Special Ops Lioness Episode 5 Recap: Joe Tackles Terrorists

Paramount+’s ‘Special Ops: Lioness’ episode 5 follows Saldaña’s Joe, a station chief of the CIA’s Lioness program who struggles to balance her personal and professional life while serving her nation. The fifth episode sees Joe dealing with the aftermath of her daughter’s accident while leading a mission to capture high-level terrorist targets. However, the seemingly simple task becomes increasingly complex, leading viewers to wonder whether Joe succeeds or fails. The ending of ‘Special Ops: Lioness’ episode 5 reveals the mission’s outcome and its implications for Joe and her squad. SPOILERS AHEAD!

Special Ops Lioness Episode 5 Recap

The fifth episode, titled ‘Truth Is the Shrewdest Lie,’ opens with Cruz waking up in the safe house. Bobby and the QRF team prepare Cruz for her return to the field while recovering from the previous incident. Meanwhile, Joe and Kaitlyn travel to the hospital where Joe’s daughter, Kate, is undergoing surgery following a car accident. The surgery goes through smoothly, and the doctor explains that Kate has no significant nerve damage. However, given the nature of her injuries, Kate has a long road to recovery. Moreover, the doctor also reveals that Kate’s body rejected the pregnancy.

Kaitlyn gives Joe a couple of hours with her daughter before the latter must return to her duty. Meanwhile, Neal and Kaitlyn talk about Joe being away from her children and family because of work. However, Kaitlyn reminds Neal that Joe is responsible for national security and he should not give up on her. On the other hand, Kate regains consciousness and finds Joe beside her. The mother and daughter have a heart-to-heart conversation wherein Joe apologizes for being away from her daughter because of work. During the conversation, Joe reveals she was already married to another man when she became pregnant with Kate.

Eventually, Kate and Joe reconcile while Kate apologizes for her callous behavior. Joe spends some time with Neal and her younger daughter, Charlie, before returning to work. Later, Joe arrives for a briefing meeting with Kyle. The agents are interrogated and reprimanded by their CIA supervisor, Byron Westfield. Westfield blasts Joe for lending Kyle her team and warns her against using his assets in unsanctioned missions. However, Westfield believes they can cover up the Lioness QRF team’s involvement in the Texas extraction mission if they can catch the six high-level terrorist targets that Kyle claims he has a lead on because of the asset he saved from dying.

Kyle explains that according to his intel, the six targets will be present at a sage house in San Antonio, Texas. As a result, Westfield sanctions a mission to capture the targets alive. However, he warns Joe and Kyle that any can of mess-up will force them to concede control of the mission and put them up for further scrutiny. As a result, the group must capture the targets without any casualties. Joe returns to the safe house and gathers her team before meeting Kyle at a base where Kaitlyn has set up a command center for the operation. However, Joe, Kaitlyn, and Kyle are forced to reconsider their plan of action after discovering their targets are heavily armed.

Special Ops Lioness Episode 5 Ending: Does Joe’s Mission Succeed?

In the episode’s final act, Joe’s team and Kyle are mobilized after they recognize that the terrorist targets are armed and pose a threat to national security. However, the mission is complicated because the terrorists are armed with weapons and explosives. As a result, catching them alive is a near-impossible task. Therefore, Kaitlyn creates a backup plan to detonate the explosives inside the safe house with the terrorists if things go sideways.

Furthermore, Cruz wants to be on the mission and sees it as a chance to prove herself. Joe adds her to the team. Kaitlyn warns Joe and Cruz not to let their other agents cloud their judgment in the field. During the ambush, Joe’s team secures the targets, but one of them is wearing a suicide vest, and the soldiers are forced to kill him.

The mission is jeopardized in the process, and Joe is forced to surrender the scene to the bomb squad. However, touching or trying to remove the bomb vest is risky. Therefore, Joe’s team retreats and the neighborhood is evacuated before the bomb is detonated, destroying the safe house and killing the targets. When Kaitlyn returns home, her husband, Errol Meade, reveals that the mission in San Antonia has gained national coverage. Therefore, it is safe to say that the mission failed despite no civilian casualties. As a result, Joe and her team will be up for further scrutiny by the CIA’s top brass.

The episode ends with Cruz receiving a call from Aaliyah Amrohi. As Cruz speaks with Aaliyah, she essentially re-establishes contact with her mark. Moreover, Joe’s team needs to prove their capability after the recent failures, and Cruz could lead them directly to high-level targets linked to Aaliyah and her family. Elsewhere, Joe returns home to her family, but the strain of her job on her relationship with Neal becomes more evident, and it is implied that the couple could be heading for a separation.

Read More: Special Ops Lioness Episode 4 Recap and Ending, Explained