This powerful adaptation of John Le Carré’s novel reaches its halfway point this week as Jonathan Pine finds himself thrown deeper into the murky world of arms dealing.
Meanwhile, Angela Burr and Joel Steadman continue their operation to bring down Richard Roper.
At a birthday party in Spain, tragedy strikes when Juan Apostol’s daughter, Elena is found hanged. It’s a fairly merciless start to Episode 3 and emphasises Roper’s devastating influence on the innocent. A key theme that looks set to become apparent over the rest of the series’ run.
Back at Roper’s villa in Mallorca, Jonathan has almost fully healed since his beating but his attempts to leave are met with little enthusiasm from his hosts. Corky makes no secret of his distrust for Jonathan whilst Roper calmly informs him, ‘if you step out of line I’ll make you howl for your mother.’ Clearly, Jonathan will have to beat Roper at his own game.
Fans of Tom Hiddleston will no doubt find their appetite sated this week as we’re treated to a montage of Jonathan running along the beach, playing tennis and swimming. I’m not quite sure how many times Hiddleston’s gone shirtless so far but I’m sure someone out there is keeping a tally.
It’s interesting to see the bond developing between Jonathan and Roper’s son, Danny who looks up to his rescuer as something of a hero. During a trip into town, Jonathan uses the opportunity to report back to Angela whilst under the cover of buying ice cream. Talking to Danny, Jonathan learns of Roper’s secret study in his bedroom, which he refers to as ‘the citadel’ and that its alarms are tested every day at 11.
Elsewhere, Angela tries to convince Apostol to sell out Roper and give her the information she needs to bring down the illegal arms trade. To achieve her goal she plays on the loss of his daughter and her belief that Elena would still be here if Roper hadn’t entered their lives. It’s playing dirty but it’s a tactic that reaps its rewards.
Realising the danger posed by Corky, Jonathan resolves to drive a wedge between Roper and his right-hand man. It’s important to get Corky out of the way and the easiest way to do that is to highlight a few of his particular vices. Later, Apostol puts the final nail in the proverbial coffin as he requests Corky be taken off the arrangement.
Caroline reveals to Jonathan that Roper’s planning ‘a big arms deal to Apo’s Lebanese friend’ with weapons sourced from seven British and American companies and how Roper pretends to deal in agricultural equipment under the guise of company known as Trade Pass. Jonathan decides to find out whether Jed anything of Roper’s true nature to which Caroline bitterly remarks, ‘Sandy screws everyone and tells me everything. Roper is steadfastly faithful and tells Jed nothing.’
When Roper and Sandy leave the villa to attend a meeting in Monaco, Jonathan seizes his opportunity to sneak a look inside ‘the citadel.’ He photographs documents and comes across a child’s photo which we later find out is Jed’s son whom Roper has being paying for. Upon Roper’s return he offers Jonathan a New Zealand passport and a new identity, Andrew Birch. Roper’s intentions become clear when he explains that he wants Jonathan to take on the role of managing director and effectively replace the disgraced Corky.
There’s a real sense that Jonathan’s starting to enjoy playing the espionage game this week as the action ramps up another notch. It’s undeniably gripping drama and maintains its consistent high quality.
Aired at 9pm on Sunday 6 March 2016 on BBC One.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Let us know below…