranians. Mi-5 tracks Valentino to his hotel, but mere hours later he disappears from right under their noses. Checking out the CCTV footage from the airport, Connie (Gemma Jones) spots others waiting for Valentino to deplane. Using facial recognition software, they learn that this man is a KGB agent, bad news for Valentino, who was once a Russian secret police informant until he turned on his country and fled. If the KGB is after the Russian Mule, Mi-5 must tread lightly with their operation.
Too late, as Adam follows Connie's info to a nearby warehouse (where the car was registered), only to be apprehended and later tossed out into the street, bound and gagged, with a message pinned to his chest. Section D gets the hint: Stay out of the KGB's way.
Now that Ros is secretly working for Yalta, a secret spy cabal dedicated to keeping America from becoming too powerful, she has ways of getting information far from the eyes of headquarters. She meets with her contact Sholto (James Laurenson), and in exchange for Valentino's whereabouts, she agrees to place four undetectable bugs around the Section D offices.
Meanwhile, Jo (Miranda Raison) has learned that the handsome man she's sleeping with, Ben Kaplan (Alex Lanipekun), is actually an investigative journalist. But when they meet up again, Jo realizes that they might be able to help each other, especially since Kaplan has just been anonymously delivered a CD of images, images showing Adam "attacking" the mugger from that morning. And that man in question is now in a coma.
After casually lying to his colleagues at headquarters, Adam returns to the Safe House, only to see Ros there waiting for him as Ana showers. Why in blazes is he continuing to see this woman, this woman who was forced to murder one of her husband's aides while she was spying for Adam. But that's not important. Ros has some new information about the mugger. Most importantly, he wasn't a mugger at all, but a journalist named Tim LeHarre investigating the Tehran disaster. If Adam attacked a journalist going after Mi-5, they are all in trouble. Adam knows the truth, that the man truly did try to steal his wallet, but the incriminating photo evidence tells a different story.
Back at headquarters, the spies consider their options with Valentino and decide that, in order to protect him from the Russians, they can offer him immunity. Bringing Valentino in for interrogation (with Connie translating into Russian), Harry (Peter Firth) offers him a deal: "Either we call our old friends, the Russians, or you can work with us." With a spit to the floor, Valentino rejects the deal, but takes an extended look at one of the pictures set down before him, a picture of his sweet daughter, and leaves. This is all planned, though, as Mi-5 has already switched out the duffle bag containing the nuclear blueprints with another. Now they just need for Valentino to continue with his mission so they can apprehend the buyers.
Unexpectedly, the journalist LeHarre dies, and this puts Harry in a very uncomfortable position. Meeting with Adam, Harry scolds him about his continued affair with Ana, then tells him that, due to LeHarre's death, Adam has a murder charge against him. Harry hands over a stack of money and advises Adam to leave town for at least a few days. But both of them know that those few days could turn into a permanent vacation. But all of this is too perfect. Is Adam being set up? If so, is the culprit none other than Ana's powerful husband?
Adam continues with the case on his own, and using some secret information as handed to him by Ros, he ventures down to the Waterloo Bridge underpass, showing around a picture of LeHarre to the homeless population down there. Finally, he gets a bite as one Russian-speaking homeless man accepts money for information. Adam brings the homeless man to the morgue, where he positively identifies LeHarre's body, with the insinuation that he wasn't a journalist after all but simply an alcoholic transient, and that somebody paid him to mug Adam.
HQ's continued tracking of Valentino's whereabouts hits a snag when the Russian Mule takes a phone call, only to break down and cry. Using the playback, Connie translates the conversation, during which he tells his wife to take the kids and run for the border, only to hear somebody break into their house and arrest them. As Valentino heads to a church and barricades himself inside, Jo leaves HQ hoping to have a word with him.
Adam calls into headquarters with the new information, but what he doesn't realize is that the Home Secretary has sent agents into the Grid with the express purpose of arresting Adam. His phone call traced, Adam runs from several police cars, only to be saved by none other than Kaplan. Kaplan has continued with LeHarre's story, but like Adam, he believes that he, too, was set up the moment he received the CD images.
Adam and Harry secretly meet with CIA liaison Bob Hogan (Matthew Marsh) and reveal their knowledge that there was never a Tim LeHarre, merely a transient Hogan paid to provoke Adam and get it on camera, and that they know about the nuclear trigger deal. Hogan freezes. "You Brits always were meddlesome idiots," he says, explaining that this handover needs to go through. True, they set up Adam to throw him off the trail, but "there's a whole lot more at stake." He admits to the United States setting up this deal. They'd heard that Iran wanted nuclear capabilities, so they decided to simply sell them a set of blueprints with a deliberate error, one that would send their nuclear program back a full decade. The handover is happening within the hour, prompting Adam to call Ros in order to put the correct duffle bag back in its location.
Except there's one problem. Managing to get into the church Valentino was holed up in, Jo finds the Russian Mule dead, having slit his own wrists with a broken wine bottle.
In order to have the nuclear trigger deal go through, Mi-5 needs somebody who can take over for Valentino, somebody who can disappear afterwards. Adam has the perfect idea: Hire the Russian-speaking homeless man he met and hope that the Iranians don't know what Valentino actually looks like. With the homeless man now £5000 richer and pimped out in a nice suit, Adam hands him the duffle bag--complete with a powerful tracking device that will send out a signal from anywhere--and points to the townhouse rendezvous where the exchange will go down. A minute later, the homeless man emerges from the townhouse, having completed the handover successfully.
The Tehran story killed, Ros offers to have a drink with Adam, but he refuses, insinuating that he's going to see Ana again. Once they part ways, though, Ros gets a call from Yalta. Something serious is going down, and she needs to take action immediately. Desperately trying to get in contact with Adam, she only gets a voicemail. Racing to a hotel, she climbs several stories and sees Ana attempting to escape. Intervening with brute force, Ros gets Ana to open up her hotel suite and reveal where Adam is.
Stumbling into the bathroom, Ros finds Adam drowning in the tub, having been poisoned, paralyzed, and left for dead. Ros pulls him out of the tub and performs CPR on him to no avail. After several terrifying moments, Adam regains consciousness and coughs up the water from his lungs.
Ros goes to Ana and points a gun at her. "I had to," Ana pleads. "My husband found out I had no choice." Ros asks Ana to give one reason why she shouldn't pull the trigger. "I still have information that you need! I can still be useful."
"What information?" Ros asks.
"About the deal for the technical drawings," Ana responds. "The blueprints that were sold today. My husband found out they were fake. So when he knew they were fake, he set up another deal. You were so busy looking in the wrong direction you missed it. My country just obtained a real firing set. We are now a nuclear power."
Ros puts a silencer over the muzzle of her gun. Two gunshots ring out.
Hey! I Know That Actor!
Alex Lanipekun, who plays investigative journalist Ben Kaplan, is noted for such roles as Mohammed on Showtime's "The Borgias" and as Steve on "Big Bad World," as well as Laertes in the 2010 Nicholas Hynter staging of "Hamlet."