When Harry gives Lucas his pistol back, I first thought, he gave it back to him because he wanted to give Lucas a chance for an ‘honourable death’ like harakiri. – Quite dramatic interpretation of me, but the whole atmosphere of the situation and the body language even while re-watching, drives me to this interpretation. From here on I had no doubt any longer, that Lucas / John had to go at the end of series 9.
Harry does not trust Lucas, but still gives him back his ‘professional status’ as MI-5 spy with a ‘license to kill’.
(I know this quotation refers to another spy, but it fits so correctly here, except, that Lucas does not kill any longer.)
But Harry reestablishes Lucas / John Bateman as a spy.
He applies to his sense of duty and honour, though he does nothing of this kind in his speache and interrogation of Lucas. He in a way offers acceptance and expecting himself, that Lucas will follow through with a right way of acting.
In an outsiders point of view, Harry’s action means, that he lets a ‘foreigner’, an unknown entity (=John Bateman), into the MI-5.
I still do not see the whole breadths of significance of this scene, but it impressed me greatly none the less.
“Betraying is a cancer. Let it eat your soul …”This statement of Harry reminded me very much of the interrogation scenes of Spooks 7.7, where Harry was at the receiving end. Harry was innocent or at least innocent in the way of the accusation. Should this be compared as a parallel or in contrast to the current situation?
Could this possibly tell us something about Lucas’/John’s ‘guilt’ or about Harry’s reasoning for letting Lucas/John go?
Lucas and a Mercedes
The clearest sign that Lucas is irretrievably bad I saw, but discarded immediately. It was in episode 9.6, when Lucas changes cars with the computer specialist and swaps his tracked car for an unmarked Mercedes.
You will ask what significance does that have? But totally in Anglo-American tradition, all baddies drive expensive German cars ;o)
I feared from this time on, but still had some hope that Spooks would ignore such old traditions and think on its own. But tradition seems to die hard.
I do not mind baddies using German cars as at least they have nice cars. I would mind much more if they were not used at all. But as I myself can drive but do not have a car myself (As I am living in the center of a town), this rather is a topic of slight amusement for me to recognize and not a matter of further importance.
Still I should have given that aspect more attention, especially when the situation was repeated in episode 9.7, when Vaughan was driving a Mercedes as well.
It is the only correct or at least afterwards correctly readable hint I detected so far about Lucas / John clearly being bad. – And here I threw all the obvious signs in the wind, because I thought that can’t be true ;o)
- I must ad that I live near a big Mercedes building with lots of expensive cars on display. If only all Mercedes drivers were like Lucas – what a funny idea. Perhaps I should go to the building and have a look? – Not really serious about that. I do already know Mercedes drivers enough and know they cannot compare ;o)
Lucas the outspoken (9.4)
You will wonder, what can come now. The silent and brooding Lucas North is not outspoken.
What rubbed me quite the wrong way and absolutely sounded unbelievable for the Lucas character as I had imagined him was the outspokenness Lucas suddenly and only for a short moment shows in Spooks 9.4.
Here the emotionally minimal and restricted is suddenly outspoken and openly shouts through a populated clinic corridor. For me that was absolutely unbelievable.
Even the acting of RA did not convince me in this situation, though normally he can make every situation believable for me.
What went wrong with this scene?
Lucas / John shouts as if he is angry or sends an urgent warning. Richard Armitage who does audio books where even the slightest nuance is right astonished me here. Why does he send such a strange message here?
Was it originally planned for another context? – I always thought relieve was a quiet feeling, not a shouting outburst.
Was Lucas really killing the American Computer Specialist? (9.6)
The whole scene of Spooks 9.6 is supporting that Lucas is actually speeding the death of the computer specialist.
I still did doubt this, as in the first aid courses I did, we learned, that the arteries at the throat were the only place, where pressure would not work. This explanation might be wrong or misleading - I am in no way a specialist.
But still it made me doubt that Lucas would have been able to save her anyway.
His movements give the impression that he wants to comfort her in her last moments and I cannot decide, if Lucas actually does something to kill her or he becomes aware or already knows that her wound is hopeless anyway and wants to give her comfort and not pain by his pressure in her last moments of life.
Good or bad always is so close together for Lucas / John.
All in all it is a brilliantly executed sequence in Spooks 9.6, which once again shows that minimal movements by Richard Armitage can show a multitude of emotions, different possible interpretations and an enormous character depth.
Music and Film Intentions (series 9)
Were the composers of the soundtrack not informed about the intended storyline of Spooks 9?
This I wondered throughout series 9, when the previously used ‘Russian’ elements kept turning up around Lucas North.
By re-watching this not quite fitting element even disturbed me more. I usually need a few times of watching a film, till I really pay attention to the soundtrack. But this element here was so disturbing, that by first watching Spooks 9 I definitely thought, a Russian connection would turn up for Lucas / John in the film.
But nothing, so even the music was a misleading hint concerning Lucas.
Storylines of Sequences work
After re-watching now all parts of Spooks 9 from episode 1 to 6 I finally came to the conclusion, what I feel does not add up in series 9 solely is related to the Lucas / John character. All the hints about him contradict themselves as his character does.
That makes it very hard to get a clear idea what Lucas and John were meant to be, because the hints go in all directions.
The positive result of re-watching the whole of Spooks 9 was that it made me realize how much I adore the storyline of each episode. There I could not detect the slightest flaw. They are dramatic, in themselves consistent and just wonderfully executed.
The only dissent I have with Spooks 9 really is centered on the character development and the hints surrounding Lucas North and his transformation into John Bateman and then into a Nobody.
Each single episode for me works perfectly in itself.
By re-watching I found out, that the logic of each episode made complete sense for me and here in the storyline I found no breaking points disturbing the whole picture or flux of the events.
The hints about Lucas / John in some way play with the expectations about his character.
Beth expects him to be a certain person, Harry does the same and presses him into a role during the interrogation, Ruth while talking to him expects him to act in a certain way. All these expectations Lucas / John clearly tries to destroy, though he still acts in a very caring way. He cares for Maya, even after her obvious betrayal, he cares for Ruth and easily can be convinced to give Harry the details earlier than intended, he even cares for Beth and Dimitri, when he shoots into the wheels of their car, he never aims his weapon at them.
I finally must reveal, I love the Lucas / John of Spooks 9.8. Only such an excellent actor as Richard Armitage could make this script work here. The scriptwriters here very much relied on his talent. (This gives me hope that they really did appreciate what they had with Richard Armitage.)