Valor (S01E03) "Soldier Ready"

CW’s fledgling military drama deepens its core mystery while continuing to let us get to know its characters a bit better.
madani and gallo - Valor (S01E03) "Soldier Ready"
The joint team of the Shadow Raiders, Delta force and the CIA are planning the drop of antibiotics to a refugee camp that was facilitated last week to reopen Puntland airspace so that the team can go in and get their P.O.W.’s out. Col. Haskins (Nigel Thatch) reminds the team to get their affairs in order before deployment, because like every one it could be their last. Ian Porter (Charlie Bartlett) comes to CIA Officer Thea (Melissa Roxburgh) with an idea to get a possible prisoner exchange under way which Thea tries to shut down until Ian lets her know what it might be that Khalid Samatar (guest star Jaiden Kaine) wants, his brother is one of the prisoners. Ian proposes that they might be able to get Samatar to go back on his call for 50 terrorists to be released in exchange for his brother.  Madani (Christina Ochoa) and Gallo (Matt Barr) discuss the terrorist video shown last week, and how that it’s connected to their failed mission and a deeper conspiracy. This is something that keeps me watching, I genuinely want to know about what happened that led the Shadow Raiders on this path that’s obviously converging with the CIA in some way or another.  
P.O.W.’s Jimmy Kam (W. Tre Davis) and Crank Hendrix (Mac Brandt) have been moved by the Somali soldiers that are holding them. Hendrix begins to worry that their buddies won’t know where to look for them. Jimmy tries to get Hendrix to not give up. The insight here is when Jimmy begins to pray in Arabic and Hendrix thinks it’s because he wants better treatment from their captors. However Jimmy confesses that he is a Muslim, though lapsed. This leads to a discussion between the two soldiers on whose God is on the “right” side. It is immediately said by Jimmy that there are over 2 billion Muslims worldwide and what the extremists are doing had nothing to do with “his” or any God. The two men then find common ground on the hardships of marriage when you have to keep so many secrets from those that you love. This resonates with the story line that is happening back home with Jimmy’s wife, Jess.  
Jess Kam (Corbin Reid) asks Nora to come with her to sign some papers for Jimmy’s benefits, but Nora lets Jess know that she is deploying. Jess thinks it’s for Jimmy but Nora lets her know that she can’t confirm it. Jess then meets with the dad of one of her son’s friends, Ryan (guest star Michael Lee Kimel). There is noted tension between the two parents, but Ryan still lets Jess know that they are there for her.  Later when Nora comes over to talk, Jess confesses to her about when she almost crossed the line with the Ryan. Nora tells her more about the mission before reminding her only partially joking that it was classified information. Jess jokingly informs Nora that she has problems. Something that the Warrant Officer readily accepts as fact. Later when Jess has the opportunity to go and once again lean on Ryan for support she second guesses it and lets him know that she needs to do this alone.
jess and ryan - Valor (S01E03) "Soldier Ready"
Nora is continuing to use her pain medication as a means to deal with not only her physical pain but her emotional pain as well. She tries tonight to talk to Gallo, like they had done in Somalia. Leland however pushes her away to deal with his own pain about redeploying, citing rank as a reason, while giving some insight to the very military Gallo family. Madani lets Gallo know about finding Davis Goundry’s sister who lives near the base. He tells her to be careful because they are being watched.  Later while waiting to talk to psych, Nora uses another pill before leaving without talking, feeling that she can’t be honest to anyone about what’s in her head except to Gallo.
nora leaves psych - Valor (S01E03) "Soldier Ready"
Coogan (guest star Bryan Craig) and Gallo continue to butt heads over the mission to drop the antibiotics, Gallo tells Coogan that they need to drop weight to fly safe and he wants to lose fuel. Coogan challenges Gallo, saying that he is “spooked” about getting back out there. Gallo reminds Coogan that he is the flight leader and it makes him back off.  The similarities with Gallo and Coogan continue to intrigue me, they are both headstrong alpha male types except when it comes to women. Coogan shows on more than one occasion that he is a bit of a misogynist especially when talking down to Nora and his reaction to CIA Officer Thea talking up Zoe Cho (guest star Chelle Ramos) instead of him and the other Delta force boys at a party for pre-deployment.
Tonights flashback showed Nora and Gallo taking refuge where Davis Goundry (Tim Griffin) was holdup while waiting for the CIA/Shadow Raiders rescue/extraction. While there she finds a dirty coaster that sticks in her head. It also deepens the mystery on why they were there in the first place. Gallo noticing that there were bullet holes in the ceiling and no where else, seeing that the supposed attack was a ploy to distract them. The way these flashbacks give you pieces of a puzzle that I’m sure is a slow burn for the rest of the season.
Later while on her way to meet with Goundry’s sister, Nora is followed by guys in suits (assuming they are CIA). She loses them before getting to diner that is owned by Deidre Goundry (guest star Lauren Worsham), where Nora sees a matching coaster from the Somali hideout. Deidre tells Nora that she refuses to talk about Davis around her son, Christopher. Nora leaves her number on a coaster in case she changes her mind. Later Deidre calls Nora to let her know that she wasn’t the first person to come looking for and asking questions about her brother. She says that she was questioned about her brothers international ties leading Nora to go to Gallo afraid that they might have let a terrorist go free.
thea crashes throwdown - Valor (S01E03) "Soldier Ready"
Thea crashes the pre-deployment ‘throwdown’ before letting Ian know that Samatar’s brother is in poor health and it might be their way to use him in the prisoner exchange. She seemingly flirts with him about coming over to the civilian side of special ops, but he lets her know that he is happy where he is. Thea then proceeds to chat up Sargent Zoe Cho, which frustrates Coogan who asks the CIA Officer for drinks only to be shot down. Later the next morning, Thea brings a sleepy Zoe a glass of water bedside before apologizing if she had put her in a tough spot by letting her fellow soldiers see them leave together. Zoe shrugs it off, saying that she doesn’t care about them, it was just about being ‘one of the guys’. Thea asks Zoe if her and Nora lean on each other for support, Zoe takes it to mean that Thea only slept with her to get information on Madani. However Thea quickly pushes that thought away letting her know that she knew exactly what she wanted.  
thea and zoe 2 - Valor (S01E03) "Soldier Ready"
Personally when watching a new show, my wishful thinking gaydar always hopes on there being an LGBTQ+ character among the cast. I’m looking forward to seeing more Thea as well as finding out more about her true intentions.
Also, while it might be too soon for a #SaveOurShow campaign for Valor, fans of the show might want to get those fingers to the ready to fight for the Shadow Raiders to stay on our screens.
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