‘Special Ops: Lioness’ Episode 5 Review/Recap: Are Aaliyah And Cruz Becoming Good Friends?

The fifth episode of Paramount’s Special Ops: Lioness is once again an adrenaline-packed one, featuring army units moving equipped with night vision goggles and bombs going off. In the previous episode, Cruz had been knocked out by a date-rape drug, but Joe and her men reached just in time to save her, while the CIA was furious at Joe’s team. Moreover, Joe’s 14-year-old daughter had been in a car accident and was also pregnant at the moment. With so much pressure on her head, she’d have to handle a lot of responsibilities without messing any of them up. This episode surmises the impact of the previous, here’s what happens in episode 5.


Spoilers Ahead

 Where Are Cruz And The Team Going?

Episode 5 of Special Ops: Lioness opens with Cruz coming to her senses and being extremely dizzy until Bobby gives her a rather potent pick-me-up. With the crew needing to move out for an extremely important mission, Cruz is added to the team as well. The mission is about capturing the six Arabian terrorists who are hiding out in a safehouse in San Antonio, Texas. The raid that Joe’s men did on El Paso has the CIA buzzing, and the only way her men and Kyle, the operation lead, are going to get a clean chit is if they’re able to hand over the terrorists to the FBI.


What Does Joe Tell Kate?

Before any of that can happen, however, Joe has to do her duty as a mother and comfort her daughter Kate, who’s in the hospital with a steel plate in her femur, recuperating from her accident. She apologizes for the fact that she’s missed so much of her daughter’s childhood and urges her to remain a girl for as long as she can because if she does become a woman, there’ll be no going back from there. Joe adds that even if her daughter hates her for what she does, she’ll welcome that, but she can’t watch Kate punish herself as a way to protest against her mother’s actions. Kate tells her that she doesn’t hate her mother but only misses her very much. While leaving, Neal looks pensive about the whole situation, with his daughter in the hospital and his wife leaving for work.

What Are The Problems In The Safehouse?

When Joe and Kaitlyn arrive at the CIA headquarters, the assistant director yells at Joe for freely putting her team at Kyle’s disposal before sending her to extract the terrorists without killing them. However, upon reaching the spot where the mission shall be launched, the team uses CCTVs installed in the safehouse to spot not only weapons on the men they’re supposed to apprehend but also a live bomb that they most likely plan to detonate. This is no longer an extraction mission, and everyone from the state sheriff to Homeland Security is called over. The mission is greenlit for extermination, after which the bomb squad would enter to disarm the bomb or probably detonate it in a safe place after evacuating the town.


How Does The Mission Go?

Joe agrees to bring Cruz along because she’s desperate to prove that search-and-destroy is something she’s qualified to execute. When the 8-man team reaches the safehouse, Joe alerts Kaitlyn to cut the power to the house as the team enters the house. With suppressed fire, they take down the militants, but a few of them are alerted to the ruckus. However, they’re no match in the dark with just a pistol against Joe’s night-vision goggles wearing the team’s military gear. Suddenly, Joe feels the need to check out a closed door upon hearing the whirring of a device, and just as she kicks the doors in, a militant wearing a suicide vest is about to detonate the bomb when Cruz comes to her rescue. The militant is gunned down before the bomb goes off, and the bomb squad is alerted to the active vest as the team moves out.

How Is Joe And Neal’s Relationship In The Aftermath?

However, Joe and Kaitlyn’s attempt to keep the events under wraps backfires, because every news channel gives detailed coverage of the controlled bomb explosion that was done in a San Antonio safehouse. While Kaitlyn’s husband, Errol, warns her that this event will greatly impact oil prices, Neal questions his wife if he’s married to a hitman, seeing the blood of someone on her cheek. Kaitlyn has to warn Errol that such events will be rampant because militants are using Mexico to infiltrate the US, and now that the whole world knows how weak US border security is, everyone will take advantage. Meanwhile, Joe has nothing to say to her husband, who can’t believe that his wife was part of a team that executed people in a stealth mission. There appears to be a growing distance in the relationship between the two people, as Neal can’t understand why his wife needs to be in the thick of things where she needs to be killing people. Moreover, he’s also upset that Joe is absent when their daughter needs her, especially the previous night when Kate wailed in extreme pain until she had to be administered morphine.


Are Aaliyah And Cruz Becoming Good Friends?

Back at the marines’ safehouse, Cruz has another thing to worry about. She’s not contacted Aaliyah in 3 days, and she’s blowing up Cruz’s phone with texts. She finally decides to get back to her and calls Aaliyah, who’s strolling all by herself on a beach. She requests Zara, as she knows Cruz, to Facetime her immediately because she wants to see her friend. Cruz faces Aaliyah but refuses to show her the room she’s in because she’s apprehensive of Aaliyah figuring out that Cruz might not be a student living in a dorm after all. Instead, Aaliyah invites Cruz to come to the beach once more, but she says she doesn’t like the posh and pretentious women that Aaliyah surrounds herself with. She responds by saying that all those women are gone, and it’s just Aaliyah now, all by herself, and she’d really love it if Cruz would come along.

How Does The Episode End?

There’s a growing friendship between the two as Aaliyah really begins to trust Cruz as the kind of friend she’s never had in her life. Therefore, it becomes all the more difficult for Cruz to keep pretending because she’s not used to such situations where she needs to fool a person to extract information. If this persists for a very long time, chances are that Cruz will begin feeling sympathetic for the woman, who, too, is trapped in a situation where she’s being sold off as a commodity from one family to another without any real value attached to her. Having received similar treatment for most of her life, Cruz can feel where Aaliyah’s woes originate from, and she can fathom her pain when she says she doesn’t have a say in whether she wants the marriage or not. There’s a possibility that in the coming weeks, Cruz might start helping Aaliyah escape her situation, which in turn might jeopardize the entire mission of getting the Amrohis. In any case, we’ll need to wait and see what happens to Cruz and Aaliyah’s friendship and whether Joe and Neal’s marriage can survive this severely strained situation.


Indrayudh Talukdar
Indrayudh Talukdar
Indrayudh has a master's degree in English literature from Calcutta University and a passion for all things in cinema. He loves writing about the finer aspects of cinema, although he is also an equally big fan of webseries and anime. In his free time, Indrayudh loves playing video games and reading classic novels.


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The fifth episode of Paramount’s Special Ops: Lioness is once again an adrenaline-packed one, featuring army units moving equipped with night vision goggles and bombs going off.'Special Ops: Lioness' Episode 5 Review/Recap: Are Aaliyah And Cruz Becoming Good Friends?