“The Game” Season 1 Episode 1 aired last Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014, at 10:00 p.m. on BBC America. In this episode, a special committee was assembled by the head of MI5 when a defecting Russian colonel gave them information regarding a major KGB operation that will happen in the United Kingdom. Read on to learn more about this episode.
The episode began in 1971 in Poland. MI5 officer Joe Lambe (Tom Hughes) and a Polish cook for the Embassy named Yulia walked through a forest to reach the riverbank where two cars were waiting for them. There, he noticed that inside one of the cars was a man who peeled his apple with a knife. Joe told them that he had been the one who had turned her against her country, and now, they both were defecting to the Russian side. He told them that he could give them information about missions and tradecraft. After being told that they would be debriefed separately, Joe sensed that the entire thing was a trap. He fought them, and then he heard a gun being fired.
The scene then changed to a year later in London. Joe woke up from a lovemaking session the night before. After making sure the woman he had slept with was still asleep, he proceeded to take pictures of her date book and the photographs of her family. He then left for the MI5 offices, where he developed the pictures and recorded his report. The woman he had slept with was Katya M., the secretary to the Soviet Trade Envoy. He decided to take pictures of the date too. He was not able to get any information after questioning her for eleven hours.
The next day, Bobby Waterhouse (Paul Ritter), the head of Counter-Espionage at MI5, was interrupted while he was conversing with someone as a phone call had come in for him.
At the MI5 headquarters, he summoned Joe, who was watching the news with Sarah Montag (Victoria Hamilton) into his office. He then informed Joe that he had been asked by Daddy (Brian Cox), the head of MI5, to debrief a Soviet Colonel named Arkady Malinov. He had been a lecturer at the Reading University for ten years. He had never caused any trouble until today. It was after he drank some vodka and hit a police officer. Because of that incident, he “wished to parley” with them. He was also instructed to convince Arkady to work with the MI5 and to keep on working for the Kremlin so that they could get information from him.
Neither of them understood Daddy’s decision, most especially Bobby, who did not understand why they still kept Joe after what had happened in Poland. He was then told that this would be a good chance to redeem himself. He was told to take Alan Montag (Jonathan Aris), their technology expert, along to the hotel where they told Arkady to go. When Bobby asked him what he was doing in Poland, he told him that he had been following up on a possible defection.
After Alan had bugged the place, they both waited for Arkady. Joe waited inside Arkady’s hotel room. Alan stayed on the other side, ready to listen and record their conversation. After a while, Arkady entered the room and told Joe that they had one hour to talk. Arkady then revealed that he would be alright to stay in “the situation” so that he could gather more information. This way, he would also be able to get a higher pay.
Arkady then revealed that he had information that a major KGB operation was about to take place on UK soil — Operation Glass. He did not know anything else about the operation, except that it was going to be a big one.
At the meeting room, Joe played the recording and informed them that he had paused the interview at that moment. He did it so he could ask Bobby if it would be okay to pay Arkady 10,000 and a new identity. Bobby had then told Joe that Arkady would be given 5,000 and that a new identity would be provided if the intelligence was good and proven.
According to Arkady, he only got his information piece by piece. Moscow would be sending him a name via a dead letter drop. He was alerted about the letter via an advertisement that is placed in the Classified Ads secition of The Times. He then would go to these sleeper agents who were British citizens and give them their instructions. The very first name was David Hexton, who used to work for the Ministry of Agriculture. He told Joe that the entire operation was like a jigsaw puzzle that would only be understood when the operation was completed. Joe knew that Arkady was not lying about Operation Glass. However, he did lie about his reason for defecting. He said that he wanted to defect as he wanted to live a Western life.
Bobby was not so sure about pushing through with the entire operation. Daddy decided to first talk to the Home Secretary in order to get some funding for their operation. After talking it out with the Home Secretary, Daddy convinced him that he could maybe allocate some funds for a small and special committee so that if it is indeed a wild goose chase, they could just chalk it up to training.
Meanwhile, Bobby went home and tread quietly, as he had hoped to avoid his mother, Hester. However, Hester saw him and asked him about how work was going. He then told her that he had been asked by Daddy to join a special committee of sorts, which made her glad. She then threatened him by twisting his ear and told him that he has to give glory to their name.
The next day, the special committee met at a secure room in The Fray, the central offices of MI5. Present in the meeting were Bobby Waterhouse, the head of Counter-Espionage; Sarah Montag- Bobby’s deputy, and an agent who was good at “deducing motives and intentions”; Alan Montag, the technical expert; Wendy Straw (Chloe Pirrie), the secretary; Joe Lambe, an officer with “formidable talents”; and Jim Fenchurch (Shaun Dooley), a detective constable from the Special Branch who would be acting as the police liaison. The meeting was presided over the head of MI5, Daddy.
At the meeting, Sarah informed them that she had been informed by an old agent of hers, whom Bobby deemed as unreliable, that Moscow was planning a major operation. She had given the information to Bobby, who did not follow up on it. Jim found it strange that they were acting upon information in which there were so many unknowns. However, Sarah reminded him that the war that they were currently fighting with the Soviet Union did have many unknowns. Daddy then handed out their instructions. Bobby was to “talk to everyone” in his address book; Alan was to listen and to “flag any conversations with the word glass in it”; and Jim and Joe were to go to David Hexton, the first sleeper agent, in order to learn what his instructions were and to attempt to turn him to their side.
Before Joe left the room, Bobby made him stay. He told him that he was worried about Daddy because his career had not been that great within the MI5. He asked Joe if he could check up on Daddy and report back to him, but Joe refused. He told Bobby that Daddy’s trust in him was the reason why he would not be qualified to do that.
Inside the elevator, Jim told Joe that he did not like them as he was not impressed by them as he felt that they were self-entitled and arrogant.
When they reached David Hexton’s apartment, Joe introduced himself as Mr. Henderson. Hexton had not had any dealings with Russia until yesterday when he was approached by an agent. He was given a paper with a message encoded in the numbers on the slip of paper he was given. The message that was encoded was an address for a flat in Marylebone, and underneath it was the name of the real-estate agent for the flat. He was told that someone was going to come to collect the keys from him so he had thought that they were the KGB. Joe then told Hexton to tell the KGB agents coming that he would be picking up the keys that evening at 9:00 p.m. This would give them a chance to get to the flat before the KGB did. They then learned that Hexton had betrayed his country as his wife was from East Germany. In exchange for allowing her to leave to get married to him, he had to give them some information.
Joe and Jim were about to use the stairs to exit the building. Unfortunately, they were forced to double back to Hexton’s and hid in his closet as the KGB were there already. There were two other men in the room with Hexton, and they agreed to meet him at the flat at 9:00 p.m. Afterwards, Hexton started to break down and told Joe that he could not do it anymore. However, Joe stopped in his tracks as he saw an apple peel on the bed. He then realized that the man who had been there a year ago in Poland was there as he had a habit of peeling apples all the time.
He then turned on Hexton and told him that he was going to cooperate. It was his chance to redeem himself. Because if he didn’t, he would make sure that he ended up in prison and that his wife would get deported.
That night, he went to the Orson’s Club, where he spoke with a foreign old waitress named Kitty. She told him that she had asked around the “immigrant clubs” and had talked to a man named Sergei, in a place full of foreigners. She told him that she did not like foreigners and told him that Sergei told her that the man from Moscow who peeled apples was Odin. She also told him to be careful, as even Sergei had seemed to be scared of Odin.
Later that night, Alan made sure that the entire place was wired before they hid in the corridor beside the room. However, Joe stayed behind and gave Hexton a signal phrase to say if the man who peeled the apple was there.
On the other side of the room, Alan narrated to them what was happening based on what he was hearing. The men were wearing rubber soles, and one man was heavy set while the other was lithe. Joe then heard Hexton say the signal phrase, which meant that Odin was there. Then suddenly the other man closed the blinds of the flat. After some static, they heard Hexton groan, which meant that he had most probably been killed.
The two men ran from the flat, with Jim and Joe in pursuit. They chased them to an abandoned fair ground, where Jim managed to knock out one of the men with a plank of wood. Joe then told him that they were going to split up and took the other man’s gun with him.
Joe hadn’t gotten far when Jim called out his name. He went to Jim slowly, as he had sensed a trap. Odin had pressed a gun to Jim’s head and threatened to kill Jim if Joe shot him. Joe retorted that if he wanted to kill Jim, he would have already been dead as he had no problem in shooting an “unarmed woman.” However, Odin said that that was different as she was a traitor. Joe then told Odin that the MI5 knew everything about what had happened in Poland. However, Odin told him that he was lying. He then continued to taunt Joe by telling him to shoot him. He knew that Joe imagined of killing him someday if ever a situation like that ever happened. However, so that Jim would not die, he put down his gun and gave it to Odin, who reassured him that everything will become clear soon before he escaped.
While Jim was recovering, as he had been shaken up by that encounter, Joe remembered the events of that day in Poland in 1971. He remembered shouting Yulia’s name out loud after she had been shot. She was also drowned to death while they forced him into a car to be taken away. When they returned to the flat, they discovered that Hexton’s throat had been slit by Odin and his associate.
Back at home, Sarah was relieved to know that Alan had not been hurt. However, because of what had happened, she told him that it would be better for his career if he worked at Marconi instead, as he would do well there. However, he told her that he was content in living in the shadows.He also he knew that people at the office talked about them as she was “destined for greatness,” and he was just an oddball who loved to tinker at gadgets. However, she did not care about what others said as she loved him very much.
Back at The Fray, Sarah deduced that the best case scenario was that Moscow believed that Hexton had come to MI5 directly, which was why he was killed. Daddy wanted Arkady to be placed under protective custody. Sarah warned against it, as Moscow might still not be aware that Arkady had turned. Another explanation for Hexton’s death, the worst case scenario, was that one of them in their group was a mole for Moscow. However, after they learned that Moscow had once again contacted Arkady, Daddy told them to continue their operation and run as if Moscow did not know that Arkady had turned and that there was no mole within their circle.
After the meeting, Joe went to Daddy’s office. He told him that in Poland, he had allowed his relationship with their agent to become unprofessional. He also informed him that Hexton was killed by the same people who had killed their agent in Poland. In his eagerness to expose this man, he convinced Hexton to participate in the operation that had gotten him killed.
Daddy then asked Joe if he would stop looking for Odin if he reassigned him to another case, to which Joe replied that he would not stop looking for him. Therefore, Daddy decided to keep him on the team as they were both after the same thing. The MI5 needed to find Odin as well so that they could find out the truth of Operation Glass.
Joe then tried to clarify with Daddy if he had known what he had been doing in Poland. According to Daddy's file on Joe, he had been working undercover as a disaffected MI5 officer in an attempt to infiltrate the Soviet Security Service. He then gave MI5 intel (intelligence), and fed Moscow with misinformation. However, Joe told him that they both knew that that was not true. Daddy then revealed that he had saved Joe from that fiasco as he had chosen to trust Joe, as he knew that Joe would never betray him.
Before he left the building, Jim told him that he understood that they, the MI5, were necessary, even if he was still not impressed by them. Before Jim left, he asked about the woman that Joe had mentioned earlier. However, Joe told him that he had forgotten who that was.
A flashback revealed that he had been successful in turning her to their side and used the same line that he had used on Hexton.
Joe then paid Kitty a visit at the club. He found that she had been shot and was dying. As he held her in his arms, she told him that they said that Joe had ordered the hit on her and that Joe was a traitor. After she died, he kissed her on the forehead and apologized to her before exiting the club.
And that was all for the recap of "The Game" Season 1 Episode 1 "The Kiss Fallout." For more news and updates, including spoilers and recaps, on "The Game" and other television shows, keep following Movie News Guide (MNG).
Catch "The Game" every Wednesday at 10:00 p.m. on BBC America.
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/BBC America