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Previously on 'Mi-5'
With 72 hours left before a planned missile attack, Mi-5 must use some questionable interrogation techniques on a known mercenary. For more, read our full episode recap here.
This Week's Episode: "The Suffering of Strangers"
Written by: Ben Richards
Directed by: Alrick Riley
It's Fiona's (Olga Sosnovska) birthday, but after one of Mi-5's armed teams tears through a house and discovers maps of the London underground and a dossier on a nerve agent known as sarin, Fiona is asked to make contact with one of her informants known only as Butterfly (Mido Hamada). She returns to headquarters with information that some "North African characters we might be interested in" are soon to liaise in London, and Danny (David Oyelowo) is assigned to her to help with the rest of the mission. It's a potentially volatile mission, too, as this sarin attack is very likely meant to coincide with the Prime Minister's speech on the Iraq War the following day.
The next morning, Fiona and Danny show up to their safe house rendezvous with Butterfly early, only to be captured by masked men. When they come to, they are in an unknown location, being held captive by a man named Ahmed (Zubin Varla), a citizen of Iraq. "Thousands of my countrymen tortured and killed," he says as he paces around them. "You have brought chaos and anarchy to Iraq. Today we will hold you to account." Fiona tries to reason with him, telling him they already know about the impending attack, prompting him to produce a picture of Butterfly, dead from a gunshot wound to the head. The maps and dossiers they found were merely a trap, and Fiona fell right into it. Turning a camera on her, he forces her to read from a script. Referring to the Prime Minister, she reads: "Unless he uses the speech to signal their immediate withdrawal from the south of the country, I will be burned alive with my spy colleague." After Ahmed proves that they also have eyes on her son, Fiona follows his orders calls husband and fellow agent Adam (Rupert Penry-Jones) to set up a lunch at a South Bank café.
At the café, Adam is surprised to meet not his wife but Ahmed's associate Khatera (Badria Timimi), who hands him a cell phone with Ahmed on the other line. Ahmed tells Adam that Khatera is to call in with scheduled progress reports, otherwise Fiona and Danny meet their maker. Adam must make the same type of scheduled progress reports to Mi-5, he tells them, and when he is allowed to make a call back to headquarters, he reveals to Ruth (Nicola Walker), in code, that something is wrong.
Ruth gets Harry (Peter Firth) to call out a red-flash to all of the agents, and when neither Fiona nor Danny can be reached, they know that Adam's code wasn't a joke. Tracing his last call, they are able to watch him on CCTV monitors at the café with this mysterious woman. Zafar Younis (Raza Jaffrey), a risk assessor and junior case officer for Mi-6, has a plan to make contact with Adam, but they have to do it quickly. At the café, Zafar poses as man handing out candy samplers to passers-by, and with swift hands is able to pass Adam an earpiece and a tracking device before they move onto their next location.
Back at the secret house location, Fiona manages to use her lock-picking skills -- and the jewelry Adam gave her that morning as a present -- to release her and Danny out of their handcuffs. After making quick work of the lone guard watching them, they manage to escape the house only to be recaptured just before they can escape.
With few options remaining, Mi-5's Security and Intelligence Coordinator Guy Facer (Paul Jesson) demands that, since time is running out, they need to find a way for Adam to bring in Khatera. Harry argues against this, as it would cause the death of two agents, but Facer won't have it. "They're not civilians," Facer says. "I'm sorry to say this, but it does make the moral dilemma somewhat less acute."
At their new location, the Avalon Hotel, Adam tries to connect with Khatera on an emotional level, pleading with her not to take his wife. She has to protect her own family, she says, and after receiving another call from Ahmed, she gives Adam the bad news: Since Fiona and Danny killed one of Ahmed's guards, one of them must die in return, and Adam must be the one to choose. But how can he send one of them to their grave, and if he did, would he ever recover from the guilt? At the secret location, a suddenly calm, peaceful Danny takes a moment, assesses the gravity of the situation, and speaks:
"You will never win. If I'd been born somewhere else, it might have been me holding the gun now. If you'd been born somewhere else, it might have been you sitting where I am. For all your talk about choices, we don't get to choose those things. But I guess you're just unlucky because somehow, you've lost your humanity and now have no kindness or pity left in you. But I still have those things. Acts of hatred also produce acts of love, so you, my friend, will never win... If I weren't chained to this chair, I would be right up in your face, and you know what I'd be saying to you? F--- you, you death-worshiping fascist!"
Ahmed turns the gun to Danny and pulls the trigger, killing him instantly.
Stricken with grief, Adam once again tries to appeal to Khatera's humanity, going so far as to reveal the tracking device to her, saying that he doesn't care about anything other than saving his wife. His suggestion? Leave the tracking device behind to throw off Mi-5 so they can find Fiona. "Do as I say and we can both get what we want," he tells her.
At headquarters, the team suddenly realizes that the Fiona video was just a decoy, that the terrorists wanted Mi-5 to think "the only risk is the death of a hostage," and that this entire plan was always meant to lead to the Prime Minster. This is proven to be right, as Khatera and Adam arrive at the Great Hall where the Prime Minister is set to give his speech at any moment. After taking a look around, Khatera turns to Adam and pulls up a portion of her blouse, revealing that a chemical bomb has been planted inside of her abdomen. She doesn't have a choice, she tells Adam, pulling out a tube of lipstick that's also doubling as a detonator. Adam finally shows her the earpiece he has in, telling HQ not to let the Prime Minster enter the building. One last time, Adam asks a very frightened Khatera where they are holding his wife captive.
At the secret location, Ahmed realizes that Khatera has missed her cue, and just as his guard begins pouring gasoline on Fiona, Ahmed is felled by a flurry of bullets coming from outside. Swooping in on a helicopter, Adam is reunited with his wife, while the rest of the team stands over Danny's body, mourning his death.
Hey! I Know That Actor!
Raza Jaffrey, who plays Mi-5's newest member Zafar Younis, is best known in the United States for his role as Karen's fiancée Dev in the first season of NBC's musical drama "Smash," but he is also a well-known theatre actor, having earned rave reviews for his starring role in the Bollywood stage musical "Bombay Dreams."
Marcus Gorman is the author of the novel "Triceratops."