I didn't get home until 11pm, and I left the office feeling as though I was coated in the treacle of failure. Sticky with fail and coated in fluff.
It was an interesting day though, one in which the political world realigned itself in this country, I think. Brown's minion, Alistair Darling, announced a package which could have come from the 1970s -- a 2.5% cut in VAT for Christmas, lasting through until 2009's new year sales, a 5p increase in tax for the wealthiest (and that was a total fuck you to the City bankers, even though it won't just hit them). I suspect that if this produces a poll uptick or if things still look as grim in five months as they do now, we might be looking at a May 2009 election.
Speaking of depressing, good lord, show! Yet again, this proves that Spooks is almost the only show on TV right now to make me gasp and mutter "I cannot believe you just did that". Talk about your holy shit quotient.
I had an odd feeling that they were setting Connie up to be the mole but when they went down that route in a previous episode it never occurred to me that it would be a fakeout for the revelation that she was really working for the Russians.
I suppose that this is where Spooks suffers from being shown after the election of Barack Obama, while we're in the honeymoon period before he's actually made any decisions that could piss anyone off. I can see people revolting against the idea of a unipolarity-obsessed, christian right-led neo-con US government and deciding to betray their secrets to the Russians in the interests of multipolarity, mad as that sounds, but somehow now Barack Obama has sprinkled temporary rainbows, unicorns and glitter over the world, it doesn't ring true.
I can also buy Connie as one of the remnants of the old guard, but I don't know, I rather liked the idea of the late 50s woman with the computer-like knowledge and a backbone of steel as one of the key parts of section D. I am fed up of women over a certain age turning out to be the villains. And while I am glad they didn't make it all for the love of Hugo, I would've liked confirmation that in betraying the network, she was also betraying Hugo. Anything other than have it be for love.
The acknowledgement of the ruthlessness of MI5 giving Connie names to send to the Russians -- all of whom would've been killed by the FSB, even though they weren't part of the spy network -- was a good touch as well.
But the real gobsmacker of the episode was the way Connie killed Ben. They made it properly ugly, properly messy, properly ruthless. And Connie was genuinely sorry, but that's the game. Poor Ben. He'll never get a personality now.
So to next week, which may or may not be the last episode, depending on whether they pull the BBC 3 showing and make us wait a week for the last one. It looks as though they're going soaringly over the top with the whole Russians as the enemy plotline, just as they did with demonising Americans last year. The only way you can explain it is to tell yourself that these were written under the shadow of the Litvinenko case. Either that, or I am very naive when it comes to assessing what the FSB might or might not do. Which I am.
I was too wired to go to bed upon getting home from work so I also watched SJA. It continues to be charming and smartly plotted -- mostly -- and as it was about time travel and alternate worlds, it was fabulous for this viewer at least. I really have loved watching this show, even if it is for kids. It has a soul.