Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Ultimate Spooks-Lovers' Harry and Ruth Episode Guide

With posts like this one, I feel a bit embarrassed. I know the only people who will care are die-hard Spooks [MI-5] fans, and even many of those will find this a bit over the top. . . . On the other hand, I also know there are those out there salivating at the very thought of a Harry and Ruth episode guide -- and I have one! It would be criminal not to share.

So here's the deal: if you're not obsessed with Harry and Ruth, do us both a favor and just back away slowly. Maybe I can hold on to some of my dignity. But if you are a fellow groupie, get ready to be very, very happy.

This contains all, or at least most, of the best Harry-Ruth moments over the course of Seasons 1 - 9 of Spooks [MI-5], uncluttered by all the extraneous plot details that have no bearing on their relationship. haha. I haven't included every single interaction they have ever had because that would just be weird.  .  .  .   :)  but these are the ones that have a telling feel -- that are sweet, fun, sexy or just worth watching again. By the way, my time notations are based on Netflix, so I have no idea how that meshes with the dvds.

A side effect of having done this is that I have come to completely understand their almost-couplehood, and can sum it up for you now with ease. So, if you're not analytically minded (read: "insane") you could make-do quite well with the following:
Harry was first attracted to Ruth early on. I think he found her not only very pretty, but odd, sweet, bubbly and unlike anyone else around him. Then, Ruth started to develop a crush on him - for his power, personality and untouchableness, and, just maybe, for his lovely pouty lips. Her feelings for him were lurking under the surface as the two got closer as friends. But just as he began to want more than friendship too, she pulled away. She admired him too much to do anything that detracted from his position. Instead she went off on an entirely different tangent, finding a life that in no way resembled what she had as a spook, with a man very different from Harry. She loved that life but it wasn't what she was meant for. When she returned to his circle, Harry was tremendously grateful to have her back, and became almost instantly and completely lost in love for her.  She, however, was simply trying to process all the things that had happened -- all she had done and wanted in life and all the curves that her's had taken.
As we head into Spooks Series (Season) 10, she may no longer have the girlish crush on him, but she is still attracted and cares deeply for him. I think she is just working on finding that permanent place in her heart for him as a flawed, multifaceted man, rather than an idol. He has long had such a place for her.
Its a great love story and has captivated better people than I.

Oh, and I guess it should be clear enough, but this chart is full of spoilers for all the episodes discussed (i.e. through season 9, but not season 10). I would also add, that if you're crazy enough to like this one, you will probably love my Ultimate Spooks-Lovers' Guide to Spy Teams or my new post on the Top Ten Harry and Ruth moments of all time, with clips.

S Ep time Description - BEST HARRY RUTH MOMENTS
2 2 5:20 Maybe I read things in because I know where this is going, but, though there are lots of beautiful women on this show, Harry never acts as if he sees them "that way." With Ruth it feels different right from the start -- he seems to notice her and act just slightly nervous. (Ruth: "am I late?" Harry: "you're our intelligence expert, you ought to know" followed by maniacal laughter). She looks so lovely and giddy to be there, and acts so different from everyone else. When she says "bugger the home office", his "mm, if only," is directed to her with an almost sensual relish.
2 3 4:00, 42:58 Ruth recognizes a bad guy's clue as being from Homer's Odyssey. While she is speaking Harry walks very close behind her in a way that is unusual and noticeable. When he tells her she should go work on that quote, he looks intently into her face. He's piqued by her (though the task is meant to be patronizing); when she leaves the room he says "that woman works for GCHQ!" -- he sees her as an outsider whom he can't trust. But it is because he sees her as an outsider that he can see her as a woman and, in an odd way, someone on equal footing with him, unlike his staff. When she explains the literary illusion later, he can't help but realize how useful she is.
2 4
No particular scenes between Ruth and Harry, but in this episode, Tom learns about Ruth's spying for GCHQ. Tom sees her value and gives her a second chance. She admits to really liking working with the spooks, and knows she is great at this job; she desires this new life/job. She also starts looking up to Tom. These heightened feelings of "finding a place" work on her at a deeper level and will ultimately make her start to see Harry in a new light. But for now, this episode just shows that she is the kind of woman who admires and respects power and leadership and maybe idealizes men like Tom (and, eventually Harry).
2 5 47:12 Ruth sees Harry come out of his office after having faked exposure to chemicals in the lockdown/training exercise and says "you bastard!" But by the time Tom is ok with what has happened, Ruth is smiling too. She is getting her cues on how to act by how her lead guy behaves -- who, at this point is Tom.
2 6 16:50 In the conference room, Ruth is irritated with the obnoxious Americans that the team must coordinate with, and expressing it openly. Harry offers coffee (tension breaker) but Ruth won't break the tension and insists "tea!" Harry vaguely mirrors "or tea." The scene shows she is not troubled about taking on Harry or putting him in his place. Instead, he seems a bit cowed by her -- in a cute way.
2 9 19:05, 32:10 Ruth bursts into Harry's office a couple of times. When she does it late in the show, he mentions it, looking rather amused. She's discovered a mole on the grid and is excited about it. He tells her to take a deep breath. It feels like a barrier crossed, as if he's taken her on -- as an interest and a team member. [* see note: 2, 10].
2 10 24:12 Ruth is so smart, bubbly, and very pretty as she is telling Harry about the American named "Shark" who is dead. Harry is just staring at her for a moment, processing her and the info and then in a brilliant voice says: "Come. Now." and walks off. She follows very readily. They have a park bench chat about Tom - their first? - and the first clear suggestion that she has become a bit of a confidant to him [* note: I moved this vignette here from 2, 9 after viewing a dvd of these episodes. I cannot find a park bench chat in 2, 9 and guess that this is the one I meant. Not sure how I messed that up. oops] At the end, Harry is being carted away on a stretcher and Tom has fled in the sea, Ruth is shown reacting to news and weeping. The loss of Tom and potential loss of Harry would both be great blows. . . wonder which was on her mind?
3 1 33:05 ?? This should be the episode where Ruth pretends to be pregnant with Harry's child in order to pass a message to him, but I can't find it. Netflix must have cut it out.  Later, Ruth bursts in saying that the person they're looking for is in one the taxis she's been recruiting - his amazement at her resourcefulness and value are apparent.
3 3 9:24 When Adam compliments Ruth to get her cooperation on something by saying, "Harry tells me you're the soul of discretion", she blushes and looks down, saying "did he?" Then she goes straight to Harry to clear what Adam wants. Harry tells her to do it, and also compliments her, calling her a "senior pro" -- a term which she doesn't seem to like.
3 4 25:00 Ruth sees that Harry is deeply upset by not knowing what his daughter's involvement in their current mess is, but plows into the topic further saying "there's something else, Harry." "Something else! That's your bloody middle name!" Adam says to Harry that shouting at Ruth won't help, but she says "its OK."
3 5 16:13 Glimpses into Ruth's loneliness, her developing interest in a guy they're watching; Harry is watching her - spying on her through Sam. At 16:13 there is a cute scene in the hallway with Ruth, Harry and Adam -- Ruth, giving a report, goes from "yes" to "perhaps" on a question. Harry picks up on it and later makes a joke about whether something is a "yes" or "perhaps" - Ruth is miffed and shouts out "its a yes". Harry looks smug. This seems a bit like flirting.
3 7 38:28, 45:00 A step back? An anomaly? Harry shows no concern over Ruth's absence, "drag her in even if she's got pneumonia", and later insisting she has texted to say she's ill, though others know its absurd because Ruth doesn't text. Harry has to be forced to the conclusion that something is wrong with Ruth. And he is not among the team that goes to save her.
3 9 9:01, 12:00, 50:00 Harry asks for Ruth's help preparing for a job interview. (Actually, she figures out what he wants, since he's being cagy.) There are great scenes of secrets and eye contact, that depict a developing trust. Ruth is exhilarated by this closeness and covert project. At both the beginning and end of this episode, Ruth is seen putting on lipstick, getting ready to go out. Shortly after each of these moments, Harry comes by and seems to be looking at her closely. He's starting to see her, and she is starting to seek a personal life. As she leaves the office at the end, Harry teases her by calling out "Ruth." "I'm not listening!" she calls back while walking away; this is followed by his maniacal laugh.
3 10 4:50, 21:30, 50:40 Harry is clearly not a ladies' man - or that's the implication of his pretty dull suggestion that Adam get Fiona chocolates for her birthday. (Adam and Ruth both make fun of it). When Ruth knocks at the office later, Harry jokes that something must be wrong -- because she knocked. However, something is actually wrong and the chocolates discussion is the tip off. Adam uses it ("Fiona loved the chocolates you suggested, Ruth") to convey a message to her. She is adamant with Harry that something is wrong with Adam, though Harry is flabbergasted as to why it would matter whether Adam got chocolates. Ruth insists: "Harry! Please. Take me seriously on this." Harry looks at her a moment before telling her to  "red flash the entire team." He is seeing her and trusting her more and more. And, at the end, Ruth grieving over Danny is heartbreaking and Harry watching her is very powerful as well. For the first time, he wants to take care of her. He very tenderly says: "I have to leave you for a moment, Ruth."
4 1 3:50, 38:00 At the funeral, Ruth hears the explosion and sees the team leave the church, but wants to grieve for Danny. Harry goes in to get her. When he says "I need you," she nods and follows him. Harry needing her will always do the trick. The introduction of Juliet in this episode is useful in that alluding to her past relationship with Harry shows that we should think of him as a sexual being -- though that side of him hasn't been a big part of his character before. He makes himself laugh when Julia refers to the XY chromosome combo as something she lacks and he says, "oh, those old chestnuts." and spends several moments being amused at his own wit. (Harry has a pathetic sense of humor.)
4 3 21:10 Harry tells Ruth he's sending her back to GCHQ, "temporarily" he's quick to add; he needs someone he can really trust on the newest endeavor. He moves around to the front of the desk to get close while he's telling her; her eyes are huge saucers. Her big fear is that they wont let her stay at section D; also the notion of field work scares and excites her.
4 4 4:30 While Ruth is talking, in the conference room, Harry is raptly interested in her, more so than anyone else, leaning forward with interest. He can even be seen smiling.
4 5 5:50, 6:45, 9:30, 31:40 Cute exchange in the conference room where they are hiring new team members and Harry calls it "joining our brotherhood." Ruth grimaces at the expression and Harry wants to know why. She suggests "clique" or "circle" instead. But he says "nope, I like 'brotherhood. Anyone else have a problem with my way of expressing myself today?" Funny. When Harry learns that a former colleague has (apparently) committed suicide and he is upset about it. Ruth offers to comfort him, saying she's not doing anything later. Without really considering the offer or what it may have or have not meant, he immediately rejects it saying he has phone calls to return. Later, when Ruth calls Harry at the office late at night and tells him she needs him to come over, his reaction is priceless; his mind goes to an unprofessional place for a moment with an odd camera angle and expression. Then confusion, before understanding the need is work related. Lots of deep eye contact in a private conversation later.
4 6 33:45, 38:00 Ruth is reporting some findings to Harry. He just looks at her and I see longing in his face. When she's done, Harry says "Ruth [long pause]. Close the door." She does so, walks in and stands in front of him. She just says "Harry." There is a willingness that radiates out of her -- I will do whatever you say without question. She is in love. She looks almost the tiniest bit disappointed when he starts talking work. He asks her to sneakily retrieve a file he's not supposed to see. Later when she brings it to him he mutters "do you also turn water into wine?'
4 8 18:15, 36:00, 37:46 Ruth is letting Adam in on all the aspects of their mission, though Adam is supposed to be recovering from Fiona's death and not working. Adam begs Ruth to talk Harry into letting him back on duty. He knows she is the only one who could do so. He knows that if Ruth says to do it, Harry probably will -- and of course that's what happens.
4 9 10:15, 24:20, 30:10, 36:00, 50:31 Great episode for Harry/Ruth. This is the one where Harry makes a "bad" decision to release someone the Americans wanted to extradite and gets removed from his job because of it. It is great for both the viewer and for Harry, to get away from Thames House, in his home watching quiz shows, wearing casual clothes and walking his dog. Of course he can't really stay out of the spooks business and finds ways to insert himself into the goings on. But the rest and emotional distance allow him to seem more like a man, a person, than ever before. And that makes this one of their best episodes ever. In an early scene, at 10:15 I like how Ruth tells the rest of the team what Harry would have done -- asserting that she knows him. At 24:20 Adam asks Ruth to secretly copy the file; when he says "its for Harry" she is willing, happy, and a tiny bit embarrassed. The bus scene is at 30:10. He is seeking her out -- did he know she would have the files? or did he just want to see her? He says he knew she took the bus because he passed her in the rain one day and "to his shame and now regret," didn't stop. It is nighttime, calm and conducive to more. When she slips him the zip drive, his touch lingers on her fingers. She leaves her arm draping over the seat. But he can't follow through. He changes the subject, she wilts, he leaves. Later, when Juliet announces that Harry has gone missing, Ruth has a little smile. But, by the end, he's back in the office, and though he seems excited to see Ruth alone at first, he quickly switches back to work mode. He tells her not to work too late. When she says she'll take the last bus, he pauses for a moment then walks off. He's a boss again and maybe distancing himself from that "regret" he had for not pursuing her.
4 10 34:57, 42:48 Ruth and Adam confront Harry about evidence that he helped plan Diana's death; Harry is playing along and Ruth is losing respect for him by the moment. When she realizes there's more to it, and that he's stringing them along, she looks so relieved and more in love than ever. Later, after Ruth saves the day by weaving a story for Angela, Harry tells Ruth "well done," but she is upset and sarcastic with him. He grabs her by the arm and pulls her back and against the wall saying with great passion: "you think I'm a limited man! that I don't understand the emotional side. Self-control, self-denial. These are the things that keep us together in this job." There is so much to love about this exchange. Harry really needs Ruth to see him as a man, and to understand that he holds himself back all the time, including with her. Here he is telling her about self-denial yet coming closest to animal passion himself. Even though it is not a romantic moment, it's intense and very sexy because it is all about his interest in her. With anyone else this would have felt inappropriate and over the boss/employee line. With her, it's perfection. Their faces are so close and, for a moment, when he tells her she's a "born spook", he glances toward her mouth and it really seems as if he will kiss her.
5 1 31:38, 56:52 The team is talking about Colin's death. Several things appeal to me in this great scene of tension and emotion; first that Harry is sitting next to Ruth with his arm casually slung around the pillows of the sectional, toward her, his hand near her shoulder and their knees almost touching. When Malcolm tears into Harry, Ruth looks anxiously at Harry -- worried for him. And later, when Zaf, Adam and Malcolm are all on their feet with intensity, Harry and Ruth don't move from their position of closeness; they are comforting each other by being near each other on the sofa. At the end when Malcolm bursts in, saying they are getting reports that one of the cars has been blown up, Ruth's worry is all for Harry.
5 2 25:26, 56:14 Adam can see that Ruth is very upset about the danger Harry is in. Ruth wants only to find and save Harry, not stop the coup. And, of course, the awesome scene where Juliet asks Harry if he is in love with Ruth. Harry won't answer, but says Ruth has "many wonderful qualities." "Well, she's in love with you." "Is that so?" "Yes." "Well, that's one to ponder."
5 3 6:15, 12:19, 31:58, 36:28, 54:13 In their opening meeting, 6:15, Ruth is adamant about the inhumanity of the weapon they are tracking down; she seems at odds with everyone. While talking about it later on the rooftop, Ruth insists she is not naive. Harry swiftly segues into asking her to dinner. Everything about that dinner invitation scene is precious. Later, I love it when Jo and Adam are talking about Harry and Ruth's upcoming dinner date and their budding interest. Then, --  the wonderful dinner date with Harry talking about the big trip he'd like to take with the right person and starts naming all those great Ruth qualities (including someone who is not naive). Malcolm's unfortunate teasing of Ruth at 36:28 which gives Ruth cold feet about having any relationship with Harry. At 54:13 she tells him she can't have dinner with him anymore because people are laughing and it undermines him. He is so plaintive and earnest in not caring about that, but she breezes out.
5 4 8:40, 15:10, 42:50, 55:13 There's a bit of emotional distance, after Ruth's rejection of him, but Harry tells her he's glad she is at the hotel where the operation is going down. He feels the need to tell her she'll have her own room. They both look a bit embarrassed. At 15:10 another irresistible Harry moment in the hotel floor lobby when they both come out of their rooms due to the loud music. It is so hard to understand what is holding Ruth back. Harry notices that neither of them was sleeping and keeps stepping closer to her with a great look of longing. But she steps away saying "goodnight Harry". At 42:50 Ruth is alone in the ops room at the hotel looking at the cctv of Harry sitting alone having a drink, and almost deciding to call him, but not doing it. Later, after Ros yells at Harry for not going to bat for her dad and says his own life is a disaster, Ruth comes in at 55:13 and kindly looks deep into his face and tells him its not his fault; she squeezes his arm.
5 5 2:15, 11:24, 21:24, 28:11, 31:17, 43:07, 46:40, 54:12, 55:25 Ruth brings Harry over to her flat after seeing a man commit suicide; he puts his hand briefly and tentatively on her shoulder, then makes her tea. The whole episode is all about them and their love, so it is hard to pull out scenes, but the one at 11:24 when they are simply lost in each others' gaze and Jo comes in interrupting them is wonderful. Not to mention that the dialog is hilarious. Harry telling her not to leave an official trail of what happened. "Even Adam?" "You can tell Adam." "I don't have to." "Its up to you; I'm not saying you should keep things from other members of the team, I'm just saying. . ." "Don't. Tell anyone." "Yes. I mean No." At 21:24, Ruth is sure that they're missing something and Harry says he's worried about her and wants to give her a ride home. He calls her a stubborn old mule, which she obviously objects to. At 28:11 everything starts to fall apart and Harry melts down to a bystander ("do not address me!"). Harry attempts to take the fall for Ruth, in a great scene at the restaurant (43:07), but then Ruth trumps him. At 46:40 she makes a total sacrifice of her life as she knows it for Harry's career and freedom and convinces Zaf and Adam to help her - "if I can save him, then I will." She is so brave, certain and selfless. It makes me sad that neither Adam nor Zaf will ever see her again. At 54:12, Harry alone, miserable in his office, receives the phone call that Ruth is "dead" and places the receiver over his heart. Love that Harry. The grief is real - though he knows she's not dead, he knows she's leaving him. And, of course, finally, their best moment of all - their goodbye, their kiss, at 55:25.
6 3
When Harry is under a routine psychological examination and the psychologist is giving a word association test to him, she asks him what is missing from his life. He says "something" vaguely, then more clearly and definitely follows it with "someone". At that moment Connie comes in with news and no follow up happens. It is clear (to me anyway) that he is still thinking about Ruth.
8 1 14:50, 23:11, 33:56, 37:00, 40:20, 45:09, 55:08 The Russians have kidnapped Harry, then terrorists from India have stolen him from the Russians. They want uranium and Harry knows where it is; they also think Ruth knows, so they go after her. Harry's interrogator makes the first allusion to Ruth at 14:50 and it clearly affects him. Meanwhile Ruth, who is now married with a step child and living in Cyprus, manages to flee with her family and get to the grid for help.  She asks Malcolm how "he" (meaning Harry) is, but of course, he's in terrible danger. She supplies as much info as she can before the bad guys get her and her family. Harry conveys so much emotion as the door opens at 33:56 and he perceives Ruth being brought in. The interrogator speculates about their relationship crudely, Harry says its "probably a bit beyond your vulgar little mind." At 37:00, captive together, he says to her "you got married out there." Ruth describes her simple and elegant life that she loved. Harry presses: "and George?" Ruth: "he's a good and kind man." Harry bravely asks "do you love him?" She won't answer him: "He doesn't deserve to be in danger and I'm not going to start discussing my feelings about him. Not with you." Then, at 40:20, the interrogators use Ruth's family to get her to talk, but, though she tells what she knows, her knowledge is now worthless and they shoot her husband anyway. Her reaction is moving, intense and probably the most difficult thing Harry has ever had to bear. At 45:09 they threaten the child. Ruth is begging Harry to tell where the uranium is: "if you have any feelings at all. If you have any feelings for me." But he won't budge. "You heartless bastard" she says. The rest of the team save the day, and Harry, Ruth and the boy live. Harry acknowledges it at the end and hopes aloud that Ruth will someday, too. Malcolm curtly sums it up with: "Ruth's angry with you." "I know."
8 2 0:01, 31:54, 33:44 Harry and Ruth are walking together. At least they're talking-- about George and Nico.  She says: "you would've let him die". Harry says he's not asking for forgiveness but wants to help sort things out. She says "you have a knighthood, Harry and I'm dead. There's our status." Plaintive again, he says "I'm trying. With all my limitations which you know better than anybody." But she's unmoved and sarcastic, "well thanks for that. Thanks for trying." Jo comes to talk to Ruth later. Ruth wonders if Harry is OK, but Jo says he's not himself. She begs Ruth to talk to him because he's hurting. Jo says "he did the right thing under intolerable pressure" and tells her "we've missed you, Ruth, but no one more than Harry." At 33:44, she does go talk to him. He almost looks as if he's going to cry when he sees her walking to him. She is sorry she blamed him for what happened - it wasn't fair. And he is truly sorry "about everything."
8 3 7:02, 7:57, 55:00 She walks in to the grid, saying to Harry, "you're all flustered". "Well that happens sometimes…" he answers in a slight double entendre, then immediately starts talking about the newest situation they're working on. At 7:57, he's back in old form: "You. Come with me" -- which she (still) naturally does. "I'm gonna need you today Ruth." "Damn well hope so" she answers. At the end, Harry sends Jo in to fix the situation; she does fix it, but is then killed. The final scene between he and Ruth is devastating. He cannot believe he has brought her back into this life. They are both so distraught about Jo, but trapped inside themselves. And Ruth ends up weeping alone on the other side of the wall to his office.
8 4 4:15 Park bench chat -- Ruth tells Harry that Jo convinced her to come back. He then asks "was she the only reason you returned?" "What do you mean?" "You know what I mean". But she changes the subject, wanting to know why he asked her there. He says he wanted to talk about Jo. She says, "but there was something else". "There'll always be something else, Ruth."
8 6 45:00, 56:54 When Ruth uncovers a money trail to the home secretary, there is a nice bit of secrecy between Harry and Ruth; he has brought her completely close and inside again - the only one he can completely trust. After the home secretary is ousted, she is worried for Harry. She asks him if he wants to get a drink. It takes a moment to sink in, then he practically springs to his feet saying: "yes, I think I do Ruth" ... but its not to be; Tariq announces more bad news.
8 7 16:40
Ruth can't accept that a 17 year old boy has to risk his life to save the country. "I've forgotten what its like here," she says, "its nothing." "Its not nothing, Ruth, and I'm glad you’re here to remind us. To remind me." Such a tender voice from Harry. Several other gazes and meaningful moments, including at 35:30 a talk in Harry's office, where Ruth tells him he's making the right call and as she leaves brushes her fingers across his.
8 8 17:40, 38:50 Ruth is telling Harry to keep an open mind, that this new home secretary may not be bad afterall But Harry is suspicious of him, and says that no one else has raised an issue with his assessment. She replies that they may be reluctant to challenge their leader's obvious conviction. He leans forward, looks into her face with a sly grin and says "no such reluctance with you, eh Ruth?" As they are on the roof later talking about the mission, he changes tack abruptly and asks whether she still sings. They quote the song 'all men are brothers under gentle wings' which brings him to tears. She touches his arm tenderly.
9 1 2:15, 22:45, 31:15, 42:00, 53:13 The proposal scene at Ros' funeral. Gorgeous and heartbreaking. She turns him down looking almost as sad as he is. He says "we move on from this." But at 23:12 Harry gets bad news about his officers on a mission on a ship. Ruth says "it'll be alright Harry." He dismisses her quickly: "that will be all Ruth." At 31:15 she tries again, telling him not to worry about Dimitri. He asks "does it ever stop?" At 42:00, Ruth comes to him (again) and Harry tells her he's handed in his resignation -- he's tired of all the death and his "negligible difference." She wants to discuss it, saying "this isn't you talking". But he says: "that's enough Ruth," sending her away. He is trying hard to salvage his dignity. It is going to be very hard to be close to her now after she rejected him that way. She looks terrible for having broken his heart. But Ruth, at 53:13, comes to him yet again telling him he's saved thousands. "Is it all just maths Ruth?" "I think sometimes it is." Ruth brings up the proposal, she says it would be "a lie" to live in a little house in Sussex, that they've forfeited the chance for that kind of life. "Here we can face all that in the open." "We couldn't be more, together, than we are right now." I think she managed to say the right thing and they are "friends" again.
9 2 18:06 Late night phone call from Ruth to Harry. He says "given what you said, re: what I said, I don't think we should be sharing late at night tet a tets." But Ruth says: "its work" -- to which Harry replies "good." Still, when they're done with the work part, he says "anything else" full of longing; she has a long pause before quietly saying "no," hanging up and swigging some wine.
9 3 6:20, 13:44, 15:00, 40:02, 54:36 While Lucas is on a mission, Harry makes a decision to let a guy go without alerting Lucas about it. Ruth tries to talk to him: "Harry. Harry. Are you sure about this? "Doubting my judgment?" He asks, getting in her face. She says no. When this decision bites him in the rear later, he says "go ahead Ruth, I know you want to say it. I told you so." She wants to strategize with him, but he says "I don't need you to fight my battles." He's trying to close her out and seal up his wounds but his heart is far too open. At 15:00 he's angry and rude to her about having gone to advise the home secretary without telling him. She sighs: "this is ridiculous; we have to work together." "We are working together. This is what it looks like." Ruth wilts. (Maybe realizing how much she'll miss it if she stops being his number one confidant?) But he can't do it; he can't cut her out. At 40:02, Harry feels terrible about their mission - that he's allowed them to be played; Ruth comforts him saying it was a "mistake of judgment, maybe, but not of decency." They share a long look. He just can't steel himself against her. All it takes is one loving kind comment like this and he's putty again. So at 54:36, when she wonders whether they can trust the scientist he told the truth to, he replies, "he won't talk. He's an honorable man." How can he know that, she wonders, and Harry poignantly says "sometimes you have to give a man a chance, Ruth, to show you who he really is." She watches him walk away.
9 4 27:56, 32:04, 53:50, 54:05 Ruth is undercover and when she gets snagged by the CIA; Harry talks her through what to say to them. Ruth gets hurt as they are nabbing the scientist she is trying to protect. At 32:04, he leans in very close and whispers "I'm sorry about your lip." Later, Ruth is talking to the scientist, telling her she doesn't want to hand her over like a piece of meat; but the scientist says "I'm a commodity; if you're valuable enough to someone you can never be free." Ruth looks as if this deeper meaning strikes a chord. The scientist talks about her child and asks whether Ruth has children. Ruth answers "no" -- maybe thinking of Nico and wondering if she could have or would have if she hadn't rejected that kind of life. Funny little moment near the end when Ruth bursts in and Harry says: "if you don't start knocking, I'll have to have you fitted with a cowbell." But she convinces Harry not to hand people over like this; Harry capitulates, for her.
9 6 7:50, 55:15 When the grid is compromised, Ruth trying to sneakily convey info to Harry uses their past relationship as the means -- she seizes his hand, secretly slipping him a note; she makes it seem as if the conversation is about their relationship, when she is really trying to convey that they are being watched. It is effective. But she apologizes later about having to "bring up … well, you know". He says don't give it a thought, but I think he was surprised and maybe bruised by it. Shortly after, Harry learns that Ruth is suspicious of Lucas. But he doesn't believe her.
9 7 6:44, 12:47, 46:45, 54:55 Harry brings up logistic issues with regard to Ruth's stepson and house in Cyprus; he knows it is very painful for her. Later, when he asks her to collate some info, she wants to know why he just wants her to collate and not analyze it. He doesn't trust her judgment and that "our personal history does not mean you can question everything I do." "But it doesn't mean you can freeze me out either." He closes the door for a heart to heart. He declares: "neither of us are what you would call emotionally forthright." Harry has concluded that Ruth still blames him for what happened to George and Nico, that she thinks he would have let her die too, and that he's protecting Lucas in a way he failed to protect her.  But he counters that he'd protect her too - "a thousand times over." ... "And you'd be wrong" she replies. As the plot unfolds, Ruth is in real danger. Harry's been interrogating Lucas and doesn't know what's going on. When they piece it together at 46:45, Harry's never driven so fast in his life; poor Ruth fighting for her life while Harry's desperately trying to call her. When he gets to the apartment, Ruth has just shot the bad guy. She sees Harry and weakly just hands him the gun. Its one of my favorites - she's still just like a child looking up to him in some ways. In the last scene, Ruth is in the hospital, about to leave; Harry is there too, looking very rumpled. He probably checked in with her and hasn't left. Ruth's speech to Harry about being strong, not weak, with no chance of mourning our loved ones -- is one of the most powerful moments in the show. "You think I haven't forgiven you for George, but the truth is much worse... that I'm fine."
9 8 16:40, 23:20, 24:08, 30:00, 45:28, 46:36, 49:00, 55:27 Lucas captures Ruth, to get a file he needs from Harry. Harry says "don't you dare hurt her". Harry explains to his team that Lucas found out that Harry knows where the file is and Dimitri concludes that "Ruth is his leverage over you." Dimitri and Beth know that Harry will probably give up the file for Ruth, so he tells them to come along (to keep him honest). At 23:20, even with them along, he takes the file and runs off with it to make the exchange with Lucas. Meanwhile, Lucas and Ruth are talking while he holds her captive. At 24:08, she tells Lucas that Harry asked her to marry him, but she said no.  "Why. you love him don't you." Ruth is silent and Lucas tells her to be selfish for once and say yes. Ruth later tells him "Harry's never going to give you Albany" and Lucas tells her she's always underestimated herself. Lucas is right in this case, because Harry is hightailing it over to give up that file. When Lucas gets the file, he says at 33:55, "Harry Pearce giving up a state secret. Committing treason for just one life." "Not just any life". Later, Harry learns where Ruth is and rushes in to save her. Then at 45:28 as she is coming round she tells Harry "thanks for coming for me. Hope you didn't pay too high a price." He looks like he could cry. Or throw up. Or both. But at 46:36, Ruth is not flattered that Harry gave up the  file to secure her release. She's angry. She is not worth more than all the others (presumably all the agents who've died); she says it was "her turn" and that at the moment he handed over Albany, it was "unfair of you to love me." He doesn't get to respond - Dimitri bursts in. Then, at 49:00 when Harry is going to meet Lucas, all assuming that Lucas will kill Harry, Ruth just says "Harry." He looks at her a long moment and says "its my turn." At the end, Ruth is horrified and relieved with the apparent death of Lucas and Harry's safety.

Sometimes you have to give a man a chance, Ruth.


  1. I wouldn't describe Ruth as "bubbly" She has a dry, crisp wit.

    1. Thanks for the comment; yes, I think she settled in to a calmer crisper style for sure. But in her first season on the show she seemed less poised and in control to me, more..., well, "bubbly" may not be the perfect word, but more fresh and energetic. And I think and I think those are the qualities Harry noticed at first.

    2. I am going to reassert "bubbly" :) I have re-watched these early episodes lately and am surprised to see how much more of a light energy she had in the first season, maybe not yet beaten down by the unending tragedies that start to shape her. In season 2 she is "bubbly" and smiles, a lot. Mostly at Tom.

  2. This is quite possibly the best thing I have ever come across on the internet. You are amazing! I'm very late to the Spooks party but have binged on the entire 10 series over the last few weeks and the beautiful Harry/Ruth relationship is probably the most compelling thing about the whole show - so many feels...!

    1. Thank you so much for your comment. You are too kind. :) and have made my week.

    2. I'm totally with anonymous above...great log! I'm also late to Spooks and binged for the last few weeks too. I'm so obsessed with Spooks and H/R relationship that I feel compelled to write some fanfiction. I miss TV that has slow burning relationships with no gratuitous sex language or violence. Nowadays that is lost to the crap instant gratification of the rest of TV shows of this Genre. That means when you are given little snippets it is infinitely more titillating and tantalizing.

      Good Work Amy

    3. Thank you so much for your comment! I truly appreciate it. Your comment has great timing because just this week, I am back on the grid :) and have been re-watching some episodes for the first time in a long while. (I'm falling back in love with Harry and Ruth as I remember all the great nuances to their relationship). I have also been trying to brainstorm some other slow burning couples from tv for a new post I'm kicking around. I, too, love romance that simmers slowly with eye contact and deep feeling, rather than straight to the sack. And I always appreciate hearing from those who love Harry and Ruth as I do!

  3. the way...any chance of Season 10 Opinions?

    1. Soo... I don't know if you've had a chance to watch Season 10 yet and I don't want to inadvertently give spoilers! In fact, I do have posts on Season 10. To make them easier to find, I added a 'label' which you can now find in the right sidebar in alphabetical order, called "Spooks Series 10". Don't look at them unless you want an earful of opinion!

      thanks so much for your interest

    2. Good Woman...I was pretty inconsolable but it was brilliant stuff!!!!

      Thanks for posting that. I'm going to attempt to write some stuff about it and I can send you some links. Trust me there were times when I was thinking "come on Harry get your finger out man and seduce her" but I'm kinda glad they didn't get it on (or am I? ) Yeah, no I am!!!

  4. I just watched 5.4 again... Harry in his white shirt with the top buttons undone... Walking towards Ruth without breaking eye contact... Come on Ruth, what is wrong with you!! Haha. It makes it all the more upsetting that this happens just before the events of 5.5. So much "what if..."

    1. OMG I know! Thanks so much for your comment and for commiserating on this! That one kills me :)