Previously on 'Mi-5'
When his former mentor goes too deep undercover with a group of euro-anarchists, a wounded Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) jumps back into service to confirm his worst suspicions. Read a full recap for this episode here.
This Week's Episode: "The Rose Bed Memoirs"
Released from prison on embezzlement charges, former Member of Parliament Hampton Wilder (Tim Pigott-Smith) comes to Mi-5 with an emergency. While behind bars, Wilder took it upon himself to write his memoirs about his time in parliament, including one major bombshell: A first-hand account of another minister's corruption, one Richard Maynard (Nicholas Farrell), Maynard's involvement with an illegal arms deal based in the Confederated Gulf States, and his current secret relationship with Russian spy Sergei Lermov (David Calder). After penning these memoirs, Wilder rediscovered his Christian faith and immediately regretted his authorship, but when he went to the book's hiding place to destroy it, he found it missing. Mi-5's task? Find the book before its contents are released.
Mi-5 calls Maynard into headquarters for a debriefing on Lermov, secretly using this opportunity to look into the accuracy of Wilder's accusations against Maynard. After requesting his help in authorizing "a thorough audit of all weapon stocks," Tessa gives Maynard a tour of Mi-5 and seduces him in a secret corner of their offices, getting her on his good graces.
Out in the field, Tom tracks down Lermov, disarms him, and demands to know his contact in the Ministry of Defense. Lermov answers with one name: Richard Maynard. Using this information, Tessa sets up a secret rendezvous with Maynard, only to challenge him on his alleged illegal activities. "You can cheat on your wife," she tells him. "Maybe you can cheat on your country." A shocked Maynard claims he has done nothing wrong.
Are Wilder and Lermov telling the truth? If not, what would compel them to create such an explosive lie? Why is Mi-5 even bothering to keep Lermov around? These are Tom's deadly serious questions to his superior Harry (Peter Firth), who calmly responds by telling him that Lermov is an important middleman in the weapons trade, and that the knowledge he brings to Mi-5 is invaluable.
Tom and Harry stop by the opera to have a word with Mi-6 Section Chief Jools Siviter (Hugh Laurie). Jools discloses that it was them who lifted Wilder's memoirs, having put an agent inside the prison to keep an eye on him. It comes to light that Wilder might be lying about the illegal arms trade in order to get revenge against Maynard, the man responsible for blowing the whistle on Wilder in the first place, and that the book may just be slander.
When Lermov is fatally stabbed by a Russian agent, Jools storms into Mi-5 the following day upset that he has just lost a valuable asset, but keeps his word and hands over the memoirs. Harry gets several agents to speed-read through the memoirs and make notes. The truth becomes clear: The book is slanderous trash.
Tom meets with Maynard, and after revealing a picture that places him in the same room with Wilder in the Middle East circa 1993, Maynard opens up. Wilder had come to him with a proposal to come in on an illegal arms deal involving anti-tank weapons. Instead of going along with the deal, though, Maynard went straight to Mi-6, eventually leading to Wilder's eventual arrest for "unrelated" charges. Why Maynard is being prosecuted for his loyalty, he says, he has no clue.
Mi-5 takes a hit when a major local newspaper runs the Maynard story as its center spread, leading to Maynard's resignation. But if Mi-5 didn't leak the story, who did, and why? In a climactic three-storyline sequence, Tom goes to see Wilder, Tessa goes to see Maynard, and Harry goes to see Jools. In the first, Tessa admits that it was her who tipped off the Russian agents, leading to Lermov's stabbing. In the second, a repentant Wilder admits that he wrote the memoirs to get back at Maynard. The big reveal, though, occurs in the third storyline. Jools divulges that Maynard led a double life as a CIA agent. As Maynard's career pointed toward being elected as Foreign Secretary, Mi-6 felt that their only way to stop him was to leak the memoirs. Case closed.
While the case unwinds, personal and private issues start to wear on two of the Mi-5 agents. After a worrying conversation with Tessa, Zoe (Keeley Hawes) returns to the flat she shares with Danny and proceeds to get drunk. After bonding with him, she tells Danny her recent discovery that Tessa has been running "phantom agents" -- creating non-existent contacts to line her pockets -- and that she has tried to buy Zoe's secrecy. Danny pleads with her to go to Harry with this knowledge, but Zoe feels trapped.
Meanwhile, Tom's home life takes a turn for the worse when his civilian girlfriend's estranged ex-husband Mark (Mark Dexter) returns from his overseas job to see his daughter Maisie (Heather Cave). After getting into a tiff with Tom over parental responsibilities, Mark becomes suspicious of Tom's true intentions and has a policeman friend run Tom's plates. Mi-5 gets wind of Mark's meddling, prompting them to spirit him away to a secret room, where Danny (David Oyelowo ) interrogates and threatens him. Soon afterwards, Ellie (Esther Hall) confronts Tom, wanting to know why Mark's flat is suddenly empty and his mobile is dead. Tom feigns ignorance, but a furious Ellie decides to take her daughter and live elsewhere.
Hey! I Know That Actor!
Keeley Hawes, who plays Junior Case Officer Zoe Reynolds, starred as policewoman Alex Drake on the police procedural "Ashes to Ashes" and as the voice of Lara Croft over five years and four entries in the "Tomb Raider" video game series. She can currently be seen as Lady Agnes Holland on the remake of "Upstairs, Downstairs."
Marcus Gorman is the editor of the film blog Ten Years Ago: Films in Retrospective and the author of the upcoming novel "triceratops."