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Previously on Mi-5
The commander of a dangerous Irish splinter group makes a deal with Mi-5: In exchange for his information on an impending al Qaeda-related terrorist attack, Mi-5 cannot monitor, survey, or follow him or his splinter group for two full days. On the homefront, Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) accidentally brings a bomb into the home he shares with his girlfriend Ellie (Esther Hall) and her daughter Maisie (Heather Cave). For more, read the full episode recap here.
This Week's Episode: "Legitimate Targets"
Picking up mere seconds after the season one finale, Tom desperately tries to get back into his home, where he has accidentally trapped Ellie and Maisie mere feet from a bomb hidden inside of a laptop. Luckily, the detonator fails to ignite the explosives. After such a terrifying encounter, Tom promises to spend more time with Ellie and Maisie. Alas, Tom serves his country first, and he is pulled back into work when another bomb, in the Wandsworth neighborhood of South London, takes the lives of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and his two daughters. And taking responsibility for the attack is none other than the Irish splinter group Mi-5 dealt with in the last episode.
Mi-5 gets a potential lead in bringing the splinter group to justice when its section commander Patrick McCann (Lorcan Cranitch) calls Tom asking for a favor. It seems that the rest of the splinter group has gotten word that McCann cooperated with Mi-5, leading to the takedown of Sudanese ultra-extremist cell Asabiyah, and now McCann needs protection from the government he fights so hard to destroy. When Tom's men reach McCann, they find him in an elevator, bullet through the head, and wearing a toe tag that reads "Property of Mi-5."
Mi-5's Section D, where our heroes work, must hand the Irish terrorism case to Section C when another explosion goes off, this time at a military base in Longcross. They immediately suspects Miroslav Gradic (Karel Roden), a major Serb commander and "war criminal with a taste for genocide." Mi-5 elects to stop him through Rado (Dragan Micanovic), a known Gradic sympathizer who works in the U.K. at the Serbian embassy and might be exchanging coded messages with the war criminal. After new recruit Sam Buxton (Shauna Macdonald) does a profile on Rado, she learns that Gradic is a cinephile, so the team creates their very own video store in Rado's neighborhood and sends Zoe (Keeley Hawes) undercover as a store clerk named Kate.
As "Kate" becomes close to Rado, the Serbians hit an MOD (Ministry of Defense) munitions transport, murder all the military personnel, and run off with the weapons. Immediately, Mi-5 notices something very particular about the location of these two Serbian attacks: Neither are on any legal map. There must be a mole in the MOD, but who?
Having successfully piqued Rado's romantic interests, and having convinced him that she needs his computer expertise on creating a worthy CV, "Kate" gets an invitation to join him at his house for some late-night drinks, where she gives him a gift of cufflinks. Her safety becomes of great concern when a nearby Danny (David Oyelowo), doing surveillance on the nightcap, is overtaken and beaten up by some street kids who wanted his phone. Even worse, Mi-5 agent Malcolm Wynn-Jones (Hugh Simon) discovers that Rado is in fact Gradic's nephew, and is therefore more dangerous than they originally anticipated. Thankfully, "Kate" can get out in time without rousing any suspicion. Mi-5's Rado plan comes into focus; the cufflinks "Kate" gave him are bugged, capable of picking up all of his keystrokes, and the fake CV she gave him to work on is a control document meant to break his code, as the CV contains every letter on a QWERTY keyboard, "plus symbols."
A recovering Danny hits pay dirt when he discovers the MOD's potential mole, a Defense Logistics man named Jim North (Benedict Cumberbatch), who despite having a meager salary is able to afford a very expensive mortgage. Their suspicions turn out to be dead-on when a very nervous North admits to helping out a "publisher" interested in putting together a map of secret Britain. Since he considered the information completely unimportant, he had no idea that he was helping out a terrorist organization and betraying his own country. He fesses up to being paid by the group via dead drops, following a code he finds in the newspaper classifieds.
Following the code, Malcolm learns that another attack might happen that very day at Fieldcott Hall, where a COBRA (Cabinet Office Briefing Room) meeting is taking place in direct response to the Serbian attacks. Mi-5 realizes that this has been the plan all along, to "strike enough military targets in the British Isles" to force this group together, a group that includes the Prime Minster, the Chief of Defense, the heads of all armed forces, the Secretary of State, and Mi-5's own Section D leader Harry (Peter Firth). As Gradic and the Serbians blast into Fieldcott Hall and enter the meeting room, they are surprised to find it completely empty... except for Tom and his well-armed back-up team. Seeing no humanity in Gradic, Tom labels his prisoner as a convicted pedophile and sends him to Egypt. "Know what the Egyptians do to sex offenders?" Tom asks his colleagues.
Having struggled to balance his work life and his personal life, Tom tries one last time to get Ellie back, but after having stood her up to stop the attack on the COBRA meeting, she rejects him forever, knowing that she will never come first in his priorities.
Hey! I Know That Actor!
Karel Roden, who plays Serbian war criminal Miroslav Gradic, is a Czech Republic-born actor who specializes in playing wonderfully mustache-twirling villains in such films as "The Bourne Supremacy," "Hellboy," and "Blade II."
Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays unknowing traitor Jim North, is best known to American audiences for his roles in "Atonement," "The Other Boleyn Girl," "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" and "War Horse." He can currently be seen as the one and only Sherlock Holmes on the BBC series "Sherlock," and you can also catch him and Johnny Lee Miller in the Danny Boyle-directed production of "Frankenstein," which was filmed at the National Theatre in 2011 and is currently making the rounds in American movie theatres. In December of 2013, he will take on his greatest role as Smaug the dragon in the second part of Peter Jackson's "Hobbit" trilogy.