Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond - Episode 2

After a trip to Lisbon with Rear Admiral John Godfrey (Samuel West) and Second Officer Monday (Anna Chancellor) that ends in a dead Nazi and Ian Fleming (Dominic Cooper) proving un-Bond-like at the Baccarat table, Fleming returns to London for an uncomfortable evening with Muriel (Annabelle Wallis) and Ann (Lara Pulver) at the birthday party in honor of Ann's boyfriend Esmond Rothermere (Pip Torrens).

With Paris about to fall to the Nazis, Fleming coerces his way into the field to both fulfill the mission assigned to him (oversee the closing of British Intelligence offices and destruction of valuable documents they can't afford to have fall into the hands of the Nazis) and one of his own involving finding Admiral Francois Darlan (Aurélien Recoing) who is in control of the French Navy before he abandons his fleet to the Germans. However, much like his mission in Lisbon things don't exactly go as planned.

Continuing to play on themes Fleming's own life would recreate in that of James Bond, the second episode of the four-part mini-series gives us high stakes gambling, the tragedy of a Bond Girl, more of Fleming's rule breaking, revealing the hard man underneath the swagger and sophistication, and setting up Fleming's command of a squadron of spies in the field to uncover crucial intelligence that could change the war. With Muriel's death it also pushes forward with Fleming and Ann's relationship in their passionate and violent night together following the death of Muriel.

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