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Published on October 21st, 2011 | by Bags Hooper


‘Strike Back’ Season Finale Lead-in (Episode 10): Victory at What Cost?

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Throughout the first six episodes of Strike Back, Stonebridge (Philip Winchester), Scott (Sullivan Stapleton) and Col. Grant’s (Amanda Mealing) team at Section 20 took down some of the world’s deadliest terrorists. However, each victory came at a cost.

In episodes 3 and 4, Britain’s mobile Tactical Operations Unit went to Cape Town, South Africa to stop an ex-IRA member named Daniel Connolly (Liam Cunningham, Game of Thrones) who was connected to Latif (Jimi Mistry). The ruthless mercenary took Capt. Kate Marshall’s life, just before Grant too his. However, Marshall’s life wasn’t the only thing Connolly killed. By killing Kate, Connolly had inadvertently killed the happiness in Stonebridge’s life. In subsequent episodes, Stonebridge became more brash – almost seeking death. Grant may have won a temporary revenge victory, but it wasn’t going to bring back Marshall or Stonebridge’s friendly innocence.

Episodes 5 and 6 introduced us to Tahir (Adewale Akinnuoye Agbaje, The Thing). We saw just how much Kate’s loss had impacted Stonebridge. He would risk his life to save a woman that he didn’t know. Also, Stonebridge now had a personal vendetta against Latif. Stonebridge inevitably took down Tahir, but not without the loss of several lives and piece of an ear (if you don’t know what I’m talking about go back to Episode 5). By Episode 8, Stonebridge became more like Scott than Scott. The two had subtly switched roles. When Stonebridge and Scott were trapped on the bridge, Scott ran out of bullets. He tried to ask Stonebridge for his gun, but Stonebridge – the new risk taker – refused to leave. Stonebridge had lost Kate, and then he had lost his wife. Truthfully, besides his military training, Scott was the only rock left in Stonebridge’s life. So he decided to have a Young Guns II moment and go out in a “Blaze of Glory”.

Thankfully, Stonebridge survived through a miscalculation on the part of a few timid organ harvesters. The team lost a few hostages, but they made it out of Chechnya alive. Still, success had its casualties.

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Then, in Episode 9 the shock came. Success. Scott and Stonebridge caught Latif. Whoa. Isn’t that something you save for the season finale? Latif may have been caught, but whatever vile plan he started is still in motion. We know it involved some form of miniature chemical explosive that gives off a wide blast radius. Will the body count hit the hundreds or thousands in the finale? Or, will we finally uncover the mole at Section 20?

Scott’s backstory has slowly come to the forefront in the past few episodes. We learned about Trojan Horse, the operation that implicated Scott in illicit activities and got him discharged. We may not know the details, but Grant does. We can presume Grant’s not the mole. That leaves Sgt. Julia Richmond (Michelle Lukes), Maj. Oliver Sinclair (Rhashan Stone) and the military psychiatrist that Grant had sleep with Scott as part of her “investigation”. Right now, Sinclair has been the most vocal against Grant’s decisions and Scott’s unpredictable behavior. So, he’s the front runner for mole status. However, sleeping with the enemy is always a nice touch in an action story. So I wouldn’t count that psychiatrist out just yet, either.

Whatever happens in the season finale, it’s going to be big – or, maybe just a bigger villain. Rush Hour (starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker) theory states that somebody with money is always lurking in the shadows.

Strike Back is quickly becoming known for its intense action sequences and no qualms attitude when it comes to taking risks. In the words of Grant, “Where in the business of risks.” Let’s hope she doesn’t eat those words.

The Strike Back season finale premieres on Friday, Oct 21 at 10PM ET/PT on Cinemax. The series was approved for a second season, which will begin principle production in early 2012.

Check out this preview from the Season Finale:

Click thumbnails to enlarge stills:

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