Special Ops: Lioness Season 1 Episode 2 Recap – Why did Joe put Cruz through the test again?

By Ricky Valero
Published: July 23, 2023 (Last updated: September 6, 2023)
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Special Ops: Lioness Season 1 Episode 2 Recap - Why did Joe put Cruz through the test again?


“The Beating” starts a bit slow, but as the episode progresses, the heat gets turned up. Zoe Saldana and Laysla De Oliveira deliver incredible performances.

This recap of the Paramount+ series Special Ops: Lioness Season 1 Episode 2, “The Beating,” contains spoilers.

In Episode 2 of Special Ops: Lioness, we get a little bit of a back story on Joe and her family. It begins to show us that while their jobs might be different, Joe and her husband Neil face the same life-and-death situations daily.

Special Ops: Lioness Season 1 Episode 2 Recap

Joe and Kaitlyn are sitting down to discuss her newest agent, Cruz, and how she is doing with their latest mark, Aaliyah. Joe mentions she is doing good but wants to put her through the wringer again. Of course, Kaitlyn advises it’s her agent, so she can do what she wants. Kaitlyn then asks Joe about her husband and kids.

READ: TV Shows like Special Ops: Lioness

While she asks, we see Joe’s daughter getting into a fight at school and Neil (a doctor) telling a family that their kid has cancer and there is nothing they can do about it. As a result, the father punches Neil in the face. Joe comes home to the wild mess of Neil grounding their daughter while trying to grasp the idea of what he dealt with at work.

Who stops Joe’s attempt to break Cruz?

As Joe planned, a group of men grabbed Cruz on the run and interrogated her. They throw everything at her, from waterboarding to loud music to beating her down when she tries to fight back, but none of it makes her crack and give her name. Joe goes in to break her down even more and sends the team back in for round two. However, as things got worse, one of the Marines in charge stopped the torture from continuing.

After they call off the torturing, Cruz fights back, beating up both Marines inside the room until someone stops her. Joe is visibly frustrated with how everything unfolded because she says she doesn’t know Cruz’z breaking point.

Why did Joe put Cruz through the test again?

Before she gets out of the car, Joe explains to Cruz that if Aaliyah can get her close to Amrohi and gets a chance, she must find a way to survive whatever hell he puts her through until Joe can get there. She further explains that this test was her seeing how much she could take to understand how much time she had to come to get her when things go wrong. Cruz said she won’t go through it again, and Joe tells her she won’t, that it’ll be far worse.

Special Ops: Lioness Season 1 Episode 2 Ending Explained

Cruz walks into the Marine house, and the team welcomes her warmly. When the crew asks Cruz if she went through S.E.R.E., she explains that she did, but this was something different. We see her team head to the bar and fight the men who did this to her. As the fight settles down, Aaliyah calls Cruz to ask her what she is up to and invites her to meet her in Chesapeake to hang out with her and some boys.

What did you think of Special Ops: Lioness Season 1 Episode 2? Comment below.

You can watch this series with a subscription to Paramount+.

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