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Looking After Our Own
Series 01, Episode 02
102lookingafter
Show Spooks
Air Date 20 May 2002
Previous Thou Shalt Not Kill
Next One Last Dance

Looking After Our Own is the second episode of the first series of Spooks which was first broadcast on the 20th of May 2002. This episode is well known as it features the death of Helen Flynn.

Synopsis Edit

Tom and Helen Flynn go undercover to expose right-wing leader Robert Osbourne, who is planning a race war in the UK. The two befriend his abused wife, Claire. However, Osbourne is soon able to discover Tom and Helen's true identities, and has them both captured and interrogated to gather information on their operation.

Tom is able to escape before giving anything away, but not before Osbourne has Helen brutally tortured, by dipping her hand and face into a deep fryer, and killed. In the end, Harry Pearce has Osborne assassinated.

Plot Edit

MI5 believe that right-wing leader Robert Osbourne is planning a series of race riots in the UK. A team led by Danny attempt to bug his home, which fails upon learning the home is rigged with high-level security equipment. What MI5 does find, is that Osbourne abuses his wife, Claire (Debra Stephenson); believing Claire is vulnerable for recruitment, Section D start "Operation Greensleeves" and tasks a "runner" to befriend her before recruiting. However, vetting did not pick up on the runner's alcoholism after she becomes involved in a road traffic accident whilst inebriated. Harry appoints Tom Quinn and junior administrative officer Helen Flynn to step in and pose as a married couple who are substitute tutors at the same Romford community college Claire is attending.

The two initially succeed, and are eventually invited to dinner with Osbourne at his home. However, during their visit, Osbourne catches Helen out by addressing Tom as her boyfriend rather than husband; Helen's improvising made Osbourne more suspicious of the two. Later, one of Osbourne's contacts, Nick Thomas, is revealed to be freelance journalist Kieran Harvey. When Osbourne discovers this, he has Harvey murdered. Eventually, Tom feels he and Helen have gained Claire's trust and recruit her; she agrees to help the two in exchange for a £600 a week account and transport to anywhere in the world.

In the meantime, a cargo of illegal immigrants from Chechnya is intercepted by HM Customs and Excise; the traffickers throw their cargo overboard, drowning them. Believing the traffickers will change their routes, Tessa and Zoe investigate and discover a link between the shipment and Robert Osbourne. With the information gathered from "Greensleeves", they discover that Osbourne intends to choke the asylum system by overcrowding the holding centres, and after his followers stir up the race riots, Osbourne would encourage independent MP Bill Watson to raise the issue of asylum seekers in the House of Commons.

Tom and Helen prepare to move out, but are kidnapped by Osbourne's gang and taken to the kitchen of his waste management plant for interrogation. Knowing they are MI5 officers, Osbourne demands everything Tom knows about their operation; when Tom fails to cooperate, Osbourne forces Helen's hand, followed by her head into a deep fryer, before shooting her. Before Tom could suffer the same fate, Claire throws a cigarette into the vat, which ignites, buying Tom time to escape and return to Thames House. However, Tom and Harry are disgusted to hear that the powers that be will take no action against Osbourne, in order to track the movements of all far-right groups. At the end of the episode. Harry has Osbourne assassinated. Bill Watson receives photographs of the dead refugees washed up on a beach, presumably sent by MI5, along with a note reading "are you happy with your wash?"

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