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Previously on 'Mi-5'
We are introduced to the Section D division of MI-5, Britain's national security -- including Senior Case Officers Tom Quinn (Matthew Macfadyen) and Tessa Phillips (Jenny Agutter), Junior Case Officers Zoe Reynolds (Keeley Hawes) and Danny Hunter (David Oyelowo), and Head of Counter-Terrorism Department Harry Pearce (Peter Firth) -- as they track down and apprehend an American woman wanted for murdering family planning doctors. (For more details, read the first episode recap here.)
This Week's Episode: "Looking After Our Own"
As the episode begins, Danny and his team attempt to install a proper surveillance system at the house of noted "hardcore racist" Robert Osborne (Kevin McNally), but fail to accomplish their mission in time thanks to Osborne's detailed security measures. Osborne, owner of a waste disposal business, is suspected of organizing race riots across the country, and the evidence points to a connection that goes all the way to the top of the UK government through one MP (Master of Parliament) Bill Watson (Jasper Jacob). As a result, Tom and Junior Administrative Officer Helen Flynn (Lisa Faulkner) decide to go undercover as "Steve" and "Susan," a married couple and computer science teachers.
Meanwhile, Tessa and Zoe look into an HM Customs and Excise crime, brought on when a number of drowned Chechen immigrants wash up onto British shores, having been thrown overboard by smugglers afraid of government interference. They can't quite prove it yet, but Tessa and Zoe believe that the Customs case is directly tied to Osborne's crimes, and Zoe uses her contacts to make a break in the case, looking into preexisting heroin routes from Holland. Also back at MI-5, we learn that Danny has a major spending problem, and when his finances start to crumble, he uses Section D's government access and illegally alters his credit rating.
After Tom nearly blows his cover by using the wrong wallet in front of oblivious girlfriend Ellie (Esther Hall), he further arouses her suspicions when he says he must leave for a week on a "fact-finding tour of the US.A. and Japan" for his fake IT job. Now in Romford, Tom helps the still very new-to-MI-5 Helen solidify her new identity as "Susan," and thus they begin their short life together as a married couple under the codename Operation Greensleeves, wherein they'll earn the trust of Osborne's battered wife Claire (Debra Stephenson). Knowing that Claire is very interested in computers, "Steve" and "Susan" pose as substitute teachers at the community college where she takes classes.
At the Osborne residence, Osborne meets with MP Watson and associate Nick Thomas (Tom Goodman-Hill) to discuss their next plan of action. As an impending bout of racially motivated violence in Leeds is planned out, Osborne's plan comes into focus: He is shipping in immigrants to overcrowd asylum centers across the country, and when combined with the race riots, it would give Watson opportunity to install some major immigration reform via the House of Commons.
Operation Greensleeves starts with ease, as "Steve" and "Susan" make quick friends with Claire, prompting her to invite them over for dinner. The night seems to be going swimmingly until a suspicious Osborne gets "Susan" to stumble through her fake backstory, forcing her to "confess" that, while she and "Steve" are in fact married, they are in an open relationship and she has a number of boyfriends.
Danny discovers that Nick Thomas, Osborne's contact, is not a likeminded racist but journalist Kieran Harvey, who has been deep undercover for months "doing an exposé on racism in British politics." "Steve" confronts Nick/Kieran on this information, but decides to use him to their advantage. Operation Greensleeves goes along its course as "Steve" and "Susan" reveal themselves to Claire, promising her a safe place for her and her son, as well as £600 a week, should she cooperate with MI-5.
Before "Steve" and "Susan" can leave town, Tom returns to his fake home only to find Osborne's henchman holding Helen at gunpoint. Tom and Helen are thrown into a back of a van, a space shared with the recently deceased Kieran Harvey. The jig is up. Brought to the kitchen of the waste treatment plant, Osborne demands to know what MI-5 knows of his scheme. When Tom doesn't submit any information, Osborne tortures Helen by putting her hand in a deep fryer, then her head, then finishing her off with a gunshot to the cranium. Claire, who has been pretending to support her husband during this interrogation, reveals her true feelings about the matter when she throws a cigarette into the deep fryer, causing a small explosion and giving Tom time to escape from Osborne's clutches.
On the run, Tom calls into headquarters and finds a nearby safehouse, where he makes contact with Zoe and is brought back to safety. Mourning the loss of Helen, Tom and Harry learn that the higher-ups are not interested in bringing Osborne to justice for the time being, choosing instead to use him as a way to reveal further far-right terrorism in the country. This infuriates the team, but there is nothing they can do. As the episode draws to a close, the storylines wrap themselves up. Tom asks Ellie to move in with him, the team attends Helen's funeral, Claire and her son go to the airport to escape their tortured life, Osborne is assassinated in a traffic tunnel, and MP Watson receives a suspicious package -- pictures of the dead Chechen immigrants.
Hey! I Know That Actor!
Lisa Faulkner, who plays the now-deceased Helen Flynn, is also known for her performances on "Murdoch Mysteries," "Murder in Suburbia," and "Burn It." Tom Goodman-Hill, who played the undercover journalist Kieran Harvey, can currently be seen as the Police Constable on the sitcom "Ideal." And Kevin McNally, who plays the terrifying racist Robert Osborne, is known to audiences worldwide as the Jack Sparrow's loyal right-hand man Mr. Gibbs in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" film series.
Marcus Gorman is the editor of the film blog Ten Years Ago: Films in Retrospective and the author of the upcoming novel "triceratops."
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