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'Mi-5,' Episode Forty-Four Recap: 'Agenda'

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

Previously on Mi-5

In the second half of the two-parter, Ros (Hermione Norris) has been taken hostage inside the Saudi Trade Centre by a group of terrorists who may not be who they say they are. For more, read the full episode recap here.

This Week's Episode: "Agenda"

Written by: Julian Simpson
Directed by: Julian Simpson

Told that he and his team are now under the supervision of superior officer Charles Lee (Pip Torrens), Harry (Peter Firth) is further upset to learn from Lee that a fundamentalist Islamic cleric, one Khalid Mansoor (Hassani Shapi), must be released from prison due to inadmissible evidence. But Mansoor isn't out of prison for long, shot to death outside prison by a man screaming, "Death to the enemies of Christ!" As the shooter takes his own life, Adam (Rupert Penry-Jones) turns away from the news report and toward Harry. "Tell me that wasn't us."

It was not, in fact, Mi-5. And when a second fundamentalist Islamic cleric and his four men are murdered at a Yorkshire restaurant thanks to a white man with a hand grenade, a video hits the internet in which a silhouetted man with an altered voice takes credit for the kills, saying he is a leader for the Sons of Phineas. As Britain is a nation under Christ, he declares, "We will drive Islam from our shores and turn the sea red with Muslim blood." Harry and his team get to work and may have a lead. Both killers had military backgrounds, both had trouble with alcohol and drug abuse, and both once stayed at the Mission of St. Dominic de Guzman in Bloomsbury, which only provides food and shelter to those willing to let Jesus into their heart. Perhaps their leader, Steven Paynton (Shaun Dingwall), taking in homeless vets and brainwashing them in helping him fight a crusade against Islam. We as viewers know this to be so, as we see Paynton meet with David Newman, Bishop of Whitechapel (Lennie James) and get an earful. Mansoor's death was supposed to be the beginning and end of this, merely an example, so what the heck happened? Paynton puffs up his chest and taunts him to call the police, which would only put both of them behind bars or even put to death.

At headquarters, the team checks up on the Sons of Phineas and finds that they have a pretty standard website and clearly don't have much in the way of bankrolling. And thus, they take a defunct right-wing Christian organization--the League of Christ--reignite their online presence, and send Paynton an e-mail claiming that a brokerage firm by the name of A.R. Morgan Limited in interested in representing the Sons of Phineas. And who is A.R. Morgan? Why, none other than Adam.

Setting up a fancy office in a gleaming tower of a building, Adam meets with Paynton and makes his superiority known. "If you continue to act on these petty acts of vigilantism," Adam explains, "you'll eventually get arrested, reviled as a lunatic and locked up, your movement will die, and history will ignore you." Insinuating that the Sons of Phineas should think bigger and bolder, Adam suggests they attack a mosque.

Back at headquarters, Harry must tread lightly, now that he must report all goings-on to Charles Lee. But they are keeping their involvement with the so-called "League of Christ" secret, lest Lee blow their cover. But what Harry doesn't know is that Lee is in direct contact with the Bishop. At a secret meeting, Lee reprimands the Bishop for having direct contact with the clearly insane Paynton. If he goes down, they all go down, and that can never happen. Take care of it. But when the Bishop invites Paynton over to his church in order to kill him and sever their connection, the Man of God cannot follow through.

"I know why you brought me here," Paynton says, "but you haven't got the guts to kill me any more than you had the guts to deal with Khalid Mansoor by yourself. And if I'm wrong, if I am just insane, why won't He grant you the conviction to stop me?"

Returning to speak with Lee, Bishop is handed a document, a Mossad surveillance dossier showing Paynton meeting with "A.R. Morgan." The Israelis are concerned about anti-Semitism, but Lee knows better, easily able to identify an Mi-5 agent. It's only a matter of time before the whole thing comes tumbling down, Lee explains, so why not trick Mossad into murdering both Paynton and Adam? All they have to do is stoke the flames of paranoia, sit back, and watch their problems disappear with a couple well-aimed bullets.

While Mi-5 has no idea of Mossad's impending involvement, they are concerned that Paynton is not long for this world. And so they go to Plan B, kidnapping Paynton and stealing him away to an unknown location. Still pretending to be A.R. Morgan, Adam screams at Paynton, wondering why the police came to his office. Start talking. Finally, Paynton name-drops Bishop Newman, claiming that he came to him to "protect the church and send a message." Harry immediately makes a visit to the church in order to tell the Bishop that the jig is up. "I just wanted to defend by country," the Bishop says. "That's my job," Harry responds, "and I'm better at it."

A wrench is thrown into the rest of the plan when Adam gets a call. His son Wes (James Dicker) has gone missing, and so Adam must be taken off the case. But Adam insists, and he brings Paynton back to his shelter. Going through a diary, Adam discovers that the Sons of Phineas are planning on hitting a mosque with 12 pounds of Semtex within the hour. Just as Adam calls into headquarters to have the Alpha Team to arrest Paynton, the power in the shelter is cut. Using satellite infrared technology, headquarters is able to see a five-man team approach the building in military formation. On stakeout outside the shelter, Ros tries to communicate with Adam, but he's not responding. With so much going on in his life--the death of his wife, the stress of the job, and the sudden disappearance of his child--he has ducked into a corner, knees against his chest, and hyperventilating. Adam is broken.

With no options, Ros jumps out of the van, pretends to be drunk, and takes out the one man standing guard. She grabs the man's weapon and notes that it's a Jericho. These men are Mossad. As Harry struggles to reach the Israeli embassy in order to inform them that the League of Christ doesn't actually exist and that they've stumbled into an undercover mission, the Mossad agents enter the building and execute Paynton. Now headquarters must use their imaging to find Adam a way out of the pitch-black building. But Adam still isn't responding.

Just in the nick of time, Malcolm (Hugh Simon) calls in. They've found Wes, who was missing his father so much that he tried to take the tube to Heathrow in order to visit Adam in "Vienna," which was Adam's cover story. Hearing this news, Adam rises to his feet and takes directions from headquarters. Very calmly, almost eerily so, Adam makes his way downstairs and to safety, easily dispatching with each Mossad agent. But when he reaches the entrance, he is faced with one final Mossad agent, and this man has a direct shot. Suddenly, the agent stops, raises his finger to his earpiece, listens, and stands down. He has been called off.

As Harry wraps up the case and apprehends the remaining Sons of Phineas, the team agrees to leave Mossad out of it, saying that Paynton killed himself. But Adam isn't interested in work. He's simply not the same person anymore, and his nightmares are adding up to something dreadful.

Hey! I Know That Actor!

Lennie James, who plays the Bishop of Whitechapel, is best known to American audiences for his appearances on such television shows as "The Walking Dead," "Hung," "The Prisoner," and "Jericho," as well as his body of film work, playing such roles as General Kazim in "Sahara," Lieutenant Nabulsi in "The Next Three Days," Alan Erasmus in "24 Hour Party People," and Sol in Guy Ritchie's "Snatch."


About the Author

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