On Ruth Evershed [Spooks 10 spoilers]

Nicola Walker as Ruth Evershed in a publicity still for Spooks 9. Read the great interview with her here, which is where I got the photo as well.

Just read this review of the end of Spooks, thanks to Richard Armitage Central on Facebook. I haven’t seen the episodes, but aside from the concession that the show couldn’t recover its dramatic momentum after the death of Lucas North, I found the conclusion of the review moving. In case you didn’t know, Ruth dies in this series. (Read that on wikipedia earlier tonight.)



I suspect that smart women everywhere are mourning Ruth. I know I do, before I’ve even seen the series. Bizarre moments in the scripts aside (the “Ruth as supercomputer” problem), I want to extend my thanks to Nicola Walker for making us both credible and desirable in a down-to-earth, believable way. Harry might not have loved you enough, Ruth, but I did. Hope you can spend eternity with Niko and his father in a heaven that looks like Cyprus on its sunniest days.

~ by Servetus on October 24, 2011.

35 Responses to “On Ruth Evershed [Spooks 10 spoilers]”

  1. I saw this on Ian Wylie’s blog. Seems a number of fans are seriously unhappy about her being killed off, While they concede the idea of Harry and Ruth walking hand in hand into the sunset together was unlikely on a show like Spooks, some say they don’t think Harry was worth the sacrifice of her life, frankly. (I get the impression in the end, a lot more people liked Ruth than they did Harry.)

    At least she got to go in a heroic way and one of her own choice, rather than being chewed up and spit out by the writers as Lucas was.
    Personally, I think she was too good for Harry, though. Not a big fan of Mr. Pearce.

    • I’m sad she died, too, but I fear it was overdetermined. It was hard to see how they were going to kill off Harry, and maybe that’s the biggest indictment of the character — that self-preservation is always his biggest priority even as he insists that others act altruistically? That’s going out on a limb as i haven’t seen series 10.

      • I know a lot of people loved the Harry character, and this is nothing against Peter Firth, he’s a good actor, but II liked that character less and less as Spooks progressed.

        There was something hypocritical about him. Seems as if the writers didn’t mind playing that up in the end, at least. Which makes Ruth’s demise sadder for me because, again, it strikes me he was so NOT worth it.

        But, yes, this is Spooks. Nodbody gets out alive/happy. It is very unlikely this last series will ever air in my area–they haven’t fotten beyond the 4th series or so on our local PBS station–so I will just have to take what I hear second-hand. And I can’t seem to get over this need for character development and story to co-exist well. Sorry, can’t help it.

        • Yeah, it’s interesting. Spooks is airing on my local PBS station, and it’s very highly advertised, but it’s all extremely old episodes (like, series 1-3).

  2. I am devastated about Ruth! … but given the shows track record I never expected that she and Harry would skip blissfully off into the sunset. I found the last episode totally engrossing. At the end of the day, that’s all I want from drama, to be totally caught up in it, and I was. RIP Ruth, long live Nicola Walker!

    • Totally with you, Skully. Series 10 kept us all hooked completely and you knew they were never going to be together for ever but at least they declared their love.

      Did you notice the scene from outside Moscow airport which was shot when RA was there filming S7, or how the aerial shot of Ruth’s dream village was so clearly not Suffolk with white cliffs? These qualms apart Spooks went out in just the way it should do.

    • I figured if they weren’t going to leave her with the wonderful relationship with the Cypriot, why would they give her the Harry relationship?

  3. Something like this was always going to happen – this is Spooks after all.

  4. So sorry to hear about Ruth! She was always the smartest person on the Grid, with intuitiveness that no other possessed. Her stubborn determination to probe and even to take action, in the face of condescention (“You’re in over your pretty little head, dear” :)) and Harry’s patronizing was inspiring. Looking forward to the final series – not till January – but it will be a gift in the middle of a frozen winter!

  5. Oh so sad. I had to cheat and watch the end first because I couldn’t stand the suspense. I know it was never going to happen, but I still wish it could have been Ruth and Harry together at the end.

    • Me, too, kind of. But Harry would have been an awful partner.

      • Agreed. I don’t think it would have been an ultimately fulfilling and satisfying relationship for poor Ruth, who deserved better. I do hope she is happy and peaceful with her little family in a beautiful place now.

  6. I had another “That is so out of character” moment about Matthew Macfadyen’s reappearance as Tom. Given that he left the grid over his moral qualms about how Section D used people and ruined their lives, how likely is it that he would now be carrying out freelance assassinations for Harry? I think he would be more likely to have left the murky world of spying forever.
    As for Harry and Ruth, I wanted them to have a happy ending, but knew there was every chance they wouldn’t. As Sasha approached, I thought there was an even chance that Harry would be killed, that Ruth would be killed, or that Sasha would be killed and Harry and Ruth get their happy ending, with Harry grieving for his son to add a bitter note. Not many shows can be truly unpredictable like that – I have to admire the writers for their willingness to take the plot in any direction even as I question their prioritising of plot over consistency of character development.
    Harry and Ruth’s final scene was touching and moving and PF and NW excellent as ever.

    • I’m glad that there can be a little Spooks PM conducted here. What your comment points out to me that plot and characterization are not unrelated — part of plot is, would a character really do that?

      Was TQ a major part of the episode, or was this just a sop to their long term audiences?

      • The latter. He was in it for about five seconds. And I agree that this would be the job for him after he left the grid.

  7. I have a soft spot for Harry, even while I deplore the series’ assumption that loyalty to him regardless of the situation is THE indicator of goodness, and even while he’s shown to have messed up over and again.

    Peter Firth completely sold me on Ruth’s death. His expression, his helpless, utterly devastated body language… I cried.

    We knew neither of them would be allowed happiness. This, though, was an episode in which all the players lost.

  8. It is a shame when the characters and plots don’t quite coalesce. As in S9, which could have been more credibly written. (or maybe I’m just blinded by Armitagemania) It seemed rather amateurish. Connie’s story was written convincingly, after all.

  9. I am also sorry that a re-starting of Spooks now can only be without Ruth.
    I must confess, I did snuggle, smuggle and see the episodes of Spooks 10, but as a fan of Spooks, I will buy the DVD’s anyway, so I do not feel too bad.
    I am sorry for Ruth, as it is such a farfetched reason for her to die, just to make up a dramatic and sad finale. (I won’t reveal more here, for all of you who have not seen it so far to still be able to enjoy it unbiased.) But as I had the culprit in my focus since episode 1, Harry’s not seeing and Ruth suddenly being strong in reading emotions and not only minor archive details, was a surprise for me.
    In my view Spooks 10 was a shallow end drawn out into 6 parts and Spooks 9 had much more suspense in each of its episodes, though that confession coming from me might seem a bit strange, after having a whole blog criticising Spooks 9 ;o)
    But in the end, I cannot even determine the happenings of each of the 6 episodes in my mind, as the action so intermingles and draws out one single question.
    (Perhaps, re-watching the episodes when I get the DVD’s will change my view.)

    • and without Lucas!

      you intrigue me — maybe I should watch it sooner rather than later.

      • Oh, with Lucas I still hope they will follow a few of my suggestions and will bring him back, when time for a big cinema adaption comes ;o) I give up hope last ;o)

  10. “Poor, beautiful, tragic Ruth.” (RA in S9 bonus feature)
    Will have to wait until next year to see S10 on Australian tv, but until then, I’m not concerned at knowing the outcome of the season. Although I respect Peter Firth and Nicola Walker as actors, I couldn’t care less about their characters. Maybe I’ve been missing something all these years!Frankly, I found their relationship tiresome, and Ruth used to annoy me the way she spouted big chunks of information. The only time I came close to warming to Harry was when his dry humour occasionally surfaced.

    • Mezz,

      I have to agree I never could really warm up to Harry–the little bits of dry wit were nice, but there just weren’t enough of them–and what I term the Harry-Ruth Nomance had run past its sell-by date for me. They stretched it out much too long.

      Ruth was written as almost a know-it-all walking encyclopedia at times, a bit Mary Sue-ish. Played by a less capable actress, Ruth could have easily become a real annoyance for viewers.

      • angie, I have to ask! What does being a “Mary-Sue” mean? Know-it-all? Patronizing? It seems to be a particularly American name; I’ve never come across it here.

        • Mary Sue refers to a fictional character, one perhaps most often seen in fanfic, who is so idealized and near to flawless, that the character becomes pretty much one-dimensional. Male characters are “Gary Stu” or something similar.

          Supposedly the Twilight books (haven’t read any of them) have examples of Mary Sue type characters.

          However, the real life person known as Bono also rates as a Gary Stu according to tests writers can use to try to determine if a character is a Mary or Gary. 😉 And I am pretty sure he does exist.

          There has been criticism some authors are so paranoid about potentially writing a Mary Sue or Garry Stu they tend to avoid female characters altogether.

          • Thanks for taking the time to explain, angie. 🙂 I’m always learning something from this blog, and not just from servetus!

            • Ah, once upon a time, I didn’t know what it meant, either, so I did some research. Wiki has a nice entry about it.

              And the teacher in me keeps popping out now and again. I know what you mean about always learning something new here . . . the RAnatomy lessons are very informative. 😉

              • I never remember to check Wiki as a source when I want to find out something. It’s one of the internet-age thingies I need to incorporate as a learning tool along with my trusty dictionary and thesaurus!

                • I found myself using the Internet a lot while working for the newspaper. I still love my brick and mortat resources, so to speak, but the Net is awfully handy, once you wade through all the crap.;)

                • another important feature of “Mary Sue” is that she’s often an at best poorly disguised authorial self-insertion: the author writing her / himself into the story.

  11. […] Nicola Walker (fantastic). Ruth is potentially the character in Spooks that I identify with most. I was torn into pieces when I heard about her death. I’ve always loved the way Walker has Ruth Evershed play with Ruth’s tics in social and […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: