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'Mi-5,' Episode Fifty-Three Recap: 'The Broadcast'

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

Previously on Mi-5

With Iran now in possession of nuclear trigger blueprints, Adam (Rupert Penry-Jones) and Ros (Hermione Norris) board a plane in order to stop the courier from delivering the bounty. For more, read the full episode recap here.

This Week's Episode: "The Broadcast"

Written by: David Farr
Directed by: Stefan Schwartz

After failing to stop the nuclear trigger blueprints from entering Iran's borders, Mi-5 must now proceed to what must be, at this point, Plan F. And lo, Section Chief Harry Pearce (Peter Firth) and CIA liaison Bob Hogan (Matthew Marsh) approach Iranian Special Consul Dariush Bakhshi (Simon Abkarian) with an offer: The Prime Minister and the POTUS are offering "a full retreat from your waters and a complete cessation of military operations against you." The United States will make Iran a primary trade partner and restore "full diplomatic relations with immediate effect." So what does Iran have to do? Denounce Hezbollah and the insurgents within Iraq and keep their nuclear capability quiet so as not to incite a war with Israel. For believability's sake, they will all pretend to have been working on this peace treaty for six months, and the best way to get this point across is to do it on television.

"You're holding all the aces," they tell Bakhshi. "Question is, how are you going to play them?"

However, Bakhshi will only accept on one condition: Create a seventh permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Hogan is flabbergasted, as this an impossible thing to ask. Instead, Harry offers something closer to home: If Bakhshi agrees to their terms, they will take Bakhshi's wife Ana (Agni Scott), who they have under safe house protection, and give her a new identity and a home in Vancouver, where she can live the rest of her life without fear of violence befalling her. Touched by the idea, Bakhshi accepts Harry and Hogan's deal.

While Jo (Miranda Raison) waits at the safe house with Ana for their airport transport to come, Adam and Ros take their seats at the BBC, ready for the live broadcast of Ask the Question. Stephen Castledine (David Yelland) will host, Hogan, Bakhshi, and British Foreign Secretary Ruth Chambers (Angela Bruce) will be on the panel, and the audience members have been carefully chosen by Mi-5 ("70% white, 20% Muslim, 10% the rest") to be as non-confrontational as possible. And just to hedge their bets, Jo and Adam reignited contact with investigative journalist Ben Kaplan (Alex Lanipekun) and have asked him to also be part of the audience, insisting that he act as their press path to appeasing the general Iranian public with his "honest reporting untinged by modern cynicism." He scoffs at being used, but he agrees. He has only one requirement, though, which is for Mi-5 to investigate a picture he has come across, a picture of Ros' handler Yalta handler Magritte (Claire Cox). Nobody knows who she is, though, and Ros certainly isn't fessing up.

As the broadcast begins, Kaplan proves to be indispensable to the mission, and he quickly sizes up three audience members who don't seem like they should be there. Communicating with headquarters through the BBC feed--which Malcolm (Hugh Simon) has full control over--the team finds that these three people, Jason Trinder (Mark Bazeley), Robert Styles (Brett Allen) and Caroline Bell (Sharon Carson) aren't who they say they are. But it's too little too late, as Trinder and his colleagues pull out their handguns and easily take the panel and studio audience hostage. They have questions for Bakhshi, and they want the world to know the truth.

Bakhshi, proud as ever, refuses to be intimidated into having his bodyguard leave the studio, but when Adam steps forward from the audience and stops Trinder from pulling the trigger, Bakhshi takes the hint and complies with the demands. "Now we can begin," Trinder says, locking the studio doors, unaware that Kaplan has managed to hide in the studio behind the set, his eyes peeled on the terrorists and still in direct communication with headquarters.

Trinder hands host Castledine a new script:

"Tonight's Ask the Question tackles the question of whether Islamic power is taking over the planet, and to what extent Western governments are timidly letting it happen. It also asks what lies behind today's apparently historic agreement. Is there more than meets the eye?"

Reading off a list of questions, Castledine directly addresses Bakhshi, asking how far progressed Iran's uranium enrichment program is. Bakhshi lies, saying they have enough to run a power station but not nearly enough for a nuclear missile.

The next question is to Hogan, asking incredulously why America has suddenly changed its tune in dealing with Iran. "The United States has always wanted peace in the region," Hogan says through his teeth. "The Iranians are now able to give us the assurances we need concerning terrorism." Trinder calls BS on this answer, though, and he lets on that he knows the exact real reason the U.S. and U.K. are playing ball with Iran. But how could he have access to such top secret information?

HQ can let this go on no longer, and Malcolm shuts down the broadcast. Calling into the studio, he tells the terrorists that he is BBC IT, the servers are overloading from the increased traffic, and he and his staff are working to get the broadcast back up as a soon as possible.

At HQ, Connie (Gemma Jones) debriefs the team on the hijackers' true identities: Paul Mills, Sharon Carson, and Carl Reid, who were once members of the BNP (the far-right British National Party) until they left to form a splinter group called Whites Against Islam. So how did they get through with their false identities? Going over the CCTV footage of the studio, they discover that the security detail that let them into the studio is John Richardson (Richard Dillane), who they immediately recognize as...one of their own agents. Tracking him down, they bring him into Section D for interrogation, where Richardson immediately comes forth about Yalta. But there's a neat little twist, as he says that the organization, meant to stop the United States from becoming too powerful, has been dormant for years until recently, when they suddenly attained major access behind the scenes of the British security services. Mi-5's suspicions are confirmed: They have a mole in their midst, but they still don't know that it's Ros.

Back at the studio, "Trinder" threatens to shoot an audience member unless the BBC feed gets back up in ten seconds. Malcolm complies, and he informs the hijacker that the broadcast is back up and live. Time for "Trinder" to blow the world's mind, and he asks Bakshi again about Iran's nuclear capability. Fearing for his life, Bakhshi admits that the program has been fully developed, thanks to them being able to smuggle the blueprints out of Britain. This whole peace deal has been a sham.

As "Trinder" begins to ask questions about Bakhshi working with Yalta--especially about the recent attempt to poison London's water supply--Kaplan climbs the studio's catwalk and, with permission from headquarters, drops a light onto the hijackers below. He misses hitting "Trinder" in the head, but still manages to hit his body and cause enough chaos for Adam and Ros to restrain two of the hijackers. With Adam's gun pointed directly at him, "Trinder" says it doesn't matter anymore, as the world now knows the truth about Iran. However, Adam is quick to retort that the BBC feed was never reinstated, "so whatever you do, we'll cover it up. You've lost." "Trinder" aims his gun at Bakhshi, but Ros shoots him in the side and he goes down. But as Adam helps Bakhshi to his feet, "Trinder" manages to shoot Bakhshi in the gut before Adam can retaliate with three fatal bullet shots.

As Bakhshi is treated by the medics on site, Adam pulls Kaplan aside and tells him that he cannot write the story that everybody knows Kaplan is itching to write about the evening's events. In fact, he is rushed right back into the audience just as Harry makes an appearance. Since the outside world doesn't know what has happened yet, no member of the audience can tell anybody anything until they've all reached an agreement as to what happened. And lo, Harry has a job offer for them.

"You are all invited to become employees of her Majesty's intelligence service. Although you will return to your normal lives, you will remain in our employ until the day you die. You will experience huge pressure to tell what you know, but no one must know what was said in here tonight. Now on the back of the paperwork there is a copy of the Official Secrets Act. No one leaves this room until both the terms of the contact and the Secrets Act have been agreed to. We are in no rush. But there can be no refusals. We're all spies now."

Overhearing a now stable Bakhshi ask about Ana, Adam realizes that Harry and Ros have been lying to him for some time about Ana's death. But there's no time to be angry, as Connie calls in and says that Ana's airport transport was canceled...but not by them. Adam and Ros rush to the safe house just as two hitmen start shooting at Ana and Jo. Luckily, Adam is able to take out both hitmen with his car and save the day. Ana is handed a Canadian passport, and just as she leaves, she and Adam exchange a final glance.

While at home watching news of the Foreign Secretary address the aftermath of the broadcast, claiming that Britain "will not be put off by terrorists," Adam lets Ros in and immediately berates her for lying to him about Ana, his former lover. But Adam has done his share of lying recently too, and when Ros points this out, both fall silent and embrace.

Hey! I Know That Actor!

Mark Bazeley, who played hijacker "Trinder," is probably best known to fans of British cinema as Austin Mitchell in "The Damned United," Alastair Campbell in the Stephen Frears/Peter Morgan films "The Queen" and "The Special Relationship," and Betancourt in "The Bourne Ultimatum." On television, he has appeared on "The Body Farm," "The Time of Your Life," "Hearts and Bones," and "Second Sight."


About the Author

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