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SS-GB recap: Episode 3 brings elbow pivots, cyanide & atomic plans

Archer & Woods in SS-GB
Archer & Woods continue their difference of opinion about choosing sides in SS-GB

This episode of SS-GB begins with Archer attending the funeral of Karl Marx with General Springer.

While surveying the funeral, Archer sees guest of honour Barbara Barga  and also catches a glimpse of Sylvia Manning who is a former police secretary and known resistance member.

The story then flashes back to two days prior and Archer is in Springers office. The general is trying to get Archer’s confidence and asking that any findings on the spode case be brought to him. Archer gives Springer just enough information to keep him sweet.

As he is about to leave the police station Archer has another run in with his former partner Harry Woods (James Cosmo). Woods is yet again giving archer a tough time about not choosing a side. While Archer continues to be more interested in finding justice than he is in taking any sides.

Archer then pays Sylvia Manning a visit in order to get her help in his investigation. He tries to find out who it was that murdered Jimmy Dunn. The dead corpses the SS led him to last week. After a brief conversation Archer leaves. As he leaves Sylvia spots a couple of fellow resistance members out the window who are going after Archer. She runs down the stairs to try and warn him, but is deterred by one of the two resistance members.

While making his way to the London underground Archer places a quick call to Scotland Yard and tells them that it’s important that they hold a package for him, which is arriving in the second post. While on the phone Archer spots one of the resistance members in the distance and tries to give him the slip by heading into a tunnel. Just managing to avoid an oncoming train Archer slips into an alcove with a small side room. When he comes back out onto the track he is attacked by the resistance member. A brief altercation takes place, but Archer gets the better of the man as he falls to the ground and is electrocuted on the tracks.

Upon returning to Scotland Yard Archer picks up his mail, which includes a photograph of the scientists and a series of names connected with the atomic bomb as well as a note. Huth turns up in his SS garb and proceeds to ask Archer what he has. Archer shows him just enough to keep him satisfied but holds back the note, which is a lead to how he can catch up with John Spode.

The lead sees Archer visiting a German POW prison where he meets Captain Hesse. Apparently the POW’s make artificial limbs and John Spode is one of their regular customers. A brief discussion transpires with regards who should be able to arrest Spode, but Hesse agrees to help Archer bring him in for questioning.

Archer holding John Spode by the cuff of the neck
Archer finally catches up with John Spode

Between them Archer and Hesse capture Spode and begin questioning, but get little joy in terms of any new information because Spode suddenly drops dead of cyanide poisoning before he is able to divulge anything.

Back at Scotland Yard Archer reports in to Huth who is ticked off about the whole incident with Spode and asks Archer if Hesse passed anything to him that may have been dosed with Cyanide. Archer says no. Even though Hesse gave Spode a Turkish cigarette.

Archer puts two and two together about the cigarette and tails Hesse to the red light district. He then follows Hesse to a room and calls out to him. A voice then invites Archer in. It is George Mayhew (Jason Flemyng) who was one of the men at the party last week.

Mayhew lays out a plot for Archer, which has the British in cahoots with a faction of German Army Intelligence. The plot involves rescuing the King from the SS, which in turn will discredit the SS in both the UK and Berlin. Again Archer says that he is not interested in plots and only wants justice, but it seems that he is likely to be pulled into things anyway whether he is willing or not.

While in the car making his way to Barbara Barga’s place. Archer examines the Elbow Pivot found at the scene of the murder in episode one. As he looks closer he manages to unscrew the pivot and finds a roll of Kodak film, which we can assume is the Atomic Bomb Calculations.

At Barbara’s place Archer proceeds to ask her some questions and asks if she was visiting the dead scientist to pick up the Atomic plans for the Americans. Barbara doesn’t exactly confirm or deny, but instead suggests that it be madness for any US President to get involved in a war between the UK and Europe. Archer suggests that plans for an atomic bomb would be a pretty powerful convincer for the Americans to side with the UK against the Germans.

After this scene the story flashes back forward to the present and the funeral of Karl Marx. Archer has followed sylvia, but lost her. As he is staring at the closed gate, which she somehow escaped through a bomb goes off causing chaos at the funeral and the end credits roll.

The questions this week are fairly obvious.

  1. Why are the resistance so set on getting Archer out of the way?
  2. Is Archer going to remain neutral or will he pick a side?
  3. Is Barbara Barga involved and was she at the scene to collect the plans?
  4. Are the resistance involved in the plot with the German’s and Mayhew?

SS-BG airs every Sunday Night on BBC 1 at 9PM UTC.

Ian Cullen is a TV journalist and when not writing for monstersandcritics.com runs his own website SciFiPulse. He has also written for Star Trek Magazine.... read more

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