Monday, October 24, 2011

Ending the Relationshp (Mine with Spooks) on a Disappointing Note

So, let's say you're in a relationship and, for whatever reason, you also know that it's maybe not the best thing for you. (Maybe its stealing too much of your free time, or you know it is going nowhere, or maybe you're worried that your husband will find out so you know it has to end... haha -- just kidding about that last one) In any event, its a comfortable relationship and you get a lot out of it, so it's far easier to keep going than to wrench yourself away.

In such cases as these, it is a stroke of luck when your partner goes and does something really bad -- something really stupid. Maybe he sleeps with your best friend. Its a blessing in disguise because now the dumping is easy! Its all been done for you. Like pulling off the band-aid fast.

So in the fast-band-aid-sense-of-thank-you, "thank you Spooks" for making this break up so easy.
OBLIGATORY ALL-CAPS SPOILERS WARNING! -- that messes up my flow of words but nevertheless must be placed prominently and without further ado -- BIG SPOILERS for the last ever episode of MI-5/Spooks (Episode 6, Series 10). Please don't read if you aren't up to date on your MI-5/Spooks' watching.
Open letter to Spooks:

Yes, we're through and I see now that it's for the best. I'm just sorry it had to end in such a way and you left me with this bad taste in my mouth. It's clear I gave too much of myself to this relationship that was always destined to be one-sided. We had a pretty good run -- I've been with you since February and we've crammed a lot of good living into those 9 months (about 10 years' worth). I loved you and I think you cared for me too, but our time together is over. After all we've been through I would have hoped for a more elegant finish to our time, but at least the waiting is over.

You made a lot of mistakes along the way. Some of them (read, "Lucas North"), were very, very hard to take, but I gave you a second chance because I loved you that much. But we've reached a point we can't recover from. Really, I understand about you and killing. It's what you do and I try to be indulgent and just look the other way. I understand you have "needs". But not this one; not this time. When your deaths are gratifying or shocking or move the plot forward or serve any other sort of purpose, I can abide with them. But Ruth? Well, you've crossed a line, because this time you did it just to prove that you could. It was contrived. It made me feel dirty.

Did you really think I wouldn't see what was going on? Was I really supposed to believe that together Harry and Ruth couldn't have overpowered the guy with a piece of glass? That Dimitri and Erin wouldn't have stopped him sooner? That a single stab with a bit of glass would kill a very healthy woman in a couple of minutes? Or that a medivac helicopter would take longer to get to the scene than it took Ilia to drive there? No, this is too much. This was gratuitous and, yes, I'll say it again, contrived. I expected so much more from you. You used to be such a class act and Ruth was worth more than that. If she and Harry were really so pathetic that they couldn't have dealt with this situation, she deserves to die (so does he). But why did you have to soil our memories in this way?

No, our love can't survive this. But I will try not to let it steal all our memories. We had such good ones.  I will treasure them. ...Though I don't know why you felt the need to throw "Tom" in my face the way you did last night. That wasn't like you. What was that all about? Do you even know? Yes, he represents a lovely time from our past and maybe you were feeling desperate. . . . I'm just sorry it got to that point.  I do appreciate your bringing up "Jo" for the sake of old times, even if it was just her eyes and voice. You can't hide that from me, and, really, I don't think you wanted to.

But no matter what you may have said or done last night, I won't live with your version of things. I can't. I know you are just too beaten down to be responsible for what you were saying. Your version is false but mine will comfort me....

...the version where Erin saw Sasha approaching Harry and Ruth, and took him out just in time. How Sasha slashed Ruth on the way down, and the adrenaline and shock caused Harry and Ruth to fall madly together on the ground kissing while he pressed her wounds. (Honestly, we can even leave it ambiguous and end without knowing whether her wounds are fatal or not. I've told you this a thousand times: I'm OK with ambiguity). Then of course, how Dimitri stumbled out and some clever acerbic exchange loaded with eye-contact, broke the mood and pulled focus away from Harry & Ruth. I'm even prepared to remember how Calum came up and made some cruel or smart-ass comment. I laughed at it...
Photo credit image galleries
Yes, you must see that this is the way it has to be.

With much feeling and regard, but mostly deep disappointment,


  1. THANK YOU for this! I haven't even seen the damned season yet (though I'm mainlining spoilers and fan-fiction, particularly of the 10.6-denying variety), and I already feel ... pretty much what you expressed here. I know that killing people is their thing, but this is gratuitous. My gratuity threshold is pretty high--I didn't think the freaking FRY-O-LATOR was gratuitous--but this is gratuitious. I feel like deaths when the series is still going serve a purpose in a way that deaths in the final episode don't. We don't get to see how everybody else moves on and learns to live. It's finality without closure. It's cheap pyrotechnics rather than depth, and, yes, the cynical part of me thinks you ought to expect pyrotechnics rather than death from t.v. shows, but, really, I expected better. Or at least hoped for better. Anyway, this comment is a long version of "I totally agree." Thank you for putting it so well.


    3_sickles_short from livejournal (who is having trouble with the OpenID)

    Note: Verification word is CALUSE, as in "How could those writers be so caluse?"

  2. Thank you so much for your comment! I am so glad to have your concurrence about this being so irritatingly unnecessary. I love your comment about having no closure for it. Totally agree. Also agree that we had come to expect more from this show, as a step above the "cheap pyrotechnics". And, I love that you mention the fry-o-lator :) It's funny that i just wrote a post the other day about Spooks deaths that shocked (of which of course that was one) and though Helen's was definitely shocking and disturbing, it at least had a point and a place to spring forward from. This just sits there like a lead balloon for all time. We had a right to expect better from Spooks.

  3. Erugh I agree with everything you have written here. In fact, I also wrote a brief letter to Spooks after I broke up with the show with the aftermath of 10.6, though mine was a lot shorter and consisted of swear words.

    I hated 9.8 and the Lucas deneaument but I was willing to forgive Spooks all of its numerous mistakes (and there were many imo) if only to see Ruth Evershed's story arc resolved. It wasn't. Killing someone is not closure Kudos. It means you couldn't be bothered to ACTUALLY deal with the R/H relationship by having Ruth choose either way. If you resented the way fans took hold of this relationship you could of killed Ruth in 9.8 and 8.8 and I might have actually thought that was brave. And if you hated us as much as all that, you could have never brought Ruth back at all. Why did you bring her back? Because she was popular, because she was necessary with Ros gone to keep the show going. So it is pretty mean spirited of you to be so rude in the finale to those who faithfully kept watching and got you to a tenth series.

    As it is, for me the ending renders most of Spooks pointless. What is the overall message of Spooks? What is the overall reward for long time investment? As every single character is left dead or miserable without fail? Spooks was always about the characters for me, especially after s4 when the series got sillier and sillier. But now it is rather hard to reccomend all of Spooks without reservations. It would now sound something like "Watch Spooks. Every single character dies or is royally screwed. All of them. Every last one. And don't bother with Lucas. His illogical character flip is the silliest I have ever seen on TV. Oh and don't bother with Ruth and Harry after 8.1 either. The themes with them change every series and sometimes every alternative episode and end in something that reduces Ruth back to what she was in 2.2 and leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth. But watch Spooks..."

    Do I sound bitter? I am pretty bitter. I loved Ruth best. All I was asking for was a decent character ending for her.

    Damn you Kudos :(

  4. Thank you for this great comment. You make some really good points! And if you put this in a letter to Kudos (along with rude language) I hope it got their attention -- not that there's any good that can do now. I loved Ruth too and hated how they ended her and also how they ended Harry. As you say, Kudos was just lazy, sidestepped the whole issue of the relationship rather than let Ruth really progress or us get real closure, in favor of another easy and gratuitous killing.

    And you're right, now that I think of it about it, I'm struggling to think of any character on that show who actually exited in a decent way! Sad. Oh wait, I've got it: Malcolm. He left on a high (brave) note, got some closure and got to retire by his own choice. Seriously though, I think he's it.

    Its funny, that I've not been thinking of this lately . . . trying to sort of "move on" : ) but after reading all you had to say it just makes me angry all over again . . . this episode just makes the whole thing feel pointless

  5. This is dweomeroflight. Livejournal is down so it won't verify my account.

    Whoops. I didn't mean to make you angry. I am living in au permanently beyond 8.8 I think. Denial is where it's at.

    Haha I didn't send a letter to Kudos. It was just an open letter on my blog.

    Gah it was so lazy though and so pointless. I think it rates as one of the worst tv endings I have ever seen. It possibly is the worst.

    Other than s1-4 and 7 most of Spooks seems pretty pointless now to me.