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MI-5/ SPOOKS Season 3

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MI-5/ SPOOKS Season 3

TV Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 10 hour long episodes (US broadcasts edited for ad breaks)

AIRDATE: October to December 2004 (UK), Jan to March 2005 (USA)
CHANNELS: BBC ONE/BBC THREE (UK), A&E (USA)

ANALYSIS: MI-5 (aka SPOOKS to everyone else in the world except the USA) is a gritty and realistic spy series compared to the thrill-a-minute action of 24 or the spy drama fun of ALIAS. MI-5 really impressed me with the first two seasons. The third season does start out for the first three episodes before it reaches some highs and lows until it stabilizes with the last two episodes of season 3.

The status quo of the original cast is changed as Tom Quinn (Matthew MacFadyen) leaves MI-5 after he can't take it anymore in the second episode of season 3. His farewell is one of the best moments of the first two episodes (in addition to the way Tom acts in the opening episode). In episode six, another agent might have to go to jail as that agent is put on trial due to the current politics of the world. The season finale is shocking as one of MI-5 is killed. It's not 9 to 5, it's MI-5 where anything can happen and no character is safe.

That brings me to Adam Carter, the agent from MI-6 that Harry (Peter Firth) brings in to handle the Tom situation in the season opener. Adam becomes part of MI-5 and soon his wife (another MI-6 agent, Fiona Carter, joins MI-5 despite Adam's objections. Fiona is a little reckless and she even takes drugs to stay undercover in episode eight. Adam is just cold as Tom Quinn, but Adam doesn't let his feelings get in the way. He tortures a suspected terrorist in episode nine to get the location of a building that terrorists are going to hit with a rocket.

The third season of MI-5 even deals with the political situation as the government wants to meddle with the way MI-5 does it's job. The government even tries to find a scapegoat when Zoe (Keely Hawes)decides to push forward with an operation that results in the death of an undercover cop. Harry wants a political friend to resign and confess to murder when someone higher up decides to put that politician on a leash (and hide the fact he murdered a woman).

Character development is excellent in this season. Danny receives great moments as he is brought into the spotlight from his feelings for Zoe to his conflicted feelings about things he does in the name of Queen and Country), but Danny doesn't break and let his emotions become a crutch like Tom did (when Tom wanted a sleeper agent not to the job MI-5 wanted the sleeper to do). Ruth (Nicola Walker) has no luck at love when she chickens out when she falls for someone MI-5 is keeping tabs on while later she has dinner with the wrong guy that ends up with her having to be rescued.

It is a shame that A&E has edited 15 minutes out of each hour long episode to put in 15 minutes of commercials because they have cut some fo the best moments out including some very revealing character moments and little plot points.

Sometime MI-5 fails as a show this season, but it still reaches levels of greatness. It will be interesting to see what they have in store for season 4.

THIS REVIEW IS (C)3-4-2005 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com and look for additional content at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia