End of the vigil: Russian spies, naval conspiracies and murders at sea
Why had Doward become a Russian spy?
Unlike Jackie, who did her job for the Russians to save her son, we don’t know what motivated Doward, and maybe it doesn’t really matter. “No comment” was his answer during questioning (he obviously watched too much of World Production’s other great BBC thriller Course of action). Silva surmised that Doward had no particular political allegiance to Russia, but undertook the sabotage because he was a narcissist and it made him feel special and powerful, and that’s as good as we’ll get.
Did Ben Oakley kill Jade Antoniak?
No, but he was hardly a friend to her. Jade trusted Ben, who was the leader of the Dunloch anti-nuclear peace camp where she lived. When Jade became suspicious of Peter Ingles being present at a protest, Jade took his photo, mistakenly thinking he was a factory for MI5. After her boyfriend Craig Burke died aboard HMS Vigil, Jade showed the photo to Ben, wanting to expose the suspected MI5 factory. Ben had an existing relationship with Peter Ingles (a Russian agent whose real name was Pyotr Vasilyev) and therefore recognized him. Ben then informed Ingles of the existence of the photo and warned him to be more careful going forward. Ingles, knowing the photo would compromise the identity of Doward, the Russian asset he had just planted aboard HMS Vigil, asked Ben to set up a meeting between him and Jade, where he would highlight what really happened to her boyfriend. . Jade and Ben met Ingles, who drowned Jade and stole her phone. Ben did nothing to help, knowing he would look like Ingles’ accomplice if he involved the police.
Two hours after Jade died, Ben downloaded the photo from her laptop to her phone, deleted her copy, and hid her computer. He then took the photo to MP Patrick Cruden (an old friend from the CND days and, coincidentally, Jade’s secret father), claimed he had taken it and planned to release it to expose the fact that the Russians had a factory in the UK. Navy, thus making the Trident submarines vulnerable to enemies and negatively influencing the upcoming parliamentary vote on the renewal of the Trident.
What will happen to Doward, Ingles and Ben Oakley now?
MI5 isn’t going to tell the Russians that they found out and arrested Doward, they’re just going to hold a closed-door trial for him, convict him with the evidence gathered by DCI Silva, and leave him to rot in solitary confinement in jail. Good riddance. Ben Oakley goes to jail for a long time for his role in preparing for Jade’s death, and for hiding evidence and trying to escape arrest, DS Longacre promises. And Ingles enjoys diplomatic immunity, which means he cannot be prosecuted in the UK and was repatriated to Russia shortly after his coverage was published. The GRU will probably give him a warm welcome.
Why was Craig Burke killed?
The Russians were to kill one of Vigil’s sonar operators so that their CPO Doward factory could be brought in from another ship as a replacement, to work on its sabotage. Peter Ingles (see above) had previously approached Craig Burke (after an introduction by Ben Oakley) to become a Russian asset, but Burke refused. This left Ingles vulnerable to identification by Burke, who had started a dossier on his fellow Vigil crew members, presumably in an attempt to detect anyone who had also been approached by Ingles and worked for him. Burke knew that the British Navy had covered up the serious incident in Port Havers, Florida, and therefore knew he couldn’t trust the officials or his teammates with what he knew. This is why he amassed the evidence he had gathered on a hidden USB drive intended for Jade. The Russians had Craig Burke assassinated to kill two birds with one stone – to get rid of the threat to Ingles and to create a premise for Doward to embark.
Who killed Craig Burke?
The boat’s cook, Jackie Hamilton, poisoned him with a nerve agent in exchange for his son’s early release from an Indonesian prison for drug trafficking. She had obviously also been approached by Peter Ingles and coerced into acting on behalf of the Russians to help her son, and the couple communicated via coded messages on a fishing website. The guilt, however, was too much for Jackie and so instead of implementing Part II of the Russian plan and releasing the nerve agent more widely to force Vigil into a surface evacuation, she deliberately opened the device when ‘she was alone, then tried to contain it, but died almost immediately.