Strike Back (S06E09) "Episode 9"

***spoilers ahead***

In the penultimate episode of the season, we have a team in danger and a visit from a couple of old friends. After last week’s incredibly painful episode it was nice to have some straight up Strike Back action and some sweet, sweet payback. Aside from Novin’s hallway fight, I think we got the best team fight of the season in this episode. MJ Bassett working her magic!

We jump immediately into action with a street fight- some mysterious group of people trying to take Idrisi (Don Hany) from our team. This chase scene was great – the running, dodging, shootout on the highway was a welcome change from the darkness of the black site. I am curious where all these empty cars came from? There are literally no civilians running around or sitting in their cars which seems strangely convenient. We get one solidly cool looking, but totally unrealistic scene, when Mac (Warren Brown) and Wyatt (Dan MacPherson) leap in sync onto the roofs of two cars, turn and shoot. All I could think was “seriously? that’s the perfect way to make yourself a target boys!” Novin (Alin Sumarwata) chooses the WAY more intelligent route of continuing to have some sort of cover from incoming fire.

The three are shocked when Reynolds (Roxanne McKee) suddenly takes off with Idrisi, leaving them all behind. Turns out that shady CO Donovan (Nina Sosyana) is up to her old tricks – having ordered Reynolds to bring Idrisi to her without the rest of the team. Donovan straight up lies, telling Reynolds that their crib was hit – Jensen killed by Lowry’s men – and she thinks one of the other three could have betrayed them. Barf.

We learn a little more about Donovan and Lowry’s (Katherine Kelly) relationship in a flashback to when Donovan was training her for British Military Intelligence. Lowry was a former sex worker and thief that Donovan picked up and trained to go undercover. The plan was for her to go after Idrisi, and then help bring him down. Obviously, that doesn’t happen, Don Hany is way too charming apparently. Lowry and Donovan meet in this episode – with the only results being some people getting killed and a call from Whitehall that Donovan is to entirely eliminate her team. Whitehall has been a thorn in 20’s side from the get-go and that appears to be a continuing tradition.

SBE9 Lowry and Donovan meet

While Novin, Mac, and Wyatt are tracking down Reynolds, Novin gets a text from Jensen’s (Phil Dunster) auto computer program sending her the last files he’d seen. What pops up? Project Tenebrae of course. Alarms bells go off for the team. When they do manage to track down Reynolds there is some serious tension, until all 4 realize Donovan has been playing them all along. When Reynolds passes on Donovan’s message about Jensen not making it, Novin refuses to even consider the idea. After all, Donovan has lied about everything else, why not that? Alin Sumarwata plays this beautifully, she is so emotive and every expression shows the inner fight of denial vs grief.

Under attack again, the team takes Idrisi running through a FANTASTIC fight sequence. I can’t say enough about this. We went from a warehouse to running across a shipyard, to a rusted out ship – upstairs, around railings, the movement and coordination needed to pull this off are staggering. The athleticism required for this job is intense and it really pays off in scenes like these. Unfortunately, it’s all for naught. Novin gets caught in a blast and thrown overboard just before the other 3 run out of bullets and are captured. Then in my nightmare scenario who should walk in? Morgan Ives. The terrible, terrible, stereotypical, arms dealer from our first 2 episodes. The guy I was so dang glad to be rid of with his constant talk of money and awful Jack Nicholson impression.

Our team looks as impressed as I feel. Ives takes “custody” of Idrisi, who then offers him “The Atlas” – a computer file containing the details of every British military intelligence operation around the world. Ives lines up our 3 heroes, chains them to weights and then pushes them into the ocean. Not to worry, our super soldier Novin has recovered from the blast and is able to cut everyone’s hands loose. Novin has done all the work as usual,  and already has one of Ives’ men tied up. This guy gives up everything as soon as his gag is off and the team has a plan. After Novin – again doing all the work – gets a couple of cars running, they split into two groups.

Reynolds and Novin go to meet Donovan, under the pretense of Reynolds bringing her Idrisi. Reynolds is just so done with all the crap, and it doesn’t take long for this tense meeting to devolve into fisticuffs. In a sweet as sugar moment, Reynolds takes out our shady leader once and for all. Ok, sweet for me, not so much for the ripped up one side and down the other Reynolds. McKee performed this with so much feeling when Donovan tried to say that the team was nothing before her, Reynolds cries out, “Me! Jane! The rest – we were NEVER nothing.” Such a gut-wrenching moment.

SBE9 Reynolds closeup shooting D

As for Mac and Wyatt, they’ve staked out where Idrisi and Ives are waiting for Lowry to show up. Wyatt can hardly contain himself, he’s so ready to take out all of the scum, he’s dead set on taking out Lowry at a minimum. Things don’t go exactly as planned, they’re spotted before they can take their shots and have to rush through their plan. Lowry goes down and Wyatt gets his revenge. However, in the scramble, Mac misses Idrisi – no more giving Wyatt shit about not making his shot!
Novin is on the run, being chased by Donovan’s hired goons (who obviously don’t know their boss kicked the bucket) into a museum. At the crucial moment, Novin out of ammo and on her knees – two very familiar figures come strolling in.

And there they are! The Boys are back in town!! Novin is hysterical already in the few minutes we get them, already pinging Scott (Sullivan Stapleton) with a resounding “Dickhead”. I can’t wait to see the whole 20 team with the old hands!

This episode was really good – loads of new locations (no flickering lights!) tons of moving, shooting fun. It was a bit of a palate cleanser after last week – I’m sure to prepare us for an insane finale next week. Considering my caution with this new team in week 1 we’ve all come a long way. The chemistry has evolved and solidified nicely and I’m very content with the direction we’re headed.

Cinemax announced this past week that we will be getting another season of Strike Back which is fabulous. Dan MacPherson confirmed that the team is headed to their first (secret) shooting location next week. If you aren’t following him already on Instagram I highly recommend it, I imagine we’ll be getting some BTS stuff to keep us covered while waiting for the new season.

Favorite Moments:
*Philip Winchester and Sullivan Stapleton coming back, so happy to see them on here again!
*Reynolds very F-u face to Ives just as she’s about to be pushed overboard
*Wyatt joking about wanting to almost die again because it was so fun
*Reynolds and Donovan – both women acted their scenes out incredibly
*Mac “it’s a hairdresser’s car” this made me laugh – and even more when Alin told us on Twitter that that was all Warren!!

The season finale of Strike Back airs April 6th at 10/9c

Live tweet with me on @tvserieshub or hit me up on @nolenag03 anytime to chat all things Strike Back

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