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'Mi-5,' Episode Twenty-Two Recap: 'Persephone'

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

Previously on Mi-5

As Zoe (Keeley Hawes) and Ruth (Nicola Walker) deal with their respective relationship struggles, Danny (David Oyelowo) is forced against his will to kill a renegade scientist. For more, read the full episode recap here.

This Week's Episode: "Persephone"

Written by: Ben Richards
Directed by: Justin Chadwick

To the shock of Mi-5, Zoe has been put on trial for two counts of involuntary manslaughter and conspiracy to murder mob boss Emre Celenk (Haluk Bilginer). It seems that an operation meant to stop the Turkish mafia from getting weapons into the U.K. resulted in mafia lieutenant Sevilin Ozal (Kayvan Novak) murdering his boss Celenk and two others, and Zoe is charged with sexually manipulating him. Mi-5 often has to deal with collateral damage, but one of the victims, Hasan Doyan (Cosh Omar), just happened to be an undercover police officer.

With a media circus in full force, Harry (Peter Firth) is terrifyingly aware that Zoe is but a scapegoat, a way for the government to take a hit at a division they feel acts above the law. Visiting Attorney General Lord Patrick Young (James Laurenson), Harry pleads with him, saying he's going to lose one of his best employees all thanks to this show trial. Lord Young calms him down, promising that while Mi-5 will likely lose the case, Zoe will get nothing more than a slap on the wrist. Still, Zoe is taking no chances, and before the trial starts, she reconciles with her ex-fiancé Will (Richard Harrington), telling him that she's about to be in a lot of trouble.

At the Old Bailey, the trial begins, the seats packed with onlookers as the raging news media awaits legal fireworks. A handcuffed Ozal is called to the stand. He has confessed not only to the three warehouse murders but 14 others as well, and he is getting nothing in exchange for his testimony. He details what lead up to the crime. Having met Zoe at a casino, he quickly fell for her alias Sophie Newman, a wealthy, mean, sharp-tongued socialite looking for excitement. Believing himself in love with this feisty woman, the two spend their time shopping and going out on dinner dates, until one day she meets Celenk.

"Sophie" and Celenk get closer, and when Celenk invites the German-speaking "Sophie" on a business trip to Frankfurt, Ozal's jealousy begins to boil. Returning from the trip, "Sophie" confesses that she slept with Celenk, then insinuates that Celenk thinks Ozal weak enough to eliminate from his crew. Going to the transcript, as the undercover police officer was wearing a wire, the court listens to the massacre take place. Just before he murders all three men, we hear the following exchange:

Ozal: "Sophie told me what happened. She told me to kill you."
Celenk: "Tell Sophie that life is only a dream."

Now it's Zoe's turn to take the stand. Describing the build-up to the operation, we flash back to headquarters where Ruth breaks down the threat Celenk poses, describing his history of violence and a connection to a Balkan arms route. Identifying Ozal as Celenk's weakest link, they brief Zoe on her alias and send her into battle.

Zoe's version of the story covers the same events, although she paints herself in a much better light, not the blisteringly manipulative femme fatale Ozal describes. Zoe says that it was never her intention to push Ozal to murder, and the trip to Frankfurt was solely meant to help Mi-5 gather intelligence and nothing else. In fact, she and Ozal never slept together, and all of Ozal's actions can chalked up to his drug-fueled paranoia. But as the prosecutor (Penny Downie) makes clear, Zoe's claim of Ozal's paranoia is not supported by any of the recordings Doyan made while working undercover.

As the case goes to the jury, Danny and Zoe return to their flat to await the verdict, and he asks her to fill in any missing details from her testimony. Zoe comes clean. After the initial briefing on Celenk, Harry and Adam (Rupert Penry-Jones) took Zoe aside and informed her that Celenk may have connections to Al-Qaeda, and though it would be a long-term option, it might end up being in their best interest to put Celenk down. During the Frankfurt trip, Zoe reported back to HQ, having seen Celenk meet with two Saudi businessmen. That night, Celenk and "Sophie" did not have sex as Ozal thought. Instead, a conversation occured during which Celenk demonstrates a dangerous anti-American sentiment, confessing that he enjoyed "watching the planes fly into the Twin Towers," wishing he could have felt "the excitement of those young men who had taken over the plane." Zoe was finally able to see him for who he really was, a man who cares little about the deaths of others. "It changes nothing in the end," he says. "Life is only a dream, and one day we all wake up from it."

Zoe asked to be taken off the case, but Harry and Adam said it'd be too late. This man must be stopped. Ergo, she went to Ozal and lied about sleeping with Celenk in the hopes of him taking out his disgusting, vile boss. But nobody ever meant for him to kill anybody other than Celenk, and now she has to deal with the very real consequences.

The verdict comes in, and Zoe is found guilty on all three counts. That was to be expected, but when she is handed a ten-year prison sentence, Harry loses his mind. Returning to Lord Young, he demands to know why he didn't keep his promise. With few options, Harry pulls out an ace and tells Lord Young that "a few reputations will go down with Zoe. We know where the bodies are buried, remember?"

Harry's threat pays off, and he, Adam, and Danny go to Zoe in her holding cell, just before she is about to be transferred to prison, having worked out another option. Having found a convict already in jail for a 20-year sentence who also shares Zoe's height and build who will take the fall for a reduced prison sentence, they give Zoe a new identity and a passport, which she'll use to spirit herself away to Chile. Zoe refuses outright, saying she cannot leave everything in her life behind, her guilt enough to get her through prison. But Danny, still very much in love with Zoe, tells her that she will not be able to handle prison, and that leaving the country is her best bet. Finally convinced, Zoe takes the passport and her new identity, Gina Hamilton.

"I'll never see you again," she tells Danny mournfully.

"Maybe one day, when nothing matters anymore," Danny responds, "I'll come out, and we'll sit by the ocean and laugh at all this." Zoe smiles, turns, and disappears, leaving behind her tear-soaked colleague.

Hey! I Know That Actor!

Haluk Bilginer, who plays the fearsome terrorist sympathizer and crime lord Emre Celenk, has been seen on such shows as "EastEnders" and "Ezel" as well as the films "Ishtar," "Buffalo Soldiers," and "The International." He is probably most famous for his lead role on "Tatli Hayat (Sweet Life)," a Turkish remake of "The Jeffersons."

Also, if you are a regular KCET viewer, then you probably noticed that the judge was played by Ian McNeice, who you can watch play Bert Large on "Doc Martin" every Friday and Saturday on this very channel.

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.
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