'Mi-5,' Episode Forty-Eight Recap: 'The Virus Part 2'

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Previously on Mi-5

Under direct orders from the Home Secretary, Mi-5 must use lethal force in order to stop a suspected Iranian terrorist from entering the U.K. For more, read the full episode recap here.

This Week's Episode: "The Virus Part 2"

Written by: Neil Cross
Directed by: Omar Madha

At the end of the last episode, Iranian amnesty-seeker Mehan Asnik (Ulas Kilic), now contagious with the deadly Strain E-34, was pushed out of a mercenary van and into a crowded street before a brave passerby intercepts him and leads him to the nearby St. Edwin's Hospital. Adam (Rupert Penry-Jones) reaches the hospital and immediately puts it on quarantine, trapping Asnik and many civilians. While Adam has been exposed to E-34, it does not incubate until 14 hours after exposure, so he is free to continue for now. New lead: If this strain of E-34 really was stolen and modified before it was sold to the Iraqis, whoever made it surely must have made a failsafe antidote. But where to start? And will they be able to find a kidnapped and contagious Zaf (Raza Jaffrey) before it's too late?

Using the info Ros (Hermione Norris) received from her contact before he was unfortunately killed with a sniper bullet, she is able to trace the location of mercenary leader Angus Leonard to a machine tooling business, where she discovers an empty truck and, much more worrisome, a pile of charred bodies fused together. Six of them. And there were only five mercenaries who kidnapped Asnik, Zaf, and Adam. It's a terrible conclusion to come to, but the sixth body has to be Zaf.

While Malcolm (Hugh Simon) and Jo (Miranda Raison) are able to use CCTV to identify and round up those Asnik came in contact with so they may be put into quarantine, Harry (Peter Firth) has an idea. Since E-34 was released in Tehran half-a-day before it reached British soil, perhaps the Iranians are ever-so-slightly closer to finding a cure. Luckily for them, Adam has been gathering information from Iranian Special Consul Dariush Bakhshi (Simon Abkarian) through his cheating wife Ana (Agni Scott). Unluckily for them, Adam had to reveal his secret agent identity to Ana in the last episode while they searched far and wide for Asnik. But what other leads do they have?

Meeting Ana at a bookstore, Adam informs her of the Asnik situation, then asks her to check with her husband, in whatever way she can, if there is a vaccine for the strain. Believing Adam's urgency and his own personal death clock quickly counting down, Ana goes to the embassy and tries to get answers from her husband, who shrugs her off. Hundreds of Iranians may currently be dying, but he has no solution.

If the Iranians don't have a vaccine, though, somebody else must. Presenting to the agents in the conference room, Malcolm explains there are only three countries capable of modifying E-34 and selling it to Iraq: France, India, and Russia. Not only will one of these countries will have access to a vaccine, but each of their top spies will know about it. It's a tough and terrible call, but if they are to keep half-a-million British citizens from exposure, Mi-5 must capture and "question" a senior intelligence officer from each of these countries. With syringes in hand, the team manages to subdue and kidnap Russia's Edik Kuznetzov (Predrag Bjelac), France's Yves Couvier (Benny Young), India's Nirav Maruti (Selva Rasalingam), and United States ambassador and CIA officer Bob Hogan (Matthew Marsh).

Rounded up, the captured spies are driven to a forest-hidden house in West Harring overseen by the aging Mi-5 contact Connie James (Gemma Jones), and brought down one by one into an underground bioweapons research facility. There, they are strapped to a chair and undergo "enhanced interrogation techniques." Maruti says nothing. Neither does Hogan. But much to Ros's surprise, Couvier promises he has information on Zaf's whereabouts. But Harry has already ordered that Zaf is a lost cause and they cannot take up any of Mi-5's resources to continue looking for him, and so after a hushed conversation with Adam, Ros goes out to find if Zaf is still alive.

And even more importantly, Jo manages to get Kuznetzov to talk. Since six hours ago, he says, the U.K. and Russia have been negotiating a price for the vaccine, meaning the vaccine is already in the country, but Britain isn't agreeing to Russia's demands. But when asked for help, Kuznetzov refuses, saying it will cost him his life. But Harry realizes that the team has no other choice but to believe Kuznetzov's story, and they promise to protect him.

But Connie has another idea, and while the rest of the team deals with Kuznetzov, she forces Malcolm to un-suspend her Mi-5 security service, allowing her access into Whitehall and into the Home Secretary's office. Able to convince the Home Secretary's receptionist that she must leave immediately and deal with a family emergency, Connie easily hacks into the Home Secretary's computer and downloads information onto a thumb drive. If the Home Secretary really is meeting with Russian delegates, now they have leverage.

Kuznetzov leads Jo and Adam to an underground rendezvous, where he tells them that the vaccine has been passing from Russian officer to Russian officer and will make its way to their location at any moment. Hearing a code and leaving the Mi-5 agents behind momentarily, Kuznetzov returns with the vaccine, its many bottles neatly kept in a briefcase. In the distance, though, Adam hears Kuznetzov's contacts turn around, presumably to shoot them down as well as the Russian senior officer. To create a distraction, Adam asks Jo to stay behind with Kuznetzov while Adam runs away with the briefcase. Although Jo ties a belt around Kuznetzov's neck and threatens to kill him should the Russian agents come any closer, the goons easily subdue her.

Stumbling out into the street, a weakening Adam commandeers a vehicle and races to St. Edwin's Hospital. But on the way, he gets a call from the Russian goons back at the rendezvous, saying to return the vaccine or they'll kill Jo. But Adam can't let this vaccine out of his hands for the good of himself and his country. Thankfully, back at the rendezvous the lead goon and Kuznetzov get into an argument that quickly turns into a gunfight, and while Kuznetzov is shot to death, Jo manages to get ahold of his weapon and take charge of the situation.

Just before Adam is able to deliver the vaccine, the contagious and near-dead Adam collapses in the car, no longer able to keep hold of the briefcase. A passing Russian spy leisurely takes the briefcase off of Adam's hand and walks away. Naturally, Ros is already on the scene, nonchalantly injects the Russian spy with a syringe, takes the briefcase off of his unconscious person, and delivers the vaccine to the hospital. All are saved except for the deceased Asnik and, presumably, Zaf. Wherever he is.

As the mission winds down, Harry goes to Connie and has a proposition for her. After all these years, why not rejoin the team, referring in hushed tones to a previous debt of hers that, thanks to her recent service, has finally been repaid. Could Mi-5 have a new agent in its ranks?

Just about time, because Mi-5 might be down not just one agent but two. Ros returns to her home and calls Adam with intel about Zaf. According to forensics, the sixth charred body wasn't Zaf at all but a vagrant. Maybe the French are onto something. But just then, Ros is shot with a tranquilizer dart from an unknown direction, passing out on her floor.

Hey! I Know That Actor!

Gemma Jones, who plays the newest old member of the team Connie James, is a famed British character actress known not only for her bevy of stage work but also for her onscreen characters, including Queen Elizabeth I on "Kenilworth," Louisa Trotter on "The Duchess of Duke Street," Virginia Hincham on "Chelworth," Alice Mair on "Devices and Desires," Dr. Jean Mullins on "Trial & Retribution," Mrs. Dashwood in "Sense and Sensibility," Bridget's mother in the Bridget Jones movies, and Madam Pomfrey in the Harry Potter film series.

About the Author

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