The main aspects which made all the rest for me hard to believe were:
Lucas / John was established as well trained spy with the right instincts and a brilliant brain.
All of this suddenly did not matter any longer as soon as Lucas / John gave in to Vaughan. He did not even react to the threat, he just did obey.
I would understand this behaviour, if John had a history e.g. as soldier and Vaughan had been his long time (and perhaps even trusted) leader. But on the contrary, John is depicted as individually thinking and scheming character, murdering Lucas North on his own.
As a spy I would expect Lucas / John to have been trained how to cope with psychological pressure and especially how best to 'react' to blackmailing.
It certainly is not the best way or any way at all to go along with it and do nothing.
I was very much disappointed, that Lucas / John did not even try to find out the real background behind the blackmailing scenario around Vaughan.
At first I thought Lucas / John did know the scenario as it was related to the embassy bombing in Dakar. But as the topic of interest for the Chinese was of younger age than the embassy bombing, this could no longer be the case.
What surprised me was, that Lucas / John was suddenly back in an almighty position in episode 9.7 where he could detect Vaughan, even when Vaughan did not want to be detected. In all other situations Lucas / John was reacting and had no potential possibility to free himself.
Was this scene an excuse to shorten the otherwise tedious search for Maya?
Because the easiness with which Lucas / John finds Vaughan casts a bad light
- on the ability and worthiness of Vaughan as an enemy and opponent
- the full use of ability by Lucas / John in his work for MI-5
- the power of MI-5
- the power of the Chinese
- and again at the spy abilities of Lucas / John, when he is such an easy target for the Chinese to spy upon him in his home, when now he can outmanoeuvre them so easily.
Lucas / John in "Spooks 9" switches into a bad spy, not only as he betrays MI-5 and his ideals, but because he forgets all his training. It is as if he forgot all his years of Lucas and only relies on his former abilities as John, the backstreet criminal.
But this would rather fit to a schizophrenic person having two completely separate identities which normally do not mingle. Lucas / John at least remembers his time as Lucas, with exception of all his training.
And that is absolutely unbelievable for me. I would accept a bad Lucas, when he sets his mind to it and has some reasons. But a bad John, forgetting his ideals and all his brilliant abilities he could muster as Lucas, is quite a strange thing for me.
I cannot even say I do not believe it, because in truth the scriptwriters gave us nothing to believe. Therefore, they would have had to give us some kind of explanation or reason for all the unfolding scenario in front of our eyes.
Lucas / John gives no explanation or hint to his reasons, but acts in such a 'stupid' way, that I thought, there must be some underlying reasoning, some intrigue, some scheme going on beyond the obvious surface.
In the end, when nothing turned up, you might understand my utter disappointment with this Lucas / John / Nothing.