Miss an episode of this spy-centric BBC One series? Then read our 'Mi-5' recaps here!
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 Kidnap"
Ros (Hermione Norris) has gone missing, and while Adam (Rupert Penry-Jones) secretly knows that she is out following an investigative trail in re: America's involvement with the Strain E-34 virus and the location of Zaf's whereabouts, an investigation uncommissioned by their boss Harry (Peter Firth), what he doesn't know is that she has been kidnapped by their French contact Magritte (Claire Cox) and is currently undergoing Chinese water torture.
That's just Mi-5's luck, because a cargo plane has crashed within feet of Halesworth Airbase, an American territory on British soil. The reasoning is engine failure, but if so, why has the U.S. embassy cordoned off the crash site and filled it with workers in hazmat suits? Something doesn't smell quite right. As Jo (Miranda Raison) finds out, one of the pilots reported "taking evasive action to avoid an unidentified object that didn't appear on radar," which would indicate a terrorist attack. But what kind of terrorist attack only takes three lives?
Enter tech nerd Malcolm (Hugh Simon), who has heretofore been fine with protecting his team members from behind his desk. But also an avid reader and conspiracy theorist, he knows not only of the Area 51 rumors that surround Halesworth, but also how to get in touch with the UFOlogists who have set up a secret camp outside Halesworth. While Harry tries to surreptitiously question U.S. ambassador and CIA liaison Bob Hogan (Matthew Marsh), and while Jo can squeeze information out of ex-boyfriend and Ministry of Defence (MOD) intelligence officer Alan (Fred Perry), perhaps Malcolm has the best line of attack--Go near the crash site, talk up the conspiracy theorists, get some stakeout video of the base, and investigate the detritus brought to one of their many top secret buildings.
While the team looks at Malcolm's video footage, Jo returns with some bad information--the people are in hazmat suits because, allegedly, the cargo plane was carrying chemical weapons. And, worse than that, Malcolm would have already been exposed and might only have days left to live. But why in god's name was a standard courier flight carrying toxic chemicals? Regardless, Adam says he's sending in a medevac team to his GPS coordinates, and will tag along to take over where Malcolm left off.
Meanwhile, still under torture, Ros is forced to take a lie detector test. Asked about the bomb blast in Tehran, Ros is cool under pressure, and even when she lies, the detector needle doesn't budge an inch. Neither does it budge when armed men bust into the room, shoot down Magritte, and take Ros to the surface. Unlike where she thought she had been spirited away to (i.e. Denmark), it turns out that Ros has been in England this whole time. But why? In comes Sholto (James Laurenson), a veteran spy and former government minister who tells her that not only was this all a test (and that Magritte is still alive), but he also has an offer for her--Join him in a group called Yalta, dedicated to making sure America doesn't destabilize the world.
Back at Halesworth, Adam arrives with the medical team, but Malcolm refuses. If he's going to die, he'd rather stick around and help. Adam waves the helicopter and medevac team away as Malcolm introduces him to the UFOlogists, including Old Freak (Trevor Byfield), Baz (Danny Nussbaum) and Muppet (Ben Jones). And, more than anything, they think that aliens should be making contact at the base at any moment. And hey, look, there's a hole in the fence. Let's go check out the only building big enough to hold the crashed plane's fuselage.
When Adam, Malcolm, and the UFOlogists creep further into the base, they discover a decontamination unit on site. Already at peace with his impending doom, Malcolm sneaks into the room without being seen and enters the fuselage and takes one look around. "That was no bomb," he tells Adam.
Back at headquarters, new hire Connie (Gemma Jones) gets a facial recognition hit on one of the UFOlogists. It's Muppet, who is really an MOD employee spying on the conspiracy theorists. And if MOD has a man on the inside, Jo's ex Alan has to know something. They bring him in and interrogate him, and they learn what they've already guessed--There was no toxic spill. It was something the Americans cooked up to throw Mi-5 off the scent. After much prodding, Alan finally reveals one word--"Aurora."
At Halesworth, Adam et al continue through the building and stumble upon something massive. There it is. Aurora, a U.S. stealth plane that has yet to receive official approval. For all intents and purposes, Aurora does not exist. Malcolm hacks into its mainframe and downloads an encrypted file containing flight information. If there was a bomb or a collision, this info would tell them what happened. Before he can send it back to headquarters, though Muppet, reveals his true identity and attacks Adam, prompting Malcolm to man up and take action, electrocuting Muppet to unconsciousness.
As Adam and Malcolm attempt to escape from the base, Mi-5 looks through the Aurora information. The plane has made two journeys, the first of which coincides with Zaf's journey back from Iran, the second of which coincides with his disappearance. There's their evidence--Zaf was ambushed by the Americans. Not only that, the American must be the one codenamed "Copenhagen," the one who tricked Mi-5 into releasing Strain E-34 in Tehran. Harry goes directly to Hogan, who tells him that Zaf's capture was not his idea, instead his mercenary team going off-script. But who cares? By setting off the biological weapon, it showed the world that Iran was hiding WMDs.
Having made it safely off-base, Adam gives Malcolm the shock of his life. Hey, you're not dying. "You bastard," Malcolm says. "Why didn't you tell me?" "Because that Malcolm was invincible," Adam explains. "He wasn't going to die in some crappy airbase. He was going to get us out."
The case completed, Ros returns to headquarters but says nothing of where she's been. After reassessing her recent romantic relationship with Adam, she goes outside, finds a payphone, and receives a call from Sholto. She's in.
Hey! I Know That Actor!
James Laurenson, who plays Sholto, is a New Zealand-born actor best known to American audiences as Pink's father in "Pink Floyd The Wall," and to British audiences for such television shows as "Fathers and Sons," "Crown Court," "State of Play," several of the "Sharpe" TV movies, and as Detective Inspector Bonaparte on "Boney."