When the episode opens, Danny (Ben Whishaw) speaks to a disguised voice on the mobile phone. He is led into a hotel room. Inside, he is instructed to get into the bathtub clothed. Moments later, he is told he is clean and to change into the clothing on the bed. Danny follows the orders, without hesitation. Afterwards, he is taken in a cab and led to various places he went with Alex (Edward Holcroft), including Alex’s apartment. Eventually, he makes a stop at the restaurant, where he shared a meal with Alex earlier in the season. Inside, Danny meets with a strange man (Riccardo Scamarcio).
Both men are wearing the same outfit. The doppelgänger tells Danny he has never done something like this before and admits the others suggests Danny wouldn’t believe him. He tells Danny he has no control over his actions. Eventually, he gets into his time with Alex. The man pulls out the MX escort agency card and admits he works for the group. He reveals that he was paid to seduce Alex and he did so, by behaving like Danny. The man departs, after taking his phone. A flashback shows Danny asks Alex what he is thinking, before we jump back to the present. Danny meets up with Scottie (Jim Broadbent) and tells him about the encounter. Scottie tells Danny about Watergate and the spies utilizing prostitutes to destroy others.
The pair speaks about Alex and Danny admits he really didn’t know him as a person. Danny reveals that Alex’s funeral has just passed and he was unable to attend. Scottie admits he has comforted many men, who were unable to attend their friend’s funerals. Danny insists none of Alex’s activities had anything to do with him, before he gives up on the code and admits he cannot figure it out. After that, Danny returns home and begins collecting Alex’s belongings. Flashbacks throughout the process show Alex and Danny’s time together.
Danny heads to the couple’s camping location and burns all of Alex’s belongings. The next day, he heads back into the city and is shown taking the cylinder to a professional, who admits it can be opened, if the code is known. Danny begins retracing his steps and attempting to identify the correct code. He recalls Alex speaking about soul mates and not believing in the possibility. He also remembers the time he told Alex to go out and sleep with others, if he felt the need to do so. When Alex tells him no, he has a breakthrough and runs through the subway. He obtains the cylinder and manages to get it open.
He immediately rushes over to Scottie’s house and finds him drunk and bruised. Scotty speaks about going to a place, where no one cares. Danny rushes the depressed man to the hospital and has him checked out. At the hospital, they contemplate how Scottie could’ve relapsed into depression after 30 years of peace. They immediately blame his medication. Outside of the hospital, Danny agrees to obtain some other pills, which will not be tampered with. Moments later, Danny does so and returns the pills to Scottie. Danny shows him the unlocked cylinder, which is actually a USB storage drive. They head to the church and Danny admits they’re going to need help to examine the contents.
Scottie insists involving more people may be dangerous and admits it has tore them apart. Danny agrees to do it alone, before Scottie tells a horrendous tale of the Kremlin manipulating prized individuals. He insists they cannot allow those systems of oppression to force them to live in fear and agrees to help. Both separate and shake their tails, before meeting up at a board. On the boat ride, Scottie tells Danny about the location, where no one cares and how nice it would be. Eventually, the men arrive at the abandoned plant, where Danny originally hid the cylinder. Scottie looks over Danny’s old sketches and poems, before Claire (Harriet Walter) joins them.
While they wait, Danny learns about Scottie and Claire’s relationship, which started out when homosexuality was punished. Claire admits he pretended to be Scottie’s girlfriend, so he would remain safe. Eventually, Alex’s professor, Marcus Shaw (Adrian Lester), finally arrives. He begins scouring through the computer information and attempting to unravel its secrets. A bit later, he heads out for a smoke and Danny follows. Marcus seems somewhat taken aback by the relationship, since Danny never knew of Alex’s brilliance. Eventually, the return back inside and Marcus manages to unravel the importance of Alex’s work.
Marcus explains how Alex was able to uncover a method, which could tells lies from truths. Alex determined that lines and formations of faces could potentially uncover lies. Marcus speaks of the potential of revealing the truth behind every political statement and war, before he admits he would be surprised, if any of them lasts a week. After the speech, Danny and Marcus speak in private. Marcus admits he thought he was a mistake, when Alex decided to work at the GCHQ. When asked why he didn’t stop it, Marcus simply says it wasn’t that kind of a relationship. On the way out, Marcus asks, if they have some type of plan and Scottie replies that they must confirm that it works.
In the car, Scottie admits he has no plan, but insists Marcus needed to believe he did. Also, Scottie wonders, whether or not Alex completed the project, as a way to make amends for the lies he told Danny. Danny doesn’t like the assessment and jumps out of the car. He contemplates, if he is to blame for Alex’s death. Danny insists he wishes Alex would’ve told him everything, so he could tell him that it didn’t matter. He admits he loved and loves Alex just the same. The night, Danny confides in Scottie and finally tells him he loves him.
Scottie says nothing, but smiles greatly. The next day, Danny meets with Detective Taylor (Samantha Spiro). She tells him that he will not be charged and that this is over for him. Danny repeats to her and the camera that this isn’t over yet. That night, Danny heads to the oriental club. Moments latter, Claire and Marcus arrive, as well. They prepare to sit down together, before Danny gets a call from Scottie, who is locked inside of the same cab he was locked in earlier. Scottie tells him that there will be a note, before he hangs up. Danny returns to the last location of Scottie’s spy days and acquires his note. He also discovers a body hanging from a tree.
London Spy Review
London Spy is beginning to wind down, but it has never slowed down. The show is immensely enthralling, incredibly bleak and thoroughly mysterious. Initially, the 9/11 scenes gave me fears that the show would turn cheesy, but it rebounded quickly and transformed Alex’s discovery into something of paramount importance and with huge implications. The ending of the episode wasn’t surprising, but the previous actions make it very impactful
All in all, the episode was great and definitely setup the finale perfectly. A 9 out of 10 is deserved. Be sure to catch up with previous recaps of London Spy right now!