REVIEW: SWAT: Lioness | ComicMix

Some called Paramount+ Star Trek channel when it first launched, but it was quickly changed to the Taylor Sheridan Channel as his various series fueled their original programming roster. Luckily, they are different and distinct, each with their own genre.

Conquering the modern and historical Western, it gave us a gritty foundation. Mayor of Kingstown and Sly Stallone Tulsa King. Then it fell, it came Special Forces: Lionessa story of international espionage that was (finally) female-centric.

The ten-episode show is based on the real-life CIA program “Team Lioness,” a Marine Corps program “created to give the Marine Corps closer access to women involved in potential terrorist plots,” according to Collider. Female Marines could seek out potential threats from women and create connections in Iran and Afghanistan that their religious beliefs separated them from the men.

Sheridan went even further: Team Lioness actually infiltrated Marine Cruz Manuelos (Lysla De Oliveira), close to their target’s Iranian daughter, the financier behind Iran’s terrorist activities. Each team had a seeker and a guardian angel, the latter being the hardened Joe (Zoe Saldaña) and her supporting troops.

There is a tense relationship between Manuelos, who had a difficult life before joining the army, and Jo, who is distancing herself from her husband (David Anabele) and two daughters. Who is watching the watcher? The ubiquitous Nicole Kidman plays the role back at Langley and reports to Morgan Freeman, so the cast is stellar.

The story follows Manuelos’ recruitment into the program and accelerated training, and then we see her befriend Aaliyah (Stephanie Noor), who is about to get married, bringing her elusive father into the public eye (and the sights of Manuelos’ rifle, they hope).

There are some asides that feel like filler to stretch the story and tension across the episodes. Still, the domestic and international stories are gripping, and Sheridan’s hallmark of never leaving his characters unscathed is effectively maintained here. Manuelos’ arc is most compelling as she steps outside her comfort zone, forming a social and then romantic connection with Aaliyah.

The series may or may not return for a second time, but Paramount Home Entertainment has released Special Forces: Lioness, season one in a three-disc Blu-ray package. No 4K or digital HD code, but each disc has its own features.

The 1080p digital transfer is good, if not spectacular, but good for home viewing. The lossless soundtrack in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 is quite adequate.

In terms of features, the first disc includes Behind the Story: Sacrificial Soldiers (7:21), The Beating (7:14) and Bruise Like a Fist (4:11). On the second disc: “Choosing Failure” (6:16), “Truth Is the Sharpest Lie” (4:29) and “Lies Are Truth” (7:43); and on disc three: Wish the Fight Away (7:25) and Gone Is the Illusion of Order (7:30). There’s also “Built in Special Ops: Lioness” (21:38), a behind-the-scenes exploration, Battle Forged Calm: Tactics & Training (9:02) and Inside the Series (7:00) with LaMonica Garrett, who plays Tucker, telling us more about history.

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