COBRA airs Sundays at 9:00 pm and is available to stream. Recap the previous episode.
Anna is reading Dostoyevsky in bed, telling her daughter about his persecution. After her daughter leaves her in her bedroom, even though it’s the middle of the day, she desperately checks the news before turning away just as quickly.
It’s not good. The press is musing on chaos in the government following Robert’s panic attack during a press conference—and it’s worse than the media knows. With a massive cyber attack on the UK’s infrastructure coming—it’s nicknamed Cerberus—he’s pushing for increased retaliation against China and Russia, whom he believes are behind the offensive. But the Americans won’t step in, and Britain is not strong enough to stand on its own.
Archie suggests that Robert should have kept Anna around and defends the erstwhile chief of staff, leading Robert to threaten both him and Fraser when the latter agrees with Archie. Get a grip! Archie demands of Robert, who walks out of the briefing.
Eleanor follows Robert while Joseph takes over the briefing. She offers Robert a retaliatory option: malware called Heracles that would disrupt missile defense systems around the globe. It would be risky.
The Americans are against such an escalatory action, but Eleanor continues to apply pressure. She is worried about Robert, however, and calls Archie to tell him that the Prime Minister is getting worse. He’s even missing from a briefing on the continuing cyber attack: GPS and traffic control systems have started to malfunction. Joseph tells Archie he should step in as acting PM, but Archie suspects that Joseph just wants him to clean up this mess and then take leadership once things have calmed down.
You have to come back, Archie says when he shocks Anna by showing up at her home.
One victim of the GPS hack is Francine. Her phone tells her to turn the wrong way onto a one-way street, and she gets in a minor crash. When someone approaches her window in a bike helmet, she fears that he’s there to kill her—credible threats have been made against her in the Kent by-election. She begins to flee before realizing that he’s just a normal man.
She’s on her way to Anna’s house, where she will stay until the election for her security. The threats against her now feel real, she tells Anna.
And her opponent, Rodger Hawkins, is fanning the flame: his allies are circulating leaflets falsely claiming that Francine is calling for Kent to pay reparations for slavery. When confronted by Joseph, who is finally finished with Hawkins’ antics, he denies any involvement and is steadfast in his independence from his party leaders and what they think is proper.
At a meeting over what to do about Hawkins, Archie suggests that the Tories must clandestinely work with Francine and Labour to ensure that Hawkins isn’t elected. Anna could be a link—and she’s waiting outside. Archie and Joseph leave Anna and Robert to reunite. Joseph is upset that Archie didn’t oust Robert, but Archie says that Robert is their best bet—if he is in his right mind.
Anna’s return helps restore him to it. After hashing over their complicated past, Anna tells him to tell the public what is happening and to work with Francine. They share a long hug. Both are crying when they part.
Eleanor warns her American counterpart that they will release Heracles at 3:00 pm tomorrow, unless the Americans force their opponents to stop Cerberus.
Robert holds a press conference—successful this time—warning of a coming attack on the financial system, and outlining all the previous attacks. He suspends Hawkins from the Tories and encourages people to vote for democratic principles. And he warns the UK’s opponents that the country will defend itself by any means necessary. Anna, Archie, and Joseph flank him.
Francine and Chris Edwards, Labour’s leader join Robert’s advisers in a briefing. They will support the government in its decisions during such an emergency.
Anna asks Robert if he will actually authorize Heracles—or a nuclear strike. He won’t answer, telling her she knows what he would do. When she leaves for Francine and he asks if she’ll come back, she gives essentially the same answer.
With half an hour until Eleanor’s imposed deadline, Cerberus is still harvesting data at a nuclear plant. With minutes to go, it’s beginning to cause a total financial collapse. As Robert steels himself to unleash Heracles, Eleanor warns him that it could cause World War III. The Americans call her and tell her not to do it, but she insists on a signal that Cerberus is being stopped. The Americans have to put further pressure on Russia and China.
As Robert begins to activate Heracles, the cyber attack wanes. It has been stopped. The U.S. and the Chinese are also pulling back from the brink in a standoff in the South China Sea.
At the same time, a man on a scooter pulls past Anna’s car as she drives Francine out of a garage. He slaps the car. A British security agent yells at Anna and Francine to get out of the car and run. Anna is slower than Francine, and is thrown in the air as her car explodes.
As she undergoes surgery, Robert makes a statement to the press, praising her as a paragon of decency and democracy.