Recap of episode 6 of “Special Ops: Lioness”

On last week’s episode Special Ops: Lioness, we learned that working as an undercover CIA agent is a crazy job to choose. It destroys your family life, puts you in constant danger, and gives your multiple bosses too many opportunities to get mad at you. It’s like being a Super hero…but you have no special powers and all your targets are assigned to you by the government, no questions asked. Amusing! Well, at least there are beach parties once in a while.

Our main recruit Agent Cruz, spent a lot of time Lioness with her brand, Aaliyah, in the Hamptons. Their target is the leader of an Iranian-backed militia in Iraq, whose name is not pronounced enough for me to remember. In fact, I don’t think we even saw it once. Either way, the CIA is watching its actions carefully. Here’s a little extra recap, because even I need it: Aaliyah is his daughter. She is set to marry Ehsan, a Saudi royal believed to have ties to OPEC founding member Kudra Patrol. He has yet to show any signs of criminal or threatening activity outside of the association. But who knows, maybe this episode will finally settle things.

The first thing to prove is whether we are correct in assuming that Aaliyah fell in love with Cruz. In episode four, Aaliyah told Cruz that she was afraid of marriage. but last week she was excited about FaceTime. Who could forget when she said, “We are Lady and Tramp, you and me.” Except you’re also a lady? Or. Aaliyah has a surprise, which looks like a massage, according to CIA hidden cameras. “Three days alone with this girl, she’ll remember every lie you tell her,” warns Joe. I don’t know…it seems like Aaliyah’s love blindness can make her believe anything you tell her. The real question: Is it safe to earn her trust this way, or would a relationship take her brand completely off target? These are the questions you need to ask yourself, Lioness team!

Once at Aaliyah’s, it’s clear that Cruz isn’t having a good time with the massages and treatments. “Have you ever been to a spa?” asks Aaliyah. “I’m weird with people,” she replies. (Really, one of the worst undercover agents I’ve ever seen.) After their mud treatment, the two share a conversation in the shower/steam room. “Look me in the eye and name your five best friends,” Aaliyah asks. “Do not think, do it.” Oh, the classic name five of their albums trap to prove that you are a fan. Cruz does not answer at all. Aaliyah sighs in relief. “That’s what I thought,” she said. “We have that in common.” Congratulations, Cruz, you have solved the first riddle.

“So we’re all going to pretend that a CIA quick reaction force didn’t execute a kill mission in front of CBS-damn-News?”

But the sphinx is not finished yet. Answer my second riddle, if you dare: “Now close your eyes and name me one.” Cruz smiles and answers “you”. Amazing work. You do it well! However, every undercover expert knows that puzzles always come in thirds, and now comes the most dangerous of them all. That’s what Joe warned you about, Cruz, so stay alert! “When you were a kid, did you have slumber parties?” she asks. A catastrophe falls on Cruz. This is the ultimate test. Cruz replies, “No”. Thus, Aaliyah is committed to launching her first tonight. “What the hell am I doing? Cruz whispers to himself when Aaliyah leaves the room. Umm… looks like you’re having the best night of your life, girl.

Meanwhile, Joe goes to the White House for a debriefing. Kaitlyn asks her husband about the meeting and he reveals that the National Security Advisor and the Secretary of State might be present. Condemn! You really don’t want to answer these guys, I guess. Job titles alone send shivers down the spine of Kidman. Now we finally get some of the answers I was asking for earlier. There’s a mole at Kudra Petrol, according to Kaitlyn, but it’s not “one of us.” The target “runs what we call a kind of bank for terrorists”, she explains. The part her money-seeking husband would love: $80 million worth of black market oil would hit the market the second the CIA knocks this guy out. “It’s a matter of perspective,” he replies. Man, either this guy is just plain disgusting, or insider trading on destructive natural resources couldn’t be more annoying.

During the briefing, Morgan Freeman’s character, Secretary Edwin Mullins, finally arrives. After Kyle explained to him its events Of all the Mexican-American brouhaha, he replies, “I heard some bullshit in my day, but that’s…well done.” None of the people here, including Joe, Westfield, Kaitlyn and Kyle, chose to tell Mullins the truth. “So we’re all going to pretend that a CIA quick reaction force didn’t execute a kill mission in front of CBS-damn-News?” Mullins asks them. They give Freeman all the best lines.


We love you, Morgan Freeman.


Kidman, for his part, understands this sentence: “Secretary Mullins, I am confused. Did CBS News report that the CIA’s QRF was operating within US borders? I didn’t hear that. Look, She had all the best lines from the last episode. This week it’s Freeman’s turn. This boring conversation lasts another three minutes, and the band plays dumb enough to get away with it unscathed. Also, Secretary Mullins announces that he is resuming their Lioness mission. The plan is to hit the target with a drone strike at his daughter’s wedding, even though Cruz and everyone else at the wedding also die. Joe says the risk comes with the job, but I’m sure Cruz isn’t aware of it.

Speaking of Cruz: she and Aaliyah are having the best sleepover of their lives. They eat popcorn and watch movies together. First of all paranormal activity, SO Notebook-an insane double feature?! “Have you seen Notebook“Aaliyah asks. “I didn’t see anything”, Cruz replies. Cruz! Just try to be normal for a second. She rolls her eyes watching the movie, then tells Aaliyah not to marry Ehsan.

Back in the dormitory, the CIA is “bored”. There’s only one guard posted in the Hamptons house, and the conversations they listen to between Aaliyah and Cruz aren’t exactly stimulating. Then they hear the sound of breaking glass, so they knock out three invaders. It’s just thugs who tried to rob the place. Joe sends Kyle home with some secret money. Instead, they torture them. Who are the attackers now? All that C-plot seems pointless. They could have just told them to leave, which they end up doing anyway.

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Leaving Washington DC, Joe attempts to sort through this mission and his target’s objective. Me too! “He funnels money into ISIS, the Taliban and Hezbollah… he funds any terrorist group that reaches out,” Joe explains. “He doesn’t care. I’m surprised the Saudis didn’t kill him themselves.” Kaitlyn feels he “just wants the region destabilized,” but Joe? She “sees no political advantage in it”.

Back home, Joe’s husband, Neil, must deal alone with Kate’s recovery from a car accident. “Everything you said worked,” he said, “but she’s going to need more of you.” Damage! When Cruz wakes up in the Hamptons, she discovers that everything has changed. Downstairs, Aaliyah cries with joy, because her mother has chosen Majorca as her wedding destination. This means that if they choose to launch a drone attack on his father and kill everyone, it will now be in Spain and not the Middle East. The operation is now definitely impossible.

But Aaliyah, in her enthusiasm, finally kisses Cruz. After Cruz walks away a bit, Aaliyah asks, “What was that?” Cruz, stunned, does not answer. “Well, you won’t believe Mallorca,” Aaliyah said, quickly moving on. “Do you want some breakfast?” Cruz simply looks out the window, speechless. It’s a difficult scene to read. Does Cruz realize that she will now have to fake a relationship with Aaliyah to stay on her mark, or does Cruz realize that she may actually have feelings for her? Unknown! Guess we’ll have to wait to find out until next week – when Cruz will likely also learn that the US government plans to sacrifice her in the attack as well.

Portrait of Josh Rosenberg

Deputy Editor

Josh Rosenberg is an associate editor at Esquire and follows a regular one-movie-a-day diet. His past work can be viewed on Spin, CBR and on his personal blog at

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