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Strike Back - Episode 6.02 - Review: "Crash And Burn"

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The episode starts with a meeting taking place somewhere in the middle of Lybia's nowhere. Our villains, Omair Idrisi (Don Hany) and Jane Lowry (Katherine Kelly) are having a meeting with an arms dealer businessman called Morgan Ives (Trevor Eve), who has zero morals and no regards for others. He sells them several warheads and missile launchers. After the pair tries to reconsider the price, Ives mocks and disrespects them. Idrisi and Lowry finally decide to agree on the transaction, and Ives wastes no time, leaving via his helicopter in the company of an expensive private military team. In order to prevent from having any "loose ends", Idrisi puts one of the launchers to good use... and fires at Ives' helicopter!

Meanwhile, Section 20 is briefed by Colonel Donovan, who tells them that Ives' helicopter released a distress signal and it crashed into one of the most dangerous towns in Lybia. Section 20 is also aware that Ives was selling weapons to Idrisi's terrorist cell, and like good troopers, McAllister, Reynolds and Novin are willing to go and retrieve Ives. Wyatt, still being pessimistic, self-interested and cynical, thinks this is a bad idea. Colonel Donovan will have none of it though, and she sends the quartet out on the mission.

Next, Ives and his private security team are pinned down in the wreckage of their helicopter. It is a Black Hawk Down situation, with enemies converging from all sides. In a comedic fashion, Ives' men are taken one by one after he continues to distract them from protecting him. Ives, now alone, continues to be ludicrous and desperately offers $5,000 dollars in cash to anyone who will escort him to safety. By the looks of it, he is being very cheap, even at his own expense.

Soon enough, Section 20 arrives and rescues Ives. As they try to move Ives to safety, they are informed by Donovan that aerial extraction can't be possible since there is a sandstorm approaching the area and they will have to find a vehicle instead. A kid, ironically named Saddam (Yousef Naser), offers to help the team. He leads them into a building, but they are ambushed by the enemy. Saddam is shot and killed in the middle of the firefight. It is never clear if the kid was really helping Section 20 or the terrorists.

Section 20 manages to escape and finds a vehicle, but Ives is shot. Running out of options, the team decides to take Ives to General Farid's (Selva Rasalingam), which is the closest medical outpost. Doubtful that Farid will receive them with open arms because of their last inconvenient encounter, the team comes to the realization that Farid belongs to the Bedouin tribe and that it is Bedouin custom to give aid to people in need for three days.

Section 20 arrives to Farid's military outpost, who after being reminded of his traditions, lets them in. Ives is saved, and he gives information to Section 20 about Idrisi's plans and whereabouts in exchange to immunity. The team leaves Ives to the care of Farid's men after they tell him that he has three days until he is left at the full discretion of his enemies for the crimes he committed against their country. Meanwhile, McAllister and Wyatt keep bickering like an old couple. Wyatt warns McAllister that his revenge-seeking is clouding his judgement, and then informs him that he won't have to deal with him much longer.

In his underground base, Idrisi rallies fellow terrorist groups and gives them some of the missile launchers, saying that he plans to bring terror to the Western nations. Meanwhile, Colonel Donovan orders Section 20 to assault Idrisi's compound and to capture both Idrisi and Lowry. General Farid decides to join the operation too. During a speech, Donovan mentions Section 20's turbulent past (reference to Scott and Stonebridge's shenanigans) and that the new team stands for something better.

Section 20 and Farid's men launch an effective raid on Idrisi's underground compound. Lowry and Idrisi say their farewells as they get separated in the middle of the attack. Reynolds and Novin manage to capture Lowry, who pretends to be a panicked hostage, while McAllister and Wyatt go after Idrisi. Colonel Donovan is informed Wyatt's superior, Colonel Parker, that the US military is about to drop a bunker buster on the compound. Donovan then informs the team that they need to leave as soon as possible. Reynolds and Novin drive away with Lowry. General Farid is killed by Idrisi, but McAllister manages to subdue him. As McAllister tries to drag a wounded Idrisi, Wyatt tells him that they only have seconds to leave before the compound is blown to shreds. McAllister, plagued by vengeance, insists in taking Idrisi with them. Wyatt replies by shooting Idrisi to death.

On the road, Lowry attacks Reynolds and Novin, causing them to crash. Lowry manages to escape, while Reynolds and Novin are knocked out by the car's explosion. Meanwhile, McAllister and Wyatt manage to run outside of the compound right when the bunker buster hits it. American troops arrive to secure the area. McAllister and Wyatt fight each other. McAllister is pissed at Wyatt for shooting Idrisi, but Wyatt defends himself within good reason by saying that he saved McAllister from himself. Both men suddenly put aside their differences and hug. Can you kiss now?

Later, the team relaxes (after letting Lowry escape?) by having some drinks. Wyatt decides to join Section 20 officially. Elsewhere, Lowry changes her appearance and she seems to be targeting Donovan, ending the episode.

I've got to start by saying that this was a better episode than Episode 1. The team's dynamics are sharper when it comes to tactical situations, but we are still lacking character development, especially from Reynolds and Novin. The story had better structure, and the editing was done way better. And as before, Katherine Kelly keeps killing it with her chilling and charming portrayal of Jane Lowry. I can't wait to see what else is in store for her mysterious character. Also, the stunts were on point on this one.

There's a few flaws though, regarding with some writing that still seems kind of convenient, or maybe it is just an issue with continuity that production needs to address. An example would be Ives getting shot by a man who was clearly in Wyatt's line of sight. A trained soldier like Wyatt would've clearly seen him. Another one is Reynolds and Novin crashing their vehicle after struggling with Lowry. You would think two highly trained operatives, regardless of their gender, could handle Lowry. And followed by the crash, Lowry seems to walk away all nonchalant, despite of Reynolds seemingly still being conscious enough to recapture her.

But overall this episode was quite satisfying for me. I liked that several elements of surprise were used, such as the opening sequence and the climax regarding the bunker buster. It had a nice flow to it. Can't wait to see if the show stays consistent with more episodes like this.

3.5 stars out of 5

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