Created by Taylor Sheridan, Paramount+’s ‘Special Ops: Lioness’ is an action thriller series. It stars Zoe Saldana, Laysla De Oliveira, Michael Kelly, Morgan Freeman, and Nicole Kidman in the main roles. The series revolves around the Lioness program’s Station Chief, Joe, who recruits a young Marine, Cruz, for an undercover mission. However, Cruz ends up getting too close to her mark, Aaliyah Amrohi, resulting in hints of romantic tension between them. As a result, viewers might wonder if Cruz and Aaliyah are gay or bisexual, and here is everything we know in that regard! SPOILERS AHEAD!
Are Cruz and Aaliyah Gay or Bisexual?
Cruz Manuelos is one of the main characters in ‘Special Ops: Lioness.’ She is a former Force Recon Marine who is recruited by Joe, the Station Chief of a Lioness QRF. Cruz is sent undercover as a spy and tasked with keeping tabs on the daughter of a suspected terrorist. Her mark is Aaliyah Amrohi, the daughter of Asmar Ali Amrohi, a billionaire businessman suspected of funding terrorist activities in the Middle East. As a result, Cruz befriends Aaliyah and quickly strikes a friendship with her mark. Meanwhile, Aaliyah is searching for a true friend, as every aspect of her life is controlled by her family. In the sixth episode, Aaliyah and Cruz spend alone time together, sparking romantic feelings, leading to a kiss between them.
The show’s initial episodes explore the backstory of Cruz Manuelos. In the past, she worked as a stripper after her mother passed away, and she was forced to drop out of college. Cruz lived with her abusive boyfriend, and escaping from him led her to the Marine Corps. In contrast, Aaliyah grew up in a wealthy household where her family determined her every move. She is engaged to Ehsan Al Rashdi in a match fixed by her parents. However, while Aaliyah values Ehsan’s kindness, she regrets not marrying a man she loves. The sixth episode also sees Aaliyah and Cruz talking about the qualities they want in the man they wish to marry.
The backstories and information provided about Cruz and Aaliyah’s dating life confirm that at least Cruz has had a romantic interest and a relationship with a man. In the series, actress Laysla De Oliveira plays the role of Cruz Manuelos. Oliveira is known for portraying Echo/Dodge in the Netflix series ‘Locke & Key.’ Oliveira is reportedly engaged to actor Jonathan Keltz (‘Reign‘) and does not appear to be queer. Meanwhile, Stephanie Nur plays the role of Aaliyah Amrohi. She is known for her role as Melodi in the Western drama series ‘1883.’ Although little is known about Nur’s dating history, she also doesn’t appear to be queer.
Ultimately, Cruz’s past suggests she is interested in men, while her kiss with Aaliyah hints she might also have an interest in women. Therefore, Cruz might be bisexual. On the other hand, Aaliyah seems to have little interest in her fiancé, and her kissing Cruz strongly suggests she prefers women as her romantic partners. Therefore, Aaliyah might be gay or bisexual. All things said, the suggested romantic relationship between Cruz and Aaliyah will likely be an important plot thread of the show. It will be a deciding factor in the success or failure of Cruz’s mission.