SIX (S02E09) “The Reckoning”

Last night’s SIX still has me breathless. It was the show at it’s absolute best, and truly one of the most powerful episodes of TV I’ve ever seen, period. And yes, yes it does make me even more vividly angry that we only have a single episode left in this truly stellar series. I’m going to ask you to remember way back in episode one, when I called attention to Lena’s (Brianne Davis) statement “Be careful, there are pieces everywhere”. At this point, that is less foreshadowing and more prophecy.

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Our Team

Caulder (Kyle Schmid) is back with the team, despite knowing that anything could cause him to die, cause his brain to basically explode. During their training, it’s clear that he’s off his game, and I blame Bear (Barry Sloane) for not calling him out on this. Bear notices everything about his team, but he’s more concerned about having his friend around, about getting the mission accomplished than anything. That’s an issue. Caulder is in no shape for this crap.

I was shocked to find myself actually rooting for Trevor (Eric Laden) for the first time. Not only is he the only one to confront Caulder about not being ready, he calls out Chase (Edwin Hodge) for his growing obsession with kills. We finally find out that Trevor doesn’t tattoo his kills on his chest as a trophy, but as a “mark of Cain”. Trevor is a lot deeper than we’ve been led to believe.

Buddha (Juan Pablo Raba) is also melting down at this point. He’s never been able to properly grieve Rip’s (Walton Goggins) death and it haunts him everywhere. This is leaking through at home, he’s taking out his issues on his family. His family has been infiltrated by a terrorist and he has no idea. All he can focus on is his wife getting access to a gun. His priorities are all out of whack.

Bear and Lena have one brief scene that started with a bang (lol) and ended with a whimper. I’ve been Team Graves this whole time, but last night brought home that maybe these two just truly don’t belong together anymore.

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Credit @barrysloane

The Mission

Michael (Dominic Adams) actually comes through for Gina (Olivia Munn). Michael is a thinker, the smartest guy and most capable talker on the show and he’s having to use every ounce of charm at this point. He somehow manages to not only survive The Prince (Nikolai Nikolaeff) but to continue sending information back to Gina on their location. Let’s be real for a second. Adams is a damn good looking guy and has played the “pretty boy” for so long it’s easy to think of him that way. But this show should have solidified for everyone what a deeply talented actor he is. He’s able to convey incredible depths of emotion time and again, to the point where we find ourselves not only sympathetic for Michael but actively rooting for him to survive.

Once our team has a location on The Prince they head in. To disastrous consequences. After a visually stunning firefight, they’ve rescued the hostage and are headed out only to discover it’s an ambush.

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Inserting this once again because…arms…
Credit Mitch Jenkins

The Exit

In the end, we have 2 extreme situations.

Michael is locked in a room with The Prince – The Prince bleeding out but holding a gun on Michael.

More importantly, our team is screwed. This finale scene left my heart pounding, my mouth dry and my head spinning. Fishbait (Jaylen Moore) is shot during their escape, Bear goes back to help him and the retreating helicopter starts to take off without them. At this point, I’m screaming along with Buddha “SET IT DOWN”, when suddenly Caulder leaps out of the rising helicopter and runs to his teammates. I started crying as the helicopter continues to fly away, Buddha still screaming.

That scene alone was one of the most intensely beautiful things I’ve ever seen on TV. That scene alone should have gotten this show an Emmy. Not canceled.

Standout Performances

I’m having a hard time picking one today. Dominic Adams YES, almost always. Tonight though I linger on Bear, on the difficult decisions he’s made time and again and how Barry Sloane lets all that weight show on his face. Even his movements seem heavier somehow. Dear Lord, the look on his face in that final shot, watching the helo fly away? Breathtaking.

Juan Pablo Raba also needs a shoutout. Buddha is deep deep dark this season and Raba has brought a serious intensity to the character. You feel every ache, every emotion because Raba lets it all shine through. He left nothing to hide behind. Beautiful.

Wrap up

One of my favorite scenes last night is also one of the most aggravating. We see Fish praying, we see him with his family. We finally *hear* him talk about the conflict he’s having internally. It was fabulous. And won’t be explored further. With just pisses me off again. Ugh.

This show gives so much. It portrays the PTSD and emotional minefield that these warriors walk through in a poignant and respectful way. It gives us the big action, performed perfectly. It gives us heart and connection. History canceling this show feels like a betrayal of exactly what the show is about. And don’t get me started on History Channel ads about veterans, using this show as a hollow prop after they’ve already canceled it.

One more left you guys. See you next week.

SIX airs next on Wednesday, August 1 at 10/9c