Tag Archives: Strike Back shadow warfare

Cinemax renews “Strike Back” for a final season of sexy explosions

28 Oct

627Cinemax announced today that its critically acclaimed show Strike Back has been renewed for a 10-episode final fourth/fifth season of explosions and sex. It will air in fall 2014, and once again, not enough people will watch it, instead electing to go out and spend time with people on their Friday nights; oh, the nerve.

Anyway, the final season will presumably once again not allow Stonebridge to have a sex scene, instead pushing him to the background to masturbate to Scott and whatever new woman he’s picked up. In addition, the “awesome action scenes with explosions and shooting” will be returning in a recurring role, consisting of the dispatching of a bunch of terrorists and Scott and Stonebridge prancing through a field of bodies in tutus while sipping strawberry lemonade. Scott will then choke on his straw, and Stonebridge will punt him off a bridge; this will segue into some more fantastic action scenes.

As disappointing as this news is, you can’t help but be grateful to Cinemax for allowing the show to go out on its own terms. If this were on Showtime, we would have 8 seasons of crap culminating in a final scene in which Scott and Stonebridge are working as lumberjacks for Kamali’s dead body.

Still, after the show ends, we at least still have Banshee and Cinemax’s other softcore porn series, entitled “Sexy Sex In A House” and “Let’s Go To Hawaii, Then Have Hot Sex”.

I will be covering the final season next fall. I’m looking forward to it; it should be fun.

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

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.

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

12 Oct

Strike-Back-Season-3-Episode-9-Preview

IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR MY SEASON FINALE (EPISODE 10) REVIEW, HERE IT IS: https://polarbearstv.com/2013/10/19/strike-back-shadow-warfare-episode-10-review-3x104x10/

“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.

GRADE: A-

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-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.

Strike Back “Shadow Warfare, Episodes 3 and 4” Review (3×03, 3×04)

7 Sep

627-6IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR MY SEASON FINALE (EPISODE 10) REVIEW, HERE IT IS: https://polarbearstv.com/2013/10/19/strike-back-shadow-warfare-episode-10-review-3x104x10/

Strike Back might just be the most entertaining show on television. It’s expertly paced, the characters are well fleshed out for what is predominantly an action-softcore hour, and the action sequences are better than those in many movies.

I’ve found that it’s much easier to review 2 episodes at once, as the seasons follow a 2-episode arc alongside an overarching storyline. Also, I can’t really judge an unfinished arc, as the first hour is usually a set up for the second. As a result, if you check back in next week for the episode 5 review, it won’t be there. I’ll be reviewing episodes 5 and 6 after the end of 6, 7 and 8 after the end of 8, and so on.

Anyway, back to the episodes. Introduced in episode 3 is Dougray Scott’s Leatherby, a charismatic, entertaining, and violent villain that is an absolute blast to watch. In addition, Kamali’s daughter, Ester, becomes a factor, giving us more of an insight into his motivations and his mental state. In fact, these two episodes build up the parallels between Kamali and Rachel Dalton (Rhona Mitra), both inherently tragic characters that we come to sympathize for. Both have to make decisions that transcend their adherence to the rules of their respective organizations (Kamali and his daughter, and Dalton and al-Zuhari’s wife). Both, in a way, succeed, as Dalton’s suspicions are validated and Ester is removed from harm’s way. Both, in a way, fail, as they both wind up getting shot. Dalton already failed, though.

What do I mean by this? Well, her arc this season has been one of self-destruction, causing her to become unhinged and desperate, determined to find and kill those responsible for Baxter’s murder. The waterboard sequence is tough to watch, and it’s a prime example of watching someone unravel before your eyes. Her death has been telegraphed since the start of the season, and when it finally comes, it’s handled extremely well. The show does a great job of maintaining that level of suspense, inducing a sense of both uneasiness and hope. We have a sense that she’s going to meet her demise, but we also have a feeling that Stonebridge and Scott will once again save the day.

Alas, that does not happen. It’s a smart way to end her arc and introduce a strange new one. She’s killed off by an IRA assassin, a new, mysterious threat to Section 20 that I’m interested to find out more about. Speaking of smart ways to end arcs, Leatherby is also killed off. I have to commend the writers for sticking to their original format and preventing him from overstaying his welcome, but also can’t help but wish his storyline had been expanded upon over a greater number of episodes. We’d be able to get a more nuanced look into his personal life, especially in regards to his boyfriend Fahran. Instead, he’s over the top in general Strike Back fashion, which is still fine. The relationship is still handled with the right amount of complexity, and it ends tragically.

Strike-Back-Season-3-Episode-2-Preview-Scene

The pacing in these two episodes is extremely well done, and I’m impressed at the number of storylines they weave together throughout the two. For example, they throw in Scott’s relationship with Ester, reflecting his nagging feeling of need and the fact that he has not family. Everything these two do is, to quote Leatherby, “Fun”, but it prevents them from really settling down. Still, it’s all fun. These two episodes move at breakneck speed, jumping from action scene to action scene, whether it be a chase through a minefield or a shootout in the street. They are showcases for the brilliance of this show.

Grade: A- (Episode 3: A-     Episode 4: A)

Other thoughts:

-I’m sad to see Rhona Mitra go. That picture above explains why.

-The minefield sequence is a perfect example of why this show is so endearing. It expertly blends humor and action into one thrilling sequence.

-“You should really teach English as a second language.” -Stonebridge, after Scott stabs a guy.

-The music and the close-up of Leatherby’s face before he shoots his boyfriend is kind of unnecessary.

-See you in 2 weeks.

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

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