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 Strike back season 3 ep 7

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PostSubject: Strike back season 3 ep 7   Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:07 pm

http://www.avclub.com/articles/season-2-episode-7,84941/

Strike Back
Cinemax Sullivan Stapleton (left), Stephanie Vogt
A-
“Season 2, Episode 7” S2 / E7
by Myles McNutt September 21, 2012

Early in the first season of Strike Back, Section 20 lost one of its own when Kate Marshall was killed during a mission. It was a shock to the system because she had been presented as a key part of the series: She was involved in an affair with Stonebridge, offered a female presence in the field (something the show otherwise lacked), and could have easily played a crucial role moving forward in the series. Instead, she became a martyr, a victim who increased the personal connection Section 20 had with their ongoing battle with Latif.

While Stonebridge has been pursuing his own personal revenge against Craig Hanson all season, the rest of Section 20 has lacked the same kind of motivation, which is why Maj. Oscar Sinclair meets his end this week. It’s a predictable development on some level, if you consider what role the character has played this season. Extraneous after Dalton’s ascension to the command of Section 20, Sinclair has spent most of the season as a warm body for Dalton to argue with lest she appear to be talking to herself. And so when Sinclair suddenly returns to the field early in the episode and becomes the first member to be brought into a prison courtyard for what turns out to be an execution, the character’s martyrdom seems inevitable.

To the show’s credit, though, I still had my doubts. The markers were there to suggest he was about to die, but the show had also set Stonebridge and Scott on their way to rescue their comrades (after having been out on a fact-finding mission while Knox has the South African authorities raid their new hiding place and take their captive). I wouldn’t say that this season has pulled punches, exactly, but it’s lacked a shocking moment that flies in the face of television conventions. By having Scott and Sinclair within striking distance, it raises the potential for Strike Back to cop out, which makes the “predictable” death of Sinclair more subversive. While Scott and Sinclair eventually show up in time to save the other members of Section 20, that they didn’t show up earlier provides the season with a shot in the arm (or the head, if your prefer).

Sinclair’s death is made more meaningful by the mirroring of its narrative function within Conrad Knox’s ongoing plans for African ascension. Much as the show uses Sinclair to steel Section 20’s resolve and push them forward in their battle with Knox, the assassination of Walter Lutulu is a case of Knox trying to manufacture a martyr for his cause. Walter is the piece of the puzzle that we’ve been missing to this point, the public face of the coup; while Knox has the money and influence to build an army and play the political game, it’s Lutulu who has the faith of the people of Zimbabwe (where we learn the coup will take place), and who can rally them around the incoming forces. While Walter has value as a leader, he has more value as a martyr, especially with his daughter waiting in the wings to take his place. Walter is reluctant to leverage the warheads, not on board with Knox’s understanding of how political power is gained, but his daughter might be more likely to go along with the plan if her father was just killed. Eamonn Walker—who, despite the fact that I’ve never watched Oz, I recognized from Oz—doesn’t get too much to do before he’s shot, but he gets across Walter’s influence over his people, and he voices the logical objections to Knox’s plan and adds a new dimension to how precisely this scheme would move forward.

The season’s seventh episode is mostly concerned with setting up these two “executions,” one to push Section 20 forward and the other to bring it together with Knox’s plan. The rest of the episode is laying the foundation for upcoming episodes, with Christy Bryant revealed to be working with Knox and Scott sharing information with her in order to attempt to return home (which is a somewhat facile suggestion, given there would no longer be a show if he returned to the United States). Nothing really comes of either development at this point in the season, but the writers clearly thought the exposition was necessary, meaning I would expect us to return to them both in next week’s conclusion to the two-parter and the final episodes of the season in the weeks beyond.

While I wouldn’t go so far as to suggest these scenes are “filler,” they definitely stand out as expositional in an episode with a number of strong action setpieces. The opening break-in at the prison establishes a strong sense of scale (and also efficiently sets up the rest of the episode), while the efforts to save Lutulu’s daughter offer some gruesome blood spatter and the first of many shot knees in the episode. The final action sequences, the escape from the off-the-grid compound and the chaos following Lutulu’s shooting, work even better because the stakes are higher. Richmond avenging Sinclair’s death by shooting the hell out of Dreyer is visceral and effective, while the final sequence takes on greater meaning when we see Walter’s side of the story in addition to Section 20’s perspective. Stonebridge shooting out a shitload of knees in a crowd of innocents in order to rescue the shooter adds some badass flair, but the depth of the overall situation adds to the tension. Stonebridge’s personal struggles fade into the background this week, but that’s only because the plot has expanded to the point where that’s necessary, and the action is helped by the added depth within the narrative.

The episode ends with a fairly rudimentary cliffhanger, with Michael finding that the police station he broke into with the shooter is occupied by someone toting a gun, but this is definitely a case where the story has simply been stopped at its midpoint. However, while there’s a lack of resolution in Walter’s fate in Scott’s hands or Stonebridge’s predicament, the finality of Sinclair’s death offers a clearer sense of the show’s path forward than we normally get from the first half of a Strike Back two-parter, and is a good sign for the resonance of the final episodes of the season. This week’s episode asks some big questions about who has the right to power, and who is able to hand out that power to others, questions that set the show up to say something more profound than “Boom!” as we approach the season’s climax.

Stray observations:

Let’s Overanalyze the (lack of) Sex Scenes!: While we get a bit of pornography and the foreplay in the strip club, the episode ultimately lacks the kind of explicit softcore material we’ve come to expect, which made sense given the crisis situation involved.
I was uncomfortable with Scott, Stonebridge, and Sinclair acting like such horndogs regarding Lutulu’s daughter, as the lighthearted touch is a bit off. However, the banter elsewhere in the episode works better, with “Gangster Gilligan” proving a bittersweet final hurrah for Sinclair and Stonebridge’s “Every slug has its trail” proving a biting one-liner for Dreyer.
Eamonn Walker hasn’t had the best luck with post-Oz series, running through a collection of one-season series including Justice, Kings, and The Whole Truth. We’ll see how he manages with Chicago Fire later this fall, but he was good here.
While I don’t know if this is a spoiler precisely, I will say that the credits for the episode list Shane Taylor among its cast members, and unless I’m mistaken he never actually appears on screen, which would seem to hint at the identity of the person with the gun pointed at Michael at episode’s end.

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PostSubject: Re: Strike back season 3 ep 7   Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:10 pm

http://www.tvgoodness.com/2012/09/20/strike-back-preview-episode-17-photos-video/



Strike Back Preview: “Episode 17″ [PHOTOS & VIDEO]
September 20, 2012
By TV Goodness

The explosive Cinemax series — Strike Back — continues Friday night and we have photos and a clip from the episode.

The “Episode 17″ Synopsis: Now working covertly without South African government permission and with limited resources, the team looks for a reason Knox would break opposition political leader Walter Lutulu (Eamonn Walker) out of a Zimbabwe prison. They try to track him through his respected activist daughter, Lilian (Tracy Ifeachor), as authorities from the current political regime also look for her. A familiar face offers his unique skills to Knox, who uses his government influence to apply pressure to Section 20.

Eamonn Walker (front) — Photo Credit: Cinemax

Adding to the excitement is guest star, Eamonn Walker. This powerful actor is no stranger to fans of HBO/Cinemax. He played Kareem Said on the late (and extremely) great prison drama, Oz. He was one of the best things about that show. Walker’s unpredictability as an actor is one of his greatest assets. Aside from Oz, he’s appeared on three episodes of NBC’s ER; starred in the short-lived series Kings as Rev. Ephram Samuels; and hit the big screen alongside Ben Affleck in The Company Men. And starting Wednesday, October 10 at 10/9c, he’ll be part of Dick Wolf’s new firefighter drama called Chicago Fire.

But this week, you can see him on Strike Back, airing on Cinemax at 10/9
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PostSubject: Re: Strike back season 3 ep 7   Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:16 pm

http://www.tvequals.com/2012/09/21/photos-video-strike-back-season-2-episode-7/

[PHOTOS & VIDEO] Strike Back Season 2 Episode 7

Strike back season 2 episode 7

After the exclusive clip we published, now let’s get a sneak peek in photos and new videos of Strike Back Season 2 Episode 7 which airs Friday, September 14 (10pm ET/PT) on Cinemax.

Episode Synopsis: Now working covertly without South African government permission and with limited resources, the team looks for a reason Knox would break opposition political leader Walter Lutulu (Eamonn Walker) out of a Zimbabwe prison. They try to track him through his respected activist daughter, Lilian (Tracy Ifeachor), as authorities from the current political regime also look for her. A familiar face offers his unique skills to Knox, who uses his government influence to apply pressure to Section 20.

Show Summary: Focusing on timely world security issues, the Emmyr- nominated series continues to follow the stealth counterterrorism unit Section 20 and two of its core members. Reprising their lead roles from season one, Philip Winchester (“Fringe”) plays Sgt. Michael Stonebridge, a consummate British operative, and Sullivan Stapleton (“Animal Kingdom”) portrays Sgt. Damien Scott, an unconventional former Delta Force soldier.

Guest stars for season two include Rhona Mitra (“Underworld: Rise of the Lycans”) as Rachel McMillan/Dalton, a British government attaché with hidden motives, and Charles Dance (HBO’s “Game of Thrones”) as Conrad Knox, a powerful businessman with global ambitions.

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PostSubject: Re: Strike back season 3 ep 7   Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:25 pm

http://www.craveonline.com/tv/previews/196417-exclusive-strike-back-season-2-episode-7-preview-scene

Exclusive ‘Strike Back’ Season 2 Episode 7 Preview Scene

Scott asks Bryant for a big favor as Section 20 adjusts to its new situation.
By Blair Marnell
September 20, 2012

Before we jump into this week's exclusive preview scene, Cinemax has passed along an exclusive behind-the-scenes featurette in which "Strike Back" stars Sullivan Stapleton and Philip Winchester tell us "How To: Commute by Helicopter."

And in the second featurette, Stapleton shares his apprehension about a risky car stunt from the upcoming episode.

When we last left Section 20, they had recovered the kidnapped scientist, Peter Evans (Paul Freeman) and his family. However, they were too late to prevent the mercenaries loyal to Conrad Knox (Charles Dance) from escaping with the nuclear materials. They were also helpless to prevent Peter's death at the hands of a Mossad agent named Rebecca (Lyne Renée); whom Scott felt deeply connected to. To make matters worse, Knox had his puppets in the South Africa government revoke Section 20's charter to function openly in the country with the cooperation of the local law enforcement.

In an exclusive preview scene from the new episode of "Strike Back," we see that Scott is still haunted by his ordeal with Rebecca as he approaches CIA operative Christy Bryant (Stephanie Vogt), one of his many ex-lovers. But this time, Scott wants a serious favor from Bryant that even she may not be able to give him.

And in the final preview scene from this week's episode, we see that Major Rachel Dalton (Rhona Mitra) has led Section 20 to covertly stay within South Africa as she warns Scott and Stonebridge about the consequences of being caught.

We also learn that the next phase of Knox's plan involves breaking a man named Walter Lutulu (Eamonn Walker) out of a Zimbabwe prison. Lutulu is an opposition political leader with ties to Knox, who may also be a key figure in Knox's attempt to make Africa into a world superpower.

Don't miss the new episode of "Strike Back," this Friday night on Cinemax!
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PostSubject: Re: Strike back season 3 ep 7   Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:26 pm

http://www.reelgoddess.com/2012/09/22/strike-recap-episode-17/

Strike Back Recap: Episode 17
Strike Back Season 2 Banner

Well it’s good to see this episode gets right down to business. We start off this week with a prison break. A team of masked men loaded to the hilt with weapons break into a prison to extract a man. Once in the chopper, Matlock unmasks himself and tells the guy they nabbed that Knox sends his regards. Oh and speaking of Knox, he’s managed to find someone else to work on his bombs, who assures Knox that they’ll be ready in two days tops. Once Knox hears the incoming chopper, he goes out to meet his old friend Walter Lutulu, who says that now their “great work can begin.” Hmmm….

Meanwhile at the crib, Stonebridge and Scott discuss the finer points of Knox while cleaning and assembling their weapons because you know…that’s what these guys do. Dalton informs them that they are officially off grid and that there won’t be any help if it’s needed. The hunt for Knox is on, and Sinclair comes up with a lead for them to follow. He informs them of Lutulu being broken out of prison, and that Knox is a big supporter of his. They manage to trace a call Lutulu made to his daughter Lilian, and proceed to follow up on the lead, knowing that Lutulu will send someone for her.

While Matlock brings Walter up to speed on the gaggles of men they have at their disposal, Scott, Stonebridge and Sinclair…yep…Sinclair’s in the field, do a bit of recon on Walter’s daughter. Zimbabwe police show up to take her but she puts up a fight. The men don’t want to take no for an answer and in the blink of an eye, Sinclair’s in the middle of them providing a distraction. He opens fire, which causes Scott and Stonebridge to jump into action. Once the dust settles, the men are dead and the woman is gone. However, Jessica (the sniper chick) watches everything go down from her car and makes a call to Matlock informing him that she knows where the girl is. He simply responds telling her that she knows what to do.

Back at the crib, Dalton’s a little peeved that their covert mission went south. Sinclair tells the group that he thinks the shooters who tried to swipe Lilian were from Zimbabwe. Dalton pieces together that they were secret police and swiping Lilian was in retaliation for Lutulu’s escape. All of this boils down to Lutulu being, as Sinclair called him “a catalyst for dissent” which will result in the coup. Of course all of this is being spearheaded by Knox. Dalton surmises that the CIA must know something since they would most likely want a piece of the action.

Knox and Matlock bring Lutulu up to speed on their plan, but Lutulu seems to want a peaceful coup…if there is a such a thing. Knox persuades him that with war comes blood, but talk turns happy once again when Jessica shows up with Lilian. As father and son reunite, Jessica informs Knox about the secret police force that tried to take Lilian. He asks if she stopped them, but she informs him that she didn’t have to and that 20 took care of them for her. Knox is pissed that 20 is still around considering Dreyer was supposed to remedy that little problem. Of course, all it takes is a phone call.

Stonebridge takes Scott to a meet with Christy Bryant, his ball of trouble with blonde hair and CIA contact. She baits him about Rebecca, the Mossad agent from last week, but in a surprising move, he tells her that he wants to come home and that he needs her to clean his record. Scott doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy who longs for home, and I have a feeling Dalton is behind this. Bryant wants a quid pro quo however, and asks who they’re targeting. He tells her the truth, but knows she already knows that information. He also tells her that Knox was behind Lutulu’s escape. She informs Scott that if he truly does want to go home, there will be a price to pay.

At the crib, Dalton, Sinclair, Julia and Liam try to track Lilian, when Julia informs them that they have a security breach. Dreyer shows up with a team of armed men and they shut the crib down. Luckily, Julia is able to get word to Stonebridge that they’re under attack and Sinclair is able to lock the system down and back everything up before they’re cuffed and hauled off to an unknown facility that’s run by South African mercenaries. It’s a whole lot of bad news.

Scott and Stonebridge head back to the crib to find it destroyed. They manage to track Dreyer down at a strip club and proceed to beat the crap out of him until he tells them what happened to their team. While they haul ass to the facility, Dalton and Co. are confined.

Each of them is placed in separate cells and the head merc comes to collect Sinclair saying there is a representative there to talk to them. He leads Sinclair out to a courtyard and you just know what’s going to happen next. Remember last week when I mentioned how I was waiting for that main character death? Yeah well….I didn’t have to wait that long. Sinclair does his best to fight off the merc, but in the end he takes a bullet to the head. The merc then heads in to collect Dalton. He leads her out to the courtyard as well, intending to do the same thing. Dalton however managed to free herself from her zip tie cuffs and fights off the guy, gets his gun and kills him, along with a few others. After freeing Julia and Liam, the three are in the midst of a gun battle with the bad guys when each of them run out of ammo. The outlook is grim, until Scott and Stonebridge show up in the nick of time.

Once the battle is over, the five of them hold a vigil over Sinclair’s body. Dreyer gets out of the car, and Julia, hellbent on revenge, takes Scott’s gun and proceeds to unload a full clip into him. He totally deserved it and a girl needs to be thorough right? Dalton is beside herself, but managed to find where Sinclair hid the backup of their files. She informs them that Knox was behind it and she’ll not stop until they’ve got him.

Knox tells Lutulu that news of his escape is out. He wants to get the word out that he’s ok and his daughter suggests getting word out via Facebook and Twitter. Knox tells him that a public appearance is dangerous, but Lutulu tells him that he cannot lead from the shadows. Later on, Knox’s SUV pulls up next to another one for a secret meeting with…….Christy Bryant. She knows all about Lutulu and asks if he knows about the nukes. Knox tells her no, that he hasn’t found the right time to tell him. She informs him that Lilian had been in contact with the same regime that supports her father and if Lutulu had been killed, they were planning on installing her the front-runner. All of this is news to Knox and it seems the CIA is quite interested the Lutulu’s. It also seems that Bryant wields a bit of power over Knox. Interesting.

Crib 2.0 is set up in an abandoned building as the team tries to rebuild with limited resources. There’s business to take care of before the dirty work and that is the traditional shot of booze in honor of their fallen comrade. They did the same for Col. Grant last season and they pay Sinclair the same respects. Each says something nice but since Dalton didn’t know him very well, she just says that he went down on her watch trying to save their lives and because of that, it’s personal.

Lutulu notices men leaving a tent and decides to check it out. Once he enters he sees the nukes and almost freaks out. Knox tells him that he wasn’t supposed to know about them, but really, he doesn’t want to use them, he just wants them so Africa can be the super power it was meant to be and blah blah blah. Lutulu is kind of pissed about the bombs but neither he nor Knox will see the other’s point of view. Once he leaves the tent, Knox gives Matlock a look, which to me says “kill him”. Matlock simply nods, although he doesn’t seem to like it judging by the look on his face.

Stonebridge and Scott head to the public announcement that Lutulu is going to make. As Lutulu is delivering his speech, someone in the audience pulls a gun and puts two bullets in Lutulu’s chest.. Chaos ensues and people start to run everywhere. Dalton orders that Scott give assistance to the Lutulu’s and for Stonebridge to chase the gunman, but not kill him. Scott jumps in the back of the pick up that is transporting Lutulu to the hospital and escorts him inside once the doctors take him. Stonebridge goes on a bit of a foot chase but finally manages to find the gunman as he getting his ass handed to him by a crowd of people. Dalton tells him that she wants the gunman, so Stonebridge goes in and gets him out. They take cover in an empty police station, but just when Stonebridge is able to take a breath, someone point a gun to his head.

Damn it….I was really hoping we wouldn’t have that character death, but I’m not surprised they did it. Like I said, this show is ballsy that way and no one is safe. Another shocking thing about this episode is that Scott didn’t sleep with anyone! I really like how his character has grown. He’s still Scott, but he’s not just out for himself anymore. This has been most visible with how he’s trying to keep Stonebridge on track, and also the little way he checked on Julia after Sinclair’s death. Well played Mr. Stapleton. Well played indeed. I’m thinking it’s Knox behind the assassination attempt. I guess we’ll find out more next week.
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PostSubject: Re: Strike back season 3 ep 7   Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:41 pm

http://www.craveonline.com/tv/reviews/196523-strike-back-207-review

STRIKE BACK 2.07 Review

Knox arranges for Section 20 to be silenced as Scott and Stonebridge race to rescue their teammates.
By Blair Marnell
September 23, 2012
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Writer: John Simpson

Director: Michael J. Bassett

Previously on "Strike Back"

Episode 2.06 Review


Internationally, the current season of this show is known as "Strike Back: Vengeance;" which has largely been assumed to relate to Sgt. Michael Stonebridge (Philip Winchester) and his quest to avenge his wife and track down her killer, Craig Hanson (Shane Taylor). But this week's episode gave the remaining members of Section 20 their own reasons to seek revenge on their current adversary, Conrad Knox (Charles Dance).

Fair warning, I'm going to name the victim and why they were killed, so consider this your SPOILER WARNING and feel free to skip the next three paragraphs if you don't want to know who it is.

After being formally expelled from South Africa in the previous episode, Section 20 sets up shop within the country under the radar of the local officials. It's kind of a low rent version of Section 20 with only Stonebridge and Sgt. Damien Scott (Sullivan Stapleton) as field operatives and four other members serving in a support capacity. But once Knox's mercenaries spot Section 20's operatives interfering with one of his plans, Knox sends his pet politician, Joseph Dreyer (NicK Reding) and the local military to arrest Major Rachel Dalton (Rhona Mitra) and the other three non-field operatives.

Unfortunately for Section 20, Dreyer and his men have no intention of following international protocol or turning their prisoners over to the British government. Instead, Section 20's support team is escorted to a largely deserted base and detained until the mercs stationed there are given the order to start eliminating them. Major Oliver SInclair (Rhashan Stone) is the first member marched to his fate and he manages to shout out a warning to his teammates as he desperately clings to life before he is fatally shot through the head. Stonebridge and Scott arrive minutes later and manage to save the rest of their team, but the damage is done. Sinclair has been with the Cinemax incarnation of "Strike Back" since the beginning, but my first thought as he died was that I wish we could have gotten to know his character better. Even at its best, "Strike Back" doesn't really try to develop its Section 20 characters beyond Scott and Stonebridge. Colonel Grant from last season got a few character beats, but she was still fairly underdeveloped.

Among the support team, Sinclair wasn't the most expendable member. That would be Sgt. Liam Baxter (Liam Garrigan), whose presence on the show is so slight that I initially thought he was an extra. However, the audience wouldn't have cared if Baxter died because he barely registers at all. Through Stone's performance, we at least feel empathy for Sinclair as his last words revealed that he was a father moments before a bullet goes in his head. Now Sinclair's child or children are fatherless and Section 20 has lost one of its more resourceful teammates. And they clearly cared about him. Sgt. Julia Richmond (Michelle Lukes) makes a point of shooting the hell out of Dreyer as payback for her friend and the rest of Section 20 shares a drink in Sinclair's memory while promising to take down Knox in his name.

Early on, Rachael asks how Dreyer found the team in the first place and the answer is revealed when CIA operative Christy Bryant (Stephanie Vogt) covertly meets with Knox before sharing intel with him. Knox's plans for Africa either have American support, or at least the support of a rogue faction of the CIA. Complicating matters is Scott's relationship with Bryant as both her former colleague and her former lover. Privately, Scott asks Bryant to help him clear his name so he can go home... but she warns him that it will have a price that likely involves him selling out Section 20 in some way. Their choice of meeting places was particularly inspired as they stood in front of an aquarium's shark tank. When it comes to pursuing her own agenda. Bryant is definitely the shark in that relationship.

Meanwhile, the next phase of Knox's plan is set in motion when Karl Matlock (Vincent Regan) and his mercenaries break Walter Lutulu (Eamonn Walker) out of a Zimbabwe prison. It turns out that Lutulu and Knox are old allies and they seemingly have a common agenda to seize control of Zimbabwe. Except Lutulu appears to have the conscience that Knox abandoned long ago. Lutulu wants the coup to be as bloodless as possible and he wants nothing to do with Knox's nuclear weapons. Lutulu stands up to Knox and he seems to truly have the best interests of his people at heart... so, Knox and Matlock decide to make better use of Lutulu by turning him into a martyr.

Before that can happen, Section 20 tries and fails to approach Lutulu's daughter, Lilian (Tracy Ifeachor); who is a respected leader in her own right. Knox seems to believe that Lilian will be more receptive to his plans than her father before he greenlights the execution of his old friend. At a rally, Lutulu has a large crowd of followers hanging on his words before an assassination attempt is made. Hilariously, Scott tries to pass himself off as a battlefield medic while attempting to save Lutulu's life on the back of a moving truck and trying to question Lutulu about the nukes at the same time. At the same time, Stonebridge attempts to chase down the assassin through several crowded streets and alleys.

This episode and next week's installment were helmed by feature film director, Michael J. Bassett; whose experience really shines through with some beautifully shot action sequences. The prison break was the highlight, but there was also a palpable tension as Stonebridge pursued the assassin and ended up shooting several innocent people just to keep the mob of onlookers from slaughtering the assassin before he could be questioned. The cliffhanger ending was also well handled and a very effective hook. I don't doubt the survival of the character in question, but it was a much more compelling cliffhanger than the rocket heading towards a van... that didn't actually hit anything vital from episode three this season.

"Strike Back" tends to have fairly strong episodes, but this was a cut above most of them and it may be the best of the season to date. With three episodes left, the stakes are high and getting higher. And with Section 20 reduced to a shadow of its former self, the team is once again the underdog of this story.


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