‘Strike Back’: Disposable Heroes – Who’s Thinking About the Future?

Published 11 months ago by

Philip Winchester and Sullivan Stapleton in Strike Back Season 3 Episode 5 Strike Back: Disposable Heroes   Whos Thinking About the Future?

After last week’s surprising, but now – in retrospect – inevitable death of Maj. Dalton, Strike Back takes the requisite amount of time to have its characters reflect upon her demise, as they would any other colleague, but with one surprising difference.

Always the outlier in terms of perspective on most situations the team finds itself in, Sgt. Damien Scott refuses to mourn Dalton in the same fashion as Stonebridge, Richmond and newcomer Martinez see fit to do. Scott rails against not only Dalton’s character, but also blames her penchant for reckless, obsessive, and self-destructive behavior for the reason she wound up staring down the barrel of a McKenna’s rain soaked gun.

It’s clear he was never a fan of Dalton, or her methods – which, as Scott sees it, frequently placed his life and the lives of others in unnecessarily precarious positions. In a way, Scott’s pointing out his teammates’ perfunctory response to the death of someone they knew as somewhat false.

In Scott’s increasingly differing outlook, he’s seemingly more convinced how part of the job is to not plan too far ahead, and that self-preservation isn’t really something to think about until you’re looking death in the eye. And by that time it’s far too late. Sure, being a member of Section 20 is an incredibly dangerous job, but accepting risk and heedlessly courting it are not one in the same.

Robson Green in Strike Back Season 3 Episode 5 Strike Back: Disposable Heroes   Whos Thinking About the Future?

And surprisingly, Scott’s uncertainty about his future in the game has had an impact on Stonebridge as well. On one hand, perhaps that’s a testament to the bond these two have formed while working side-by-side, but then again, maybe it has to do with Stonebridge’s physical deterioration, which is probably linked to his exposure to a chemical weapon earlier in the season. Super solldier that he is, Stonebridge is noticeably shaken when he fails to take out a truck containing weapons stolen by McKenna’s men, and doesn’t even attempt an incredibly risky shot when McKenna takes Locke hostage during a daring escape at an airport in Hungary.

It’s one thing for Strike Back to show Scott’s uncertainty – he’s always been a bit flighty – but now it’s coming from a place of wistfulness and a desire to reconnect with people from his past, rather than one of nihilism or prurient self-interest, which is a real change for the character. By the same token, it’s interesting to see Stonebridge on the precipice of a turning point in his life as well. Facing the equally frightening prospects of failing health and a burgeoning relationship with Martinez, his normally stoic exterior has begun to reveal something altogether human and possibly delicate residing underneath.

If anything, this establishes how the series understands that continually putting its characters in incredibly dangerous positions against overwhelming odds can begin to feel as routine as throwing back a shot for the recently departed. As much as the show’s DNA requires it operate like it’s on rails, or even mimic playing a video game, it also puts in considerable effort to demonstrate that these characters aren’t simply along for the ride and they certainly don’t have the option of hitting a reset button. Sometimes, that reminder makes all the difference in the world.

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Strike Back continues next Friday @10pm on Cinemax. Check out a preview below:

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10 Comments

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  1. As reckless as she was, I will miss Maj. Dalton’s character, she was becoming the most fascinating character imo.

  2. Very thoughtful comments,that help texture my current thinking about what I feel are some problems with the show. The evolution of the Scott & Stonebridge characters is very daring in that fans may not “like” who each character becomes.

    Which brings me to my “problem” with the show: the sloppy (and downright mean-spirited) way they made Major Dalton into an unlovable b**** from the beginning of this season–so, as you point out, they HAD to kill her. Notwithstanding the fact that actress Rhona Mitra had signed-on for another series, making Dalton an out-of-control, pill-popping, self-centered character was a lot to take after we all rooted for her to survive her injuries in the last episode of the previous season.

    All of which leads to a “bigger problem” that I’m having with the show–it’s sexism! All of the female characters are either sexual objects (usually for Scott to enjoy…sometimes violently); or weak,incapable pawns (like the female doctor the boys rescued from the African bandit last season; or the UN women who were saved from slavery in the Balkans);or, sexless, hard-cases like Dalton & Major Grant.

    There’s also a sense in “Strike Back” that women-in-combat are the new “black guy always dies” cliche from horror movies. Go back over the past two seasons and count the number of “warrior-women” and you will note that they always die. In this viewpoint, Maj Dalton’s death (and the death of previous Section 20 female Leader, Maj Grant) fits in perfectly with the show super-macho, man-only world. It seems that the writers of “Strike Back” want to punish women who have the audacity to choose a warrior’s life with (especially in the case of Dalton) a humiliating death. And, yes, if I were the actress playing Martinez, I wouldn’t expect to be around too long.

    • Quick update on my original comments: just watched the latest episode and another “woman-warrior” died. This show’s writers really seem to HATE

      • [Sorry, hit the "send" button by mistake]…women who are in combat.

  3. I’ll bet on the lap-top…doing lap-dances in a sleazy bar!!

    • Well, looks like my snarky laptop comment scared off the spammer…or could it be the editors kindly wiped the spammer advertisement off this page (thank you!)?

      • The strange part is there must actually be some who check that foolishness out because he keeps coming back spamming on other comment sections. Had to believe that foolishness actually works on anyone

  4. Strike back…fun show. Good adrenaline rush.

  5. I wonder if anyone has a body count per season for these two guys? They literally kill off at least a hundred or more between them

  6. Just wanted to point out a small mistake in this episode,

    When Stonebridge is trying to line up the shot at McKenna in the airport, he has crosshairs in his vision like he’s looking through a scope. But the MP5 that he’s holding doesn’t have a scope…

    Like I said, small mistake, but it’s surprising when there is so much effort put into the firearms direction for this show.

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