By Any Means: Episode 4.

Previously on By Any Means: Episode 3.

As the stakes of the game are raised, this is the one where everything goes wrong.

After two police officers were unjustly thrown out of the Met after dear Mr and Mrs Walker brought disciplinary charges of harassment down on their heads, Helen does that thing she does — marching out of court rooms with a determined look on her face — and tasks Jack Quinn and his team with bringing Bonnie and Clyde down.

As the dinner party makes a toast to the justice system, Jack and the team start working on finding a way to use the IPCC’s loophole: finding new evidence. In other words — finding the money. TomTom is up to the task, of course, but what with hacking into what could end up being 100 banks in 50 countries, that might take a while. 24/7 surveillance of the house, however, only yields a lot of slurping and Laurence pushing for some enjoyment of some of that wealth and Sally keeping him on a short leash.

Not only that, but after a while, the pressure mounts as TomTom’s trace turns up nothing and Laurence is finally wearing Sally down to expedite their plans of leaving with the 3 million pounds and never coming back. Helen calls to check up on them, which is a sure sign not just that she’s becoming impatient — but whoever her bosses are are shuffling their feet.

And thus, Jack has the most extreme plan to date. In order to get access to the hidden account, he kidnaps Sally’s husband and sends a ransom demand to force her hand. That’s where the con is close to falling apart — and I don’t meant conning the Walkers. I mean conning the audience. Whether Sally calling the police was part of the plan or not, them actually forgetting to check the cameras in their house is such a ridiculously huge oversight… I don’t buy it. According to their characterisation, that doesn’t make any sense. The writers needed a mid-series screw-up, so they created one. The problem is, they lived that surveillance for weeks, they should have been smart enough to keep an eye on the feed, it’s not like they were terribly occupied the entire time they were waiting. They would have been smart enough. Sure, this case was harrowing and frustrating, but I don’t believe that all four of them would be thrown off their game so badly that they’d forget the basic rules: when running a con, never take your eyes off your mark. They needed a screw-up for them to get caught, but this wasn’t a good one.

Helen isn’t pleased, either. A division that operates beyond the police and within the framework of the Intelligence network can’t afford to get arrested after kidnapping a retired MP. It’s also a test of loyalty to the team — none of them are talking to the senior officer on the case. Be that as it may, however, Helen can’t make this go away. Agents don’t get saved once they’re burnt. They’re on their own. That’s when Jack channels his inner hero and offers himself up: on the condition that the others go free, he’ll do the time — quietly. If not, he’ll go public with the entire operation.

Somehow, though, Helen convinces her bosses that sticking Jack in jail would be too messy; so instead, MI5 is going to be busy doing a lot of covering up. Now that Jack and the team are forbidden from going anywhere near the Walkers as well, things seem hopeless. That is until the final slip-up: sitting on a fortune. Literally sitting on it. Using the well-known method of ‘it’s funny how fire exposes your priorities,’ the team uncover the secret after all. Hence, in a stroke of poetic justice, the Walkers are getting arrested. 3 million Sterling, in their pyjamas.

Next: Episode 5.

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