'Mi-5,' Episode Seventeen Recap: 'Project Friendly Fire'

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

Previously on "Mi-5"

As Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) attempts to suss out an assassination plot, his colleagues are aghast to find that all evidence points directly to him. For more, read the full episode recap here.

This Week's Episode: "Project Friendly Fire"

Written by: Jonny Campbell
Directed by: Sam Miller

Picking up where last season left off, Tom -- accused of assassinating a government official -- is presumed dead and a wounded Harry (Peter Firth) is on his way to the hospital. Back in London, Oliver Mace (Tim McInnerny) of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) looks at this "Tom situation" as an excuse to launch an investigation into Mi-5. First step: Ransack Thames House and suspend every employee of the government agency. Second step: Convince the rest of the JIC to approve this investigation, "cleaning the stables," so to speak. Some members of the JIC don't believe that dissolving Mi-5 is in the best interest of national security, but the vote nevertheless goes through in Mace's favor.

Without access to their office and their computers, Danny (David Oyelowo), Zoe (Keeley Hawes), Ruth (Nicola Walker), and Sam (Shauna Macdonald) rendezvous in a secret location, where a nearby homeless man warms them of the tracking devices planted on them. Thankful for the help, Danny and Zoe leave to go speak with CIA liaison Christine Dale (Megan Dodds) -- who is also Tom's lover -- but are stopped by more Special Branch goons.

Mostly recovered from the gunshot wound to his arm, Harry returns to find Mi-5 in disarray and his employees being forced to undergo interrogation. "This department is still independent," Harry barks, demanding that Mace put a stop to the investigation. In walks the homeless man from before, who is revealed to be Adam Carter (Rupert Penry-Jones), an Mi-6 agent interested in helping Mi-5 regain its standing. The only way to get the JIC off their backs, he explains, is to prove that Tom did not assassinate the Chief of Defense.

After speaking to spy colleague and JIC member Hugo Weatherby (Michael Culver), who informs him that Mace's ultimate goal is to establish a single unified intelligence "secret service" for the UK, Harry gets a call from none other than a very-much-alive Tom. "I couldn't let you bring me in," says, explaining that he's still out to prove his innocence. Lo and behold, Tom has tailed his conspirator Herman Joyce (Tomas Arana), who had believed Tom responsible for putting his daughter in an asylum, to a church. After disarming the vengeful ex-CIA operative, Tom has no choice but to shoot Joyce dead.

The next morning, the spies of Mi-5 are shocked to find Joyce's dead body in front of Thames House. Why? Because they were under the impression that Joyce had died in a car wreck five years earlier, part of the plot to implicate Tom's guilt. Going back over the footage of Joyce's "funeral," they decide to focus on his wife Carmen (Frances Tomelty), another ex-CIA operative, who now obviously helped her husband set Tom up. Mace is displeased with these new revelations and filters his anger through his dealings with Christine, slapping her and threatening her with endless months of agonizing interrogation.

Zoe and Danny return to their flat to find Tom waiting in her living room. While Danny believes Tom's stories, Zoe is still hesitant to believe a man who shot his boss only days earlier. Tom has what he believes is a break in the case, Herman Joyce's cell phone, which he and Carmen use to text each other. They put a plan into motion: Get Carmen to come to the U.K. and intercept her at a hotel. Before the operation can start, though, Tom meets with Christine, and after she convinces him she's not wearing a wire (she is), he reveals the location of where they'll apprehend Carmen.

Following her every move on CCTV, the spies wait for Carmen at the Portman Hotel when they notice Special Branch goons have also been planted there, going off the information Christine was able to provide them. A quick-thinking Adam creates a diversion so as not to let Special Branch get a hold of Carmen, who escapes the hotel. Luckily, Mi-5 had a cab set up outside the hotel, and they are able to follow her to a decrepit Victorian flat in Peckham. This is her and Herman's safe house, information corroborated by a text message she believes she is sending to Herman.

Outside the safe house, Tom jumps into the surveillance van and butts heads with a still-suspicious Harry and a mouthy Adam. Carmen, who they are watching through a spycam Colin (Rory MacGregor) installed in the flat, starts getting jittery about her husband's absence. With no options left, Adam realizes he must go in alone and confront an armed Carmen. With a mixture of admiration and confusion, Adam gets Carmen to arrogantly claim credit for setting up Tom, a conspiracy years in the making. Knowing that she has been found out, Carmen takes her gun, asks Adam how good his reflexes are, and shoots herself in the head. "Never be taken."

The investigation having ceased, Mace goes back to his hole to lick his wounds while Harry apologizes profusely to Tom, ashamed that he was taken for a fool. Tom meets with Christine one final time, knowing that she was the one who tipped off Special Branch as to Carmen's location. She has resigned from the CIA, she tells him, but their relationship is forever tarnished.

Hey! I Know That Actor!

Adam Carter, the newest addition to the "Mi-5" ensemble, is played by Rupert Penry-Jones, best known for his roles on "Whitechapel," "North Square," and the television film "Cold Comfort Farm."

Tim McInnerny, who plays the villainous government official Oliver Mace, has appeared on every series of "Black Adder," portrayed Frank-N-Furter in the first U.K. revival of "The Rocky Horror Show," and played Sven the Berserk in Terry Jones' "Erik the Viking."

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.
RSS icon