'COBRA' Recap: Episode 6
November 8, 2020
“RIP Democracy,” read the signs of protesters who have gathered at the site of the broken blockade of London by teamsters and People’s Justice. The Prime Minister has met widespread criticism over the accidental killing of a photographer by the military when they broke the blockade and were met with military-grade grenades.
Harry Rowntree, the head of the truckers’ union, is threatening a general strike to throw out the government. The opposition is preparing to hold a vote of no confidence. Archie has resigned as Home Secretary and hinted that he and his faction may not support Robert remaining head of the government.
But for now, Robert is still in charge of handling the country’s crisis. At a COBRA briefing, he learns that a soldier from the blockade has died from grenade burns. Six members of a neo-Nazi group have been arrested for infiltrating the protesters at the blockade and instigating violence.
In good news: the transformer made it through undamaged, and is nearing the substation in Northumberland, where it will restore power. I promised to turn the lights back on, Robert says. I won’t resign.
The lights in Northumberland can’t come back on soon enough. People’s Justice have vacated the hospital. As Stuart and officials retake it, the lights flicker and die. The hospital’s generator has run out of fuel. Several urgent surgeries are pending.
Knowing this, Fraser decides to be heroic—and perhaps foolhardy—when the transformer runs into a problem in transit. The engineers have realized they made a mistake in planning the route, and an overpass may not be strong enough to hold the transformer. There’s a 40-60% chance it will collapse, but an alternate route would take another two days. The driver, fearing for his life, refuses to bring the transformer across the bridge.
So Fraser does. The bridge cracks while he inches over, but he makes it. The transformer will soon be in Northumberland.
Fraser has lost a friend in the government, however. Francine resigns over the shooting of the photographer at the blockade after a heated argument with Anna. She won’t be a “fig leaf” for the Tories, their policies, and their racism, she says.
Anna has at least found a new ally in Eleanor, the intelligence director. It turns out Edin and the others in the flat that Anna’s daughter walked into were meeting there to discuss a hit on a dissident—Edin is an assassin who works for the gangster Toni Lulin. Eleanor sympathizes with the situation Anna is in, and appreciates her honesty. She wants to offer Edin a deal, protecting him in exchange for information incriminating Lulin.
“They’ll kill him,” Anna protests. “He used you,” Eleanor replies. She convinces Anna to speak with Edin. In the meantime, Anna’s marriage seems safe. She has returned home to her children and husband, who is back to traveling all the time.
As Robert faces a vote of no confidence, Archie tries to make a deal. If Robert brings Dominic Knight back into the government and fires Anna, Archie and his faction will support him in the vote. Rachel pushes Robert to take the deal to save himself, but he disagrees.
Eleanor warns Anna of Archie’s attempts to force Robert to get rid of her and urges her to get out while she can. Anna doesn’t believe Robert will give in. Robert at least once again has Eleanor’s support: his recent decisiveness has “alleviated her previous concerns.”
But Archie is working other channels. He brings Peter Mott to meet with a reporter and tell her that Rachel instructed Ellie to lie about Georgia’s death and the Prime Minister looked the other way. Worse, Peter claims Rachel said, “posh white girls shouldn’t go to prison.”
The reporter’s story makes Ellie even more furious at her mother. In her room, as she pores over comments denigrating her and her family online, she prepares to commit suicide with pills and booze—but Robert comes in to check on her before she can. Together with Rachel, he comforts his daughter, recalling a simpler time when she was young. Rachel curls up in bed with Ellie as they go to sleep.
When Anna meets with Edin on Eleanor’s behest, she thanks him for saving her daughter. He says he won’t take Eleanor’s offer. He can’t live like that—he’ll just retreat to his cabin in the mountains and wait for Anna. “I love you,” he says. Anna sobs.
Robert meets with Archie and Dom. He won’t take their deal. Archie is the “worst kind of politician,” exploiting a crisis for his own gain.
And the crisis is beginning to end. The transformer has restored power to Northumberland. Anna hugs Robert in joy: you kept your promise to turn the lights back on, she says. And he didn’t fire her. Robert no longer cares about the no confidence vote.
He and Anna no longer have to worry about Eleanor: with Robert’s poll numbers climbing and her concerns about both of them dismissed, she is no longer working with Archie. Don’t get me on your bad side, she warns him.
Anna tells Robert to proceed into the future and announce a wealth tax to help the victims of the crisis, no matter that they’re Tories, as well as support diversity in their party. With new ideas, they could win a general election—and then he wouldn’t face a no confidence vote. Robert agrees. He tells his staff his plans in the last emergency COBRA. They no longer need daily COBRAs to address the crisis.