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Strike Back: Legacy - Episode 5 - Review: "North Korea"

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Five gone, five to go.

With the shock death of girlfriend Julia Richmond still raw, Section 20 had their work cut out for them in last night's episode of Strike Back: Legacy, screening on the UK's Sky1.

Brendan Mahar stepped up to direct the episode - he did a superb job in his first outing on the series. Jack Lothian wrote the script.

While not the best episode of the season, Episode 5 did a great job bringing things down to earth in a way. The episode's format was somewhat more traditional, with Damien Scott and Michael Stonebride in the field, with Philip Locke and Kim Martinez running the operation from a crib in Thailand.

The main men were tasked with infiltrating North Korea and destroying a factory being used to process the vanadium shipped out of Thailand in last week's hour. Posing as Russian railway workers, the pair slipped into the secretive state and rendezvoused with a MI6 operative inside an abandoned shed. I had to pause the episode a few times around that part and have a look at the fantastic set. The sets were my highlight in this hour. An earlier set where the pair were posing as railway workers was also beautifully arranged. Though there's no doubt a bit of editing helped doll things up in places, credit to the location scouts and set designers - they did a stellar job.

The abandoned shed was where the pair first encountered the North Korean military. Having slipped in completely unarmed, Scott and Stonebridge ambushed some of the soldiers and took their AK47s. Normally Section 20 run more sophisticated carbines, so a change in weapon was a nice change of scenery also.

For the first time in the season we saw the main villain, Mei, in the company of higher ranked superiors. Despite this she wasted no time preparing for the dangers Section 20 posed, as well as being acutely aware of the blood she had on her hands. We also learned Mei's real name is Li-Na, and the scenes with old flame Kwon in the classroom where they once trained together were a surprising touch.

Meanwhile, in the most poignant scene of the hour, Scott and Stonebridge ran into a trio of North Korean children in the woods. The ensemble here did a great job - they're a good bunch of actors. To avoid blowing their cover, Stonebridge had to gift them some chocolate, and he wasn't going to let that slip by his comrade:

Scott, you owe me some of your rations mate.

Back in Thailand, Scott's son Finn got into all sorts of trouble. A casual conversation with a beautiful girl sparked it all, as he was followed back to Locke and Martinez's crib. A foot pursuit followed but Finn was eventually bundled into a car and whisked away. On a phone call later, Stonebridge was made aware of what happened by Locke, but decided against passing the news onto Scott to ensure the integrity of the mission.

Fortunately the pair did manage to complete the mission and destroy the factory, but the North Koreans turned the tide in their favor shortly after, and played a recording of Finn's voice over loudspeakers into the forest where the duo were fleeing through. A furious Scott ended up surrendering to the North Koreans, which forced Stonebridge to do the same.

That was where the curtains came down on Episode 5 of Strike Back: Legacy. Scott, Stonebridge and Finn now find themselves in the hands of the North Koreans, which isn't a great place to be, as Julia Richmond discovered. I'm looking forward to next week to see how the trio plan to turn the tables.

Thanks for reading as always. Do share your thoughts and theories on this hour in the comments below, and let us know whether you would have kept the news of Finn's capture from Scott if you were in his situation. Personally, I would have told Scott on the spot.

About the Author - Jimmy Ryan
Jimmy Ryan lives in New Zealand, and works in the IT industry. He is an avid follower of drama television and has a keen interest for television ratings and statistics. Some of his favorite shows right now are Person of Interest, Scandal, House of Cards, Orphan Black, The Blacklist, The 100, How To Get Away With Murder, Elementary and Castle. You can visit his television ratings website, or follow him on Twitter, @SeriesMonitor.
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