“Last Man, Last Round” wasted no time in setting the new modified mission in support of the quickly approaching allied offensive into action. As a result, X-Company offered up another tense, thrilling episode with the perfect blend of interpersonal suspense and outright action.
The action centered on the team’s immediate goal of freeing several allied POWs from a nearly impenetrable and thus inescapable Nazi stronghold. With the allied ring of spies and support decimated after the capture of Alfred and Renee, the clock is ticking for a new system of support to be quickly identified and trained.
A now very confident and fully mission-committed Alfred (Jack Laskey) eagerly butted heads with Aurora (Evelyne Brochu) who dismissively ordered him to stand down and “hold the fort.” He made it very clear he was there to work. Much to Aurora’s surprise, Neil (Warren Brown) and Harry (Connor Price) fully backed Alfred and had no intention of leaving him behind.
Aurora has not disclosed the fact that Renee was not taken and killed by the Nazis, that she in fact killed him herself at his urging. The weight of this decision is weighing heavily on her. It’s affecting her decision-making and her team is starting to see it.
alfred makes a bold move
When Alfred inserts himself into the prison in a daring split second decision to assume a dead man’s identity, a shocked Harry and Neil quickly see it as the rather brilliant plan that it is. Aurora reacts angrily, focused on the fact that her orders were ignored instead of adapting to the change in plans. Her guilt over killing Renee coupled with the reality that she ignored orders and spared Alfred is wreaking havoc on her confidence. She is struggling to maintain leadership, and Evelyne Brochu is conveying this fine line with brilliance.
She thankfully left the details of breaking Alfred and the needed POWs out of the Nazi stronghold to Neil and Harry and she focused on hopefully convincing the nuns of a local abbey to hide the escaped POWs. Aurora failed to convince the nuns to take the risk but we all win in the end because that introduces us to a new character, Miri (Sara Garcia.)
miri, a new x-company team member?
Miri is hiding out at the abbey after having lost her family, but wastes no time in letting Aurora know that she is anxious to help in the resistance and is more than capable as well. She knows the abbey inside and out and has a perfect place for the POWs to hide while the search for them dies down and as well as access to the abby truck to transport them. Although Neil is skeptical, Aurora quickly accepts Miri’s help.
Garcia’s performance of Miri is quite simply bad ass! Miri is a woman with seemingly nothing to lose. She has lost all her family and is filled with hatred and a need for vengeance against the Nazis. She is also smart and driven, a focused approach in contrast to Aurora’s current state.
Using the ditch that the POWs are digging as a drop point to communicate with Alfred, Neil leaves tools and guns and a note for him communicating in code that tonight is the night for the escape. Alfred is resolute but the leader of the POWs inside the camp, Major George Stirling (Jamie Maclachlan), not so much.
He is reluctant to put his men in yet another risky, seemingly suicidal position knowing they must make it through a heavily guarded gauntlet nicknamed “Death Valley” in order to escape. After an appeal from Alfred telling the men that they have no idea how much time they have left. They can take the gamble, continue to play it safe and possibly survive or take the risk and fight now.
Major Stirling has a change of heart and he and the five strongest, most experienced men show up to make the run for it. “Hope is contagious.” When more men appear, they are reminded that there is only room for 5 to be hidden. They know, they are there to help those 5 make it.
Miri and a still skeptical Neil are outside the prison camp when the action is set to go down. Everything was going as planned, Alfred and the POWs made it to the chain fence and were cutting through it when a Nazi guard spotted one of the POWs in the act of cutting the power supply to the search lights and all hell broke loose!
As soon as the guards start shooting, Neil and Miri return fire and Miri goes full on badass! Not only is she focused and fearless but the woman can shoot! Oh yes, Neil is impressed! As the POWs struggle to get through the fence in the chaos, the Nazi guards intensify their attack. Just as it looks hopeless, the yard is overrun with POWs running into “Death Valley.
Alfred is confused and yells at Major Sterling that all these men can’t be hidden. Sterling makes the heartbreaking, amazing reality clear to Alfred. They are running into “Death Valley” to take the bullets meant for the escaping POWs. They are sacrificing themselves for the greater good, the escaping POWs meant to train more fighters for the allied offensive.
With all the men safely tucked into the hiding spot Miri arranged, Miri tells Aurora that she wants to go with them. Her father raised her to be a fighter, string, to hunt. She wants to hunt the Nazis who killed her family.
Tensions are high between Alfred and Aurora. Aurora is still focused on Alfred disobeying her orders. When Alfred boldly confronts her on the fact that she needs to stop treating him differently, to stop making decisions based on her feelings for him, she storms off.
is there a new x-company sheriff in town?
When she shows up later back at the safe house, it is clear that the men have been discussing in her absence how to proceed with the mission, but not in any attempt to upend her leadership as she obviously fears. Aurora, and the team, are still unaware that Alfred knows the entire mission unlike them. He has become the real leader; he is making mission decisions based on the big picture.
They are on the hunt for a new hide out, one where they can train new recruits and prepare for the allied invasion. Although Neil still professes skepticism, Aurora announces that Miri will be joining them and Neil will be training her. His response? “Brilliant.” Yes, Neil I do think that’s brilliant and I saw that twinkle in your eye! Neil may have met his match in Miri and I do hope so. He deserves some happiness if only for a while.
Where is faber?
We saw little of Franz Faber (Torben Liebrecht) in this episode, but as usual, what we did see was brilliant. He and Sabine (the increasingly moving Livia Mathes) are forced to attend the funeral of Forst which leads to conflict near the end of the episode. Sabine has reached her breaking point and is begging Franz to leave, offering yet another opportunity for Liebrecht to put on a mini masterclass in agony. Just as he is at his most vulnerable with her, the phone rings and he chooses to answer it, knowing it is mission related.
This could represent more than a very rough patch in their marriage. Alfred, having effectively if not officially assumed leadership of the team, has offered up a change in strategy. With so little time to prepare for the Allied invasion, they need as much information as they can get and as fast as they can get it. They need access to Faber and it appears the plan is to target Sabine.
Let’s not forget that Alfred learned a great deal about Faber during his 37 1/2 hours in Nazi captivity and it looks like he’s about to use it. Go Alfred!
meanwhile back in canada
Tom (Dustin Milligan) is recovering nicely from his near fatal gun shot wound but is missing the action. He has accepted a job back in the US but before he leaves Sinclair asks him to help “break” Klaus Frommer. Klaus is the son of Sinclair’s Nazi friend who reluctantly helped free Alfred in exchange for more lenient treatment of his POW son.
Tom makes some progress breaking down Klaus’ refusal to talk at all and in the process realizes that he really does not want to leave. He wants back in the action! He;s heading back to the Team! Oh yes, I am more than ready for Tom to be back in action! He may be very talented at writing steamy propaganda at a desk safe and sound but he’s made for action!
And the action is ramping up next week for certain as the episode ended with the mysterious submarine man resurfacing at a church in Ontario, following clues to information drops. And that important phone call Faber had to leave a suffering Sabine to take? All about submarine man! The plot thickens.
Join us for next week’s X-Company episode “Nil Nocere” on Monday night, June 11, at 10PM ET on OvationTV.