Strike Back “Shadow Warfare, Episode 9” Review (3×09/4×09)

12 Oct



“So they all just kill each other, huh? Makes you wonder why we even need to be there!”

The penultimate episode of this season ramps up the intensity and the action, delivering shocks and thrills at every turn. It’s hard to believe that we’re already nearly finished with the season, but here we are.

Let’s talk about Ester. As Kamali’s daughter, she imbues a sense of reality into the proceedings; she’s just an innocent girl caught in a web of lies, betrayal, and violence. Scott recognizes this, and she serves as his “other side”, a side that wants to escape from this web. Amidst all the action in this episode, he sits down to have a revealing conversation with her after informing her of her dad’s death. It’s a quietly heartbreaking moment, as Scott opens up about his lack of connection to his child. He’s the kind of guy that’s always needed someone to connect with, and that’s why he turns so often to sex. Stonebridge fills his professional and brotherly needs, but Ester inspires his paternal instincts.

As for Kamali, who’s outed as Al-Zuhari at episode’s end, I’m not sure about this decision. On the one hand, it sets up for an explosive season finale in which Scott and Stonebridge come face to face with a supposed ally; on the other hand, it’s much more powerful to have Kamali go out with his motives ambiguous. He was just a regular person in a tight spot before now. Now, however, he’s a criminal mastermind that’s outsmarted everyone, and it winds up being Dalton that was right the whole time. We don’t see much of him here, so I’ll wait till next week to pass judgment on the decision.

Still, even with the uncertainty over that final reveal, I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. It’s pretty much nonstop action, the location moving from a carnival to a building to a train and improving each time. One thing that never goes bad is the action, and it’s good to know the show’s still got it.



-The Section 20 folks can’t seem to catch a break in this episode. When you think about it, they’ve actually been outsmarted at every turn; they haven’t been very successful: Dalton went off the rails, Scott and Stonebridge can’t keep anyone alive in this episode, and Kamali’s Al-Zuhari. It’s smart of the show to parallel this with Scott and Stonebridge’s slivers of hope at leaving.

-The train scene is awesome. It reminds me of the opening sequence of “Skyfall”, which is impressive considering this show has very little money compared to that movie.

-What’s up with Richmond and Stonebridge?

-I want to see Scott fight in a vat of cotton candy.

-Locke has had his ups and downs, but I’m warming up to his character more.

-Stonebridge slicing that guy’s artery…I shudder to think about it. Looks like he’s all right now.

-Season finale next week, followed by the six episode “Chris Ryan’s Strike Back” starting October 18th

Credit to Cinemax and Strike Back for all pictures. I own nothing.

3 Responses to “Strike Back “Shadow Warfare, Episode 9” Review (3×09/4×09)”

  1. Thats Underrated October 14, 2013 at 6:04 am #

    I didn’t even think of that. The train scene was like the opening of Skyfall. Good call. This was nonstop action at its best. Stonebridge even got in some great close quarters combat fighting moves at the amusement park.

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