This episode was stunning from start to finish. Visually spectacular, with quick action and some deeply emotional scenes, it was exactly what we needed to move this season along. I’ve said it for the last 2 weeks, but it’s worth repeating. If you were at all on the fence last season, please jump back in with us. Showrunner Jack Lothian along with his core cast and the incredible crew have righted this ship and it’s sailing along mightly.
***mild spoilers ahead***
Location, Location, Location
Using Malaysia as their location for season 7 was a brilliant move and it truly shined in this episode. Although set in India, they were able to stage the episode Panang, Malaysia to act as “India” and it turned out beautifully. The incredibly vivid Holi Festival parade was actually filmed in a UNESCO Heritage site and is one of those scenes that will stick with you for a long time. The colors, the people, everything about it made this episode immediately stand out from every season before.
The introduction of Rudi Darmalingham as Gopan, our baddie of the week, was just beyond perfection. If you didn’t get literal chills from seeing him grab that orange paint and slide it down his face then go back and rewatch it. He just oozed creepy. One of the things I wasn’t happy with last season was the repeated use of dingy basements, hanging plastic and wet floors. This season we’re getting variation in EVERY episode. I’m seriously loving the effort put into location scouting, it’s totally paying off.
Tears, Tears Everywhere
Let’s talk emotions. I don’t want to, it still hurts, but it’s needed. These beautiful locations and striking action would be nothing without a deeper emotional connection to the team. We have to care. And boy do we. On tonight’s episode, we see Wyatt (Dan MacPherson) fail, reach out and fail again. At least, we know that’s how he’ll see it. If you check out the Strike Back Crib podcast coming next week for ep4 we talk with Director Paul Wilmhurst about how he created this incredible sex scene with Wyatt and Sumera Shaw – this touching, quiet, emotional sex scene. Yes, that also feels weird to type about Strike Back. But Paul talked about how important it was to him and to Dan that this not be about Wyatt taking advantage of Sumera, it had to be consensual, it had to be with reason. They achieved this by leaps and bounds. Of course, this beautiful scene becomes yet another reason for heartbreak later in the episode, I’m not sure how much more of this Wyatt can take.
New Friends (Foes?)
My favorite guest star this week was Aiden McArdle as the lawyer Connor Ryan. He was a breath of fresh air that just had me cracked up. Seeing Mac (Warren Brown) just launch the most unexpected punch ever and then take a selfie with Ryan was just hilarious. I can’t wait to see more of Ryan next week!
So Many Questions
This episode created far more questions than it answered. Ok, wait, did it answer any?
Now we have to consider that shot by Gopan into Zarkova’s (Yasemin Kay Allen) leg, a very obvious shift downwards to not be a killing shot. Why? Is she (or Pavel – Alec Newman) connected to Gopan?
Where is Wyatt? He was dragged off by Angeli’s (Shivani Ghai) henchman, he had better not be hurt.
How is our new incredible comms guy Chetri (Varada Seethu) fit in with the team? Chetters came in steaming, taking no flak, but immediately screwed up the mission. Will her attitude continue after that (I hope it does, she’s awesome)?
What did you think about tonight’s episode, what questions are lingering in your head? Let me know! Hit me up anytime to chat about our favorite show @nolenag03
Strike Back airs next on Friday, Feb 15th on Cinemax
Check out the Strike Back Crib – SitRep podcast where we review the episode, share exclusive BTS content from showrunner Jack Lothian, and this week interview Varada Seethu about joining the cast.