EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community

'Strike Back' moment of the week: Till death do they part

Season 4 | Episode 2 | “Episode 32” | Aired Aug 7, 2015

Will the real Mei Foster please stand up? In this week’s Strike Back, Ambassador Robin Foster got a hell of a shock—and so did the viewers—when his loyal wife revealed herself to be a North Korean intelligence operative named Li-Na. Incapacitated in a hospital bed after barely surviving the embassy bomb he was forced to detonate, Foster couldn’t do anything but listen to the woman he married deliver a chilling monologue about how she had been waiting for this moment for years. She told him she’d wondered if she would feel anything when it came time to get rid of him, and then proved that she didn’t as she calmly ended his life.

Now we know Strike Back‘s primary villain for the season, and honestly, we should have seen it coming. The series loves to plant its main bad guys in the story before they reveal themselves; see Latif (Jimi Mistry) in season one and Kamali (Zubin Varla) in season three. And you don’t hire an actress as legendary as Michelle Yeoh for her to just wring her hands and look distraught. You bring her in to kick butt, take names, and have zero remorse over murdering someone she spent years with.

Yeoh is one of the best actresses in the world, and her performance in that hospital scene—to go from loving wife to coldblooded killer to sudden widow—is fantastic. She’s continuing a great tradition on Strike Back, which is to showcase some phenomenal international performers in these rich, season-long arcs where they get to play both sides of the line. If season four is all about going out big, you can’t ask for a better villain than Michelle Yeoh.

But beyond that, the monologue is just bone-chilling if you allow yourself to think about it and what it reveals about Li-Na. Essentially, this woman spent years building another life—courting and marrying Foster, raising Chloe, ingratiating herself with his closest friends like Locke—just to achieve this one goal. And even after all that history, all those memories you imagine must have happened in that time, she can throw that all away without a second thought. She’s sacrificed her identity along with whatever life she might have had, and now she’s willing to sacrifice anyone that gets in her way. That’s how on-mission she is. If that doesn’t say awesome villain, we don’t know what does.

Runner-Up Moment of the Week: Rest in peace, Ray McQueen

Max Beesley has a knack for playing the bad guy (we still haven’t forgiven him for breaking Donna’s heart as Stephen Huntley in Suits), so he fit in perfectly on Strike Back as kidnapper Ray McQueen. Yet the show quickly added a “but” to that description, when we saw in the premiere that Ray was up against it himself, harassed by corrupt cops who threatened his wife and unborn child. Not that the scene invalidated the fact that he abducted Chloe and chopped her finger off, but it showed that he couldn’t just be written off as the first henchman on the totem pole.

Cue this week’s action, where Ray and his wife were with the Section 20 team when the Crib comes under siege from those same dirty police officers. With the team fighting their way out of the building and realizing his number was up regardless, Ray made the decision to sacrifice his own life to ensure the survival of his wife and child. Between the touching moment where he says goodbye to the woman he loves and the awesome one a moment later where he goes down shooting, Ray almost redeemed himself. He was probably never a good guy, but even the antagonist can have a good quality in there somewhere (unless, apparently, you’re Li-Na).

It was a fine performance out of Beesley, who sold us on the cocky mercenary Ray McQueen, yet was also able to convey a more human side. Not to mention that the latter happened in the middle of another of Strike Back‘s impressive firefight sequences. He didn’t get the time to play out too much emotion. He got his one goodbye and then he was gone—but even in that relatively brief segment, he still left an impression on us. You almost felt bad for the guy, when last week all you wanted was for Scott to shoot him.

So if you think about it, the character we thought was good turned out to be ruthlessly evil, and the one who was bad turned out to not be entirely evil after all. It just goes to show you that outside of Section 20, you don’t really know anyone on Strike Back. And that’s just the way we like it.

Strike Back airs Fridays at 10 p.m. on Cinemax.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

You May Like