Before I get to the recap, I have a clarification that needs to be made. There was some confusion on the title of last week’s recap in that I titled it Season 2 Premiere. Technically this is not accurate because technically this is the third season when you take into account the British show Chris Ryan’s Strike Back, which according to one of my commenters, helps explains part of the story that took place last season. Chris Ryan’s Strike Back was not a show that was aired in the US (to my knowledge) and it wasn’t ever aired on Cinemax. This current season is the show’s second on Cinemax and most of us Yanks, consider it the show’s second season. However…one funky thing about this show is there are no episode titles. They are simply numbered. Episode 1 was last season’s premiere, Episode 10 was the finale and the double-header last week were Episodes 11 and 12. To eliminate any further confusion, I will be titling these recaps to reflect how Cinemax titles each episode. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with it…
Episode 13 picks up in the aftermath of Kerry’s murder. Stonebridge has requested a transfer back to Section 20, but he has to go through a psych evaluation first. He says all the right things, but you can see the rage simmering just underneath the surface. Meanwhile, Cpt. Dalton (Rachel) is debriefing the group and tells them about Stonebridge’s transfer request. The only one to air any objections is Sinclair, stating the obvious…that’s he’s a loose cannon. Rachel however tells him that they need the best and if he’s cleared, that’s good enough for her. Rachel ultimately leaves it up to Scott since he’s the one who will be going into the field with Stonebridge. Stonebridge’s instability emerges however, when he smashes his own head into a mirror.
At the crib, they’ve managed to track the nuclear triggers from last week to a compound in Niger. As they prep for departure, Scott tells Stonebridge that even though he can’t imagine what Stonebridge is going through, he’s there for him. Stonebridge assures Scott that he’s ok, but the look on his face when he walks away says otherwise. The team makes their way to Niger to infiltrate the compound and during the mission, Julia sends word that they have two American fighter jets coming in weapons hot. The find the original man who had the triggers, but he’s already handed them off to a courier, who is nowhere to be found. The jets deliver their payload and the compound is reduced to a pile of rubble. Luckily the team is still in one piece, but the man they captured is dead. Julia sends word that she’s got a location on the courier and sends directions, which splits the team up. Scott ends up on his own in the middle of a group of angry villagers as well as Niger soldiers. He’s taken captive once again. Poor guy just can’t catch a break. Dalton orders the team to stand down and Stonebridge has to watch as Scott is taken away.
At the crib, Dalton tries to figure out how the Americans knew about the compound and what they were after, but Sinclair informs her that their actions had nothing to do with Section 20′s mission. The bombing was instead a direct response to a CIA flight that was shot down just hours earlier. Stonebridge comes in angry about Scott being left behind and Dalton orders that the compound be examined for any evidence. Sinclair asks about Scott and Dalton replies that she knows exactly where he’ll be.
Scott finds himself bound to a chair in a room, when Christy Bryant walks in. He doesn’t seem real happy to see her but has sex with her anyway. There’s some history here obviously and I’m wondering if we’ll ever get to find out the whole story. She’s pissed that he bailed years earlier and hadn’t heard a word until Mogadishu. She asks why he was there and he tells her that he’s with Section 20 but she already knew that. They trade quips, have sex, but then in what I think is a first, he seems a bit angry with himself for it. Christy calls Section 20 telling them that she has something of theirs. Meanwhile at the crib, Julia catches Stonebridge looking into Hanson trying to find his location. He tells her that Hanson was one of them and knows how to disappear. Looks like Michael has ulterior motives for coming back to Section 20.
Dalton shows up to collect Scott and he gives her grief for leaving him behind. She tells him that she knew he’d be in good hands, but that Bryant wants her to question his loyalty. He tells her that he’s all hers, whenever she’s ready. She replies by telling him after he washes off the cheap perfume. Ouch…burn!
At the crib, Liam is able to track the courier to a hotel in Niamey. Stonebridge, Scott and Julia head to the hotel where they find the man they’re looking for in a most compromising position. After some convincing, he tells them that Othmani is heading to the Algerian Desert to hand off the triggers to Al-Queda leader El Sodat. Othmani is upstairs in his room and is alerted to their presence by a woman in the bar. After handcuffing the guy they just interrogated to the gal he was banging, they split up to find Othmani, who is busy setting up booby traps and getting ready to bolt. Stonebridge sets off one of Othmani’s booby traps but luckily isn’t hurt. He and Julia split up, while Scott follows Othmani to roof, while dodging grenades.
Scott and Stonebridge reconnect on the roof and have to dodge yet another grenade (how many does this guy have anyway??), but on the way down the stairs Scott manages to get eyes on the guy and is able to shoot him. Othmani makes it out of the building, but Julia pulls a Parkour move but isn’t able to catch him. Back a the crib, Dalton’s pissed and is questioning about pulling the tripwire, but Julia covers for Stonebridge saying she’s the one who tripped it. Liam says he’s got eyes on the borders, but Dalton wants eyes on the smuggling routes.
Over in the western cape of South Africa, Conrad Knox is visited by Matlock who has info on the triggers and tells Knox that he knows a go-between and is setting up a meeting. Knox just tells him that he pays for results. Liam picks up a call from Othmani and tells Dalton that Othmani has been captured by the Tuareg. Dalton orders Scott and Stonebridge to be dropped in.
Scott and Stonebridge discuss the finer points of Dalton’s motives as well as Stonebridge’s mental state. The make their way to the Tuareg camp and start to deal with Markunda, the leader of the group. Stonebridge is challenged to a wrestling match and while he tries to match brute strength, Scott has a battle of wits with Markunda. Stonebridge wins, but Scott has to put an end to the match before Stonebridge kills Markunda’s man. Scott finds out though, that Othmani is not in the camp, but will be auctioned the following day.
The next morning Othmani is brought to the camp and Scott and Stonebridge have to disarm before they enter. El Soldat’s men must do the same. When the auction begins, Stonebridge goes first, telling Markunda that the British Government won’t negotiate, but will pay her for her troubles. El Soldat’s man holds up one coin, which turns out to be a bomb. Stonebridge chases down the trigger man, but the bomb goes off. Othmani gets away, but not for long. Scott escorts him back to the tent where Markunda hold a knife to his throat. She stands down however, but after going through Othmani’s bag, Scott discovers that he no longer has the triggers.
Meanwhile in the Algerian desert, Matlock and Kohl meet with the middleman who tells them that El Soldat says no money, no triggers. Things go south for the middleman and Matlock forces him to rat out El Soldat. At the crib, Dalton realizes that Othmani knew he was being tracked and used himself as a decoy. She contacts Scott and Stonebridge and tells them that they are looking for a bus and to find a set of wheels. She also asks for a picture of Othmani, and once she sees it, recognizes him as El Soldat’s brother.
Scott manages to secure a truck from Markunda but she and two of her guards go with them to track down the bus. They find the bus but as they begin to search it, El Soldat’s men show up and a gun fight ensues. Stonebridge loses his focus for a moment and Othmani is briefly able to get the upper hand. Although Stonebridge gets it back and beats the crap out of him. Scott boards the bus to find both men bloodied and grabs the two men along with a medical student from the bus. The team is able to dispatch El Soldat’s men, but more are incoming….along with El Soldat himself. They load up in the truck and take off, but just as they’re making their getaway, one of El Soldat’s men raises a rocket launcher, takes aim and fires. The episode ends with the truck exploding.
Nice cliffhanger Strike Back! I see that hasn’t changed from last season to now since they pulled that often. It kills me! Stonebridge has some serious rage issues to deal with and certain situations trigger memories of Kerry being shot. Scott can only cover for him so many times and this is going to be a real problem for them both. This was a solid entry in the new season and things are only heating up. Imagine when it hits a boiling point. With that ending, now I really can’t wait until next week!
Tags: Bill Nighy, Charles Dance, Michelle Lukes, Phillip Winchester, Rhashan Stone, Rhona Mitra, Strike Back, Strike Back Episode 13, Strike Back recap, Sullivan Stapleton