Special Ops: Lioness- Season 1 Episode 8 Recap, Review, & Ending Explained

Gone is the Illusion of Order

The finale of Special Ops begins at the Barcelona airport. The CIA charter plane has landed and now Cruz will depart for Mallorca. Joe prepares her for the task at hand with two emergency bracelets. Since Amrohi’s security will use signal jammers at the wedding, Cruz will not be able to make contact with Joe and the QRF team using conventional means.

The bracelets will allow Cuz to trigger a distress call to them whenever she needs to be extracted. Kyle will track Cruz until she is taken by Amrohi’s security detail from the airport. 

Why does the White House want the mission to be aborted?

Kaitlyn will be with Joe and the QRF team on a boat as the extraction point for Cruz will be in open waters. Byron is placed in the Situation Room at the White House along with the three politicians we saw in the previous episode to oversee the mission. Contrary to what we expect, they ask Byron to call off the mission. This comes on the back of Amrohi’s importance in the oil world. He provides 10% of the global oil supply, mainly to Russia and China.

The US President’s political leadership is not trusted to meet the challenge in the wake of Amrohi’s assassination as Russia will retaliate. Byron makes it clear that it is impossible for them to make contact with Cruz; only she can initiate it from her end. The only other alternative is to send in the QRF team which would mean a blood bath as they clash with security.

We see a different side of Ehsan as he greets Cruz with hostility. He has a sense of what went down at the hotel in New York. Ehsan is livid with Cruz and threatens to kill her if she keeps contact with Aaliyah after the wedding.

What arouses Ehsan’s suspicion about Cruz?

Cruz does not hold back and stands firm, surprising Ehsan. He becomes suspicious given her brazenness and runs her photo through some databases and cross-references it with web pages. To ensure that Aaliyah does not “close up” on the wedding night, he instructs security to allow Cruz to meet with her.

Aaliyah is delighted to see Cruz once again, perhaps for the final time in a long while. She tries to introduce Cruz to her mother, who is visibly indifferent. The two talk privately and Aaliyah once again confesses her fears of facing a different tomorrow than she has ever known.

The most important bit is Aaliyah’s revelation that Amrohi will be present at the wedding. Earlier, she had indicated that he could not risk it. But a contrarian decision has been taken, giving Cruz a clear-cut chance to complete her mission.

Aaliyah trembles at the prospect of becoming a mother and a wife to Ehsan. She longs to retain her freedom and way of life but knows that it is not possible. There is apparent tension between the two because of their feelings. But Aaliyah leaves after dropping Cruz off at her room and breaks down in tears. 

Satellite images confirm that Amrohi has arrived at the location. Meanwhile, Kate’s nightmares about the accident keep getting worse. She wakes up screaming in the middle of the night when she has another one. Neal comforts her as Kate requests to talk with Joe. She picks up the call, still waiting for Cruz’s signal.

Kate feels guilty over her friend’s death and the fact that she couldn’t make her funeral. Joe does a great job of calming her down but lashes out at Neal for ambushing her with the call. The two have a brief shouting contest but come to terms with the situation like adults.

Ending Explained:

What does Ehsan find out about Cruz?

Aaliyah comes into Cruz’s room at night. She is distressed after telling Ehsan she doesn’t want to marry him. But he remains unfazed, knowing that this is purely a transactional arrangement. Aaliyah leans in to kiss and Cruz kisses her back. But she pulls away moments later and goes to the kitchen outside to blow off steam.

Ehsan is shocked and prompted into action when he finds a match to Cruz’s photo on a news piece that identifies her as a Marine. Cruz meets Amrohi in the kitchen, who is charming and tries to have a conversation with her.

It seems to be going well and Cruz does not try to kill him yet. But when Ehsan rushes in screaming “Marine! She is a US Marine,” Cruz springs into action. She stabs Ehsan in the neck, killing him. Amrohi tries to neutralise her but Cruz slits his neck without hesitation after stabbing him multiple times. She activates the distress signal right then, alerting the QRF team who scamper to extract her. Aaliyah discovers the dead bodies in the kitchen a while later and starts screaming. That is when the security is alerted to the situation and chases Cruz through the location.

Is Cruz’s mission successful?

She keeps running for cover through a barrage of gunshots to end up in the back garden. She is cornered but the QRF team arrives just in time to save her. The extraction mission is successful as Cruz finally informs Kaitlyn that she has eliminated the target. Byron relays the message to the Situation Room as the politicians cry out in frustration.

Joe and Cruz have a fistfight as the latter accuses Joe of “turning her into a monster.” Their ideological differences will never be reconciled and both are right in their places. Joe gets back to her family the next morning to perhaps start afresh with Neal. 

The Episode Review

Episode 8 is how many expected the entire series to go. It was edge-of-the-seat stuff with crisp execution and palpable urgency. Sheridan and co did a great job in wrapping up season 1 in grand fashion. The explosive finale delivered on all fronts, be it our longing for decisive action sequences or the complex mesh of character arcs. It is a pity that one of the best episodes in the series comes after a string of mediocre ones.

There are still some rough edges around some storylines. I particularly did not like how Kaitlyn’s character was portrayed and written. Errol and her mysterious conversations remained just that. They were very hard to crack and could not provide another dimension to Sheridan’s storytelling. I understand what he and the writers wanted to suggest with their characters but it was done in a very convoluted manner.

But overall, season 1 of Special Ops: Lioness finishes on a very strong note. I cannot say it compensates for the timid episodes before it. But the finale definitely lives up to expectations.

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


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1 thought on “Special Ops: Lioness- Season 1 Episode 8 Recap, Review, & Ending Explained”

  1. Awesome finale! But where was Kyle at the end. The other characters were somewhat shown or alleged to being shown getting home.
    Is Kyle a double agent or work for Errol’s husband?

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