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Strike Back “Shadow Warfare, Episode 10” Review (3×10/4×10)

19 Oct

627-10This season of Strike Back has been one hell of a ride, and the season finale ties a bow on “Shadow Warfare” with a resounding bang. There’s something inherently thrilling about seeing this show at the top of its game, delivering week after week of brilliantly choreographed and directed fight scenes, as well as more complex character work and chemistry than a show like this has any right of having. Yet, we saw it unfold this year, and it’ll be a long wait for next season.

On to the finale itself. The first scene is a continuation of last week’s final sequence, and Leo Kamali’s revealed not to be Al-Zuhari, but rather someone who’s taken his identity and is carrying out an attack. As the episode progresses, we start to see him come unraveled, blowing up at his subordinates and whatnot; however, he also continues to try and justify his actions to his daughter Ester by claiming that Scott and Stonebridge are the enemies. Yet, although he’s technically right in saying that our two heroes are murderers, he doesn’t believe himself as evil. He’s not an evil person, but that’s both his flaw and what makes him dangerous.

The season does a great job with his character, as does Zubin Varla, by portraying him as just a guy stuck in a bad situation. The fact that he turns out to be a villain at the end doesn’t overshadow his character arc, one that mirrors the season-long desire of Scott and Stonebridge to get out of Section 20. Our two buddies saw themselves in Kamali, and for that reason, they doubted Dalton’s suspicions. Now, even though it’s revealed that they’ve made a huge mistake, it’s understandable why it happens; whereas last year, Conrad Knox came off as a caricature, Kamali’s rooted in a raw human desire that we can relate to.

Speaking of Knox and last season, this year is more adept at handling the character arcs. Much like a gas/virus starts out small and slowly encompasses you, the characters fell deeper into what they were doing; there weren’t any huge, bomb-like explosions, but rather a slow, constricting arc for many of our characters: Dalton, Kamali, and even Scott and Stonebridge.

In the finale, we get a ton of callbacks to the episodes before. These aren’t in-your-face callbacks, though; they’re reminders that what we do and what we experience stays with us forever. Ulyanov’s character is tied up nicely here in regards to that, as he makes a deal to kill Scott and Stonebridge to avenge his son’s death. Before that final exchange, Scott even sits down and makes a call, knowing that he may very well have to sacrifice his own life. Whereas Kamali sees himself as a sacrificial lamb of sorts (ironic considering his statement on the plane), Scott just considers himself a soldier, ready to die to serve a greater good.

Strike-Back-Season-4-Episode-10-Shadow-Warfare

Of course, no one ends up dying except for Kamali. It’s a fitting, yet sad, end for him. As for everyone else, the episode is tied up in a cheesy way; however, the show’s earned cheese. Also, it’s not to say that everything’s the same. The events of this season have had a more profound effect on Scott and Stonebridge, and they’ve gleaned new appreciation for their jobs. Everything’s wrapped up a bit too nicely (I would’ve liked to see some more of Ester or rumination over Dalton/Baxter), but it’s a feel good ending. The camera freezes on Scott and Stonebridge’s smiling faces, and we smile along with them.

GRADE: A-

SEASON GRADE: A-

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-I love the action, yet again. The escape is very nicely done, and the final runway sequence is thrilling.

-Speaking of the runaway, that was Fast and Furious 6 length.

-Kudos to Zubin Varla, yet again, as well as people like Rhona Mitra and the other guest stars throughout the season.

-The sex was toned down this season, and that was for the better. The show doesn’t need all of it, and while it’s a part of its DNA, it was used much better this season.

-Scott and Richmond do get it on, though.

-Nina returns to shoot some people and hit on Stonebridge.

-Locke’s a good character, and his scenes were Ulyanov were enjoyable to watch. He plays well off Scott and Stonebridge as well.

-Next week is Strike Back: Origins, or Chris Ryan’s Strike Back. I’ve already seen the six episodes, but I’m not sure if I’m covering it or not.

-It’s been a pleasure, everyone. Strike Back reviews are the most popular reviews on my site, and I always lament the fact that not many others talk about it. It’s a cult show, it’s amazing, and I’ve enjoyed the experience. See you next season.

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

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15 Responses to “Strike Back “Shadow Warfare, Episode 10” Review (3×10/4×10)”

  1. Patri345 October 19, 2013 at 9:06 am #

    great review! I absolutely adored this finale. Best show on television. I agree on all your points about Kamali.

  2. Jake Lacy October 19, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

    Here’s my problem with the final 5 minutes…it just felt really tonally off from the other 9 episodes. It was fun to watch but it was really weird. I am surprised they didn’t just high five in midair. It was too saccharine for me as much as I liked the first 40 mins.

  3. Linda October 20, 2013 at 4:27 am #

    Great review to a fantastic season finale! I agree the sex was toned down and I’m happy about that as it was becoming gratuitous. I was starting to make wages on how soon into each episode Scott was going to be in bed with someone…anyone lol

    I enjoyed seeing their discussion on the purpose of what they do and whether it’s time to just hang it up. Basically, we are tired & getting too damn old for this, etc.

    I am still playing over in my head the final few minutes as they drive off together. Perfect! .I still haven’t erased it from my DVR. The finale ended the way the season began, just the two of them, on the road, understanding this is who they are, it’s in their blood, damn being tired, etc….I can’t think of anything poetic to but you get what I mean šŸ™‚

    • polarbears16 October 20, 2013 at 7:03 am #

      Yeah I get what you mean! šŸ™‚ It’s like they’ve come full circle, but they’ve gathered much more experience and understand more because of it.

      Thanks for the comment!

      • Linda October 21, 2013 at 8:15 am #

        And thank you for posting it. Looking forward to what the new season will bring as I am sure you are as well. Take care.

  4. Thats Underrated October 21, 2013 at 5:45 am #

    Really enjoyed your columns. This was another stellar season. I can’t wait until it comes back again. In the meantime I am looking forward to Banshee season 2 in January. Cinemax is amassing a nice little collection of shows between Strike Back, Banshee, and Hunted.

    • polarbears16 October 21, 2013 at 5:51 am #

      Thanks for reading. I really love Banshee as well, and I’ll be covering that!

  5. brian March 2, 2014 at 7:52 pm #

    How did kamali get off the plane with all that survalince and sec20 chasing it and after he clubed richmond???

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