12/11/2010

RA FRIDAY - GOOD-BYE, MR NORTH. ADDIO, LUCAS.


Gone ... for good. Well, there are those of us who still live in hope. No body ,  hence , who knows? But I feel he's gone  for good. So good-bye, Lucas.
After watching the thrilling finale of this year's Spooks season I felt upset, moved but grateful, orphaned but gratified. I've had plenty of emotions thanks to Lucas North. I'm sad now and feel in loss but I AM grateful for what I had. 
Series 7,  October 2008. When Lucas first appeared from that black hood back from the hell of a Russian prison , bedraggled and malnourished, staggering toward Harry Pearce I thought: "Here we go, the great adventure has started"!


It was bliss: my favourite actor in my favourite series! I couldn't believe I was being that lucky. And it was great, amazing, so intriguing. Lucas 's journey in Spooks was very interesting, full of twists and turns. Complicated and,  at times,  rather incredible but not  when you have Richard Armitage playing that role. He succeeded in making every unbelievable, unpredictable, implausible twist simply possible with his heartfelt , convincing performances.



I loved Lucas's inscrutability and  vulnerability, his coldness and his fragility.  That only perceptible, yet  indecipherable,  mysteriousness was his charm. And then he was cool, smart, brave, generous, loyal, reliable, enterprising, tender, extraordinary, skillful  ...

Lucas's journey was the opposite of Guy of Gisborne's : we met the latter as the villain in  BBC latest version of Robin Hood's legend but,  peeling layer after layer,  we discovered his hidden goodness and frailty. Mr North's story was different and reverse. When I guessed what was going to happen to Lucas, long before the new series started,  I  was so angry ! Almost furious.  But then , watching the series, episode after espisode,  I just let it be... the emotions and the storyline took  hold of me ... stunning series! Gripping. Not perfect, but extremely good . Emotionally involving. After series 7, this latest one is among my best favourites. Spooks 8 , instead, had left me quite disappointed for several reasons.First of all the lack of chemistry between Lucas and that Sarah what-she-was-called. Never seen one of the episodes a second time. Some  music fanvids, yes, but never an episode again.

Lucas North in series 8 
What was I saying? Yes, Lucas's journey the reverse of Guy's in RH. Peeling layer after layer in this series we are led to discover his hidden dark side. A true Mr Hyde,  John Bateman. I still have Richard's "WHAT?"  in my ears (Watch this interview, 4:33,  if you don't remember it) . I made it mine when I first heard Vaughn Edwards calling Lucas, "John"! But then, I just let it be. And it was great. They deconstructed the character I loved, I let it be and ... enjoyed the show.

My favourite Lucas moments...


1. Yes! Lucas &  Elizabeta. Tender, protective, reassuring. He lets her go in the end (series 7, ep. 5) , apparently in order to protect her new quiet life.


2. Episode 6 series 7. Helping the teen and his mother. Wasn't he awesome in that episode? BTW, was he really the son of a minister? Who knows!


3. "Close your eyes. You'll remember". This is another unforgettable scene. Shivering moments.


4. They were tough together. Unbeatable, it seemed. I loved to watch them together. Ros & Lucas. I'll miss them both.


5.  "My name isn't ... Lucas North.  My name is John ... Bateman".  The naked truth. What suffering on both faces . This long confrontation scene between Lucas and Harry is another awesome bit. Richard and Peter Firth were touching in their performances, so convincing!

Lucas: a mystery to us all. I wonder, just like Elizabeta in series 7 episode 2:

"Were you always this cold ... under the skin?
Was the man I knew just a lie?"

I  loved Lucas North. Till the very end ,  against all odds, at any cost. What about you?

(As usual, many thanks to www.richardarmitagenet.com for all these beauriful screencaps)

29 comments:

JulietD001 said...

Just beautiful.... God I miss him so much!! For me the best character that Richard has ever portrayed. It was a complete pleasure and thrill seeing him shape and evolve Lucas North.

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@JulieD001
I know how much you love Lucas North. Your fondness is conveyed by your gorgeous videos. I just love them! You've caught the best of Lucas in them.
Thanks for dropping by and commenting!
MG

littlevictories said...

Lovely tribute MG and well put Juliet. Most complicated character we've seen him play, and his performance was brilliant. While I would have enjoyed watching Lucas reclaim his hero status, I wouldn't have been able to fully appreciate Richard's range as an actor. I thought the end was fairly inevitable given John's history, so I wasn't upset. In fact, the only gripes I had with Lucas/John were the writers' decisions about his love life. I thought they were all poorly conceived and would have rather the focus remained on his missions. But I confess, I did embrace some tender moments where I ignored the female character and imagined myself in her stead. =)

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@littlevictories
Just my thoughts. His love stories were never convincing, they always lacked that ... sparkle... chemistry? But as you said, we had just to use our fervid imagination and substitute ...well, not that I did it! Not me, of course. I'd never dare. LOL! Have you seen the pictures of my favourite moments?!?
Thanks for commenting! MG

phylly3 said...

Very well said. Still too sad to comment much. :(

iz4blue said...

I love S8!! Never had issue with Sarah Caulfield frankly I think she was far more intriguing, at least she had some meat to her. I am angry and sad that so many threads were left hanging in terms of Lucas/John as a character. I felt manipulated by the writers and dissatisfied in turning a character unsuccessfully convincingly bad! We're left with confussion but then perhaps that was their aim?

Regardless what a rollercoaster it was my first in real time following Spooks!

Musa said...

Thank you Maria Grazia, that was lovely. I can see why you found Season 9 interesting, the deconstruction of Lucas North.
For me, my Lucas is the Lucas of Season 7. That's the character and the man, as RA created him, that I love. I also quite liked Season 8, except for Sarah and the love story that wasn't. Season 9 has left me sad, though I feel privileged to have seen RA, NW, and PF rise above the challenges of the story line. Regardless I will continue to watch Spooks as long as the series lasts.

littlevictories said...

@MG Mmmm hmmmmm I believe that. LOL *Mind drifts to close-your-eyes scene*

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@Phylly3
I'm sorry your mourning can't find a ... way out. I did, I looked for the positive in this sad, very wrong decision of Spooks writers. I got furious before watching, when many others still hoped we had read "the signs" (spoilers) in the wrong way. But we didn't. Richard's "UOT?" (see WHAT and link given above) was enough. To greater success for Richard. Lucas will always be in heart as one of the most interesting characters in Spooks. Hugs. MG

@izblue
It seems we don'tshare so much this time. But never mind. I respect your point of view. I really enjoyed watching what they did to my Lucas. And it made sense to me. Why not? John Bateman was a young overreacher, led by extreme ambition, who got in love with the life he stole. So much in love he believed he was who wasn't. He played the hero for many years, instead of the villain. This and many other small details make sense to me now. I re-watched bits of series 7 to check the effect after series 9 and ... it might be, to me at least.Thanks a lot for contributing. Big Hug.MG

@Musa
The deconstruction ... I suffered watching the process but enjoyed watching at the same time. Absurd? Not that much. For me too Lucas willalways be the one in series 9. He had been like that for 15 years, he was convinced he could go on being like that forever... But then Vaughn came ... And you are right PT and NW were as brilliant as RA in this series. All of them had blissed moments. Bravo! Thanks for reading and contributing to the discussion.MG

@littlevictories
Thanks for trusting me. I see you understand. I'm not a liar. (ssssh ...drifts? what drifts? Awwwwww....that whispered scene... shivering still...ssssh!)

Karen said...

I’ll be honest, I won’t miss Lucas as much as I’missing Guy – in fact, I’m still mourning Guy, sigh! - but there will be always a place for him in my heart. Mostly because – as you have worded so well, MG – of his vulnerability, his mystery, his not being a two dimensional hero. In fact, by the end he wasn’t a hero at all, but I fully agree with Littlevictories’ comment above: I admired RA’s performance during these past 3 series, but in the 9th he did his best, despite some huge gaps in the script, mostly related to his love interests.
Thank you MG for reminding us some of Lucas’s best moments: as you already know, I don’t share your sympathy for Vieta, so I’d not chosen that scene. Instead, I’d rather have some of the ‘tormented Lucas’ scenes I like so much, such as his first meeting with Darshavin in 0804 (and mind you, I’m not talking about the infamous boiler suit, although I must admit it’s been very distracting ;) or the amazing opening of 0906... that twitch is fantastic, it’s a blink and you miss it moment, but still it makes me shiver. Boy, how good was Richard’s Lucas/John? I’ll certainly miss him!

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@Karen
Yes, I know. You're a tormented soul who prefers tormented moments. I'm foolishly romantic very often, instead.
Guy is pure fantasy, Lucas is a much more complex character and more realistic. But never mind, difference is wealth! We can go on on our different paths without arguing... or not?
Thanks for commenting. HUGS. MG
P.S.
Are you sure Lucas is NOT a two-dimensional hero? Maybe more than bidimensional. He is such a complicated character!

Karen said...

@MG
If we haven't ended up arguing about our different opinions re Richard's characters until now, I reckon we can consider ourselves safely out of danger now :)
As for your PS, that's exactly what I meant to say... what have I written instead? :-O
And to think that someone insists I can write in English! * rolls eyes* :-P
Have a lovely weekend everyone,
xx K

Violet8886 said...

Hi, I am new here..I enjoy this site and the comments. :) I am Violet8886. The writers definitely took us on an emotional roller coaster for Season 9..I had a feeling Lucas was done for when he used another person's access code to get the Albany file...or what he thought was the albany file..He started down a bad road...And once Ruth suspected him...there was no way out..I felt sad for the character...He felt he had to end it all now that it was out he was really not Lucas North...At least the writers killed off a character in a different way..I was expecting Harry to have to kill Lucas or Lucas kill Harry..Something shocking like that...It was touching that Harry tried to persuade Lucas to remember all the good he had done...[After Lucas says he is "nothing"...]..and it was true...Even though he had done bad in the past and some in the present..He wasn't all bad...[Lucas stated he was bad before he became a spy]..He may have taken the name of another but all the good works were his...

Violet8886 said...

Interesting that we never actually saw a body...Maybe Richard could come back as Lucas/John...[though Richard is quite busy right now]..Though, Harry did look over the side of the building and it seemed he recognized that it was Lucas..Though, Lucas has faked his death before. However, he had this big confrontation with Harry. He felt as he would go to prison Harry would be having a drink and getting on with life..Kind of how Lucas felt in Series 7...That Harry did not work extra hard to get him out of prison...

Well, maybe he would come back as a kind of nemesis...A kind of Vaughn character who shadows or haunts the team at the grid..and then maybe comes in from the cold with a heroic act and redeems himself...

All this is contingent of course with Spooks coming back for possibly an eleventh season...I am hopeful...

Sorry I am blathering on so much..I just love good shows and good complicated characters...Richard moved me as Lucas/John..and not just because he is attractive..He has the makings of a big star...Let's hope casting directors understand this and utilize his skills...

Peace and love to all here..:)

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@violet8886
Who says Richard is attractive? LOL!
He is, in fact, but he is also an extremely talented and accomplished actor. His outstanding performances have brought him a main role in The Hobbit, though malicious people think he is there because of his popularity as a heartthrob.
But, as for Richard being attractive... Do you know I didn't like him when I started watching North and South? I thought: "Not very handsome, but so good at acting. Who's this Richard Armitage?" And I started surfing the Net looking for information about him ...and here I am.
Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Have a nice Sunday! MG

lunarossa said...

As you know the Spooks writers/producers have broke my heart more than once, but this time it really felt like a proper betrayal. All that time spent getting to know and care for Lucas and then ...this! Well, at least we all can say that it was an excellent storyline. I'm tempted by Violet's hope that a body was not found/shown and maybe - only maybe - Lucas/John is not really dead...but Spooks is not a soap opera and I don't think this will happen (unfortunately!). I cannot comment on the Guy character as I haven't watched Robin Hood but my daughter says he was very good in it although she did not like him when he was a baddy....All the best. Ciao. A.

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@lunarossa
You should see Richard as Guy. He did much of not-very-good-at-least scripts there too. He gave a baddie such depth and his journey there was so interesting too.
But I agree with you as for Spooks: I don't expect a miracle (but never say never...) and we did have an exciting season this year! Have a very good Sunday, A. Ciao!

arabella_vidal said...

I loved all the Lucas moments you picked. Your choice of the Lucas-Maya scene is interesting as its the only one of their scenes together which I thought was convincing.
I lived for the Ros and Lucas moments throughout series 7 and 8. Such wonderful chemistry and not a hint of sexual attraction! Those two actors knew how to walk that fine line!
The interrogation scene was the highlight of this series and displayed the abilities of both actors at their finest! Wow!
Lunarossa, I was initially put off watching Robin Hood because of the costumes and the large hints of abounding anachronisms. I decided to give it a try because I was bored and was hooked by Richard's performance and the Sheriff's wit. The writers of the show recognized the impact of RA's performance by the end of the first series and you will find that the plot of the second and third hinges largely upon the complexities of Guy's character. I hope this encourages you to watch RH for Guy and not the plot-holes of the bad writing!

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@arabella_vidal
Well said Arabella! I can see we agree on a great deal of RA issues. As for lunarossa, it's just a question of time...maybe, she'll suggest a rewatching of RH to her lovely daughter!
Thanks for your contribution!

Avalon said...

Excellent tribute. I read the other day he died, I did not want to know this...but it is hard to avoid spoilers when surfing blogs. I will miss him and the show. I will have no reason to follow Spooks anymore. Joe and Lucas were my faves.

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@Avalon
Never say never, Avalon. I hated it when Adam Carter entered the show as the new dashing spy and Tom Quinn was decommissioned, I hated it when Adam died but was in heaven because Lucas North (RA) had just arrived ... so, I will go on watching it. I've always liked Spooks, it's good quality TV, it's an awesome series. Well, with Richard Armitage in it ... it was ... different.
Thanks for your comment. MG

Violet8886 said...

I have found...Maybe others see this too...Richard has a knack for playing characters who may be bad, yet we feel for them...Richard wanted folks to think of Guy as superbad and to be afraid of him. Guy was scary, but he was also capable of tenderness...You get the feeling that Lucas/Guy would be different [not so bad] if only they had more love...

I can see the continuity between season 7 and season 9...Notice in the last episode of spooks of this year there was a lot of that "Russian" music we heard in Season 7...As if Lucas was flashbacking to what made him change...His time in the Russian prison...He has always been a bit damaged...Others have said that the love interests were not convincing because there was not much chemistry...Maybe it was supposed to be like that...

Lucas has always been more into his love interests than they have been into him...He has such a need for love that he jumps in too fast...but Elizabeta moved on...married again...You get the feeling that Sarah Caulfield liked Lucas but was not really in love with him...and Lucas was much more into Maya than she was into him...[She asks him once..What are we doing?]..He doesn't really know Maya..Fifteen years have gone by..Yet, he wants to restart as if those fifteen years did not happen...

Fascinating!

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@Violet8886
First of all, thanks for coming back and share your thoughts, Violet. I agree with you that Richard's baddies so far have been usually very special ones. Lots of us have loved and still love his Gisborne!
I found there's much continuity in Lucas's journey in Spooks, especially, as for love stories. Lucas longs for true love and often misjudges reality for this reason. Maya is maybe his first true love back in his twenties but he convinces himself she's still necessary to him when he needs someone to cling to in order to face his downfall. Elizabeta, too, belonged to his past, to a broken story, a wrecked marriage, but he confesses he needed to think of her to go on for 8 years in prison. Then when he is back, he thinks he still loves her . Finally, Sarah. I think he has a crush on her, she's sexually stirred by this fascinating woman, but I couldn't see a real deep love between them ...However, he loved her more than how much she loved him.
Fascinating character.
BTW, I missed my exciting Monday nights with Spooks, last night! MG

Violet8886 said...

I know how you feel Maria...I am in Spooks withdrawal too! :) Just have to wait for the DVD's and the next season...:)

I think you hit on something when you mentioned that Maya was his [John/Lucas] first true love back in his twenties...Maybe he wanted to go away with Maya because he wants to go back to when he was innocent...before all the spy stuff and the stuff in Dakar...I think it was mentioned that John and Maya were both students in Leeds? [If I am correct in remembering this]...He wants to go back to a time when life was not so complicated...That makes sense...When life gets a bit stressful, we all think wistfully of more innocent times...:) You are so intelligent and sweet Maria...Cheers to you!! :)

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@Violet8886
And you are very kind , Violet. Did you actually understand what I meant? Because re-reading what I wrote I realized I made some mistakes answering you in a hurry posting without checking before... "thanks for coming back and sharing ..." ," HE's sexually stirred by this fascinating woman ..." Ok! that's enough, I think.
Glad to discuss Spooks, Lucas and his story with you, V.

Violet8886 said...

Don't worry about making mistakes when posting. We all do it...Maybe you were "stirred" after thinking about Richard's character being "stirred"...[by Sarah C]...LOL...A wee bit of levity makes the day pass more pleasantly..:)

Debs said...

Sigh. Be still my beating heart. Thanks for that fantastic post with all the gorgeous pictures and letting me reminisce through Spooks. Another sigh... I shall miss Lucas.

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@Debs
Hi Debs! Welcome and thanks for following
Be sure we all shall miss him! HUGE SIGH!

phylly3 said...

Dear Maria Grazia,
Thank you for your concern over my reaction to a fictional character's demise. I seem to have been able to work through it by making a slide show video. I am not sure if you saw my post explaining about it.:
http://phyllysfaves.blogspot.com/2010/11/spooks-series-9-lucas-north-lies.html
I have just been hugely flattered by Elvira Sweeney requesting to put it up on RA Fanvids! (As if I would say "no"!) :)