At the beginning of the 5th episode, Douglas Archer (Sam Riley) wakes up and prepares for his mission. He meets up with Harry Woods (James Cosmo) and the couple heads to the hospital. King George (Jonathan Cullen) is tossed into the back of the ambulance. Archer is also given morphine to help deal with George’s pain. After the intro, we jump over to Scotland Yard, where Barbara (Kate Bosworth) is being held captive. She is ordered to get up and walk to an adjacent room. Meanwhile, Archer begins to experience problems with the ambulance. The clutch goes out and this leads them sidelined. Archer makes contact with Sylvia (Maeve Dermody) and asks for assistance. Fritz Kellermann (Rainer Bock) speaks with Barbara. Fritz accuses Barbara of acting like a spy for the Americans.
She denies it and insists she is a neutral journalist. Kellermann finds out at this time that Oskar Huth (Lars Eidinger) has gone missing. We jump to the Lulworth House near Bringle Sands. Huth and his men wait inside. Sylvia arrives with Archer’s car. George is quickly loaded inside and Sylvia demands to be brought along. Barbara is escorted downstairs, where Kellermann intends to torture her. Barbara refuses to say anything about the film destroyed in her apartment. Seconds later, a call comes in from the American Embassy and Barbara is allowed to leave. Archer and the others come across a guarded checkpoint. Sylvia and Harry get out and walk around. Archer manages to talk his way out of the problem and continues onward. Back at the hospital, a nurse discovers that the King has gone missing. The authorities are quickly reported. Kellermann tells his men to prevent the Americans from leaving. However, it is too late. They’re already gone.
Next, Kellermann learns about Archer’s stop at the checkpoint. He quickly discovers that Archer is likely headed west. Kellermann tries to get information about Huth, by torturing one of his spies. Now, Archer’s vehicle gets a flat. While Harry looks for a jack, Douglas and Sylvia give the King morphine. They’re approached by a local husband and wife. Douglas and Sylvia are invited inside for tea. Douglas quickly discovers that they’re spies for the SS. Douglas manages to stop the group, before they’re able to alert the army. They wind up taking the family’s car and continuing on their way. That night, Archer arrives at the destination and meets with Burnham (Luke Neal). Burnham asks Archer whether or not they have hope. He responds that a lot depends on tonight. Seconds later, they’re alerted that George Mayhew (Jason Flemyng) has made contact.
Douglas and the others follow Mayhew’s orders. They drive out to the old control tower, but discover that it is empty and no airplane is nearby. Mayhew contacts Huth and confirms he has made contact with Archer. Archer and the Resistance are attacked by Huth and his men. Sylvia tries to flee in the car with the King. She is killed. Harry is also shot. An explosion goes off and knocks Archer to the ground. He is captured by Huth’s men. While executing their captives, Huth and his comrades hear explosions in the distance, as the nuclear research center is raided by the Americans. We see Harry rolling around on the ground. In the morning, Archer wakes up in the Lulworth House. Huth retrieves the film, before taking Archer on a tour of the property. Archer tells Huth about Sylvia’s demise. Huth admits he was fooled by Mayhew and opened the door for the research facility to be raided.
He also confirms that Kellermann was waiting for such an opportunity to bring him down. Huth remains behind, while allowing his men to escape. Archer listens to the radio and learns that the army is executing people, but there is no news of Mayhew. Huth tells Archer they’re playing with high stakes and that he still have a chance. He offers up the film. Archer is allowed to escape, before Kellermann enters and confronts Huth about spying on the army. Kellermann admits George Mayhew has made a complete confession. Huth reminds Kellermann that Mayhew most likely got a pardon for his confession. Kellermann admits Mayhew will be a valuable asset to them. Huth lies and pretends Archer was killed at the airfield. Kellermann admits Archer’s loss was unfortunate, since he was tried and exonerated on all counts.
Kellermann leaves the area, while Huth is executed by the army. Next, we see that Harry has been taken in by the Resistance. Barbara and the Americans listen to radio chatter. They confirm that the facility at Bringle Sands has been completely destroyed. The data is incomplete. Barbara exits the room and locks the men inside. She continues walking, despite being banished from the area by Kellermann. Archer is shown stumbling around in the middle of nowhere. He puts the film in his pocket and looks at his map, before continuing onward.
The 5th episode of SS-GB was undoubtedly the best of the season. While the first few episodes were tiresome, the 4th and 5th stepped up the pace and made things far more interesting. Sylvia was killed, Huth was betrayed, and Kellermann apparently gained full control. Mayhew betrayed Archer, but achieved his goal of dragging the Americans into the war. Nevertheless, Archer still maintains the upper hand thanks to Spode’s research. Unfortunately, I doubt we’ll get a second season of SS-GB.
While I have not read the novel, I have discovered that the ending was far different from the show. This leads me to believe the writers wanted to carry things on to a second series. I could be wrong though. The latest episode of SS-GB scores a 7 out of 10. Catch up with previous recaps of SS-GB now.