Just as we were about to yawn and say pass the potatoes please, three unique Points of Play in The Game, episodes three and four, snapped us upright into pay-attention mode.
MI5 has learned of a pending Soviet attack on Britain from a defecting KGB agent. They know little save for the code name: Operation Glass. And so far, all of the clues have kept the team running with not much to show for their efforts. Murky intel has been abundant and dead people are piling up, but little else has been forthcoming: hence the potatoes.
Point of Play Number One:
MI6 operative Kate Wilkinson (Rachael Stirling) is unearthed, as a possible turncoat, and sucked into the intrigue and “everything” as they say, “changes.”
Right off the rack Kate feels wrong. Pretty in a briskly dangerous way; her demeanor suggests competence, all the while oozing a sexy vibe and un petit peu de je ne sais quoi.
Our team falls into shadowing her, once she is outed as a possible traitor to Britain. Prime agent Joe Lambe (Tom Hughes) immediately determines her to be a pro, yet he tails her like one would an amateur. She’s, quite quickly, on to him, which moves the cat and mouse play into the bright light of day.
Backtracking: The setup for Joe, whose state of being never seems to stray beyond five degrees of normal, is weighted with irony. We are presented a man whose reputation has been made, and justly so, for doing whatever has to be done to coax information out of a target. When it comes to the opposite sex, he’s never directly told to bed someone. It’s simply understood. When he finally meets a contact that he falls truly, deeply in love with it appears that he is the one about to cross over to the dark side.
That was last year and at this point, it’s still unclear what Joe’s motives are or where his true self resides. He’s playing with a full deck however and, even with bodies piling up around him, he somehow manages to keep his cards pressed close to the host. Indicators that he may have been about to defect, would have had it not been for the tragic trap that took his love and nearly cost him his life, could be deceiving. But the overriding question remains: Was he or wasn’t he… about to give it all up for love?
So here he is with Stirling and it appears that they have met their match in one another. It doesn’t matter that their sophisticated banter isn’t done under cloak of darkness. Nor does it matter that one of them might be a traitor to their country of birth. It’s a delight to watch them eyeing each other in betwixt verbal sparring. He even tells her his real name; significant because, until now, he has only revealed that to his, aforementioned, murdered love.
Throughout their various encounters, Kate insists MI5 have got it wrong. None believe her, least of all Joe, and they dog her in an unsanctioned investigation until hard proof of her guilt is obtained.
Is it clever teamwork that uncover clues which lead to her arrest or were those clues a bit too cleverly placed? And why leave such incendiary evidence in such a careless hiding place?
Point of Play Number Two
Kate’s been delivered, quite skillfully, to MI5 as a distraction. It’s due to Joe’s perceptive suspicion that he sets out to see if she is indeed a false lead. He enlists the help of teammate Alan Montag (Jonathan Aris) the resident tech geek in the MI5 Fray. Together they uncover the weak link that breaks the thread of proof implicating Kate as a traitor. They deliver the news to Daddy and the assembled team as a whole, which becomes very important in Episode four.
(more on the characters in The Game)
What to do when you have knowledge of a mission, but have been provided with misleading information? Regroup and begin again, which our team does. In so doing they are forced to resort to morally questionable tactics, but justified or not, their actions produce a much needed result.
It becomes clear. How it is that their covert plans are rendered useless at every turn. And why the enemy seems to miraculously foresee their choices and consistently outthink them.
Point of Play Number Three,
The clue is “Look to your own house.” You have a mole inside the MI5. Inside the very team that is investigating Operation Glass.
Follow the clues. See if you can discern: Who is the mole? Episode 5 is on tonight at 10pm and we’re in luck. Kate (Stirling) has been imprisoned, but, makes an appearance in this episode.
The Game is the creation of Toby Whithouse (Dr. Who, Being Human) and has two episodes left. Watch Wednesdays at 10pm/9pm-central on BBC America.
(The Mole revealed in Episode 5)