Strike Back (S08E02) “Episode Two”

Did you ask for more action? Well, this follow-up episode to the season premiere delivered in a huge way. Strike Back never shies away from fights, explosions, bullets, and all the rest. However, this episode was stuffed to the gills with all of that in addition to becoming a fan favorite.

***spoilers ahead***

Showrunner Jack Lothian seems to be determined to give us anything and everything fans love in this final season. Considering how emotional last week was, it was an interesting move to make this week non-stop fighting, running, and shooting.

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The Other Team

Our biggest emotional beats actually came from our “baddies” with the Demachi family really showing how dynamic a villain can be. Edon Demachi (Goran Bogdan) in particular was truly pulling the heartstrings. Well. Of course, he killed his son’s boyfriend, so those heartstrings were fairly brittle, but nevertheless. Between his farewell to his son, to his emotional conversation with Col Coltrane (Jamie Bamber), Demachi showed himself to be a very layered character. Am I still glad he’s dead? Of course.

Then there is Arianna Demachi, played by the sublime Ivana Milicevic. You wanna talk cold, ruthless and efficient? She’s my worst nightmare. For 20. As a viewer, she’s a delight. Sheer rage packed into that woman and she’s out for blood. Although not in the promos for next week, I’m sure she’ll be back. That brilliant shot at the end of the episode, her breaking the 4th wall to promise hell? That spells nothing, but terror for our team.

Mindset

As for our team, it continues to draw darker. Wyatt (Dan MacPherson) crossed a solid red line this past week by stealing money from the mafia. We saw last week that he’s already on a path towards unfeeling, reactionary choices. With this added on has he strayed right into mercenary territory?

Mac (Warren Brown), in contrast, seems to be doing great. He’s taking charge, the team is behind his bid to be an officer. We even had some “aw” out loud moments of Novin (Alin Sumarwata) and Wyatt actually VERBALIZING their support. Imagine my shock. Unfortunately, positivity hasn’t always meant good things coming for anyone on Strike Back. Can you say Richmond with me? Let’s just hope and pray that Mac doesn’t meet the officer’s curse.

Novin. Ah Novin. Our favorite little kickass soldier. Talks down Loric DeMachi, makes a few snarky comments, doesn’t have one of the big fights or emotional scenes this episode and yes, is still one of our favorite people ever. Novin didn’t do anything huge to surprise me this week, which actually maybe most surprising of all now that I think about it. Clearly no lingering mentions or symptoms after killing a civilian last week. Will we see that huge moment come up again?

Favorite Moments

*Meatpacking plant fight. This was without a doubt a fast-paced fight, but certainly left a huge impression. Although maybe that’s just the blood spray.

*Coltrane on a train. Mac on a train(ish). This was my favorite fight of the night. Between Coltrane desperately trying not to get his ass kicked, Mac riding on the front of a train car thing to save the day, and then Coltrane saving Mac’s butt? Sheer fun.

*Wyatt being Wyatt. In yet another example of Wyatt being off the rails (but so fun to watch), he decides to have sex in the middle of an op. Consequently WITH his mic ON. Undoubtedly a genius level screw-up there.

What’s Coming?

Chaos. Bloodshed. Tears. Probably an explosion. Honestly, I’ve not a clue. In interviews, showrunner Jack Lothian promised to up the ante this season. It looks as though that promise is coming true,  but how do we go up from here? I can’t wait to find out.

Strike Back airs next on Friday, February 28th at 10/9c on Cinemax.

Check out an interview with Makeup/Hair Designer Sjaan Gillings on the latest Strike Back Crib – SitRep podcast

You can find previous reviews for Strike Back here.

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