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7.7 [re-watch] - Printable Version

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7.7 [re-watch] - JHyde - 03-07-2011 10:14 AM

Harry's freedom is at stake as Lucas runs to Moscow to find evidence that will save him and expose the mole.


RE: 7.7 [re-watch] - Sparky - 09-07-2011 03:28 AM

This was probably my favourite episode of the series. Harry all the way through was astounding and Peter Firth's acting was amazing, he conveyed so much with his eyes. Ben getting killed is still quite shocking each time I see it, and I remember being quite stunned the first time I saw the ep. It's also a great lead-in to the series finale.

RE: 7.7 [re-watch] - A Cousin - 09-07-2011 01:30 PM

I agree Sparky, it's a great episode. Possibly one of the best ever. They kept it simple and clean. It hangs together really well. Which might be why the very few critical things I have to say about it really stand out for me. But I'll start with what I really like.

The filming of Harry's interrogation (torture?) could very easily gone waaaay OTT. PF really held it together. As an actor, he has a really good sense of balance in these things. We also get some glimpses into Harry's deep, dark past. Starting with Maria. Clearly they had a deep, not exclusively professional but possibly unrequited relationship? I would like to know more about that but it served it's purpose. I get the feeling that he may have been a honey trap at some point? Or maybe it just happened? It kind of ties in with Grady's "personal touch" using Harry's failure as a father to Graham against him in his interrogation.

Ben's death is gruesome. Good work on the part of the make-up department. However, I can't say I was sorry to see him go. (Horrible thing to say! Blush) That character just never blossomed for me. At least he went as a good plot device. Gemma Jones is very creepy in that scene.

There were a couple of niggling things that I do not understand or didn't like.

I don't fully understand, but just kind of go with, why Harry sends Lucas and not someone else to Russia? Is it a test of Lucas' loyalty? Is Lucas his only choice? I would have liked a bit clearer explanation about that. Interesting that Harry apologizes to Lucas for asking it of him. As well he should. It is placing Lucas back into serious danger. I suppose Lucas does it because he is still trying to prove his loyalty? To get Harry's approval? Because his boss says so? Because he kind of gets off on the risk? He misses his favorite strip club? (OK - that last one is a joke. Wink) Perhaps all of the above.

And while I'm on the subject, why in the name of all that's holy would Lucas stop to make a phone call while he's still in the strip club?!? Seems a bit rash. Sure the Grid needed to know that Connie was the mole as quickly as possible, but a few more minutes to at least get himself clear of the building would have been a good thing to do. I dunno. It's proof to me that Lucas' risk to consequence ratio is skewed.

I really hate Connie's hiss at Harry. It makes me roll my eyes - and not in a good way. I gave it a second chance and I still rolled my eyes. I may be in the minority here. It's unnecessary and one step too far for me. Sometimes, those who know the plot and characters inside out take it one step too far because they aren't sure it is clear to the viewers. That hiss feels like one of those things that just happens in a rehearsal and the director should have said, "That's hilarious! Cut it."

RE: 7.7 [re-watch] - JHyde - 09-07-2011 02:23 PM

Really? I bought it. I got shivers the first time I saw it and the way they edit it makes it work.

People seem to either love or hate this episode. I'm on the love side. (See Skully's blog and her re-watch of season 7 for differing opinions here.) I enjoy the contrast of the claustrophobic Grid and torture scenes with Lucas running all over Moscow. Maria is a wonderfully rich character given how little time she is on screen.

Everything you need to know about Harry is in that bit where he struggles to his feet as the HS comes in the room. It brings me to tears every time I watch it. His dignity even at this low point is a brilliant bit of characterisation and one of the best bits for the character in all 9 seasons so far.

The Ben sequence, as others have said, is horrifying - and that's considering that Ben was such a terribly boring character. Can you imagine if it had been Jo or Malcolm? Speaking of Jo, I lover her anger at Connie and Malcolm's gently trying to keep her back, as if by doing so he could keep her free of Connie's treachery.

All the actors are at the top of their game in this one. HN has less to do in this episode - much more subtle than what the others get to play, but her disgust with Connie is wonderful to behold. Of course, Gemma and Peter do the brunt of the work in this episode but it really is a team effort, culminating in the final confrontation of Connie on the Grid.

I enjoy Lucas very much in this episode. As in episode 6 he gets to do a lot of old school spy stuff and it's very exciting. This episode builds to a wonderful cliffhanger.

RE: 7.7 [re-watch] - Silktie - 09-07-2011 07:04 PM

Count me in as one who loved this episode. Even on the rewatch I find it suspenseful. Hah, poor Ben, the only time he made any impression on me is when he dies gruesomely. It's interesting that so many people still like Connie, even after her betrayal - and I'm one of them. I can't help but wonder if I'd feel the same if she'd done that to someone I really cared about - like Malcolm. I enjoy Gemma Jones' performance immensely in this episode. The little sequence I like best of all is the one when she starts to sort of lose it, imagining that everyone suspects her and is giving her strange looks, when in reality no-one has any idea that she's the mole yet. It's brilliantly done. I'm on the fence re the hiss - the first time I saw the episode and was truly drawn into the drama I thought it was great - but on rewatch I find it less so.

So, did Ros for a few seconds believe that Harry was the traitor after she'd talked to him? It certainly looked to me like she did.

I do love to hate Dolby in this one - he really is the most frightful little tit, like Qualtrough said. Connie plays him like a banjo, and I like to imagine Harry smacked him one or kicked him in the nuts the moment he was free, even though I know he wouldn't. And Grady was similarly creepy. I can see why he has the job as MI5 interrogator.

What more can one say about PF's performance? Two scenes truly stand out for me: the very first one in the episode, when he sits in that chair waiting for them to come for him, and the scene with the HS. These scenes are among my all time favourites of Harry. And while it's very dramatic when those Special Forces burst in like that and grab Harry, I think it's serious overkill. Harry is not some kick-ass fighting machine in his twenties, who could put up serious resistance. Honestly, a polite knock on the door would have got the job done just as well.

I too liked that Harry apologised to Lucas for sending him back to Russia, and wonder why he didn't send the person he trusts most, i.e. Ros. We know she can operate effectively there, after all. And one thing that bothers me is that surely Lucas would have been recognised the moment he stepped off the plane, yet they only realise he's there when Connie warns them? I don't buy that.

But I forgive all these things because I think it brings the Sugarhorse storyline to a close excellently, and because most of the characters got a moment to shine, even boring old Ben.

RE: 7.7 [re-watch] - JHyde - 09-07-2011 07:36 PM

Silktie, you've hit neatly on one of the reasons I like this episode so much. Everyone gets a moment - and the best episodes of the show have that going for them.

Skully said on her blog that yes, the SAS barging in like that was a little unnecessary but as someone else pointed out 'it's Harry Fucking Pearce'. And I think that's about right.

I absolutely agree about Connie. Had she killed one of the others I might well feel differently. But as it is, she had the best write in and the best write out of any character on the show, in my opinion. I do wish she had had a little more to play with in season 6 (given what a consummate actress GJ is and what FUN the character was) but mostly she was one of the best the show has ever had. And given she's a villain that is really saying something.

I do think that the PF fans and Harry fans have a lot to love in this one. That accounts for the very strong feelings one way or the other.

RE: 7.7 [re-watch] - Silktie - 10-07-2011 09:04 AM

Now that the Sugarhorse storyline has been concluded and we know Connie is the Russian mole, there are still a couple of questions I would have liked them to answer:

1. How did the Russians and/or Connie find out about Sugarhorse in the first place? Did Hugo Prince inadvertently let something slip during pillow talk? Did one of the Sugarhorse assets betray it?
2. Was it really Hugo Prince that gave Connie that tacky souvenir with the tape in it, or did the Russians manufacture that to throw Harry off the scent?
3. How long has Qualtrough been a Russian agent?

These are the ones that immediately come to mind, I'm sure there's more. Mind you, these are just minor details and doesn't mean the storyline wasn't concluded to my satisfaction, but I like to know the little details as well.

RE: 7.7 [re-watch] - Noam - 23-02-2012 11:43 AM

(10-07-2011 09:04 AM)Silktie Wrote:  1. How did the Russians and/or Connie find out about Sugarhorse in the first place? Did Hugo Prince inadvertently let something slip during pillow talk? Did one of the Sugarhorse assets betray it?
2. Was it really Hugo Prince that gave Connie that tacky souvenir with the tape in it, or did the Russians manufacture that to throw Harry off the scent?
3. How long has Qualtrough been a Russian agent?
It's exactly this kind of question which niggles me. I enjoy each episode, but afterwards, when I think back on them, there always seem to be unexplained loopholes.

How indeed did the Russians know about Sugarhorse in the first place? How was the SH information disseminated within MI5? Why were MI5 running SH and not MI6? What information did Connie leak? Which operations did she blow, or was she a sleeper?

It's all very dramatic, but sometimes the backstories don't add up. Remember Copenhagen? Another dead trail.

S7E7 is the most recent episode that I have seen (although I have more recorded) so I don't know whether there's any form of resolution or indeed explanation in S7E8.

Other observations:
When Harry called Ros to his interrogation, I couldn't understand at first why he was 'confessing'; playing his words back in my mind, 'renaissance' stood out, and I'm glad that Ros caught onto it a bit later. After all, she might still have believed that Harry's confession was real. I suppose it would have been over the top to have winked at that stage - nonverbal communication similar to Connie's hiss.

When Ben said that his eyes were very tired, why didn't he take his chance to 'go and make the tea', thus escaping Connie and getting the vital evidence to the Grid? By that time, Lucas had already told him that Connie was the mole so he had been warned and should have done his best to get away from her. By staying, he signed his death warrant (although moles don't normally kill).

RE: 7.7 [re-watch] - JHyde - 24-02-2012 08:17 AM

I reckon Hugo really did leave that tape. There was probably a situation manipulated by Qualtrough and Connie so that Prince thought it wise to leave behind some message for Harry to protect Connie.

I do get the feeling that Connie and Hugo were in love. Maybe it started as something else, or maybe it finished as something else, but I reckon there was love there at some point.