Press Centre

Foyle's War

  • Episode: 

    3 of 3

  • Title: 

    Sunflower
  • Transmission: 

    Sun 07 Apr 2013
  • Time: 

    8.00pm - 10.00pm
  • Week: 

    Week 15 2013 : Sat 06 Apr - Fri 12 Apr
  • Channel: 

    ITV
  • Status: 

    Last in series

 

 
The information contained herein is embargoed from press use, commercial and non-commercial reproduction and sharing - in the public domain - until Tuesday 2 April at 12.01am.
 
Short synopsis:
 
In this final episode, Foyle is drawn into the bizarre murder of an ex-Nazi defector and leading expert on Soviet intelligence who had been working for MI5. Meanwhile Sam’s husband, Adam, is so pre-occupied with his new political job, she worries whether she’ll be able to share some big news with him...
 
PART ONE
 
SIR ALEC MYERSON, the head of MI5, is with FOYLE at Leconfield House. He tells FOYLE that Professor Van Haren is actually a high-ranking Nazi whose real name is KARL STRASSER. MI5 are protecting him because he is a valuable intelligence asset, but someone is now trying to kill him and he wants FOYLE to investigate.
 
ADAM WAINWRIGHT is busy as a new MP listening to the grievances of his constituents. A man called GEOFFREY HELLIWELL requests to see him, but he is from Devizes, not London. He tells ADAM his farm was bought under a compulsory purchase order during the war, but now the government is refusing to sell it back to him for a reasonable price. He appeals for Adam’s help; the Minister involved in the deal is Adam’s boss, HUGH ROPER.
 
SAM WAINWRIGHT visits a hospital for tests. Later she sadly tells FOYLE how busy ADAM is with his work and how she misses their old life. Together they visit Professor Van Haren’s boarding house but the Professor is not there and instead they meet his landlady, MRS BRENDA STEVENS. After leaving their card, another tenant, MARK PARRY-JONES, questions BRENDA on who the visitors are. After finding out Foyle is with MI5, he teases Brenda about an indiscretion with Professor Van Haren before telling her not to worry because they both want him dead.
 
PART TWO
 
ROPER is annoyed that the RAF strikes are worsening and getting bad publicity in the papers. ADAM mentions the Helliwell case to him but the Minister, ROPER, says the contract holds, and a local land-agent, George Gibson, re-valued the land fairly and Helliwell simply doesn’t want to pay the price.
 
GEOFFREY HELLIWELL leaves his hotel only to be beaten up and robbed violently.
VALENTINE talks to FOYLE about KARL STRASSER and his Nazi background. He doesn’t agree with MI5 giving him a new identity, and nor does he like STRASSER.
 
ADAM visits HELLIWELL in hospital to find out more about the robbery. HELLIWELL thinks ADAM has orchestrated the attack on him but ADAM denies any link, shocked HELLIWELL could think such a thing. Later, he tells SAM he doesn’t think ROPER is connected to the attack, but there is something fishy about the price of the Helliwell’s land rising so dramatically. SAM offers to help ADAM find the land agent, GIBSON. Perhaps he knows something.
 
THOMAS NELSON revisits the school where he used to teach before the war. He is to be re-interviewed for his old job. But during the interview, he catches sight of a picture of some sunflowers and again his mind flashes back to a sunlit field of the flowers, although this time we catch a glimpse of Nazi uniform in shot. Realising he is mentally scarred, the HEADMASTER kindly decides THOMAS might not be quite ready to teach again, but asks him to keep in touch.
 
CHARLOTTE (an MI5 secretary) tells FOYLE that VAN HAREN would like to meet with him later that day. FOYLE arrives to meet VAN HAREN who is nervous and upset by what he thinks have been attempts by a man to follow him. He tells FOYLE about his experience of the war, and escaping Germany after the Allied invasion. He thinks a bullet left at the boarding house indicates his life is in danger, so Foyle tells him lightly that perhaps he should move house. VAN HAREN think FOYLE is not taking his allegation seriously and is annoyed.
 
LIEUTENANT GENERAL HOYT JACKSON and RAY DONOVAN from the US EMBASSY visit HILDA PIERCE and SIR ALEC at MI5. They want KARL STRASSER brought in for war crimes, but PIERCE denies MI5 know anything of his current whereabouts. After they’ve left, SIR ALEC tells PIERCE he’s unhappy about lying to the Americans.
 
VAN HAREN returns to his boarding house later that night to find a sinister dried sunflower placed on his pillow. We see a flashback to the field of sunflowers again.
 
PART THREE
 
The next day, VAN HAREN shows FOYLE the sunflower in his room, and tells him ‘Sunflower’ was the name of a military operation in France during the war, but he denies being present when the offensive took place. FOYLE wonders if one of the other residents in the boarding house could be responsible, but VAN HAREN thinks it could be someone in MI5 – either way his life is in danger. Outside, PARRY JONES, another of the boarding house’s residents, makes a pass at SAM who rebuffs him. FOYLE interviews BRENDA STEVENS but she denies knowing anything about the dried Sunflower. She tells him a young woman did call for VAN HAREN a few days ago, wearing a uniform from the hospital of St Mary’s.
 
ROPER and ADAM discuss the growing crisis with the RAF mutiny in the Far East.
SAM asks CHARLOTTE to help her locate someone – GEORGE GIBSON, the land agent involved in the land deal.
 
PARRY JONES and EDWARD TCHOREK (a young Polish war survivor) are playing chess in the pub as FOYLE talks to them. PARRY JONES confides that he worked in SOE (intelligence) during the war, but that he knows nothing about the threats towards VAN HAREN - or an operation called ‘Sunflower’.
 
COLONEL JACKSON and DONOVAN talk to PIERCE once again – they won’t let her stand in the way of bringing STRASSER to justice, and use the threat of US loans being withdrawn to make her think again. PIERCE watches them leave, unmoved.
 
MARY NELSON says goodbye to her brother THOMAS as she is going to work, worried he may be depressed again. She is obviously the young nurse BRENDA STEVENS was talking about with FOYLE as she’s wearing a nurse’s uniform. After his sister has left, THOMAS makes his way to his bed where he pulls out a gun – is he suicidal or about to take revenge?
 
PART FOUR
 
THOMAS leaves his high-rise flat in a hurry. Where is he going?
ROPER is interviewed by the BBC about the conditions RAF personnel find themselves in the Far East. Leaving the building with ADAM, he’s accosted by HELLIWELL on crutches who warns him he will get to the truth about his land and the thugs who attacked him - one way or another.
 
VAN HAREN and FOYLE talk again. FOYLE advises him again to move but the German is reluctant to leave England, annoyed FOYLE appears to be doing so little. As they talk, FOYLE and VAN HAREN are shot at by an unseen assailant, and VAN HAREN sustains a small bloody scratch to his wrist. He pleads with FOYLE to do something – what more evidence does he need?
 
Outside St Mary’s hospital, BRENDA STEVENS points out to SAM the young nurse who visited the boarding house asking for PROFESSOR VAN HAREN. SAM follows her back to her home, a modern high rise flat.
 
VALENTINE asks FOYLE about the shooting on VAN HAREN – he reminds FOYLE that he doesn’t fit in, and that MI5 shouldn’t be protecting a bloody Nazi. FOYLE then reports to SIR ALEC who’s annoyed about the attack on VAN HAREN. FOYLE tells him about the Sunflower operation in France, but SIR ALEC and PIERCE remain tight- lipped as to whether they know what he’s talking about. They decide 24-hour protection is the best course of action to protect VAN HAREN (STRASSER). As he leaves, they ask FOYLE about authorising a tap on a GEORGE GIBSON. Taken by surprise, FOYLE makes up a quick excuse and leaves.
 
He later confronts SAM who tells him why she is looking into GIBSON, and they agree they’ll go and interview him to find out if there’s any truth to Helliwell’s allegation against ROPER. In his garden, GIBSON is polite when they ask him about the Helliwell land deal in Devizes, but he denies remembering such a deal taking place. Unseen by SAM and FOYLE inside the house, GIBSON picks up the telephone – secret service officials are listening in and they make a note of who he calls and what is said...
 
BRENDA STEPHENS gladly says goodbye to VAN HAREN when he tells her he is going to the seaside for a few days. We watch him walk to his car, but as his protection officers walk away there is a massive explosion – VAN HAREN has been killed by a car bomb.
 
PART FIVE
 
ADAM tells his wife that he’s horrified that she has tapped GEORGE GIBSON using her MI5 powers – what if SAM loses her job?
 
VALENTINE and FOYLE are examining the remains of Van Haren’s car when PIERCE arrives in her own car. She tells them that SIR ALEC wants to see FOYLE immediately as they were about to hand VAN HAREN over to the Americans. At the embassy, FOYLE is obliged to tell JACKSON and DONOVAN about the history of threats against VAN HAREN – and the attempt to shoot him before the bomb was placed in his car. In return, the Americans tell FOYLE about a military operation, ‘Sunflower’, in Northern France, 1944. Twenty-six American soldiers died in a war crime, and they think that STRASSER/VAN HAREN was involved in some capacity. PIERCE says that may be true, but now STRASSER is dead, the matter is now closed.
Outside, PIERCE is furious that FOYLE has made her look a fool in front of the Americans by not preventing the assassination of STRASSER.
 
Back at the boarding house, FOYLE interrogates BRENDA STEVENS who says that she is not upset VAN HAREN is dead. He tells her he knows that she knew he was really a German, not a Dutch national. STEVENS tells him he is right, and that they had a brief affair. In the pub, PARRY JONES also tells FOYLE he knew VAN HAREN was in fact a German Nazi officer – he had found the Nazi identity pass in his room – he was really KARL STRASSER, a German Nazi, not the Dutch national PETER VAN HAREN. PARRY JONES denies planting the hand-grenade in Strasser’s car but it’s clear he is also angry with MI5 for disbanding his war-time intelligence unit (SOE) – perhaps this is his motive for killing Strasser.
 
In their parliamentary office, ADAM re-questions ROPER about the land deal in the light of Sam’s new evidence from the phone tap. From the recorded conversation, he tells ROPER that he knows that GIBSON doubled the land value to prevent the Helliwells from buying their land back. And furthermore, that ROPER was the onegiving GIBSON his instructions – ADAM tells ROPER that he has a telephone transcript from the previous day to prove it (the one recorded by Sam). ROPER is shocked when ADAM suggests that he may be corrupt – ROPER tells him that it is in fact HELLIWELL who’s crooked because he wanted to sell the land for redevelopment when ROPER wanted to keep the land for food production. ROPER asks ADAM to leave his office, sickened that ADAM should think he corrupted the land deal for the money.
 
PART SIX
 
SAM and FOYLE visit the young nurse, MARY NELSON, in the hope she can shed light on Van Haren/Strasser’s assassination. She tells them she’s worried about her brother, TOMMY, who had become obsessed with the Dutch man living at the boarding house (Van Haren). He hasn’t been home for two days, and is suffering from shell-shock after being shot in the head during the war. She tells them he could have returned to a hospital which treated him after being wounded in action.
 
FOYLE and SAM arrive at Norwell Hospital and Thomas’ doctor confirms he is there - but in a dangerous state. FOYLE asks to interview Thomas and reluctantly his doctor agrees. THOMAS tells FOYLE about his experience as a Captain in the Royal Artillery in France – he was attached to a US Field Artillery Unit when they came under attack and became trapped behind enemy lines in a placed called Mortain. The US soldiers surrendered to save themselves but were rounded up by the Germans who then machine-gunned the unit. The officer in charge was KARL STRASSER (VAN HAREN). The sole survivor of the shooting, THOMAS tells FOYLE how he managed to escape into a field of Sunflowers. It was in the field that STRASSER shot him in the head, leaving him for dead, but the bullet did not kill him and he survived – he recognised his shooter as the same man he saw coming out of a library in London a few weeks ago. FOYLE asks THOMAS if he killed STRASSER and he tells him ‘yes’.
 
ROPER dictates a letter of resignation to his secretary; he will not stand at the next election. GLENVIL HARRIS (Adam’s political colleague) is furious with ADAM for Roper’s resignation, and tells him that no one in the party will want to work with him after snitching on a good and capable man. Stung, ADAM wonders if GLENVIL helped arrange the attack on Helliwell, but GLENVIL shows him a police report which shows the attack on Helliwell was an ordinary mugging by a well-known gang. ADAM is mortified.
SAM tries to comfort ADAM and tells him ROPER was a crook, politicians shouldn’t lie - whatever their motives. She respects ADAM for what he’s done and his belief in creating a better world. She tells him that she is having a baby – they’re thrilled.
 
PART SEVEN
 
VALENTINE and FOYLE examine the burnt body of STRASSER/VAN HAREN at the morgue. They can see an SS tattoo on his arm – but FOYLE is thinking about something else.
Back at Leconfield House, VALENTINE and FOYLE talk to SIR ALEC who’s angry that they have visited the morgue without his permission. FOYLE asks SIR ALEC if he’s been behind all the decisions to hide STRASSER from the Americans when he is a known war criminal. He tells SIR ALEC about the evidence they heard from Thomas and how the young soldier thinks he killed Strasser, but FOYLE knows Thomas did not in fact kill Strasser, and that he did not plant the grenade in the car – it was MI5. PIERCE tells FOYLE his accusation is absurd, but FOYLE knows STRASSER is still alive and well in spite of there being a headless corpse in the morgue with Strasser’s Nazi tattoo. Foyle tells them this was a clever touch but that they missed one thing – the graze on his wrist from when he was shot at by Thomas was not visible on the corpse masquerading as Strasser.
 
We flashback to Strasser getting into his car outside Mrs Steven’s boarding house, but this time we see him driving off in another as his own is exploded. PIERCE finally gives in and tells FOYLE that STRASSER is indeed in a safe place, he is an invaluable source of information and he must be protected for the greater good from the Americans.
 
The next day, PIERCE is at an airport and STRASSER is with her. A plane lands to take him away. We flashback to THOMAS’ body lying bloodied in the Sunflower field in France. Again, we see STRASSER raise the gun at Thomas and shoot.
 
Back at the airport, FOYLE, driven by SAM arrives in a car. PIERCE is surprised to see him and STRASSER makes a joke about FOYLE wanting to say goodbye. He tells FOYLE that the shooting was an act of war, as an SS officer he had to dirty his hands to prove his loyalty to Himmler. Furthermore, in military retreat, he couldn’t have taken twenty-six American soldiers prisoner, even if had wanted to.
 
Suddenly another car pulls up – it’s the Americans. PIERCE tells FOYLE he is a traitor to the service – but VALENTINE intervenes and says it was him who tipped off HOYT JACKSON and RAY DONOVAN – STRASSER is led away, watched by a crestfallen and humiliated PIERCE.
We cut to FOYLE in the back of his car as SAM drives. He looks tired. She asks him where he would like go and he replies; ‘That is a good question.’
.