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SS-GB recap: Spies, games and double dealings plague Episode 2

SS Officer Huth intends to turn the school upside down in his search for Spode

Picking up a matter of minutes from where last week left off on SS-GB, Detective Archer has arrived at his son’s school in hopes of capturing the resistance leader Spode — the brother of the dead scientist found at the antiques store in last week’s episode.

Upon arrival at the school Archer finds that the SS has arrived there already along with SS officer Dr Huth who issues orders for all the teachers and all students over the age of 15 to be rounded up for questioning.

Archer tries his best to protest saying that they must think of people’s civil liberties, but Huth completely rides roughshod over the whole scene.

Later back at the pub Archer’s partner Harry Woods (James Cosmo) angrily expresses his dismay at Archer’s seeming emotionless reaction to how Huth treated the people at the school. He accuses Archer of going through everything with his eyes blinkered.

After this Archer has a meeting with the German Army intelligence officer who heads up the civilian police department.

He finds that his immediate superior has little time nor love for the SS, but also finds himself being questioned about his thoughts on Huth. Archer is carefully non-committal and tight-lipped when discussing Huth.

Later Archer attends an Art exhibition at the London museum of art. The work is being sold off and anything that is not approved of by the SS is being destroyed.

While at the exhibit Archer reconnects with Barbara Barga. Some playful flirting takes place while the two share a dance, but it gets cut short when Archer is invited to meet with Sir Robert Benson (Nicholas Farrell).

The meeting appears to be a mutual sharing of information and intelligence, but is really Benson’s play to recruit Archer as a spy. Which is going to be fun because SS Officer Huth is trying to coax Archer into spying for him as well.

Archer listens intently to information being provided by Sir Robert Benson over a card game

We learn that the dead scientist from last week was in fact a nuclear physicist who was apparently working on an atomic bomb for German military intelligence, which is why the SS is so interested in the Spode case. They want to know how close the army intelligence was to succeeding.

We also learn of a British Officer that was ordered to go to Canada and set up a series of meetings with the Americans. One such meeting we later learn involved some pretty heavy hitters.

After dismissing himself from the meeting with Benson and his friends, Arch hooks up with Barbara Barga to get vertical, horizontal and whatever else.

It’s all pretty much implied, but we get a tasteful shot of the two after the fact in which Barbara warns Archer that he has to say “yes” to Benson and his people. She says that if he refuses, it would very likely get him killed.

To leave Barbara’s place, Archer calls a car to pick him up.

He then meets up with Huth who shows Archer a rather grizzled and nasty dead body. Huth blames it on the resistance and seems to relish trying to get Archer to show some emotion, to the point of laughing when Archer strikes him.

The closing moments of the episode see Archer at home drinking a stiff brandy and brooding over the events of the day.

A lot happened in this episode and its likely that you might find yourself having to watch again in order to make a little more sense of the puzzle pieces as they are revealed.

Questions we’re left asking

  1. What game is Sir Benson playing and how much exactly is Barbara holding back from Archer?
  2. Will the resistance be able to take advantage of the perceived differences between the German Army and the SS?
  3. Does Huth know that Archer has been lying to him about his liaison with Barbara and other things?

SS-GB airs every Sunday at 9pm UK time on BBC 1 and is available to view on BBC iPlayer.

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