Valor (S01E05) "Full Battle Rattle"

 

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Melissa Roxburgh as CIA Officer Thea

 
Remember to check out my interview with the fantastic Melissa Roxburgh here!  
Monday night’s Valor introduced a new character, who is tied deeper to the overall mystery of the show. Monday night also marks the highest ratings of the season, giving hope for the freshman drama. Though it’s clear that it would be good for it to start performing better as the full season pick-up still hasn’t come through just yet.
Last week on Valor, the Shadow Raiders got permission from the U.S. Government to do a prisoner exchange for their captured POW’s. However, that plan hit a snag when Khalid Samatar’s ailing brother Mustaf who they were trading Kam and Hendrix died en route to the drop off point.
After confirming his death Gallo (Matt Barr) radios the base and CIA Officer Thea (Melissa Roxburgh) says that they need to abort the mission however Porter (Charlie Barnett) tells the Colonel (Nigel Thatch) they this was still their best bet and they decide to solve this in the air. Thea tells the team that she needs to call her boss Magnus (guest star: Brian Letscher), though it seems obvious that she’s not looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to finding out what she is hiding from the rest of the team. Gallo and Madani (Christina Ochoa) talk about her decision in the last episode to take her pain medication while she’s flying. He tells her that when they get stateside they will talk about it at length and to not let anyone see her with the pills. Magnus’s change of plans is to have one of the members of the team pretend to be Mustaf while they gain access to the Khalid’s negotiators phone to find where their POW’s are being held. There are only two on the helo that match the basic physical description and one of them is Gallo who decides that it’s going to be him. (Always trying to play the cowboy, Gallo!)
While on the ground, Thea is the one to take command of the ground team, though before she does she makes a mysterious call to Magnus who tells her of a secondary objective that she is tasked with taking care of.
Gallo and Madani talk about his decision to take this job on. He states that he’s doing it to set things right for Jimmy (W Tre Davis) because he blames himself about what went down in Somalia. He gives her his dog tags to give to his mother if anything happens to him.
Meanwhile, Jimmy and Hendrix (Mac Brandt) get woken up and told to clean up for their proof of life video. Tonight’s flashback focuses on Jimmy as well both with him talking to Nora about helicopter maintenance (which comes in handy later on in the episode.) and his discussion with Gallo about the mission that got Jimmy captured. He was concerned that there was no information on the prisoner when they were going to meet in Somalia.
During the meeting with the negotiator, things get interesting when he show’s Thea a domino but she tells him that she has no idea what it’s supposed to mean. Fan’s of the show know that dominos are a running theme with the overall mystery of the plot. Seemingly everything is according to plan until the negotiator wants to see “Mustaf” as proof of life. The base sees an unknown lookout and knows that more than likely he has a direct line to Khalid. The negotiator gets spooked after Thea refuses to show proof of life and draws his weapon. At the time the best one with a view of the action is Madani who is back at the helicopter waiting for them to get done so she can fly them out of there. Delta force tells them that Gallo is in the way but can’t move because of the tense situation. Madani is told that she is the one to make the call on the show. However, she can’t make the call because of the possible bad one she made while in Somalia when she shot and killed CIA officer Richard. Gallo continues to play cowboy and rushes the interrogator with Thea covering him. Madani then gives the okay to take the shots with Gallo out of the way and Delta force does their thing and eliminates the threat. Gallo’s risk pays off as he gets the negotiators phone in his possession.
Porter tries to get Magnus to take what’s happened seriously, but being CIA he keeps things cool under pressure instead discussing his eating habits.
Back in the helo, Gallo gets his dog tags back from Madani who wants to talk about the domino that the negotiator had while he would rather question her over why she didn’t take the shot when she had the chance. He reassures her that if it hadn’t been for her in Somalia, he wouldn’t be there. The team reassembles in the helo and it’s shown that Thea has taken the domino off the negotiator’s body.
Kam and Hendrix are listening to different voices and sounds. Jimmy is trying to hear what’s being said in Arabic. He tells Hendrix that they are talking about being moved and the phrase ‘small pearl’. Jimmy begins to carve the words small pearl and Tokyo into the floor. Hendrix asks him what the significance of Tokyo was and Jimmy tells him that it’s a message to his wife Jess that means hope.
The team gets to the site (which looks like an abandoned hospital) where they believe their POW’s are, Coogan (guest star: Bryan Craig) questions Thea about the possibility of something radioactive but she tells him that it’s nothing he needs to worry about. Now since I am solidly in the #TeamThea category, I want to believe her. They search the entire facility (or so they think) and find nothing but battered computers. Gallo makes them relook over the rooms because of his guilt over dismissing Jimmy’s concerns before the first mission. They still don’t find them, but Thea does find and photograph the message from Jimmy letting us know that they were just that close to getting Kam and Hendrix rescued. Back at base, Ian finds a hidden room on an old blueprint, once inside they find what looks like a hidden lab. Stocked with hazmat suits and microscopes, they don’t find much else inside. Gallo sends in Darzi (guest star: Zeeko Zaki) to do an additional sweep, while Thea finds a container which she seems to think should have something inside it but comes up empty. She tells the base that they need to keep some operators there to secure the intel. She goes outside so that she can speak to Magnus on a secure channel, she tells him that the ‘secondary objective’ was gone. While talking to him, she begins to notice wires and calls the team to warn them about an IED. She sees Darzi in harm’s way and tries to warn him but he can’t hear her. Thea then sees a hostile and attempts to take him out. She shoots him but only wounds him and he is able to set off the explosive. While the base scrambles to get eyes on the team, they get Darzi into the helo. He’s been hit with shrapnel and there is possible damage to part of the helicopter. Nora is able to use Jimmy’s lessons from the flashback to fix the helo, while Gallo talks to Darzi about his kids to help him through his pain. After Nora gets back in the chopper she pulls her bottle out of her pocket and offers them to Darzi, going back on what Gallo told her before. Thea then radios the base to let them know they were on their way back and it was all thanks to Nora.
The next day Ian meets with Magnus to report that Darzi made it through surgery. He also tells him in his way that he is impressed with his work and asks him if he is interested in coming to work for the CIA. He tells him as he did Thea that it’s not for him. Magnus is convinced that he will come around.
Madani and Gallo talk about Nora’s decision to help Darzi with the meds. He lets her know that any other flight lead would be going to the Colonel. She throws back at him about the ways that he’s not like a “normal” flight lead, possibly a throwback to when Gallo and Madani almost crossed the line into fraternization in the first episode.
Thea meets with Magnus to deliver the domino to him When asked how much they should worry about it, he tells her 9 out of 10. However he is more concerned that she is surveilling Gallo and Madani and he shuts it down, inferencing her emails which were hacked by Ian last week. Magnus wants to send Thea back into the field after Davis Goundry, (a suspected traitor and terrorist who Madani and Gallo let escape in Somalia.) who she apparently recruited.
So what is going to happen next week?! According to the promo for the next episode, it’s going to focus on Nora’s ongoing drug problem and how it’s affecting her role on the team.
So it looks like that The CW is handing out full season orders and so far Valor isn’t among those granted one…yet. What I’m hoping on starting is a #SaveOurShow campaign! Since a running theme with this show is the mystery of dominos with the CIA, a perfect tie-in would be #DominosForValor! The best thing obviously would be watching on The CW (either on TV or the App) but also connect with other fans here on their Facebook, Instagram & Twitter!