I'd give him a Bafta! What about you?
I saw this week’s episode at my friend’s house on Tuesday evening. It was a special occasion but I was so anxious that I missed a lot  of what was said. I  had to re-watch it for a second time at home, on  my computer and with headphones on not to miss one word and I realized I really had missed much! Richard Armitage was impeccable in each frame.  Well done,  Richard! I bit all my nails but it was worth it. This is not what I wanted for Lucas but … such a gripping episode! After seeing it for the second time I wrote down some of my thoughts. I’m not back  home yet and didn’t have the possibility  to read other comments  or reviews so, maybe, you’ve already read similar things somewhere else. Anyway, I warn you. These are just my impressions in no special order , not on every detail in the episode and, mind you, there are several spoilers!!! So if you want to avoid them, just avoid reading.

That is a spiteful look! He's ready to kill him ...
“Either he is too good or he is paranoid”, American Mr Beecher says of Lucas .  "Maybe both" , Harry . None of them, actually. He is just and simply desperate. “He is in trouble”, Ruth says. And Ruth,  as usual, is right. Lucas /John is definitely  in trouble.
In the first scene his look is a mixture of desperation and sorrow (see the first picture above) His voice, whispered and broken, is perfect to convey helplessness. This is how Richard opens this episode . An unforgettable,  touching opening scene. As we are carried away into the whirlpool of emotions,  Lucas becomes more and more crossed: Vaughn has been using his love for Maya to hit him, to blackmail him.
“This was between you and me. Why are you doing this to me?”
“You can’t blackmail someone whose life has no value”, he answers.
This is something terrible to say, but it must be terribly true: Lucas/John would have risked his own life to oppose Vaughn . It would have been useless to blackmail him. But now it’s different, he is totally in Vaughn’s  power because of Maya. He wants nothing to happen to Maya. He will do anything, ANYTHING, to protect her.
Surprise, surprise! Look who's back!
 Richard’s expressions , his use of every single facial feature and of his incredible voice, are awesome, excellent, brilliant. 

Music? Sometimes you just stop hearing it ...

As you can see, I’m first of all trying to convince myself that what is going to happen to “our” Lucas doesn’t matter. My attempt is to rationalize my anxiety  and disappointment. I’m honest I won’t be calm and relaxed while watching the next two episodes for what I’ve seen and heard  I’m sure I’ll be sitting on the edge of the chair and nail biting all the time. Just as it happened while watching this episode However,  I decided that from now on I’ll let the story, the plot, to carry me completely away. I want to fully enjoy the emotions the whole cast,, but especially Richard, are going to give us .They are all at their best and this season has been  terrific so far!
With a blond girl, in a wood but ... nothing romantic

Back to this week's adventures. Danielle Ortiz. I pitied her, poor girl. Her chit chat was amusing, she is smart and sensitive and immediately feels something is wrong with the James Bond who should protect her. She doesn’t trust him at all. And she’s right.  But the sequence of scenes with Lucas and Danielle together are important to have a glimpse at John fragile humanity. He is not a cold killer, this is what we can perceive. Once he is given the order to kill an unarmed civilian he does whatever is in his power to disobey the order.
But when he understands that girl alive and what she has discovered about him will be too dangerous to him , he calls for an ambulance  after turning off the mobile and wait for her to die, whispering sweet consoling words in her ear and taking her in his arms. OMG, what a thrilling scene!

Thrilling and touching
 In the sequence Lucas/Danielle, there’s also a quotation of the Hobbit. Danielle says to Lucas: “So what’s your big secret, James (she goes on calling him James – Bond - till things turn very badly for her, then she calls him Lucas) . Or shall I just tell your bosses about our pit-stop here at Hobbit country?”

Better to start thinking about future gratifications: The Hobbit will be a great occasion to enjoy of Richard's huge talent. Meanwhile, the next two episodes of Spooks will be both suffering and excitement for all of us. Little space for hope but we can bet on a cliffhanger.
Have you seen the trailer of 0907? I can’t stop thinking about Harry’s words  and Lucas/John's desperation in those few minutes: “Betrayal is a cancer. Let it eat your soul, not mine”. Are you sure Harry?

Have a great weekend, friends! Monday is not far... ready for whatever  is expecting us and,  especially, Lucas / John? Cheers! MG


Unknown said...

Great post as usual, MG!
I'm glad to read that you've decided to... let it be: I know it isn't easy, but surely Spooks is more enjoyable if the watcher is able to be as much detached as she (he?) can ;)
I agree, 0906 has been the best episode so far, definitely my favourite of this series. Richard in the very first scene is really amazing: he uses his facial expressions as well as his voice in a way that moves me every time I watch it - and I've already watched it several times :D
On a shallow note, where is that infamous "kitchen table scene" they promised to us in the interviews? There are only 2 eps left, and nothing so far :-(
Hope they haven't cut it out :-O If my friend Simona is right, it will be included among the DVD's extras. If so, that DVD will be one of next Christmas's best sellers! ;)
Have a nice loong weekend, everyone,

Alexa Adams said...

I'm pretty excited about this Hobbit news, being a fan of both Tolkein and Peter Jackson. When I saw your Facebook mention of it earlier this week, I was having dinner with my husband (shouldn't have been on my phone, but I was) and repeated the news to him. "Is he short?" he asked, prompting a conversation about The Vicar of Dibley, the only place I was certain my hubby had seen RA before. After some prompting, he was able to recall the gentleman in question. For him, this was just about the most exciting bit of news I have ever been able to pass along from my online Janeite buddies. Quite an accomplishment, Maria! Thanks for prompting a great dinner conversation.

Maria Grazia said...

@Karen M_T
I'm glad you liked it, K. You know I need your support. This was my favourite episode too, especially because I saw it with you and Simona. And Sophia, of course!
Enjoy your long weekend up there where you are and think of me here, hard working to go back home. As you said, I decided to ...let it be. Suffering but ready! The kitchen scene? They have shot it but maybe we will never seen it. I'll pre-book the DVD and let's hope it is there at least. Now, I'm too curious! Hugs.
@Alexa Adams
My husband and especially my elder son were really interested in that bit of news too! My husband said:That's a good occasion for him. Those films have usually got a huge audience. Only, I feel for you... He won't be that handsome!
My son: "Who? John Porter? (He only saw Richard in Strike Back with italian subs) He's too tall and too handsome. But if he is as good as he was as Porter, he will be a great Thorin. He's a great actor".
So, you see, we had a nice dinner chat too. Richard is ... one of the family now. LOL
Have a great weekend Alexa. Take care. Hugs. MG

Anonymous said...

Ditto with my husband MG, who has seen all Richard Armitage's visual work except N and S and appreciates him as an actor. He was quite interested in The Hobbit announcement but like all of us, amused and perplexed at squashing 6 foot 2 of actor down to a dwaf-sized Thorin Oakenshield.

Hated that last image you portrayed in this RA Friday and just hope that it wasn't Lucas doing what looks to be a brutal killing. Time will tell for us here, won't it. As always, a fabulous RA Friday and fabulous blog . . . and Twitter . . . and Facebook. You are as amazing as you are prolific and I do think you should reward yourself with a trip to New Zealand next year(!) via me here in Tasmania (only 3 hours from NZ)

Maria Grazia said...

GCA (is that correct? I'm not sure...) will do magic + RA's talent and we all will believe that gorgeous giant really if the king of Dwarves! I can't wait.
The last picture I added...I was doubtful, I didn't want to add it but that was one of my favourite scenes in this episode. Stunning Richard. I won't tell you more about it. Just wait on. This series is incredibly involving!
New Zealand and Tasmania next year? Oh! I'd love to go to such wonderful places ... never say never! Have a wonderful weekend, P. Best regards to your husband, too.

Fanny/iz4blue said...

I'm still processing that episode. It's on my list to rewatch over the weekend now I've put this and previous one on DVD. I hope I can handle it on the big screen.
It would be a surprise if he doesn't win the BAFTA for his performance in S9.
So delirious happy with the BIG news for RA.
This should provide with lots of press junkets and tons of interviews. That should be an eye-opener, I always think he shines in interviews.

Maria Grazia said...

YES! I love his interviews. I'll give him a prize for those too!

mulubinba said...

I was glued to the screen for Episode 6. I absolutely loved RA's acting - thanks for posting those wonderful screencaps. I'm just a bit worried about where Lucas is going to end up.

As for The Hobbiit casting - most people know how thrilled I am for RA :), I've been following the development of these movies for over 2 years in the vague hope he might audition. It's all really quite surreal.

Maria Grazia said...

I read on your blog about your supporting RA's casting as the Bard and, instead, we have Thorin! That's a great chance for Richard. I'm very happy and I can just imagine how surreal that must sound to you!
As for Spooks, I'm sad for ... where Lucas/John is heading but this series is so good! Let's enjoy every emotion they prepared for us.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Phylly3 said...

My hubby was very interested in the Hobbit movie too. Now if I can just get him to watch Strike Back with me! I can't think why he won't watch Spooks, as I know he'd really enjoy it. (And I was bugging him to watch it before season 7).
Great review of this episode MG! I agree that Richard should definitely get a BAFTA for this season. He is certainly getting to play the whole range of human emotions with this script!
The opening and ending shots of his expressions were especially powerful. It's like watching someone have a mental breakdown right in front of you!
I am hoping they don't completely write him out of the series, and it might be something like what they did with Ros's character (was it season 5 or 6?) where they faked her death and then brought her back again later.
I am trying to take your advice and not get so emotionally involved and just enjoy the ride, but it is soooo hard! I want Lucas to be a hero. (I don't want to call him John -- how's that for being in denial?)

Anonymous said...

I'm with you in denial-land phylly3, he's Lucas for me until otherwise is proved ;).

All the emotions in this episode are so gripping I didn't follow the general plot much either MG. I'm definitely watching more times. Richard was great in this, all the emotions, switching from one persona to the other, the scene when he lets Danielle die...is was a total surprise and still there was something alluring. In spite of the path Lucas is taking and even if I don't want to watch it happen :(, I have to! I never thought I was this involved in Lucas' storyline.

Oh well, Monday is around the corner. Have a good weekend!

OML :)

Maria Grazia said...

@phylly3 & onemorelurker1
Happy Sunday, girls!I'm having a hardworking long weekend cleaning upmy house. Builders and painters went away and now...our turn! Mine and my husband's! So, just briefly: I've been so emotionally involved in Spooks only watching the end of series 1 and waiting for the beginning of series 2? Do you remember Tom Quinn waiting outside his own house helpless and powerless ? I was so anxious for his girlfriend and her little daughter! I expect a similar cliffhanger for series 9 ...Back to work! Hugs and thanks for your comments! MG

lunarossa said...

Hi MG, Just come back from Italy after a "detoxing" week. I've just finished watching this episode to be prepared for tonight and now I'm so upset. The scene when he lets the girl die is so devastating. I don't like what they've done to Lucas. I cannot see a real reason for his behaviour. Maya is not good enough. Or maybe they will let us know later wh maya is so important to him that he betrays everything for her. Not sure if I cannot bear to watch it tonight. I think they shouldn't put spoilers in their previews...On another note, I remember the scene with Tom very well. It was one of the many hearbreaks of Spooks. Glad you're back at home. All the best. Ciao. A.

Maria Grazia said...

None of us like what they are doing to Lucas. But maybe it is not only for Maya he is doing all that. Maybe he has soemthing really terrible to hide in his past. He is not Lucas North. He is John. And he is going to lose everything,everything. That's why he is ready to betray. That's what I think. Then Maya is the only good thing from his past so, he wants to cling to that. Spooks is not nice to his heroes, it has never been. But I'm glad this series is so full of emotions, though not the ones I wished for. It's a very good season, we must admit that.
Yeah, I'm back to the mess they've left in my house! OMG! Endless job cleaning and putting everything back at its place... Un abbraccio. MG