'Mi-5,' Episode Nineteen Recap: 'Who Guards the Guards?'

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

Previously on "Mi-5"

While working a case involving a Nobel-winning chemist tapped into service, Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) unravels and is ultimately decommissioned from Mi-5. For more, read the full episode recap here.

This Week's Episode: "Who Guards the Guards?"

Written by: Rupert Walters
Directed by: Cilla Ware

In Hebron, West Bank, Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee Oliver Mace (Tim McInnerny), last seen plotting to dissolve Mi-5 in its entirety, holds a meeting with the dangerous Muhammed Khordad (Paul Bhattacharjee), head of the terrorist organization known as the Path of Light. Khordad speaks of a traitor who fled overseas, and he wants Mace's aid in finding and killing him. "This man is the price of our cooperation," Khordad explains.

One month later, Danny (David Oyelowo) is acting as bodyguard to Zuli (Simon De Selva), a Salman Rushdie-esque novelist with a fatwa on his head. During an afternoon tea with bookstore owner Ayman Harakat (Anupam Kher), two gunmen storm the bookstore, and while Danny bravely protects Zuli from any harm, Harakat suffers a non-fatal gunshot wound.

Back at headquarters, Zuli, upset that the gunmen knew where they could find him, fires Mi-5 for their insufficient protection and declares he has been forced to hire ex-CIA as bodyguards instead. While declaring that Zuli has a point, Adam (Rupert Penry-Jones) nevertheless believes that Mi-5 was not at fault and launches an investigation into what went wrong. Going over the attack with Danny, Adam notices that one of the gunmen had a clear shot at Zuli but didn't take it. Perhaps he wasn't the intended target. Refocusing on Harakat, Ruth comes across his application for citizenship and believes it to be too perfectly written, "Something an Mi-6 officer would make up," and so Adam arranges for Danny to become Harakat's bodyguard.

With the immigration papers in hand, Harry (Peter Firth) confronts Mace and asks if there's anything he isn't saying about Harakat. "Harry, we're on the same side," Mace replies, insinuating that the shooting was Mi-5's fault, since "half of London knew Zuli's schedule."

Going over days of the bookstore's security footage to see if anybody was casing the joint pre-shooting, Zoe (Keeley Hawes), Ruth (Nicola Walker), and Colin (Rory MacGregor) spot Sharaf Al-Youm, "a big-time hitman with no particular allegiance." Having recently entered the U.K. on a tourist visa, Mi-5 is able to follow him to a house in East London, where they set up surveillance next door.

Not wanting to take any chances, Danny is tasked with bringing Harakat to a safe house. As Danny and the open-hearted Harakat grow closer, Harakat gifts Danny with the 1913 edition of the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, a rare collector's item. Bonding over their shared love of cricket, Danny says he knows somebody who can get them onto the Lord's Cricket Ground.

As Section D watches Al-Youn do absolutely nothing even remotely dangerous, Harry gets an anonymous delivery, an overhead surveillance photo of Mace's meeting with Khordad. The sender of the photo, "a very senior government official," wants to have a talk with Mi-5, a task Harry gives to Adam. But since Mace is often several steps ahead of the organization, Harry gathers his team and together they plan out an hours-long, incredibly thorough counter-surveillance plan to shake off any Mi-6 spies who might follow Adam on his journey to the rendezvous.

On the day of the meeting, Adam manages to evade all Mi-6 agents pursuing him using decoys, checkpoints, secret codes on crossword puzzles and sandwich boards, and a planned subway train malfunction. As Danny briefly takes Harakat away from the safe house and to the cricket ground, Adam meets with the anonymous source (Harriet Walter), whom he jokingly refers to as Deep Throat. She tells him that Harakat was not always a bookseller, having worked as Khordad's top engineer until he became a double agent for Mi-5. "After a year of running him, it got too hot, so they exiled him and relocated him here." Harakat would have continued to have a peaceful life, Deep Throat explains, until the U.K. government decided to become allies with Khordad, a sacrifice for the greater good of national security, but only in return for Harakat's death. Al-Youn, the hitman Mi-5 had been following, was a decoy, and Harakat's life is still very much in danger.

As Danny drives Harakat back to the safe house, Deep Throat's portentous warning comes true when a sniper bullet goes through the car's back windshield and right through Harakat's head. Danny, upset to have lost such a friendly, soulful, cricket-loving friend, retreats to his apartment and wallows.

Back at headquarters and outraged that Mace would pull such a scheme, Harry calls Adam into his office and tells him that he'd like to hire him on at Mi-5 full time. While he is impressed with Adam's work, Harry ultimately makes the decision in order to spite Mace, who insisted that Adam be returned to Mi-6.

Hey! I Know That Actor!

Anupam Kher, who played the double agent and bookseller Ayman Harakat, is a megastar in his native India, where he has appeared in over 300 Bollywood films. American audiences likely know him best from his appearances in "Bend it Like Beckham," "Bride & Prejudice," "Lust, Caution," "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger," and "Silver Linings Playbook."

Marcus Gorman is the author of the novel "Triceratops" and the editor of the film blog Ten Years Ago: Films in Retrospective.


About the Author

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