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'Mi-5,' Episode Thirty-Two Recap: 'The Innocent'

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

Previously on Mi-5

A tabloid writer and an aspiring journalist become vital to MI-5's investigation into the murder of an ex-spy. For more, read the full episode recap here.

This Week's Episode: "The Innocent"

Written by: David Farr
Directed by: Jeremy Lovering

A media circus has commenced around Prisoner J, an unidentified Algerian Muslim who was detained without charge or trial. Praising his release, civil rights activist lawyer Rebecca Sinclair (Joanna Roth), who heads up Liberation, calls it a great victory for human rights but still insists that she is going to sue the British government for the incarceration. What she doesn't know, though, is that his release has been carefully orchestrated by Harry (Peter Firth) and National Security Coordinator Juliet Shaw (Anna Chancellor). Prisoner J, also known as Nazim Malek (Jimi Mistry), was arrested as a key terror suspect when his name was linked with a planned bomb attack on Heathrow. So why release him? The day before, French intelligence had intercepted an email from a terror cell in Algiers indicating that Malek is coordinating another attack on London. Thus, by releasing him, they could have Malek lead them right to the rest of his cell, something that would not have been possible with him in prison.

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With surveillance firmly in place and increased security at Heathrow and other major transit hubs in place, Harry gets a visit from Paul Seymour (Ralph Brown) of Special Branch, who was the one who captured Malek in the first place and received a cushy promotion in return. "You're playing a dangerous game," he tells Harry, uneasy with the ramifications of the mission. "As far as I'm concerned, the safest place for Nazim Malek is behind bars." But when Ruth comes to Harry with information, having spoken to DGSE (Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure), that there has been increased mobile activity on the French side of the Channel Tunnel, Harry concludes that the mission must go on, even with Juliet and Seymour breathing down his neck.

With time running out on an impending attack, Harry commands Adam (Rupert Penry-Jones) to pick up the operation's pace. A free Malek, even with eyes and ears on him, still poses a deadly threat, as proven when Adam and Zaf (Raza Jaffrey) follow Malek to a nearby park where he makes a backpack exchange with noted terrorist and Rachid Medi (Munir Khairdin), a member of the Free Islam Movement. A bit of research reveals the answer they seek--Malek was in prison with Rachid's brother. This must be the link to how Malek was planning a terror attack from within prison walls.

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Nothing is ever as it seems, though, as Ruth races into headquarters with another wire for Harry. "French intelligence have just stormed a suspected terror cell near Gare du Nord in Paris. They've shot dead two Algerians. One of the men is of particular interest to us. His name is Nazim Malek." Meeting once again with Juliet and Seymour, Harry lays it all out. Two Nazim Maleks were living in the same British town at the exact same time, and the British government arrested the wrong one, allowing the real culprit to escape to France. Prisoner J is innocent, and Seymour has to answer for this. But if Malek truly is innocent, why did he meet with Medi? Tempting fate, Harry has no choice but to continue the operation.

With Adam and Zaf on his tail, Malek goes to a parking garage to meet with Medi. There, Medi hands him three passports. Where is the fourth, Malek demands? Medi hands him instructions on how to put together a rifle and tells Malek he will get his fourth passport when he completes his end of the job. Left behind and distraught, a sobbing Malek tries to jump off the top level of the parking garage, a suicide stopped only when Zaf intervenes.

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Brought to an abandoned building for interrogation, Adam and Zaf assure Malek that they are aware of his innocence. Malek finally opens up, confessing that he was a member of the Algerian army until one day his platoon was ordered to pose as Mujahadeen and massacre a village. He refused, a treasonous offense, but managed to escape before execution, illegally immigrating to the U.K. on a truck from France. Why didn't he tell Special Branch all of this upon his arrest? "I did." Malek proceeds to tell them he wasn't the only person to come over illegally, having brought his family with him. Trapped by his circumstances, though, he has been unable to contact his family directly--only communicating with them through Rebecca Sinclair--because if they were discovered, they would be deported back to Algeria where they would certainly be killed for Malek's desertion. In prison and desperate for options, he made friends with Rachid's brother, who offered him an opportunity: Do one task that we ask, and we will give you passports so your family may flee Britain. Other than the instructions for the long-range rifle, though, he does not know what the task entails. Not yet. Racing to the family's location, Mi-5 finds that the Free Islam Movement thugs--led by the murderous Badrak Madjid (Alki David)--have already visited, murdering Sinclair and kidnapping Malek's kin in the process. Mi-5 is now in a terrible position. If they bring Malek in, they may be unable to find and capture the members of the Free Islam Movement, but if they allow Malek to continue roaming free--despite having surveillance on him--he could commit an even worse act.

Malek heads over to a council estate to meet with Madjid, where he is handed a duffle bag instructed in no uncertain terms that, should he not complete his task or refuse to do it, his family will be murdered. When Malek leaves, Zaf stays on his tail while Adam stays behind at the estates, trying to figure out a way to capture the terrorist cell without tipping them off.

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But where is Malek headed? Ruth, as usual, has the information, having just received a wire from Foreign Office. "President of Algerian Bank, Abdelhak Rachmani arriving City airport, attending meeting with Western investors at Northern Global Head Office at 1300 hours." Now with knowledge of the target and location, they phone Zaf and tell him he has 40 minutes. If those 40 minutes pass and Adam has not managed to capture the terrorist cell, Zaf must shoot Malek dead in order to save the bank president's life.

Using Fiona (Olga Sosnovska) as a decoy, Adam and his armed team make their way into the estate apartment, but not before Madjid grabs a hold of Malek's son, holding him hostage. At the same time, Zaf makes his way to Malek's rooftop position, where he has a rifle aimed directly at the bank president across the street. Zaf points his gun at Malek, pleading with him to not go through with his assigned task, telling him that his family is safe. But Malek, upset with how he was treated upon arriving in the U.K., demands to know why he should trust the government that illegally incarcerated him. "Prove to me that my family is safe," he says, and only then will he put down the rifle. With Harry on the phone yelling at Zaf to do as he is told, Zaf is just about to shoot this innocent man when Adam finally breaks into the call, putting Malek's son on the phone. All terrorists have been subdued, and Madjid is dead.

As Harry returns to Juliet's office with proof that Seymour suppressed information of Malek's innocence, which will certainly lead to him being fired in no uncertain terms, Zaf sees the Malek family off, the government having granted them new passports, new identities, and a safe home in Ireland.

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Hey! I Know That Actor!

Jimi Mistry, who portrayed the innocent Nazim Malek, has starred in such movies as "East is East," "The Guru," "Ella Enchanted," "Blood Diamond," and "2012."


About the Author

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