Several months ago, during a very serious fangirling crisis (I can say as an excuse that it was spring, and we say in Spain that “la primavera la sangre altera”) I made a very cheesy fanart of Mr. A. Nevertheless I still had a minimum of pride and shame that prevented me to publish it anywhere. In a second thought I wondered if maybe it was not as awful as I suspected, and I sent it by wasap to a couple of friends. My dear friend Tanja replied with a single word “why?”. I understood suddenly the message, it was indeed as awful as I suspected and it was better to make it disappear.
I have watched yesterday the last chapter of the eighth season of Spooks and I have thought also: “why?”, adding to the adverb a name: “why Sarah Caulfield?”.
You may have realised that I love proverbs; it is known that “squadra vincente non si tocca” (the winning team must remain unchanged). In my humble opinion, Lucas North and Elizabeta were a winning team. Richard Armitage and Paloma Baeza had chemistry in the screen, a lot. My heart shrank every time they met and felt sympathy with the cruel fate that separated Beta from Lucas who made the ultimate sacrifice; it was impossible for her sake and safety to be together. I have never seen a thumb caressing with such a tenderness a picture as Lucas did before tearing apart theirs.
Summarising: Lucas and Beta were credible. As
are were credible the best working pals ever: Lucas North and Ros Myers, another example of exploding chemistry in the screen. Maybe not the sexual type (although the bankers’ chapter was a clear hint that those two may have blown the screen); the lines and puns between Ros and Lucas were simply awesome as this sentence that tells Ros to Lucas on the phone about Sarah:
Unfortunately plans for season 8 were different and Elizabeta had to disappear for real, no second chances, re-thoughts or coming-backs. Someone thought, maybe after stuyding the fans reactions after season 7, that they could take advantage of Mr. A’s attractive as well as acting skills, conceding the viewer unwarranted exhibitions of his beautiful body, including also physical activity under the sheets not only to punch a pillow. Let’s be honest, I’m not an hypocrite and the fan-girl in me who makes cheesy fanarts has appreciated the view, but the scene in which he undresses before meeting his torturer is ridiculous as it lacks a subtle detail to make it reliable: he had to throw away his clothes if the Russian wanted to be sure that he was not wired.
Neverheless, the worst idea of the whole series 8 had a name and a surname: Sarah Caulfield. Why Sarah Caulfield? Lucas and Sarah together were, using Cole Porter’s lyrics “as cold as yesterday mashed potatoes” and my impression when they first kiss under Tower Bridge is that Lucas was seriously thinking about the idea of swimming in the Thames rather than sharing a hotel room with her. I don’t know which was the real problem behind that absolute lack of empathy and chemistry between Richard Armitage and Genevieve O’Reilly. Maybe she felt uncomfortable with her fake American accent (I’ve read that it was a complete disaster, something like someone speaking Spanish mixing catalonian and andalusian accent), maybe they two did not get along well… The fact is that Lucas and Sarah were not reliable as a couple, the only scenes together that worked are those in which Lucas clearly despises Sarah after knowing her treason.
It can be argued by an un-biased viewer that maybe RA is not such a very good actor as I claim he to be, if, after Sarah’s death, he is supposed to feel “distraught” (as Ruth tells Harry) and I just can see him “relieved”. I can only reply with the famous final line in “Some Like it Hot”, nobody’s perfect, and that includes Richard. In some moments, anyway, I’ve felt he had broken that barrier between him and Genevieve, as here, in which he gives her one of his famous iceberg melting love glances.
Nevertheless, albeit the above, the scenes together in which feelings different from disappointment or disgust had to be displayed were a total failure. Moreover, Sarah Caulfield’s character was a total failure, not reliable as lover but neither as a spy: cold, flat, irrelevant.