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'Mi-5,' Episode Sixteen Recap: 'Pit of Secrets'

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

Previously on Mi-5

Mi-5 investigates a Colombian cartel boss and his links to a powerful UK oilman, only to have their operation upturned by the return of a familiar face. For more, read the full episode recap here.

This Week's Episode: "Pit of Secrets"

Written by: Howard Brenton
Directed by: Sam Miller

In Miami, infamous hitman Mickey Kaharias (Bruce Payne) is watching "The Third Man" on television when several armed men break into his apartment, tell him that a very powerful man wishes to hire him for his services, then shoots him dead.

Meanwhile, in London, Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) and CIA liaison Christine Dale (Megan Dodds) have rented a hotel room to carry out their secret affair. Against her duty to the United States, Christine hands Tom a Telex report she accidentally received from the CIA, a report of a phone call that indicates somebody with an Iraqi connection is hiring Kaharias to come to London and kill "an eminent man." A top secret missive that Tom knows is for his eyes only, he burns the Telex to erase all evidence of Christine's potential treason.

At headquarters, Tom forwards the info to Danny (David Oyelowo) and Zoe (Keeley Hawes), making them promise not to say a word to Harry (Peter Firth), who has been breathing down Tom's neck the last few months due to Tom's increasingly erratic behavior and insubordinate tone. Staking out Heathrow, the three spies see who they believe is Kaharias, but also notice that he is being followed by a mysterious man (Tomas Arana).

As Danny and Zoe check into Tom and Christine's story, they find little information connecting Zaharias or the mysterious man to the CIA. Zoe believes that Christine is setting Tom up, but Danny has a much more worrisome instinct: Is Tom up to something he shouldn't be, and if so, is he a danger to the country he swore to protect? Tailing Tom to a leather warehouse, Danny finds a safe, breaks into it, and finds a stack of cash, an Irish passport for Tom under the pseudonym "Paul Connors," and a Slovakian visa. Realizing that his employees are keeping secrets from him, Harry gets the truth from Zoe and Danny, then orders them to cease operations immediately.

At Tom's hotel room, the mysterious man from the airport reappears and introduces himself. He is Herb Ziegler, another CIA operative, and he wants to make a deal: If Tom will stop following Kaharias' trail, Ziegler will not report Christine for sharing government secrets. Having planted a tracking device on Ziegler's briefcase, Tom follows him to a construction site on Cannon Street, calling in Danny and Zoe as backup. Intercepting a message between spies, they find a note that sends them to Salter's Farm in Feniston, where within seconds they are apprehended by gun-toting men.

Back at headquarters, Harry becomes suspicious of Tom's true motives when Ruth (Nicola Walker) finds out some hard truths from the FBI: Kaharias has been dead for three days, found in a Miami storm drain. As Tom's story is quickly unraveling, Harry is forced to put out a warrant for Tom's arrest.

Strung up in a barn, Tom fails to convince Danny and Zoe that he is telling the truth, although Zoe is still holding out hope that Tom still has a shred of humanity and couldn't be as treasonous as the evidence says. Danny is interrogated and tortured by Ziegler and his men but reveals nothing, and when it's Zoe's turn, Danny demands to know about the Irish passport and what Tom was doing at that leather shop. Tom swears it was a simply a lead that went cold, telling his colleagues that this is all smoke and mirrors, an illusion. The three are given an injection and pass out, Danny and Zoe waking up hours later to an empty barn. Racing back to headquarters, they report the events to Harry, saying that Tom set the whole thing up. Harry agrees, as Ruth had done a banking check on Paul Connors and found a $4 million deposit from a Slovakian bank. There is no way around it; Tom is officially a threat to national security. With a full national alert in place, Harry and his superiors bring Christine in for interrogation, telling her that there is no record of the Telex she gave Tom, nor any evidence of the phone call the Telex indicated. But Christine is just as lost as everybody else, and she realizes that she, too, has been set up in order to implicate Tom as an assassin.

A woozy Tom wakes up in a meadow, surrounded by armed men in animal masks. Seeing a sniper rifle nearby, he grabs it and attempts to defend himself, but it is too heavy for his weak body and mind and must drop it. Ziegler takes off his mask and reveals his true identity, Herman Joyce, a name Tom knows all too well. A legendary government agent, Joyce is also the father of Lisa, a man from Tom's past. Years earlier, Tom was working undercover at the London School of Economics when he recruited Lisa to be an Mi-5 asset. Unfortunately, she was still young and untrained when thrown into a dangerous operation that went terribly awry. "My daughter is in a facility in Maine in a catatonic state of withdrawal," Joyce barks. "You took everything from her, now I'm taking everything from you." Before knocking him out again, Joyce mentions that he is going to take a visit to Ipswich.

Tom wakes up some time later and rushes to a nearby farmhouse to use their phone. He calls into Mi-5, proclaiming that he believes a terrible incident is about to occur in Ipswich. "We know about the assassination," Zoe says from the other end of the line, telling him that Air Chief Marshal Sir John Stone, the head of the British Armed Forces, was shot and killed with a sniper bullet. Knowing that his fingerprints are on the sniper rifle, Tom demands that Harry, Danny, and Zoe come to the farmhouse so he can plead his case.

When Tom's now-former colleagues arrive, they find him in the house brandishing a shotgun. He tries telling them the truth, the setup Joyce engineered, but they have news for him, too: Herman Joyce was killed in a car crash five years earlier, a death witnessed by Joyce's own wife who was in the car with him. The jig is up. Harry takes a tracking device out of his pocket, and realizing there is no way out, Tom shoots Harry in the arm and runs away.

As Tom reaches the coastline, he flashes back to the events that led the setup, back to better days with his coworkers, back to his affair with Christine. He drops the shotgun to the ground, jumps into the sea, and disappears.

Hey! I Know That Actor!

Tomas Arana, who plays the vengeful Herman Joyce who causes Tom's ultimate downfall, is an American character actor who first came to attention as Lazarus in Martin Scorsese's "The Last Temptation of Christ," and has since appeared in such films as "Tombstone," "L.A. Confidential," "Gladiator," "The Bourne Supremacy," and "The Dark Knight Rises."


About the Author

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