Lucas North with his new brilliant mates, Beth and Dimitri
Of course, either you've read a huge deal of comments so far or you have carefully avoided reading them to enjoy watching the new series of Spooks with no spoilers .


But  I can't ignore the great event of this week: SPOOKS is back!!! And I can't write about it without giving away spoilers. Well, I warned you. From now on I'll tell nothing but the truth, though a very highly spoiling truth. Ok. Here we go!
I was completely hooked by  this first episode, it has been an incredibly gripping opener. Nothing compared to any of the episodes in series 8. Well , maybe, except for episode 4: Darshavin back in Lucas's life, Lucas plunging into awful memories and showing his great frailty, his anxiety and fear. Where has that Lucas gone? We meet a tougher, more self - confident man at the beginning of this new series. John Porter-like more than old-Lucas-like. But this new apparent harshness is not flawless. An example? He can't shoot a mother in front of her teenage daughter, though the latter is clearly a terrorist and that  could be the only way to stop her murderous plan (Spooks quoting Strike Back , where John Porter couldn't shoot a twelve-year-old suicide bomber?)
Bccmee's photoshopped TV & Satellite Week cover. My comment: OMG!

How extraordinarily well Richard conveyed Lucas's emotions in the final scene. And again we see Lucas's most  fragile side. His past self.
At the beginning of the scene, he is confidently, if not boldly,  walking through the night, going down some steps,  through  dark alleys it seems. That day they've saved many lives  and he  has shown his mates his skills, he can be satisfied. Harry must trust him now that Ros is not there any longer. He's a bit annoyed when a tramp starts bothering him,  he reacts with his usual smirk at first, but when he recognizes a familiar face in the man in front of him, his tall , athletic body seems petrified , his self-confidence disappears. Every feature in his face seems blocked by real astonishment: he can't believe his past has come back to haunt him.  Not the 8 years in a Russian prison. This phantom seems back from a far  more distant time. He stares down at an old suitcase. "What has it been like to be Lucas North"? Now Richard 's expression is totally and helplessly upset... "No, I didn't want to upset you..." His life is going to be shattered down into small pieces and he can hardly breath nor speak. The final glimpse we have of his full height from behind is to a petrified figure, he just tries to close his hands into fists but he can't  find the strength even for that simple movement.

This sequence reminded me of the encounter between Dorian Gray and James Vane in the final part of Wilde's novel: your past always comes back to haunt you. You can't simply bury it. You must face the responsibility of your own actions, you can't just hide their horrid aspect behind a purple curtain.  I was in complete adoration of the actor during this scene - I felt Lucas's helplessness going coldly down my spine. Now...I want to know more. Vaughan, the man who leaves Lucas with a suitcase and great troubles to face, calls him John. I want to know more about John. I'm sure they are going to tell us...little by little... I'm not so sure I'm ready for what they are going to tell us. 
What is certain is that such a complex character, with his journey into the self, his ambiguity and doubleness will give Richard precious chances to show his refined acting skills. And I'm already longing for other moments like the end of episode 1 and even for more thrilling ones, though I'm sure we'll have to suffer much.

No, not exactly, Luc...ehm...John, well... Richard!

I must say the complete truth, this episode was excellent thanks to the whole cast. All of them gave their best. Stunning Peter Firth, as Sir Harry on a conscience crisis. His gloved visit at the former Home Secretary's house,  their old friends' style toast,  will remain unforgettable Spooks-moments and the Ruth/Harry scenes have been deeply involving. The newcomers were surprisingly good too ... though I don't trust Miss Myles much (not Beth, like Lucas, but Sophia Myles).She has disappointed me,  teasing lovely Richard in an interview on TV. She said he would be swearing in front of the telly listening to her remembering the old times when she was 19 and he a ... dancing banana?!? I'm sure that Richard has laughed sonorously at her silly memory. He's got a great sense of humour while Spooks-ignorant Sophia (she has never seen an episode in her life!) has lost at least 2 good occasions to shut up. Dimitri, instead, Max Brown, is a promising character. I fear his presence, his handsome presence, is meant to become Lucas 's replacement in the future but ... who knows! We live in hope!... in hope that isn't true ... in hope Dimitri and Lucas/John can maybe go on working together.

Whew! Let's try to think more positively. For example, Richard's interview about Spooks 9 can help us to calm down a bit.

See how relaxed he is on that sofa and how carefully and thoroughly he speaks about this series, his role, his colleagues. He makes any little  thing he says sound so extremely important. I'd listen to him for hours. Don't miss this interview, it can help you to appreciate new Spooks even more.
I could finish on a shallow note with the rumours about Richard in Manchester on the set of Captain America The First Avenger . Well, they are not simple rumours, there is plenty of photographic evidence that he was there. Have look HERE!

No doubt. Richard Armitage was on the set of Captain America in Manchester.
The lucky blond lady looks either really  interested in what lovely Richard is telling her or rather worried... Concentrated or worried, there's something missing on her face: a sparkle, a blissful smile, a worhipping stare, a lustful smirk? Don't you think so?
By the way... Where's Reddie?  Oh, yes! She's experiencing a full-immersion into the world of Marvel comics : she wants to discover what role Richard might have! I can't bear comics nor superheroes so ... she's been nice to volunteer for this research... But ... just a moment... what are you doing Reddie? Watching Spooks 9 again?!? What about Captain America? No pictures of RA in those comics? So you turned them down and ... OMG!!!  Silly me. How could I trust my Red- Self? Hey! Latest news from twitter! I don't need your help any longer, Reddie. Listen:
@ hobbsy@RAnetdotcom ... can't reveal my sources :) but trust me Richard Armitage is Heinz Kruger. 2 scenes today in Manchester, then he's off to Liverpool. 
Have you heard ladies in Liverpool? Tomorrow RA will be there. Please, play Spooks, find him and... post new pics! It's such fun!!! But Reddie, you are not listening!
She's idly watching caps from Spooks 9 episode 1 on www.richardarmitagenet.com 
By the way, most of the caps in this post are from that site. Thanks Alicat!
Happy weekend to you all!


Unknown said...

I can't agree more with you, Blackie... I mean, MG! ;)
Wonderful start for series 9, just what we needed after the (slightly? massively?) disappointing series 8. The last scene was really impressive, thanks to RA's acting skills: can't wait for next episode!
In the meantime, I keep re-watching the 'sofa interview': apart of the interesting things he says (without the annoying presence of the interviewer), there are lots of lovely expressions by Richard, smiles, crinkles, hand movements... bliss! :)
have a nice w-e everyone,
x K
But... but... hey! WAM! "We have to deceive the deceivers" is in episode 2!!! Are you trying to cheat us?

Maria Grazia said...

No cheating... but this seems the leitmotiv in this series...Great weekend to you too! Any special plan?

Unknown said...

:-O How did you guess? In fact, I have a special plan for Sunday, but I won't say more: hope it won't be spoiled by the rain, although the weather forecast isn't very promising :-/
Fingers xed, then: I'll let you know ;)

lunarossa said...

Although I'm still in mourning for Ros, I enjoyed the first episode and I was literally gasping at the end of the last scene. Who is Lucas North then? We'll see, I hope. Dimitri was a pleasant surprise, let's hope they won't kill him too soon. Have a nice wkend, MG and Karen. Baci. A.

Phylly3 said...

Fabulous season opener that left me more curious than ever! I was happy to finally watch the episode (online) so that I could finally read and watch all the interviews. This has been a very exciting week in the RA fandom! Great post MG!

Maria Grazia said...

Time will heal , A. Hold on.
I don't think Dimitri will be killed so soon. I feel like they've thought of a new brilliant agent to substitute Lucas in a while. I'm more worried for Lucas'(John's) life...But I hope my feelings are wrong. I'm sure Lucas/John's journey will give us great emotions this season. Un grande abbraccio.
well, P. , the last 3 weeks have been very exciting indeed. Lots of articles and news, Richard on Tv and radio, Spooks has just started with fireworks and amazing surprises and... our lovely, hard-working man is already involved in another great project. A small part but in a big American production. Will he speak with a German accent? Will he have a moustache? Will he appear for more or less than 5 minutes? New topics for forums' discussions. He's in Liverpool today, shooting. Working weekend.
I can't wait for Spooks 0902! Lucas/John is going to meet Maya. Will we know a little more about his past? Too soon for complete revelations but ... just a little more?
Have a good weekend, P., and thank you!

Avalon said...

Had to avoid the spoilers but loved the photos.

The lady seems very pensive. He is probably asking one of his deep, thoughtful questions about his character, as he often does.

Anonymous said...

Love the comparison to Dorian Gray.