Warnings for Spoilers for Episode 2 of CW’s Valor-You have been warned!
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CW’s new military drama opens with the new in house CIA agent Thea butting head with Colonel Haskins over their attempt to rescue Kam and Hendrix who have been POW’s in Somalia for the past month. The Shadow Raider’s commanding officer wants to continue with the mission while the CIA isn’t willing to risk an international incident when the Somali state of Puntland closes their borders to the US military. At the last minute Col. Haskins decides to abort the mission, after Thea warned him yet again that the CIA was now running his operation.
Gallo (Matt Barr) and Madani (Christina Ochoa) try to privately discuss Gallo’s “friend” from the archives who has been helping them track down the manifest of the mission about a supposedly dead US soldier who they encountered alive (and not so well) in Somalia. Gallo tries to talk to Madani about their almost (completely) over the line fraternization. She shuts him down, telling him: “It’s not the place.”
The CIA brings in a Delta Force team with leader, Adam Coogan (guest star: Bryan Craig) who has a past with Gallo. Not only can they not allow the true status of their POW’s be known but during the briefing they find out that three members of the House Intel Committee are coming to oversee the ops. Something that Gallo doesn’t take lightly, not looking forward to having people over seeing the dangerous operation.
Gallo and Madani discuss the still simmering rivalry with Coogan and Gallo says it was about a promotion Coogan didn’t get and Gallo did, as well as a girl.
“Of course there was a girl.”- Nora Madani
Madani asks about the girl but Gallo skirts around the conversation saying that relationships are complicated. Porter passes by and Madani expresses her worry that her boyfriend knows that she is hiding something. Gallo tells her that they have to keep lying until they know what they did was right. Colonel Haskins warns Gallo about putting on a show while the Intel Committee are on his helicopter, tells him that he will be written up if he goes below 50 feet with them on his bird. Haskins then lets him know that he needs to clean up before the planned military ball. Madani lets Gallo know that she was heading over to visit Staff Sergeant Kam’s wife Jess.
While meeting with Jess (Corbin Reid), Nora breaks up the end of a meeting with two other Army wives who are trying to get Jess to go to therapy. Nora lets her know that it might not be a bad idea. However Jess tells Nora that the group around the base are a bunch of gossips and that she doesn’t want to appear weak. However Mrs. Kam feels that she can’t really bring herself to go to a meeting knowing what Jimmy’s actual status was in Somalia. When asked what Nora could do for her, Jess asks her to keep her promise to be on the rescue mission to get her husband.
“What is the point of talking, when there is so much that I can’t say.”- Jess Kam
Gallo and Coogan go round and round about the extra weight in the helicopter and Coogan takes the opportunity to taunt Gallo about his and Madani’s prowess in the air. Coogan doesn’t realize that Madani is there and they have a bit of a staredown. Coogan blames them for his friend Hendrix being captured.
“I’m sorry, say that again.” – Nora Madani
Coogan threatens to make it look like Gallo and Madani can’t fly the mission. Once he leaves, Gallo talks about getting the information about the missing soldiers manifest and they make a plan to visit the next day. Madani tells Gallo about the promise she made to Jess.
In Somalia Hendrix and Kam talk about how long they have had their hands free while trying to figure out how to get their escape underway. Kam is concerned that the others know what they are planning. Hendrix convinces him that they aren’t and Kam says that he is good to go.
In a flashback (which usually plays out as dream or memory of Madani or Gallo) they discuss the death of CIA commander Richard after Nora shot him in defense of Leland. They talk about the fact that the commanding officer lied to them about the mission. They decide to put his body in a nearby lake, since Gallo can’t carry the body while helping Madani who was shot during the failed mission.
Nora wakes up with Ian who comforts her as well as touches her scars on her leg. Nora tells him that it’s alright that it doesn’t hurt anymore before her phone rings. Ian tries to get her to stay, but she tells him that she’s got errands to run. Ian is interested in getting Nora to talk to him about her six days with Gallo but she tells him that she wasn’t going to go through it again. After he leaves she takes a pill, showing that she’s still dependant on them.
Gallo and Madani go out to talk to the presumed dead Davis Goundry’s former comrade in the hopes of getting some answers on how they found him to be alive in Somalia. They found out that it was the former CIA commander Richard who also confirmed the death of Goundry after a supposed failed parachute jump.
After the meeting Madani ignores a message from Ian and Gallo asks if it had something to do with what happened with them back at the house. (In episode 1) Nora assures him that it didn’t, but Leland presses to apologize because he is her commanding officer. Nora takes responsibility for her own actions and tells him to forget about it.
“We have bigger secrets to worry about.”- Nora Madani
Ian Porter comes in to talk to Thea, who seems eager to see him. She makes small talk with him in asking him what she needed to wear to the ball and Ian lets her know that it’s semi formal for civilians. He then lets her know about an in that they could use to get the Puntland government to allow them to use their airspace once again in the hopes to use it to rescue Hendrix and Kam. Thea then asks Ian about Nora’s exit logs, claiming that Madani seemed like someone who was hard to get to know. Ian stated that it was true about a lot of people in their line of work. Thea lets him go after a quip about who didn’t love a challenge.
Gallo and Madani take Coogan up in Adele (the name of their helicopter.) for a practice run before the members of Congress go up the next day. They take them through a few runs while a door gunner and Coogan shoot at empty oil drums. When Coogan insists they bank under unsafe conditions, Gallo takes the control from Madani before performing the bank and allowing Coogan to almost fall out of the chopper. Luckily he was clipped in to avoid an accident, something that Gallo knew before he performed the maneuver.
Back at base Nora chastises Leland about trying to stay on the mission and not angering Coogan or the Colonel. Reminded him that he needed to look at the big picture and stay on the rescue mission for Jess. Ian comes in and Leland makes a quick exit so that the couple can talk. Ian wants to continue their talk from the morning but Nora doesn’t want to have anything to do with it.Ian give her an ultimatum that either she starts to open up to him or they are done.
Flashback- Gallo and Madani begin to discuss their the story that they feel they have to create to protect themselves from what they are now seeing as a bigger conspiracy. They both know that if it comes out that it was a clean mission that they will both go to prison.
Nora meets Jess at the Army base’s track to give her the Shadow Raider way to deal with the “stuff” in their lives. She lets her know it’s part of their hazing as she straps on a 30 lbs weight vest to Jess’s body. Jess then tries to get Nora to do some girl talk but it doesn’t work and she starts Jess running up bleached steps.
Back in Somalia, Kam and Hendrix start their plan to escape. Kam uses his knowledge of the language to tell them that a feigning Hendrix is sick. When the Somali soldiers guard is down they both strike, however when they are met with their leader they find out that he is willing to kill his own men to keep them. Kam’s desire to get back to his wife and son alive causes him to put down his weapon and the men are recaptured.
The Shadow Raiders are introduced to the members of Congress that are on the Intel Committee, including Simone Porter, (guest star Valarie Pettiford) who happens to also be Ian’s mother. She talks to Nora, but it’s obvious that the relationship isn’t a completely warm one. Simone then gets onto Adele for the run with Nora and Leland. When the gunner can’t make the shot at a safe altitude, Gallo once again takes the controls and dips below the 50 feet so the shots can be taken. While Colonel Haskins is clearly upset by the action, Congresswoman Porter gives her seal of approval and welcomes the team to Operation Perseus.
While getting ready in her dress uniform for the ball, Madani’s mind is heavy on the Distinguished Flying Cross she was awarded for the failed mission. She also gets out her pill bottle but it’s not shown if she takes any. Gallo also gets cleaned up as ordered by his CO.
Nora is standing my the “missing man” table when she is approached by CIA agent Thea. The two women talk about their similarities and Thea stresses the want to find out what happened to her mentor Richard in Somalia. Nora assured her that they all wanted to know, before Thea got a call that pulled her away.
Jess walks up with Gallo, who brings up Nora taking her on the torture run. Jess admitted that she couldn’t hardly move but it made her realize a bit more about what the soldiers go through together. Before being reminded by the arrival of the two Army wives from before that she also wasn’t alone in this.
Leland and Nora raise a glass to Coogan who is across the room before Gallo starts to tell her the story about the girl that he and Adam fought over years ago. He admits that he really fell for her and that she was a nurse before dying in Kandahar. Meanwhile Ian and mama Porter watch the two co-pilots before the Congresswoman remarked how good a pilot Nora was. She then admits how handsome Gallo is as well.
Gallo’s “friend” from the archives, Anna approaches the two pilots to let them know that she was visited by two CIA agents looking into the files they had been asking about. They then realize that the CIA is not just looking into their exit logs but they are watching them.
Flashback- Nora is trying to get her wound clean while Leland is fighting with a wet radio. She then tries to bandage her wound when Gallo goes to help her with it. As a distraction to the pain, he plays a pointed game of twenty questions where he lets her in on what Goundry dropped when he ran away from them: $1000 and a domino. They discuss the merits of doing what’s right for their situation.
Nora tells Leland that she was ready to give an answer to Ian’s ultimatum. While talking to him, she lets him know that he deserves to know the truth. Instead of telling him the actual truth, she gives Ian a partial truth about her spending time with Gallo because they had been through a lot in Somalia and even though she knew that it was wrong they met to talk. Though not completely satisfied with her answer Ian lets her off with a kiss.
Leland drinks while watching Nora and Ian dance, before Colonel Haskins turns over the proceedings to Congresswoman Porter for the Missing Man ceremony.
“The seat is empty because they’re gone, the glass is overturned because they cannot drink with us, the single candle, represents the hope they’ll make their way home to our arms. Until they do we take solace in the community here tonight and raise a glass for their speedy return.”
Suddenly the whole room is abuzz with phones going off and people excusing themselves. Nora apologetically leaves Jess who vows to her fellow Army wives that she will be at their group next week.
Agent Thea is next shown leading the emergency meeting that is to be the beginning of Operation Perseus, they have been told that they will be able to cross into Puntland airspace in return for dropping a load of antibiotics to a refugee camp. They also received a video of the Somali soldiers leader threatening to kill Kam and Hendrix unless the US releases 50 ISIS prisoners. Gallo notices that he has a domino in his hand and Madani notes that it can’t be a coincidence.
This mystery is just beginning to get good! Stay tuned next Monday for Episode 3 at 9/8c on The CW and be sure to catch up episodes 1 & 2 on the CW App.
Warnings for Spoilers for Episode 2 of CW’s Valor-You have been warned!