'Mi-5,' Episode Twenty Recap: 'A Prayer for My Daughter'

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

Previously on Mi-5

A controversial Palestinian novelist is attacked while under Mi-5's protection. For more, read the full episode recap here.

This Week's Episode: "A Prayer for My Daughter"

Written by: Ben Richards
Directed by: Cilla Ware

The London-centered Middle East Peace Talks between Israel and Palestine are put indefinitely on hold when Patricia Norton (Jan Chappell), the UN's chief negotiator, is found dead in a field from an apparent suicide. But not everything is what it seems, as only hours before her death, Norton had two pieces of information for newly appointed Mi-5 agent Adam (Rupert Penry-Jones): "If you're interested in extremists, look into David Swift and a fanatical Israeli group calling itself the November Committee," explaining that both were trying to derail the peace talks. Easier said than done, as Swift (Corin Redgrave) is a neo-conservative, top-tier, Murdoch-like newspaper proprietor, and one of the most powerful men in the U.K.

In order to see if Norton's information has any merit, Mi-5 focuses on Swift's combative relationship with his political rival, a politician named Nicholas Ashworth (Anton Lesser) who heads up the Palestinian Freedom Campaign (PFC). Zoe (Keeley Hawes) will pose as a researcher and Danny (David Oyelowo) a pro-Palestine activist. After a day at the PFC, Danny comes back with information on one Catherine Townsend (Caroline Carver), who is making documentaries about the Palestinian plight.

Catherine might seem like just another lead to Danny, or even a spy for the November Committee, but when it's revealed that Catherine is none other than Harry's estranged daughter, Harry (Peter Firth) becomes erratic and even dangerous to the mission, swearing that Catherine cannot possibly be a spy. But the mission comes first, and once they gather proof from Swift's computer about his connection with the November Committee, as well as a call traced to the PFC's offices, they must continue to pursue any lead they have.

As Danny gets closer to Catherine, he still finds no evidence that the PFC is channeling funds to terrorist groups, nor any sign of any planted November Committee spies. But Catherine may still pose a threat when Mi-5 learns that not only is she about to take a meeting with Swift, but also gained a boyfriend in one Gilad Lasker, a member of the Israeli Military Intelligence, during her recent stay in Tel Aviv.

Pursuing the Gilad lead, Danny flirts his way into Catherine's flat and learns the truth. Catherine is not a double agent for the November Committee. No, she's trying to make a hard-hitting exposé of a documentary about them, and she has been pretending to be sympathetic with Swift's politics in order to get closer to what he knows. Relieved that she is not the enemy, Danny and Catherine let their emotions get the best of them, and they tumble into bed together. When Danny leaves the following morning, a man breaks into Catherine's flat and holds a knife to her throat, asking her to give a message to daddy: "Back off."

An emotional Harry goes into quick action and speeds up the operation, setting up a course of action that would not only threaten Swift's empire, but also protect the in-danger Ashworth. They'll need to get a tracking device on Swift, and knowing Swift's love for the ladies, Adam brings in Mi-6 agent Fiona Carter (Olga Sosnovska), who is both "a woman who is ruthless, immoral, vicious, and utterly lacking in human sympathy" and his very own wife. Posing as a food blogger, she convinces Swift to bring her up to his hotel room while Mi-5 gets a hold of some food he ate for purposes to be revealed later.

Under Harry's orders, Danny reveals his true identity to Catherine, allowing her and Harry to finally have a face-to-face after all these years. While their relationship has been very strained (to the point that Catherine said her father "might as well be dead"), Catherine and Harry learn to put their past troubles behind them.

That night, Zoe is on her way to meet with Ashworth, who is meant to be having an anniversary dinner with his secret male lover Richard (Stuart Laing), when she gets a call that the two lovers are currently at the PFC offices. But why? As it turns out, Richard has been working for Swift, and when Zoe arrives at the offices, Richard has Ashworth strung up as if he means to kill himself, another faked suicide all for the cause of the November Committee. Richard kicks out the chair, but luckily Danny has also been called to the scene, and they are able to disarm Richard and save Ashworth's life.

Swift returns to his office only to find Adam in his chair. "We've got your agent," Adam tells him. "Your men are being rounded up as we speak. My boss is greatly looking forward to talking to whoever it was who threatened his daughter." Swift responds that he is too powerful for Mi-5 to do anything to him, able to deny all of their evidence. But Adam has trick up his sleeve, showing Swift a video of Fiona claiming that Swift raped her. As for proof, Mi-5 had taken the teethmarks from Swift's food and recreated them on Fiona's body.

The next day, Swift announces that he's selling his newspaper to focus on his United States ventures, and he leaves the country. As Harry sends Catherine off to continue living her life, he opens his desk and rereads a poem she transcribed so many years ago.

Hey! I Know That Actor!

Corin Redgrave is, yes, one of *those* Redgraves. Son of Michael Redgrave and sibling to Vanessa and Lynn, Corin was a well-respected actor and political activist until his death in 2010, having appeared in many great Shakespeare productions as well as the films "The Girl in the Café," "Persuasion," "Four Weddings and a Funeral," "In the Name of the Father," "Excalibur," and "A Man for All Seasons."

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

LEAVE A COMMENT Leave Comment