Special Ops: Lioness Season 1 Episode 5 “Truth is the Shrewdest Lie” Recap & Review

Special Ops: Lioness Season 1 Episode 5: In the fifth episode of Special Ops: Lioness, we see Cruz recovering from her assault and Joe dealing with the aftermath of Kate’s car accident. Meanwhile, Kaitlyn and Joe are tasked with leading a mission to apprehend Al-Qaeda operatives in San Antonio.

The mission is successful, but the team is forced to deviate from their original plan when the terrorists arm bombs. The episode ends with a brilliant scene in which Joe strides toward Neal in the hospital lobby while the news about the mission plays on a television screen. His progress is interrupted by a phone call, prompting him to change direction and answer it.

The Shrewdest Lie: Unveiling Truth

In the fifth installment of Special Ops: Lioness, we find Cruz awakening within the secure confines of a CIA safe house. Contrary to our assumptions at the end of episode 4, she has regained her composure.

Tucker provides her with a briefing on the actual events since Cruz has no recollection of the previous night. There’s a tinge of apprehension and fear in her voice as she inquires about her missing underwear. Yet, Tucker assures her that Cruz was not subjected to any violation.

Meanwhile, Joe and Kaitlyn arrive at the hospital to visit Kate. Kaitlyn grants Joe a limited time to spend with Kate, after which she must resume her professional obligations.

Kate’s body has rejected her pregnancy, sparing them the decision regarding abortion. Nevertheless, her recovery remains uncertain. There’s no guarantee that Kate will return to her normal state soon. Emotionally charged, Joe engages Kate in a heartfelt conversation about her life choices.

This moment proves to be a pivotal one in the series, as Joe earnestly implores Kate not to “direct her frustration towards herself.” The usually hardened CIA veteran exposes her vulnerability, confessing to her perceived shortcomings as a mother and more. This exchange could potentially mark a turning point in their relationship, and one can only hope it bears fruit.

Special Ops: Lioness Season 1 Episode 5 Review

While Kaitlyn and Joe share a car ride, Kaitlyn briefly counsels Joe against ending up like Errol and his failed marriage. She even suggests that Joe might excel as a station chief elsewhere. She escorts Joe to Langley, the CIA headquarters, for a meeting with Deputy Director Byron Westfield. Kyle is also present, and Byron clearly delineates their breach of the CIA’s rules of engagement through their unauthorized and illicit operation.

Notwithstanding the “gray area,” the intelligence on Al-Qaeda operatives proves actionable. Joe’s team is already on the ground in San Antonio to apprehend them. Kyle will assume leadership, with Joe overseeing the tactical aspect. Westfield, however, isn’t finished with Joe. He delivers a cautionary message: no deployment of CIA assets without explicit authorization. To prevent a recurrence, Kaitlyn is assigned to personally supervise this mission.

During the briefing, Joe’s team expresses discomfort with the stipulation that they cannot return fire when under attack. Kaitlyn lays down a firm directive: “Capture only, no fatalities.” Given that the terrorists are seen arming bombs, the stakes for this mission are exceptionally high.

The team might have to discard the armed bombs rather than disarm them, potentially resulting in casualties on their side. Due to insufficient personnel, both Cruz and Joe will join the rest of the team in the field.

The mission’s parameters shift at the last moment, granting Joe’s team permission to eliminate the targets due to the imminent danger of the bombs.

Although they execute this task successfully, one of the subjects triggers a suicide bomb vest, ensuring its detonation. The authorities evacuated the area, dispatching a bomb squad to handle the situation. Unfortunately, news of the operation and its targets leaks to the media, dispelling any notion of secrecy.

Upon Kaitlyn’s return home, Errol shows her a news article detailing the mission. She predicts a recurrence of such incidents, with Mexican cartels again exploiting the border.

Kaitlyn also announces her intention to invite their daughters for dinner, perhaps influenced by Joe’s experiences. Meanwhile, Joe visits the hospital and encounters Kate and Neal, who informs him that their daughter has received morphine for pain relief.

In the safe house, Cruz discovers missed calls from Aaliyah on her phone. When she reaches out, Aaliyah requests a FaceTime conversation, underscoring the tension in their friendship. Their mutual attraction becomes evident.

The episode concludes with a brilliant scene in which Joe strides toward Neal in the hospital lobby while the news about the mission plays on a television screen. His progress is interrupted by a phone call, prompting him to change direction and answer it.

Episode Analysis

The closing moments of episode 5 highlight Sheridan’s storytelling prowess. Without resorting to contemporary narrative embellishments, he succinctly captures the profound disconnect between Neal and Joe. This dissonance possibly extends to their professional and personal lives. Kaitlyn, affected by the spillover effect, engages in introspection and reevaluates her priorities.

Saldana delivers a standout performance as Joe during her interaction with Kate, embodying the character’s internal struggles. While she has impeccably portrayed the tough CIA persona, Saldana delves deeper to unearth her character’s emotional turmoil.

Establishing an emotional bond with a character remains a timeless technique for engaging and disarming viewers. The shift from unwavering resilience to vulnerability fosters a powerful connection, precisely what occurs in this instance.

Special Ops: Lioness appears poised to transcend its focus on special military operations, delving into the individuals steering them. Sheridan’s latest endeavor possesses the potential to become another triumph for Paramount Plus and the accomplished creator himself.


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