Special Ops: Lioness – Season 1 Episode 6 “The Lie is the Truth” Recap & Review

The Lie is the Truth

Episode 6 of Special Ops starts with a glimpse of Cruz’s scenic drive to the Hamptons. Aaliyah invited her to stay at the beach house in the last episode, where she is currently alone. The “surprise” that is waiting for her at the house is a luxurious, relaxing spa day, something Cruz is completely unsynced with.

Byron, Kaitlyn, and Joe have been called for a debriefing at the White House. Kaitlyn learns from Errol that Secretary of State, Mullins, will also be present. This a huge development as Mullins represents the President directly in the debriefing. 

All the noise made with the border extraction and the San Antonio executions is catching up with them. Kaitlyn also gives Errol a leg up by revealing to him that Qudrah Petrol has a mole; a large conglomerate that controls almost $80 billion worth of oil. If that could somehow end up on the open market instead of the black market, it could mean a huge opportunity for the US. Before Cruz goes in, Joe advises her not to tell lies to Aaliyah since she won’t be able to keep up.

To be sure that Cruz remembers what she says to her, Cruz should use real-life events with changed names and locations. It is a clever ruse by Sheridan to embolden both the storytelling and character arc at the same time. Cruz goes through a foreign experience with the spa treatment. But what matters here is that Aaliyah trusts her completely. Her naivety is surprising but significant for the Lioness team. They are closer than ever and this also means inroads to Asmari, the real target.

Joe’s QRF team has a scare when they hear a break-in at their safe house. But it turns out to be petty teenagers looking to make quick money. Joe and Kaitlyn are mad to wait for 11 hours before being called in. Kyle is also present at the meeting to explain his actions. The White House is livid with the CIA’s emboldened carelessness and recklessness. The official stance of Kaitlyn, Kyle, and Joe is denying any involvement in the concerned actions.  They toe the same line: that the San Antonio PD saved the day and a terrorist attack was averted. 

Mullins and the others push back which prompts Byron to accept that the CIA’s QRF team was indeed involved. But he slights them by saying they will never be able to prove it. The evidence is already dispensed with. It seems Mullins and the others are convinced. They also touch upon Cruz’s mission and order Kaitlyn and Byron to take an active supervising role from now on. They are taken aback by Joe’s admission that Cruz will be sacrificed for the mission if that would ensure its success. The operation is officially called “Yellow Jacket” and the codeword to order the strike on Asmari to neutralise him is “Mabel.”

Joe banks in the favour that Kyle owed her after the border extraction. She asks him to pay off the men who wanted to rob her QRF team’s safe house. In a moment of vulnerability, Aaliyah confesses she has no say in marrying Ehsan. When Cruz asks her to call the wedding off, Aaliyah breaks down and cites the cultural pressure she faces as a woman in making a decision like this. Saying no isn’t even an option for her.

Joe has a reassuring night with Neal after he reveals that Kate is getting much better – physically and mentally. This might just start a new chapter in their marriage and Joe’s personal life.

The episode ends with a big revelation. Aaliyah’s wedding will take place in Mallorca, Spain. She jumps up and down in excitement, uncontrollably gushing to Cruz about how beautiful the place is. She kisses Cruz in the excitement and after a second of pausing, Cruz kisses her back…hard. She suddenly pulls away, realizing what a mess she is getting herself into. Aaliyah tries to act normally and takes the focus off of what just happened. Cruz looks out of the window with a hint of excitement and nervousness in anticipation of what lies ahead. 

The Episode Review

Episode 6 takes the trajectory of the underlying mission to some shape of finality. We now know for sure what the final two episodes of season 1 will look like, barring any late surprises. I don’t know if that is a good or bad thing for Sheridan and the team. Once again, the episode exposed the frailties of the plot and the lack of optionalities in the cinematic universe. The entire sequence with the robbers and the QRF team – and later Kyle – is absolutely unnecessary. That amounted to roughly 10 minutes in total, which just showcases how weak the overall integrity of the story structure is.

The White House meeting was a little better but couldn’t afford to shrug off its innate randomness. Sheridan has poorly characterized the universe wherein we have more questions than answers. Who is Errol? What is his role in the US government? Who is Amrohi? We haven’t even seen him once in the show, nor heard from him. What is his big plan and what gain would they get from cutting off Qudrah Petrol? 

The writing has been getting sloppier since the first two episodes and it continues to worsen. The pitch has been disappointing and it is unlikely the final two episodes will have any impact on our outlook of the show overall.

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You can read our season 1 review of Special Ops: Lioness here!
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