COBRA: Episode 4
How Sky pitched this episode: Sutherland’s knowledge about his daughter’s part in her friend’s death is questioned. Meanwhile, a new threat rears its head.
I’d avoided mentioning the sub-plot about the Prime Minister’s daughter until now because I didn’t think it was going to be relevant. It looks like it’s going to be a major part of this episode so we’ll just have to roll with it. To bring us all up to speed – the daughter of the Prime Minister supplied drugs to a girl who subsequently died, Number 10 lied about the supply.
At the same time, the national blackout continues.
So far we have learnt that the Police Chief Constable can do every job that exists, simultaneously. Today he’s in charge of fuel logistics. No doubt by the end of the episode he’ll personally be drilling for fuel oil in the North Sea.
A fuel tanker hijacking and a ‘vigilante group’. That’s the most exciting opener since episode 1!
The suggestion for the Army to take over fuel supply distribution is real, taken from the Government’s guidance on responding to energy emergencies:
As part of its contingency planning, the government works with the downstream oil industry, including haulage companies, to maintain a capability within the Armed Forces to make fuel deliveries in the event of a serious disruption to normal deliveries.
I know it’s a drama, but I found it strange that it was the Home Office rather than the Defence representatives (or Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Government Department with lead responsibility (out of date list of other responsibilities available here) for energy emergency preparedness) suggesting the military as an option.
MI5 apparently have a maxim that society is three meals away from anarchy. I’m not sure how evidenced that is, but it’s fair to assume that with the consequences of the powercuts now in their third or fourth week it’s unsurprising people are now starting to take action into their own hands.
You may remember from Episode 1, there was some debate about whether a hospital was the best place to site a coordination centre. We don’t know the full story, but that decision is now coming back to bite, with the ‘vigilante’ crew storming the facility.
Sidenote: It’s reminding me of those times that a new group of survivors in The Walking Dead try their might against Rick Grimes’ group.
“You need a good night’s kip, you’re a bit tense” finally, someone is looking out for the welfare of the Gold Commander, although the last place you’d expect that to come from is the leader of the group attempting to take control!
Something I don’t think I’ve thought about before, whether a Strategic Coordination Centre (the place a multi-agency response is managed from) needs a panic-button?
The Chief of Staff’s husband has found out about multiple-night stand man. Oh dear. I smell another sub-plot.
I do like the attempt to show that these people are people. They have their own complicated lives and baggage, context which informs the decisions they make and how the respond to stress. However, it’s inconsistently done and feels a bit forced at times; maybe a slightly longer series would have given more time for the characters to breathe.
The vigilante group have now been joined by trade union members of the haulage industry, preventing supplies being delivered to the affected area and putting pressure on the PM to resign. Seems counter-intuitive to me, but perhaps an interesting insight into the double-think involved with this type of negotiation?
Interesting that in this episode it’s fictional Channel 6 News being shown in COBR not Sky News like in the first episodes.
In response to the protesters, the Prime Minister described the situation as a “natural event”. That probably won’t be significant to many people, but to an emergency manager avoiding the term ‘natural disaster‘ is very welcome nuance.
The episode ends with a cliffhanger (of sorts). The leader of the ‘vigilante’ group has issued a call to action to members of the public to rise up and fight the London elite. Tune in next week to find out how that goes!
** for more info about this blog-along and previous episodes check out the introductory post