‘Special Ops: Lioness’ Episode 3 Recap & Ending, Explained: What Happens Between Cruz & Aaliyah?


In the second episode of Special Ops: Lioness, Cruz Manuelos was put through probably the toughest and most brutal test, and she was shaken from within after that. Joe had told her that she was just preparing for what was about to come, but Cruz, like any other normal person, didn’t like her approach. She knew that it was a risky mission, but she didn’t appreciate the fact that Joe had subjected her to such a horrendous situation. So, without wasting any other moment, let’s get into a detailed recap of the third episode and find out if Cruz is able to enter the close-knit circle of Aaliyah.

Spoilers Alert

What Problems Was Joe Having With Kate?

Joe was having a hard time maintaining a balance between her professional and private life; the problem was that Neil and Kate had learned to live without her. We saw that they felt very odd in the previous episode of Special Ops: Lioness when Joe arrived unannounced at the house. They felt a certain degree of discomfort, and it was very disheartening for Joe when she learned about it. Obviously, the unease they were having about including Joe in the scheme of things was pretty evident, and though Neil tried to handle the situation, it was not possible that Joe wouldn’t get hurt. There was a time when Joe was not in the house for half a year, and she missed out on a lot. But Joe knew that she couldn’t do anything about it, and even when she came back to spend time, she couldn’t make up for the time that she had lost. Also, when she came into the house, she was so piled up with work that she wasn’t able to give her undivided attention to her family. The kids, on the other hand, needed their parents, and they had also started feeling quite distant from them.

Though Neil also had quite a hectic schedule, he tried to be there for them in whatever capacity he could. Joe, on the other hand, had now become a stranger, and Kate didn’t like her being present in the same house. Neil had to literally tell Kate to bear with everything until Joe was around. Joe was also quite bossy in her parenting, and at times, she became way too strict with her. We didn’t know if Joe realized this or not, but she was hampering her relationship by trying to curb their freedom. Kate had already become a rebel, and she didn’t like it when she was told what to do and what not to do. In the previous episode, we saw that Neil had confiscated her mobile and that she had started acting out.

Joe was already finding it quite difficult to reach a common ground with her daughter and understand her, and to make matters worse, in Special Ops: Lioness Episode 3, she walked in on Kate when she was sharing a very intimate moment with a boy. Joe reacted in an extreme manner, and she called the mother of the boy and told her that her son was with her daughter. The boy ran out of the house in embarrassment, and a disappointed Kate went up to her bedroom. Kate told Joe upfront not to tell her how to live her life because she didn’t like that. Joe probably could have dealt with the situation a little more maturely and not let her anger determine things. But now the damage had been done, and Kate despised her even more. Joe went to talk to Neil, and she got to know that he already knew about it.

Neil had talked to Kate about all these things, and they had decided to set a boundary beyond which Kate wouldn’t go as of now. Neil knew that he could not stop his children from being with boys at that age, and so he had reached a sort of agreement with them. Joe wanted to have a conversation with Neil and spend some quality time with him, but he was on a Zoom call and didn’t have the time. Time was a luxury for both Joe and Neil, and it had become the reason why their family had started falling apart. They loved each other, but not being able to spend any time together was creating issues, especially for the kids. Kate needed her parents, and their absence was impacting her mental health. She had become a very different person, and Joe’s strict measures were not helping her cause.

What Happened Between Cruz And Aaliyah?

The extraction of a prisoner by Kyle with some borrowed manpower from Joe was successful, and we will have to see in the upcoming episodes if it is somewhat connected to the ongoing case or not. Joe helped Kyle, probably because she knew that there would come a time when she would need his help. Meanwhile, Cruz was called to Chesapeake, where Aaliyah was staying with her partner, Ehsan, and a few other friends. Cruz and Joe both knew that this was a big step and that things were moving rather quickly.

Joe asked Cruz to throw the burner phone when she was about to reach the mansion where Aaliyah was staying, and she gave her all the details she needed to know before going there. Joe was pretty confident about the entire mission, even though things were moving more quickly than she had expected them to, mainly because she knew that Cruz had the potential to pull it off. Joe had put Cruz through a lot of torture in the previous episode of Special Ops: Lioness so that she would get an idea of how much she was able to take before she broke. Cruz was obviously angry at Joe because there was no part of her body that was not bruised. Those bruises caused a lot of trouble for her when she reached Aaliyah’s paradise.

Aaliyah called a doctor when she saw those marks on her body, and Joe didn’t know at that moment if Cruz would be able to handle the situation and not blow her cover. The doctor came, and he told Cruz that he was obligated to inform the authorities as it was a case of domestic abuse, but Cruz handled the situation tactfully and told him that she had already complained, and the perpetrator had been caught. She played the sympathy card in front of the doctor and told him that she really needed some friends in life and that she wanted him to tell Aaliyah that she was absolutely fine. The doctor did exactly that, and Joe and her entire team were pleasantly surprised with the way Cruz had dealt with the entire facade.

Cruz had recording devices on her, through which Joe was able to hear everything firsthand. At the end of Special Ops: Lioness, something happened that neither Joe nor Cruz were prepared for. One of Aaliyah’s friends, Sami, tried to molest Cruz, but she defended herself, and then security came and intervened. The next day, Aaliyah and Ehsan decided to take the party to another city altogether, and they wanted to keep it a surprise, so Cruz had no clue where they were going. As soon as Joe got to know about it, she immediately went to the private airport from where they were boarding the flight, and at the very last moment, Joe’s team owners were able to note down the flight number. In the upcoming episode, we will get to know what kind of challenges Cruz faces in her covert operation and if Joe is able to get more information on Asmar Ali Amrohi.

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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