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SIS Agent Cross injures a fourteen year old Russian girl by accidentally hitting her on the head. She has sustained brain damage and lies paralysed in hospital.
Dr. Snell is certain that Cross is cracking up, and feels that Cross shouldn't go on any more jobs for the present. Callan, who controls the section, disagrees and sends Cross on a mission to guard a Soviet poet while Meres is employed following the Russian KGB assassin Borov. During the mission Borov attempts to kill the poet, and Cross is shot and killed.
When he hears that Cross has been killed, Callan breaks all the rules by going out on the job himself. He locates Borov and shoots him. Borov's last words are: 'He let me kill him'.
Callan is suspended from the job of Hunter by Bishop, and Dr. Snell tells him that Cross was really seeking a way out, and had committed suicide.
(Pictured at right is Edward Woodward as Callan with Russell Hunter as Lonely).
(In Callan's flat - Cross has been killed and Callan is drunk and railing at Lonely) -
Callan: Do you know, I once had a drink with an executioner? See, we were on a job together, this bloke and I; we were on a firing squad - and ten little yellow bodies accidentally fell - and he said to me, he said uh -"I see you're feeling sick, mate." I said - 'I'm sick, feeling sick all right," - he said "I wouldn't have you on my side, no not in a bar-room fight," and he said - "because if those little fellows' mums and dads came rushing in and tried to start something you'd pitch in." And I said "Yeah, I'd pitch in." "I wouldn't," he said, "not me, mate, I'd do anything," he said, "I'd give them a drink, I'd walk away - I'd do anything - anything - to stop them tapping that deep, bloody deep, well of my own violence." That way he knew, you see - he knew I'd go off light years too early - I would have, too. He was the hardest man I've ever met - gee he was hard. So I learned to be like him, didn't I? And so did Cross - so did Cross. I sustain myself with my hardness and so did Cross. You know if one of us cracks? We all could because there is an ugly black streak - bloody deep, bloody deep - and it's welling up in the likes of us - and holding it down, you see, holding it down, that's what makes us good at our jobs. That's all. Makes us good at our jobs.
Lonely: (comforting) C'mon, c'mon.
Callan: (In a rage) Don't you tell anybody what I'm telling you, mate!
Lonely: I don't know your job.
Callan: To live with it, to control it. You train until every second is your enemy. Cross didn't crack up - he just forgot his training - didn't he? - bloody split second ...
Dr. Snell: (to Callan) You're afraid - no, afraid's the wrong word - you're not afraid of wrong decisions, but you're fearful of the correct ones.
Callan: I don't know what you're on about.
Dr. Snell: You're thinking - 'what if Cross is falling apart - we're two peas out of the same pod - if it could happen to him it could happen to me.'!!
Meres: (to Cross) How was she?
Cross: How was who?
Meres: The little girl you clobbered over the head with your little gun butt.
Cross: It was an accident.
Meres: No such thing, old son; not in our trade. Still the same, is she?
Cross: So I'm told.
Meres: Pity ...
Meres: ... for both of you. Alive she torments you ...
Cross: Nobody torments me, Toby, not even you.
Meres: ... dead, she'd let us have you back.
Cross: I haven't been anywhere.
Meres: Quite right in your state.
Cross: There's nothing wrong with me.