I started watching Spooks/MI-5 from the beginning, series 1 episode 1, like a responsible fan. Tom Quinn, Zoe Reynolds and company were interesting, but could I really wait until series 7 to meet Lucas North?
The answer is no, of course. I skipped ahead after just a few episodes…and got hooked instantly!
Lucas: They told me I could come home if I spied for them.
Harry: what did you say?
Lucas: I said yes.
We meet Lucas North in the midst of an intelligence agency exchange between England and Russia, where Lucas has been imprisoned for the past eight years. He looks a bit malnourished, exhausted and all around disheveled, in his worn baggy clothes with his shaggy hair and facial scruff. Lucas leans his weary head towards the car window, watching the blurry city lights fly by like the lives of those he once knew, the years having flown by without him. Harry asks how he was treated in prison, Lucas replies:
“sometimes well, sometimes not.”
So sets the tone for this entire episode, where Lucas constantly tries to put others at ease. They don’t seem to know how to act towards their fellow Spook, who has sacrificed much by suffering very real horrors in honor of his country.
Yet, he’s the one who comforts them, he’s the one who lightens the tone, he’s the one who shares his fish & chips!
When Lucas encounters his former co-worker, Malcolm, he immediately asks how his mom is doing…I mean, how can you not like him instantly?!
Yes, things come into play during series 8 and 9 that may make one change their tune…blah, blah, blah. Lucas North, to me, is that man we saw in those first few episodes; struggling to incorporate himself back into society.
He may seemingly have transitioned back into the capable spy rather quickly, but the Lucas I first met has always been visible to me, just under the surface.
Me: They asked me if I ever really knew you at all.
Lucas: What did you say?
Me: I said yes.