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September 3, 2015

The State Within: Episode Five

by Martin Conaghan, posted Dec 1st 2006 8:28PM
Nicholas Brocklehurst(S01E05) I'd be lying if I said I haven't been enjoying The State Within. With a little bit of tweaking in the script and acting department, it could have easily made for a reasonably good ongoing series, if only the complex premise didn't warrant so much preamble before the main event kicked in.

However, with the most recent -- and penultimate - episode, I feel it's changed tack from a complex political conspiracy theory thriller, to a relatively straightforward and middle-of-the-road potboiler, replete with a hand-in-hand male/female pursuit sequence and the suspected bad guy turning out to be a good guy after all, just as I predicted in last week's review.

Whereas in previous weeks I had to spent most of my review explaining the intricate details of the plot in order to try and understand it myself, I could probably sum up the entire hour of episode five in a few paragraphs:

Jane Lavery told Sir Mark Brydon about the orgy of evidence implicating Secretary Warner in the terrorist plane bombing which kicked off the entire affair (not to mention the coup in Tyrgyztan), but not before Warner threw Brydon a lifeline by asking the President to speak to the UK Prime Minister on Brydon's behalf and keep him in Washington.

Naturally, Mark started suspecting all sorts about his staff and made straight for Nicholas Brocklehurst, who has been sneaking around and tracking Brydon with a GPS bug while burying evidence. A stiff right uppercut to the conk from Brydon and Brocklehurst spilled his guts on the whole project; he's been working as an MI6 operative in Washington, trying to protect Brydon and expose Warner.

Unfortunately, tucked away in a customs warehouse in Boston lies a box of nuclear trigger switches ordered by Caroline Hanley's father, to try and draw out Armitage Corp (the company Warner once fronted) -- which were destined for Tyrgyztan -- where they would never arrive, in order to serve as the smoking gun the USA would need to justify an invasion and regime change.

All this, and both Brydon and Lavery were targeted for assassination by Charles MacIntyre -- the real villain of the whole piece -- with the quiet hitman Vinnie Swain on both their tails -- and when the episode reached a conclusion with a pretty dramatic car crash, we could almost certainly be saying goodbye to one of the show's key characters by the time the next episode begins in earnest.

Where this episode left the audience is exactly where the entire story could have quite feasibly drawn to a conclusion; for, if anything like this is ever meant to reflect events the real world, then there's one certain benchmark which fiction could lift straight from the real world to give us all a hard dose of the truth; the bad guys always win.

However, I sincerely hope that I don't find myself tuning in to the final episode next week, only to discover that the good guys have won, with Secretary Warner exposed, Nicholas Brocklehurst dashing in heroically (but tragically) to save the day -- and Sir Mark wandering off into the sunset hand-in-hand with Jane Lavery.

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I would very much be expecting Mark's death if it weren't for one thing: Sinclair's son. Not even a remorseless show like this would do that to a boy, and orphan him literally three times.

December 01 2006 at 10:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

again i ask: what channel is airing this show? it is no where to be found in massachusetts!

December 01 2006 at 8:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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