Episode 4 of Paramount+’s Special Ops: Lioness (Season 1), titled “The Choice of Failure,” has Zoe Saldana’s meticulously acted lead character taking metaphorical punches one after the other, making us wonder how convincingly she would react against that in the next episode. It is another solid episode filled with drama and repercussions of the previous episode’s actions while gradually progressing the main plot of espionage.
Special Ops: Lioness (Season 1) Episode 4 Recap:
Aaliyah’s Job is Beach
The last episode ended on a cliffhanger where Aaliyah (Stephanie Nur) took Cruz (Laysla De Oliviera) on a surprise trip. This caught Cruz and her team, led by Joe (Zoe Saldana), off guard. If Aaliyah or her fiance decides to take Cruz to a foreign land, then jurisdiction formalities could mean Joe and others will not be able to observe (‘Mark’ in their military parlance) Cruz for a significant period. But, thankfully, no such thing happened as Aaliyah’s party’s destination was the Hamptons, for a spring break type of excursion.
Joe and the rest of the team members follow suit. They hire a yacht to keep an eye on Cruz. Joe has local party girls revel on the deck to thwart doubts from the watchers of Aaliyah’s security detail. As the sun starts to go down, Aaliyah’s party is moved to a local club. Aaliyah and her fiance Ehsan’s (Ray Corasani) credentials ensure that they get prompt entry and the best seats. Joe feels that someone from the team should be inside the club, just in case. This would prove to be a decision reflecting great foresight, as a rapist would go on to make his moves on Cruz to derail the plan.
On Joe’s family side, tragedy strikes as her rebellious teenage daughter, Kate (Hannah Love Lanier), gets into a car accident. The car, driven by one of her friends, had Kate and her girlfriends on board. The injured girls are rushed to the hospital where Kate’s father, Joe’s husband, Neal (Dave Annable), is practicing as an oncologist. Neal learns that one of the girls could not make it while Kate has taken several life-threatening injuries.
Meanwhile, blood reports of Kate reveal that she is pregnant, something the 14-year-old’s father warned heavily about. The pregnancy makes Kate’s condition even more complicated than it already was. There is a serious injury on Kate’s leg, and surgery is necessary. As Neal reveals all the bad news to Kate, he impresses on her that if the pregnancy survives all the procedures, she will have a huge decision to make. Neal also mentions that despite all the faults, she has the chance to improve her life and her condition. Something her deceased friend can no longer do.
In the last episode, Joe’s CIA colleague, Kyle (Thad Luckinbill), asked for some members of her team to go for an unsanctioned rogue mission. Joe reluctantly obliged, and as a result, Kyle completed his extraction of a notorious criminal. But to get this ‘contact’ of Kyle’s, there were multiple casualties; something that does not go unnoticed by the top brass of the CIA. Kaitlyn Meade (Nicole Kidman), who is Joe’s supervisor, and Byron Westfield (Michael Kelly), who Kaitlyn reports to, bring Kyle in for a chat. It immediately becomes clear to Kyle that Kaitlyn and Byron are aware of his rogue mission.
Kyle has been photographed in a traffic dashcam near the place of the extraction. So, Kyle’s efforts to masquerade the extraction as a heist by cartel members fall flat. Kyle has to admit to taking help from Joe’s “Lioness” team, putting the absent Joe in a tight spot in front of Kaitlyn. But he also plays his ace. He produces the details of the five Al-Qaeda members that he got from the contact. Kaitlyn tells him to bring more proof. This could well be the save he needed.
Special Ops: Lioness (Season 1) Episode 4 Ending Explained:
Who Kidnaps Cruz?
In the club, a serial womanizer flirts with Cruz after his failed attempts on Joe, who was pretending to be a model. At first, the guy seemed like a typical flirt looking to hook up with any woman. However, things change when he puts something in Cruz’s drink when she is not looking. Using the loud music and some commotion, the man takes Cruz away just when Joe is distracted for a bit.
But Joe immediately notices Cruz is missing and gets out of the club. Her team follows the trail that is left by Cruz’s implanted bug. They become aware of the area where the rapist stops to rape the drugged, unconscious Cruz. Joe and the rest of the team members reach just in time to stop the rapist, and they punish the guy adequately. They take the unconscious Cruz away.
Will Joe Be in Trouble?
This episode had Joe taking hits one after another. The news of Kate’s accident disrupts her focus. Cruz’s accident makes her even more vulnerable in front of Kaitlyn, who was there to talk to her about the ‘Kyle’ situation. Kaitlyn doubts Cruz’s ability to survive, seeing she could not read a predator’s simple move on home soil. Kyle’s mission puts Joe in a tough spot too. Kaitlyn reveals that along with Kyle, Joe’s team members are also captured on cameras of Border Security patrol.
What is next for Kate?
The thing Joe feared and warned Neal about happened, and it could not have come at the worst possible time. At the hospital bed, while fighting for her life, Kate learns that she is pregnant, which is clearly unwanted. She does not seem to be in mortal danger, but the full extent of her injuries is unknown. If the pregnancy does not get terminated during all the complicated medical procedures, then she would have to decide on abortion. Joe has mentioned to Neal that she is coming to see her daughter. The relationship between Kate and Joe is about to take another turn as well, it seems. It could be for the better, or it could further deteriorate the already frosty mother-daughter relationship.