Strike Back (S06E03) "Episode 3"

Episode 3 felt very much like a step in the right direction for this team in terms of the overall feel of the show. One terrible element, that of Morgan Ives – Mr. Richy Rich, was gone which felt like a big relief. Jane Lowry is sufficiently creepy as our big bad we don’t need him distracting from that.

Jane Lowry’s (Katherine Kelly) newest connection is Rosa Varga (Kelly Gough), a white nationalist who runs a terrorist organization alongside her brother Josef (Mark Strepan). Donovan (Nina Sosanya) gets wind of this connection and decides to send the boys in undercover. Josef runs an MMA ring, Wyatt (Dan MacPherson) and MacAllister (Warren Brown) are to pose as fighters and let themselves be recruited into the white nationalist group. This was a cool idea – in season 5 we saw Michael Stonebridge (Philip Winchester) fight professional MMA fighter, Michael Bisping. So it was cool to see it swapped around, with our boy Warren Brown. (Brown came to acting after first being a professional MMA fighter)

Mac takes the lead and forces his way into the ring, pushing aside Wyatt. These two have got to quit it with the “you know what” measuring contests! In the ring, Mac is getting his butt handed to him, tries to speak to Wyatt and Wyatt responds, “I didn’t catch that with all the blood in your mouth.” which cracked me up. Not a lot of sympathy between these two teammates. Thankfully, Mac gets his act together and we get to see Warren Brown in action. Seeing him fight here made me wish I’d caught one of his fights in the UK!

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While the boys are occupied with blood, fists, and fighting, the ladies are sent to track down Rosa in the hopes that she might lead them to Jane Lowry. While Reynolds (Roxanne McKee) and Novin (Alin Sumarwata) are following Rosa they’re able to remotely grab her cell phone information by just pointing some little black box in her direction. This creeped me out y’all – I hope it’s not that easy in real life. Donovan pings another cell and thinks she has a lead on Lowry. She sends Novin to creep into a nearby church.  She’s only just entered when she’s promptly shot at as Lowry escapes. Donovan’s reaction back at their makeshift headquarters really sent some alarm bells ringing here for me. She’s got some sort of personal history with Lowry that we haven’t yet seen explained. Leadership keeping secrets like that hasn’t ever worked out well for the 20 team.

Back at the “headquarters” (real official here guys!), Reynolds is explaining her suspicions about Lowry after the mission – her spidey senses are going wild. It’s obvious to her that Lowry is not your run-of-the-mill terrorist and has some sort of training, but Donovan shuts this line of thought down fast. Another ping to my “suspicious of Donovan” meter.

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MacAllister and Wyatt are ushered into Josef’s presence, but while he’s checking out their background stories Josef gets kidnapped. The boys rush after him but Donovan cautions them to fall back and let this play out. Josef is taken to the back of some random restaurant – which – seriously? I think in the action universe restaurants are not for eating, only for shady deals and chase scenes. I wanted to shake the boys more than once during this scene, the banter is more like bickering between them. There is no trust here and I’m afraid someone is going to get hurt because of it. Needless to say, they come in at exactly the right moment, rescue Josef and therefore earn their way into his little racist team. The most gruesome part of the episode came here – Mac literally pried open a guy’s chest with a hammer to massage his heart, the goal being to pump blood into his fingertips to open an iPad scanner. Phew. Gross. But cool!

Josef takes the boys back to meet Rosa and when the two siblings are together there are some seriously creepy vibes. I mean weird, with some flashbacks to Josef maybe killing someone to save Rosa at a very young age? When Wyatt has to pull MacAllister aside to calm him down, we learn that Mac’s dad is biracial, this mission is really, really getting to him. Of course – I’m fairly certain it’d get to anyone with half a heart. Wyatt, trying to be, I don’t know, half nice, says to Mac, “I’m like 1/18 Cherokee” to which Mac appropriately replies, “you’re like 99% dickhead.” Yeah, bonding!

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Donovan and Reynolds head into the field to continue tracking Lowry – they come upon her safehouse and find pictures all over the walls. Old Section 20 – Stonebridge and Scott, current members, everyone is up there. They realize Lowry knows EVERYTHING about 20, stand in shock and then run when Reynolds realizes there is a bomb. Of course, there’s a bomb guys!!

The big shocker came when Josef officially introduces Wyatt and Mac to Rose – she tells them that there is a rat in the organization and she thinks it’s the two of them. Mac chimes in, telling them that he didn’t know Wyatt, that Wyatt had recruited him out of nowhere. When Wyatt, stunned, protests, Mac tells him, “you’re not worth risking my life over” and then STABS him in the side. Whoa. I get it – Mac is trying to keep the op going, but I don’t know how long it’s going to take to come back from that.

Thankfully Jensen is able to sew up Wyatt, reassuring him that Mac missed everything important. Unsurprisingly, Wyatt doesn’t seem to care one bit, he’s pissed and hurt. Somehow he manages to get up and moving, he, Novin and Reynolds head to try to grab Lowry’s target (an unknown doctor) before Josef and Rosa can get to him. There is a big shootout – Mac is revealed as a mole, knocked out and throw in a van. Despite the team’s best efforts the Varga’s get away with Mac and the doctor.

All in all, better action than last week. Still not feeling the chemistry between the team but I continue to have hope it’ll get there. I think Alin Sumarwata as Novin continues to shine, not only in dialogue but in her physical presence as well. She seems so confident in her badassness (yes, for her sake that’s a word) and so casual. See y’all for episode 4!