The season finale of Strike Back: Silent War (season 7) saw Section 20 try to stop Pavel (Alec Newman) starting a war between Russia and the West.
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At the end of last episode, Coltrane (Jamie Bamber) was captured by Pavel (Alec Newman). This episode continued in Santa Diwa in the Philippines.
Pavel had Coltrane tied up while he made a call to Mac (Warren Brown). He proposed a simple exchange, Coltrane for the missile launch keys. Mac requested proof of live but Coltrane refused to speak. Pavel punched him in the stomach so Coltrane spoke but only to tell Mac not to do a deal.
Mac told the team that Pavel wanted to swap their boss for the package. Novin (Alin Sumarwata) objected to giving him the launch keys. Wyatt (Dan MacPherson) said they couldn’t leave a man behind and Novin pointed out that Coltrane did just that to him. Chetri (Varada Sethu) pointed out that Russian military were inbound to collect the keys and that it was still a joint op. Zarkova (Yasemin Allen) agreed with Wyatt but Novin knew she had personal reasons being romantically involved with Coltrane. Novin pointed out that they had zero prep time and would be going in blind.
Once they had all finished bickering, Mac pulled rank and said he wasn’t asking anyone’s opinion. As team leader he made the call and said they were getting the boss back. Whatever it took.
A flashback revealed a time that Pavel was in the military. He took offence at an older soldiers story because he felt it made Russia look weak and humilated. Pavel smashed the guys head in with a metal pan and was discharged. The Lieutenant General (Richard Dillane) debriefed him and commented that his scores were remarkable but there were problems with his personality profile. He said he had come to kill him and gave him a new identity of Pavel Kuragin and moved him to Alpha Group as a covert agent with his own agenda, answerable only to the Lieutenant General as part of the Kingfisher program. This is where he met Zarkova.
Back in the present, Pavel transported Coltrane and asked him if he slept with Zarkova. Coltrane ignored the question and said he had a theory about people like Pavel that he was just trying to impress someone. The truck stopped and Pavel pulled his combat knife, Coltrane looked a little worried but Pavel just used it to cut the ties on his ankles so he could walk.
The exchange appeared to be happening at some kind of market that was full of civilians. Novin was on overwatch and placed up high with a sniper rifle. Mac, Zarkova and Wyatt walked around the market, with Mac carry the missile launch keys. Chetri monitored the area around the market from the van but was blind to what was happening inside.
Pavel arrived and made a call to Mac to request that Zarkova show him the package. She took the bag from Mac while Novin wondered if she was still working for Pavel. Zarkova showed him the package and he was satisfied. He had Orlov (Alex Waldmann) bring Coltrane inside. Zarkova asked what the launch keys were for for and Pavel commented that it should have been her with him. She asked for Coltrane to be released. Chetri shouted on comms that a group was coverging on the market. Suddenly some kind of jamming device knocked the comms out, Pavel punched Zarkova to the ground and grabbed the bag.
He ran off with the bag as attackers appeared and fired smoke grenades into the market. A gun battle broke out and the team began taking out the attackers. Novin tried to shoot Pavel but missed an he ran off. She saw an opportunity to try and save Coltrane but it was risky. She fired a shot which nicked his shoulder and went through the shoulder of Orlov. Still bound, Contrane made a run for it as Orlov fell to the floor.
Pavel was sprinting towards his exfil site with Wyatt hot on his heels. Petrenko (Marama Corlett) was driving to pick him up but found Chetri waiting for her with a rifle. Chetri filled the car with bullets so Petrenko had to turn it around.
Back inside the market, Mac joined up with Coltrane who was furious that he’d gone against his order of no deals. He told Mac to get after Wyatt and Pavel. Wyatt was closing on Pavel who knew that he was chasing. He turned to shoot Wyatt but he’d changed direction and tackled him to the floor. Wyatt managed to turn him and zip-tie his hands together. Pavel began laughing and recited Wyatt’s home address to him, he said if he let him walk then no hard would come to his wife. Wyatt held his pistol to Pavel’s head but Pavel said shooting him would be killing his wife.
Mac arrived and had Wyatt stand down. The rest of the team arrived to take Pavel away along with the missile launch codes. Chetri confirmed they were all there and got a telling off from Novin for abandoning her post. Chetri said taking down their exfil seemed a risk worth taking. As Pavel was led away he reminded Wyatt that he’d been given a chance.
Back at base, Coltrane asked Novin if she had agreed with Mac’s mission to save him. She said that she didn’t because the mission was more important. Coltrane promoted Novin to team leader and gave Mac a telling off. Wyatt kept trying to call Madison but couldn’t get hold of her.
Coltrane and Novin had a debriefing with the Russian Lieutenant General and Zarkova. The Lieutenant General said that having the package and Pavel was proof that the East and West could work together when needed. Novin asked if Zarkova could return home and he said yes but to face disciplinary proceedings. Zarkova was visibly upset and Novin tried to stand up for her. Coltrane asked how many other projects were there similar to Kingfisher and he replied none.
Coltrane knew that something wasn’t right, particularly how Pavel managed to find a team of people willing to help him. He asked other questions such as about the satellite but the Lieutenant General refused to answer them. Coltrane said this wasn’t as agreed but was warned if they went near the extraction of Pavel and the launch keys that they would be treated as hostile.
Coltrane had Mac, Wyatt and Chetri pursue the convoy to make sure that Pavel and the launch keys didn’t fall into the hands of other rogue agents. The Russians used a drone to keep an eye on the convoy. While Mac drove, Wyatt again tried to reach his wife but got no answer.
The drone operators were killed by Petrenko who they took control of the drone. She moved it into position and then fired on the lead and rear vehicles. They were completely destroyed and the middle van carrying Pavel and the launch keys didn’t have time to react and flipped over. Orlov arrived on scene with more men and led an assault to free Pavel. Petrenko fired on 20’s vehicle but Mac swerved and it just missed them. She was then locked out of the drone so fled.
Orlov managed to get Pavel out of the transport van while one of their men grabbed the launch keys. Wyatt fired on Pavel but he turned Orlov and used him as a human shield. Pavel fled with the launch keys.
At a safehouse in Marawai, Section 20 regrouped. Coltrane said Russia were stonewalling them and that Zarkova would have had her comms confiscated. Wyatt said to use the launch keys, Pavel would have to actually visit the site of the missiles so Russia must know where they are headed. Chetri noted that there had been no chatter to suggest the Russians were still going after Pavel. Novin suggested that she and Coltrane go and ‘talk’ to the Russians.
Meanwhile, Pavel was aboard a private jet, eight hours from his destination. Aboard the plane he spoke with Petrenko. She asked how his nerve was because the next day thousands of people would die. Pavel explained that they were making sure Russia would never again have to beg before the West. She asked about ‘the American’ and Pavel said that Wyatt deserved everything that was coming to him.
Back at Section 20’s safehouse, Wyatt tried yet again to contact Madison without luck. Mac tried to put his mind at ease and said Pavel was probably bluffing. He said that Wyatt could go home and she’d never know what happened. Wyatt said he couldn’t go home because he didn’t fit anywhere. He told a story of being scared in a supermarket more than a warzone.
Suddenly, Wyatt’s phone rang and it was Madison. He apologised and said that he’d lied to her and was back at ‘work’ work. He said he needed her to get out of the house. A knock came at the door and he told her not to open it. She realised that whoever was outside was trying to get in. Wyatt told her to get to the bedroom and go to the closet. Behind a false panel he guided her to a machine pistol and explained how to assemble it and take the safety off. An armed man entered the room and she shot and killed him. Wyatt had to wait several seconds before she spoke again. She was ok but really upset at him. Whilst swearing she hung up, ending the call and possibly their marriage? Wyatt blamed himself.
Novin and Coltrane went for a drink and ordered two whiskeys. He asked why they were there and she said to find a soldier with security clearance. She said they were easy to spot as they always drank alone. Coltrane said she’d be an officer one day and she scoffed and asked for a demotion. She didn’t think a senior position was for her and she didn’t want more responsibility. He pointed out that she was training Chetri and laughed when Novin said she had tried but Chetri did her own thing. She pulled him up on sleeping with Zarkova and noted that she’d rick the mission to save her life.
Novin spotted an officer and pointed him out to Coltrane. He told her to isolate the target and move him outside but Novin had other ideas. Smashing a bottle of whiskey and speaking Russian, she told a group of Russian soldiers that Coltrane thought they were pussies. While Coltrane took them all on, including some nifty skills with a pool cue, Novin held a gun to the officers back and ordered him outside. They walked with him back to his base and got through the checkpoints.
Chetri spoke to them and said that an analysis of the drone attack proved that someone on the inside was working with Pavel. Meanwhile, Zarkova had the Lieutenant General at gunpoint on his desk. Coltrane and Novin entered and thought it was Zarkova who was still working with Pavel. She called them stupid and said it was the Lieutenant General. They questioned him an he revealed the launch keys were for an old Russian missile base in Azerbaijan where they held a stockpile of VX missiles. Launching one of those at the West would start a world war. The General Lieutenant logged them into his computer but then tried to grab Zarkova’s weapon. Coltrane was took quick and shot him dead through the head.
In Saloglu, Azerbaijan. The team approached Facility Aleksi by boat which was an unfinished base that had launch silos and chemical labs equipped to manufacture chemical weapons. Mac and Wyatt needed to abseil down to the subterranean level to bypass the security system and patch Chetri in. She then opened the silo doors for control room access for Coltrane, Novin and Zarkova. After Mac got her network access, Chetri could see that three missiles were refuelling and at 90%.
Before Chetri could open the next doors for Mac and Wyatt they opened and Petrenko and more of Pavel’s group came through and opened fire. On the other level, Coltrane’s team also came under fire. Both teams engaged the enemy. Petrenko signalled for gas masks and then they shot one of the chemical storage barrels. Mac and Wyatt scrambled to put their own gas masks on then got back in the fight. Petrenko got in close and tried to remove Wyatt’s mask. He managed to stop her and removed hers then held her as the chemical gas took effect. She pulled a gun but he shot first and killed her.
Meanwhile Pavel readied the launch keys as the missile refuelling completed. Coltrane sent Novin and Zarkova to try and get to Pavel while he stayed behind to hold off the attacking force solo. Pavel pushed the keys into place and entered the passcode to initiate the 5-minute launch sequence. The targets were set for Paris, Berlin and London. Coltrane recalled Mac and Wyatt, they had to come back the way they came due to the automated lockdown for launch.
Zarkova made it to the control room first and was attacked by Pavel. They engaged in hand to hand combat and Pavel proved too strong. They pulled guns on each other and Zarkova told him to stop the launch. He said it needed the override code that only he knew. She said she missed the Pavel she knew and he asked if she wanted to know his real name. She’d already found it out, knowing it was Dennis.
Pavel shot Zarkova in the stomach and she fell to the floor. Novin appeared and fired a shot through his shoulder and Zarkova also fired a shot through his torso. Novin screamed that they needed the disarm code as Pavel fell to the floor bleeding. Meanwhile, Coltrane had completely run out of ammo for his assault rifle and sidearm. He resorted to using his rifle as a club as three attackers approached but Mac and Wyatt appeared and took them out.
There was less than three minutes until launch and Chetri wasn’t unable to override. Mac suggested blowing the facility and Coltrane ordered him and Wyatt out. Mac wasn’t happy to leave Coltrane behind but it was an order. Coltrane ordered Novin to meet him at the refuelling station with the other explosive charge. She reported back that Zarkova was in a bad way and wouldn’t make it on her own. Coltrane repeated the order, forcing Novin to leave Zarkova. She told Novin that she would have left her. As Novin left, Zarkova tried to get to her feet.
With 90 seconds left, Mac and Wyatt cleared the way to the exit. Coltrane and Novin began setting their charges on a 60 second timer. Novin told Coltrane he’d been wrong that she’d risk the mission to save someone. They synchronised the charges and began to move quickly. Meanwhile, the facility went into emergency lockdown due to the spreading chemical leak, trapping Coltrane and Novin as well as Zarkova.
An attacker appeared and tried to shoot Chetri. She sensed him and shot him first but her laptop was damaged in the exchange. As the charges exploded, Chetri somehow managed to bypass the lockdown and get the doors open. She fled as Coltrane and Novin did the same. Zarkova also tried to get out. As everything exploded, Coltrane and Novin made it outside. She asked if they were dead but Coltrane said that death wouldn’t be as painful. Chetri also made it out and confirmed that the missiles were destroyed. Novin hailed Zarkova but was met with radio silence.
The scene cut to the team preparing to leave in a jeep as Mac passed around a bottle of scotch. It was revealed that Zarkova did make it out and she was badly injured but stable. She asked about Novin and Mac said it was mission complete and they all got to go home. Coltrane asked if that’s what she wanted and she said she didn’t know if she would be seen as a good soldier or a traitor but it was time to find out. Wyatt offered to swap places with her as he wasn’t keen on facing the wrath of Madison but she declined.
Novin asked if Coltrane wanted to say a few words for the road and he came out with “It could have been worse, let’s go”. Coltrane said Novin was driving and demoted her back to Lance Corporal. The episode ended as they drove away.
Strike Back has been renewed for an eighth and final season. It is expected to return in 2020.