SIX (S02E01) “Critical”

SIX left us hanging last season with the shocking shooting of Rip Taggert (Walter Goggins) by a young girl, Marissa (Katherine Evans). After the team had spent all season tracking and rescuing Rip, for this to be the finale was heartbreaking, to say the least. SIX was never afraid to address the dark, difficult spaces and from the looks of it, this season will delve even deeper. The season premiere deals directly with the aftermath of Rip’s shooting, with a particular focus on how that will affect the team moving forward. Juan Pablo Raba was the stand out star of the episode. His portrayal of Buddha has always been stellar, but seeing him in this episode took my breath away.

The Shooter

Season 2 of SIX picks up with Rip’s shooter Marissa reporting her successful mission. After being told to ditch the gun and lay low, she does exactly the opposite. Through the episode, we see that Marissa is high on the accolades that she sees pouring in over the internet. She holes herself up in a motel room with a gun, a laptop, and pictures. Pictures of our favorite family man, Buddha (Juan Pablo Raba). This doesn’t bode well for the rest of the season.

Immediate Fallout

The first we see of our team is of leader Joe “Bear” Graves (Barry Sloane) going to find his wife Lena (Brianne Davis). Lena is still hesitant with Bear, letting him into her sister’s home only after learning what happened to Rip. Bear is a man truly at his breaking point. When Lena tries to get Bear to pray with her, he ends up kissing her and carrying her into another room. It’s when he begins to get violently, desperately, passionate that Lena pushes him away and he knocks over a lamp. I think Lena set us up with the theme for the season when she said. “Careful, there are pieces everywhere.”

The rest of the team is at the hospital, where we learn that it’s going to take serious mending and leadership for this group of men to find their center again. Chase (Edwin Hodge) blames Caulder (Kyle Schmidt) for Rip’s shooting. He’s furious that Caulder let Michael Nasry (Dominic Adams) get arrested instead of shooting him. Considering that Rip shooting a prisoner in season 1 was the kick off for everything bad that followed, I think Chase needs to back off.

Buddha blames himself for Rip’s shooting. Bear blames himself for Rip’s shooting. Everyone blames Michael Nasry, knowing that he’s supposedly in custody but not much else.

Jackie Ortiz (Nadine Velazquez) is moving herself and Buddha’s family out of their house. She’s terrified that Rip’s shooter found Rip only after spotting him outside their house. From the pictures we see at Marissa’s hotel, Jackie is right. I’m glad to see at least one family hopefully out of the way.

Enter the CIA

I’ve been so excited for Olivia Munn to join the cast of SIX and I wasn’t disappointed. Munn plays CIA Officer Gina, a super morally grey character. We meet Gina as she’s using the girlfriend of a terrorist, Dragan (Alexander Mandra) to track him down. Gina is able to glean the location of Dragan and it’s time for the SEALs.

photo credit @SIXonHistory

The Mission

Unfortunately, just as our team is getting their operational briefing, Buddha gets a call. Rip has passed. Buddha goes beserk, flipping cots and equipment, needing 4 of the guys to physically stop him. Juan Pablo Raba took my breath away in this scene. His rage and grief were gut-wrenching, pure and simple. Their CO makes the correct decision, sending another team in after Dragan. Our boys are too close, too emotional.

When Dragan and his men start to escape our boys are finally let off their leash. The chase scene here was thrilling. I’d challenge anyone who said they didn’t get goosebumps. Watching the 4 fully loaded helicopters flying over the countryside. Bagpipes playing in the background. Our team all, “This is for Rip.” It was stellar. Beautifully shot, scored and then acted out. Bravo.

The mission was semi-successful. Our team stopped Dragan but he blew himself up rather than get caught. Conveniently, his code book somehow survived the bomb. This was a little shady. The guy ends up blown to bits, and paper survives?? But at least the CIA will be able to glean enough information to continue its pursuit of the ultimate big bad – The Prince.

Pieces Everywhere

Whether we’re talking the literal (lamp pieces, body pieces) or the figurative (a team splitting apart) it’s clear that season is going to take more than glue to hold it together.  These men were already pushed to the brink last season, Rip’s death will hopefully not be the last straw. The team needs to pull together in this time of crisis, but we can already see the fault lines. Buddha and Caulder (Kyle Schmid) pushing ahead on the mission, even when called back by Bear was a bad sign. They all need to rein in those raging emotions or the next mission could be fatal.

photo credit @SIXonHistory

Favorite Moments

*Buddha hearing the news about Rip. Seriously, Juan Pablo Raba was gripping in this scene.

*Eric Laden’s introduction to the team. Y’all I could have jumped through the screen when he called Fishbait “The terrorist SEAL”. I figure a reaction like that is exactly what the writers were hoping for. I may not like Trevor right now, but I’m glad to see his character in the team.

*Jackie moving her family to a new house. This woman takes no shit and is ready to do whatever it takes to protect her family. She’s exactly what Buddha needs and I imagine will be the anchor that brings him back to himself through the season.

All in all, I thought this was a great first episode. I can’t wait to see Nikolai Nikolaeff next episode as we’re finally introduced to The Prince.

SIX airs next on Wednesday, May 30th at 10/9c

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