‘Special Ops: Lioness’ Episode 8 Recap & Ending Explained: Is Cruz Dead Or Alive?

Paramount’s all-woman cast of Special Ops: Lioness released its season 1 finale today, and it’s just as much gunfire and bloodbath as one can expect from such an episode. In the penultimate episode, Cruz took off in a plane to fly to Mallorca, Spain, where Aaliyah’s wedding ceremony will be hosted. In the finale, Cruz has her plates full with the task of eliminating Amrohi or altering Joe’s whereabouts. Here’s everything that happens in Special Ops: Lioness season 1 finale.


Spoilers Ahead

What’s Cruz’s Mission?

Special Ops: Lioness begins with Joe training Cruz on how to hit the panic signal, aka a device in her necklace to activate when she needs to be extracted. Upon arriving on the transit, from where they shall fly to Mallorca, Cruz meets Kyle and another woman who are shadowing her until she’s escorted away by Amrohi’s men. During the entire flight, Kyle and his partner keep an eye on Cruz and later watch as she boards a car, chauffeured by Aaliyah’s personal bodyguard.


Why Is The Secretary Angry?

Meanwhile, there’s tension in the White House Situation Room because the Secretary of State wants full control of the mission, but Deputy Director Byron isn’t ready to hand over the charge. As the two opposing parties begin a blame game as to who’d be better suited to handle the mission, the truth of the matter is that only Cruz is in sole control of everything. Being embedded so deeply into the mission, only she knows the right moment to sound the alarm bells, and until she does, nobody else can intervene.

What Does Ehsan Tell Cruz?

When Cruz arrives at the groom’s mansion in Mallorca, she’s immediately taken to him, and he begins a round of questioning. Not only does he demand to know why Cruz left Aaliyah with tears in her eyes multiple times while in NY, but he also thunders that she’s not to reveal any of this information to his bride. The slap he gives her is included in the list of secrets she must maintain from her friend, lest she’s thrown into the ocean by Ehsan. He considers sending Cruz back to where she came from because seeing her may trigger whatever emotions Aaliyah had felt recently, but he also understands that doing so would make her further unhappy on their wedding night. While leaving the room, Cruz hits Ehsan with some scornful words, making him fume and rage further.


What Happens In Joe’s Home?

Joe’s team is preparing their gear on the yacht that they’re using to race to the location of Cruz when satellite footage confirms that Amrohi, the prime target of the entire mission, is at the mansion. While trying to focus on the mission, Joe is distracted by a phone call from Kate, who was woken by a nightmare after realizing she’d missed her friend Holly’s funeral. After somehow consoling her, Joe goes off at her husband, Neal, for not alerting her before handing the phone to her. Neal’s frustration explodes, and he shouts at his wife for leaving while their daughter is recuperating from a life-threatening accident. However, he quickly comes to his senses and apologizes, but his call to Joe later on goes unanswered. While trying to respond to his text message, Joe’s phone is taken away by Kaitlyn, who doesn’t want her squad leader distracted before such a massive mission.

What Do Aaliyah And Cruz Talk About?

Cruz meets Aaliyah in the women’s quarters, and together, they discuss the life of hardship and pain that awaits Aaliyah. She wonders if she’ll ever learn to love her own children when she’s averse to kids in general, but the real problem is that she’s in love with Cruz, and her heart is dead set against marrying Ehsan. However, it’s her duty to follow her father’s demands because the oil business needs allies and strategic partners, which Ehsan’s family can become. Later on, Aaliyah comes into Cruz’s room and confides in her that she’s told her fiance that she doesn’t want to get married. Not surprisingly, he’s completely ignored her because, in marriages like these, any opinion from the bride is not valued in the least.


What Happens In Cruz’s Room?

Soon, Aaliyah gets in bed with Cruz, and they begin kissing, but Cruz quickly comes to her senses. She realizes this isn’t something she can do, and her heart cannot take any more lies and deceit. She pushes Aaliyah off and goes into the kitchen for a glass of water, but really to calm her nerves. Meanwhile, Ehsan hasn’t taken to the insult very well and is doing multiple searches across the internet to find a match with Cruz’s passport. The initial search reveals nothing, but he doesn’t give up yet.

While trying to catch her breath and talk to herself in order to calm down, Cruz is surprised by none other than Amrohi. He asks her to not be embarrassed because of her current state of undress because he’s had daughters of her age. Instead, he offers her a spoonful of the best gelato that money can afford, and for a brief moment, it’s just an old man sharing ice cream with a woman the age of his daughter.


What Does Ehsan Discover?

The moment of bliss is destroyed as Ehsan comes running into the room, having learned about Cruz’s real identity while doing a deep dive into the internet. He screams, Marine! and launches an attack on Cruz, but she immediately takes control and smashes his head against a counter before stabbing him repeatedly in the neck. Amrohi jumps into the fight, but he’s no match for the trained marine and is stabbed in the gut by Cruz, and he collapses to the floor, bleeding. With everyone else starting to get aware of the situation, Cruz slits Amrohi’s throat for good measure before hitting the extraction necklace and taking off.

Does Cruz Survive The Mission?

Cruz sprints toward the water amidst a shower of bullets being fired her way as Joe’s team descends on the beach and starts heading toward her. It’s totally a miracle that none of the bullets hit Cruz as Ehsan and Amrohi’s guards shoot at her. However, Joe’s men reach Cruz in the nick of time and take down the pursuing shooters. Before Cruz can even catch her breath, she’s thrown into the water to swim to the yacht, where Joe and Kaitlyn jump at her, demanding answers. Cruz can barely say that she’s taken down Amrohi as Kaitlyn jumps to the Situation Room communications to inform them that the lead target is dead. But she can’t relax because immediately Joe drags her outside to know what exactly went so wrong that she’d have to escape like this. All her pent-up frustration, anger, and heartache come out in the form of a punch in Joe’s face. Although Joe immediately pins Cruz down, her nose is bleeding. Cruz lets her anger out, telling Joe exactly how much she hates her for how she made her into a monster and that she’s quitting.


As forensics looks into the two dead bodies, Aaliyah cries while sitting in the corner, with multiple thoughts running through her mind. Joe comes home to find her husband Neal waiting for her, and he immediately gives her a hug as she breaks down about how hard this mission has been. As Neal consoles her, Joe breaks down in tears.

How Does Season 1 End?

Cruz survives the mission, as does every other member of Joe’s team, but Cruz’s spirit and heart are shattered. Not only does she have to betray the girl she fell in love with, but she also has to assassinate an unarmed old man because of oil prices. She quits being the Lioness for good, and the future of the mission, as well as the aftermath of the bloodbath she left in her wake, remains unknown. Joe is exhausted and tired, and it’s not clear whether she’ll go back to the field or not. In any case, we’ll need to wait for Special Ops: Lioness Season 2 to find out what happens next.


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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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