[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Strike_Back_6758.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Diplomacy is overrated.]]

'''''Strike Back''''' is a British/American action series that's aired between 2010 to the present that centers on the members of "Section 20", an MI6/British military intelligence black-ops unit.

The first series, '''''Chris Ryan's Strike Back''''', (which later aired on Cinemax under the subtitle '''''Origins''''' in late 2013), aired as a six-part miniseries on the UK's Sky Network in 2010. It's loosely based on the Chris Ryan novel and follows John Porter (Creator/RichardArmitage), a disgraced former-SAS soldier, who is drafted into service by former comrade Hugh Collinson (Andrew Lincoln), the head of Section 20. Initially recruited to rescue a hostage from terrorists in Iraq and later going on missions in Zimbabwe and Afghanistan, Porter soon learns there's a conspiracy of silence behind the failed mission that led to his dishonourable discharge.

The second series, '''''Strike Back: Project Dawn''''', ran for ten episodes in 2011 and was co-produced by Cinemax with an entirely new cast and storyline. It follows Section 20's attempts to track down Pakistani terrorist Latif, who is attempting to acquire and use weapons of mass destruction; their efforts are led by Michael Stonebridge (Philip Winchester), a straight-laced SAS soldier, and Damien Scott (Sullian Stapleton), a disgraced former-Delta operator. The pair are also trying to unravel the mystery of "Project Dawn", which is linked to Scott's unfair dismissal from Delta Force, the final fate of John Porter, and Latif's plan to acquire a WMD.

The third series, '''''Strike Back: Vengeance''''', is another ten-episode Cinemax co-production and a direct sequel to the previous series, once again starring Winchester and Stapleton, with Rhona Mitra also starring as Rachel Dalton, the new commander of Section 20. In ''Vengeance'', a simple exchange gone wrong puts Section 20 on the trail of nuclear triggers and competing against the forces of Conrad Knox (Creator/CharlesDance), a businessmen with an agenda. Stonebridge's semi-retirement as an SAS training officer is shattered when [[spoiler:a vengeful former colleague murders his wife]], and he returns to Section 20 to seek revenge; meanwhile, Scott is reunited with CIA officer Christy Bryant, who threatens to expose the secrets of his past.

The fourth series, '''''Strike Back: Shadow Warfare''''', is also ten-episodes, with Cinemax continuing its partnership and Winchester, Stapleton and Mitra reprising their roles. ''Shadow Warfare'' begins with Scott and Stonebridge being recalled from vacation in the western U.S. after another member of Section 20 is killed in Lebanon while tracking the terrorist al-Zuhari. While Scott and Stonebridge are deployed in Columbia to recover Zuhari's top lieutenant, Dalton, who was trapped in Lebanon after Section 20's original mission was compromised, begins searching for a rogue MI-6 operative who may have sold the team out to al-Zuhari.

A fifth and final series is planned for 2014 and will include filming in Thailand.

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Whole run]]
* BritsWithBattleships: Given that Section 20's personnel are drawn from the British Army.
* CombatPragmatist: The main characters have no problem with dirty tricks in a firefight, or going for groin attacks...
* {{Fanservice}}: Hoo boy... and girl. There's a lot of this (for both genders), especially after Cinemax got involved. Scott's life philosophy seems to be "see the world, meet interesting people and have gratuitous explicit sex with the attractive female ones".
* FullFrontalAssault: Scott and Stonebridge have ended up in fights while being completely naked.
* KilledOffForReal: A lot of Section 20 regulars end up KIA, frequently with little warning.
* LocationDoubling: South Africa and Hungary for a lot of other places... and sometimes themselves too.
* RunningGag: Scott and Stonebridge can never agree on whether to go on "three" or "go".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:''Chris Ryan's Strike Back'']]
* AmericaSavesTheDay: Inverted. [[spoiler: The last story arc has the American government as the badguys: They used and abused a PTSD-addled computer expert and sent him off to Afghanistan, where he defected and joined a local warlord/politician who plans on taking over the whole of the Middle East. When he starts redirecting missiles at American troops, he's captured and planned to be executed in order to shift the blame onto the Brits, along with denying the existence of a second captive, who they know is a British SAS undercover, despite the fact his photo is already been seen by the Brits. It turns out they're also backing the warlord, and willing to supply him with weapons and information, as they believe he can control the Taliban for them, and they're willing to betray and demonize their own allies in order to do it, and do so while admitting it to their faces.]] Even Non-American viewers may find the depiction unneedingly demonizing towards America. Makes the second series' playing it straight with the focus on the American soldier a little ironic really.
* AssShove: In the first two episodes, John Porter takes a moment (before walking into a terrorist trap) to wrap a Swiss army knife in cling-wrap and insert it into his ass. After being captured and verifying that the terrorists are holding the woman he's trying to rescue, he removes the knife and uses it to escape his cell.
* BodyDouble: Robert Mugabe had a body double as plot for episode 3, season 1.
* EveryHelicopterIsAHuey: Even ''British'' ones, apparently, though the British army have never used them.
* MrFanservice: Creator/RichardArmitage. Of course, [[ShirtlessScene he gets his shirt off]].
* GetIntoJailFree
* HoYay: Gerald Baxter and John Porter. Invoked by Baxter saying they've got a fine "bromance" going. [[spoiler: Just before he gets shot in the head by a sniper.]]
* ILied: Al-Nazeri, when preparing to execute the journalist in episode two:
--> '''Porter''': Hakim, you bastard, you said you'd take me first.
--> '''Al-Nazeri''': I lied.
* IntimatePsychotherapy
* ISurrenderSuckers: Porter's plan for rescuing the journalist in episode two, hence the AssShove above. It did go a little rougher than planned - he probably didn't expect them to have a bug detector for the tracker in his tooth, which was promptly [[TheToothHurts ripped out of his mouth]], preventing Section 20 from tracking him after that point.
* LocationDoubling: Filmed in South Africa.
* SouthAfricansWithSurfaceToAirMissiles: The South African Army gets involved in helping Felix and Porter escape from Zimbabwean soil. Collinson wears South African [=BDUs=] to conceal his presence as a British officer.
* TheWarOnTerror: Both Collinson and Porter fought in post-Saddam Iraq in the early 2000s.
* ZergRush: Near the end of episode 4, season 1, Zimbabwean special forces try to kill off Felix and Porter somewhere near the Zimbabwe/South Africa border.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:''Strike Back: Project Dawn'']]
* BigDamnHeroes: Three moments in the space of about five minutes in episode 2:
** First, Stonebridge ambushes the group of terrorists trying to smuggle Mahmood out through the backdoor of the hotel. In the process, he [[EyeScream puts a bullet through The Bespectacled Man's eye]], defeating his attempt to use Mahmood as a HumanShield.
** Next up, Scott, after [[EnforcedTrope making sure to]] [[InfantImmortality get the small child he's been safeguarding out of the line of fire]], bum rushes the terrorists in the main lobby. He jumps the leader and knocks the detonator out of his hand, then completely disconnects the fuse for the bombs on the front door so [[TheCavalry the Indian Special Forces]] doesn't kill everyone when they storm the place. Unfortunately, the bomb hanging from the roof can still be detonated the old-fashioned way, and despite being shot by [[MookFaceTurn one of his own men]], the terrorist leader still has enough presence of mind to cut the supporting wire before he dies.
** That's when Stonebridge charges in from the side, directly in the crossfire of the Indian Army and the remaining terrorists, and leaps up to catch the bomb with about two feet to spare before it hits the ground and blows the hotel to kingdom come. This earns him a short round of applause from Scott.
* {{Blackmail}}: In order to get the Georgians to send a chopper into Chechnya to extract Scott and Stonebridge, Sinclair threatens to tell the Russians that the Georgians inserted the two of them, plus a squad of their own soldiers, into Chechnya[[note]]tantamount to an act of war against Russia, and would have lead to a NoHoldsBarredBeatdown on the much smaller Georgian forces[[/note]] in the first place.
* BodyHorror: Latif's master plan [[spoiler: partly involves implanting explosive canisters of VX inside the bodies of Chechen dissidents willing to be blown up to send a message to the West.]]
* BookEnds: The two instances of DueToTheDead. The first time, Scott is way down at the other end of the bar, and doesn't join the others in toasting Porter, even ordering a glass of beer instead of the shots drank by the others. The next time, Scott, having proven his worth and loyalty to Section 20 time and time again, joins the others in toasting [[spoiler:Colonel Grant]].
* BoomHeadshot: Many. And they're [[AvertedTrope not]] [[PrettyLittleHeadshots pretty]].
* BulletProofVest: Stonebridge does not expect an African warlord to be wearing one. This almost gets him killed.
* CaliforniaDoubling: [[UsefulNotes/SouthAfrica Cape Town]] stands in for a variety of international locations. Averted in episodes three and four, which are set in and around Cape Town.
* TheCasanova: Scott seems to be extremely good at picking up women no matter what country he is in.
* TheChessmaster: When the team tries to foil Latif's plan in India, it turns out he has multiple backup plans. When all of them fail, his final backup is [[spoiler: to trick the good guys into simply handing over to him what he was after]]
* ChivalrousPervert: Scott might be an unrepentant TheCasanova but he never mistreats a woman and will not have sex with a female hostage he rescued because that would be taking advantage of her vulnerable emotional state.
* ClusterFBomb: Scott is dropping these [[spoiler: after getting strapped to a bomb.]] His standard dialogue also skirts this territory, to the point of "Fuck me!" being a sort of CatchPhrase.
* ColonelBadass: Colonel Grant usually supervises the team from the command center but when things go to hell she will not hesitate to go into the field and rescue everyone herself.
* TheConspiracy: Project Trojan Horse, now mostly defunct. Their aim: [[spoiler: plant [=WMDs=] in Iraq to justify the war]].
* CoolShades: Scott and Stonebridge make frequent use of them.
* DeathEqualsRedemption: [[spoiler: Colonel Grant was one of the original architects of Project Trojan Horse, and concealed enough of the truth about it and Latif to help seal Porter's fate and lead Section 20 (and Europe) to the edge of disaster, not to mention her involvement in the framing of Scott. Hence why she puts Latif's gun to the bomb in her jacket to ensure they both get blown up]].
* DeathSeeker: After [[spoiler:Captain Kate Marshall]] is killed, Stonebridge seems to become this out of guilt. He takes dangerous risks and gets angry when Scott calls him out on it.
* DueToTheDead:
** As Section 20's activities are secret, a proper funeral for Porter simply isn't possible. His colleagues instead commemorate him by going to a quiet bar and buying a round of shots to toast his memory, with an extra shot being placed on a picture of Porter in dress uniform.
** The team does this again at the end of the season, in memory of [[spoiler:Colonel Grant]].
* ElaborateUndergroundBase: In the ninth episode, Scott and Stonebridge find that Latif and his men have been using an interconnected group of Soviet-era underground bunkers in Chechnya as a base, complete with testing facilities for their VX distribution system and several corridors large enough to fit a tractor-trailer. Infrared satellite photos and a map found in a control room reveal that the bunker system is about 50 kilometers across and forms a gigantic five-point star.
* FaceDeathwithDignity: [[spoiler: Daniel Connelly]] before being shot in the head by Grant.
* TheFaceless: Latif qualifies as this at the time of the premiere. Anyone who had seen him up close was dead (John Porter having been the last such individual), and the only known photo of Latif was ten years old, black and white and featured a man with dark shades, a beret and a massive beard, all of which together obscured anything that could truly identify him. [[spoiler: They finally get a shot of his current face at the end of episode 2, but by that point he'd already tricked Section 20 into giving him Mahmood]].
* FireForgedFriends: Scott and Stonebridge become this by the time the series ends.
* GenreSavvy: Scott and Stonebridge have years of special forces experience and tend to trust their instincts when they feel that a situation is not right. During a prisoner transfer they [[spoiler: put the prisoner in the trunk of their car rather than the prison van]] and thus foil an attack [[spoiler: on the prison van]].
** Scott is also able to spot when a target has made them when they're stuck in a traffic jam.
* GirlyScream: Scott lets loose one of these [[spoiler: while strapped to a bomb]]. It's not nearly as funny as the trope usually implies, though...
* HotterAndSexier: The series is co-produced by Cinemax (often referred to as Skinemax) and has a lot more sex and nudity than the British original.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: [[spoiler: Latif's fate.]] Bonus points for resembling the petard's effect.
* IdiotBall: Apparently, Latif and his men think it's a good idea [[spoiler: to just tie up Grant without looking to see if she had any weapons on her - say, a volatile plastic explosive that can be set off by a direct gunshot.]] And this in spite of [[spoiler: Grant practically throwing said explosive device ''in Latif's face mere minutes earlier''.]]
* KickTheDog: In episode eight, the same man who earlier killed an old woman on the orders of his boss casually tosses a rotting head into the transport holding Scott, Stonebridge, and the EU hostages seemingly just to make them all physically ill, even quipping about it being a "souvenir of their visit". [[spoiler: [[SubvertedTrope Turns out]] the actual souvenir is a loaded gun hidden inside, along with a note explaining that the old woman is alive (the gunshots heard back at camp was the man killing the other thugs at the mass grave)]].
* KilledOffForReal: [[spoiler:Captain Kate Marshall]] gets killed in an explosion.
** [[spoiler: Colonel Eleanor Grant]] blows [[spoiler:herself]] up in the season finale to [[spoiler: kill Latif]].
* MissionControl: Colonel Grant, Major Sinclair and Sgt. Richmond function as this. A few extras are frequently seen in the Crib as well.
* MoodWhiplash: Scott and Grant's rather humorous exchange about his possible employment with Section 20 was followed by TheReveal that [[spoiler: The Bespectacled Man, believed to be Latif, was really just another underling, followed by Mahmood coming face to face with the real Latif, and the subsequent discovery of both her body and the real Major Ashkani's]].
* OddCouple: Stonebridge is a ConsummateProfessional while Scott is a MilitaryMaverick. Still, by the end of the series, they're FireForgedFriends.
* OohMeAccentsSlipping / NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent: Sullivan Stapleton's "American" accent falls under one of these.
* OutOfCharacterAlert: A conversation with Marshall causes Scott to realize that Porter's unscripted outbursts during his death speech went against his motto, "Never Give Up". This realization caused him to run said outbursts through a special code the two of them had devised years earlier in Afghanistan, leading them to the next piece of Latif's plan.
* RealMenGetShot: Either Stonebridge or Scott on almost every mission.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath:
** The killing of an adolescent hostage greatly affects one of the terrorists in the Indian hotel takeover. He later aids Scott in getting a little girl out of the line of fire and kills his commander when he tries to blow them all up. However, since he's still a terrorist firing a weapon and they don't know what he's done, the Indian special forces storming the place shoot him.
** [[spoiler: Crawford]] is an associate of Latif, weapons dealer, and a general bad guy but he risks everything to [[spoiler: rescue his estranged daughter]] and dies in the process.
* RefugeInAudacity: Given that he probably knew he was considered unemployable, and that the whole point of bringing him into the mission (ID'ing Latif) was rendered moot since he had never actually ''seen'' Latif's face, this is probably the best way to describe Scott's demands for employment with Section 20.
--> I want a salary that's competitive with top tier [=PMCs=], a living allowance and private health insurance, of course; unlimited expenses and business-class travel twice a year back to the States. Oh, and there's a couple debt collectors I'd like paid off, too.
* [[spoiler: ReverseMole]]: One of Donoghue's men [[spoiler: turns out to be an American MP investigating Donoghue's involvement in Hasani's drug operation]].
* RewardedAsATraitorDeserves: One of the EU hostages, hoping to somehow work out a deal with Hasani, reveals the true target of Scott and Stonebridge to him. Hasani invokes this just after blowing his brains out.
* SpySatellites: Albeit ones that drift out of position, thereby cutting the feed.
* SuicideAttack: See BodyHorror above.
** The hostage takers in the first two episodes use a variant on this to help conceal the true goals of the attack.
* {{Turncoat}}: [[spoiler: Donoghue and his force of US peacekeepers in Kosovo. It turns out they're actively helping Hasani's drug ring, and personally hand him Scott, Stonebridge and several European Union envoys who had escaped Hasani's custody]].
* TheWarOnTerror
* WeaponsOfMassDestruction: Specifically VX, a nerve agent roughly ten times more lethal than Sarin. [[spoiler: This particular batch was originally meant to be planted in Iraq, as part of a cover-up to justify the invasion]].
* WouldHurtAChild: The terrorist commander of the hotel attack who kills a Japanese teenager without hesitation when trying to draw out the real target of their attack.
* YouHaveFailedMe: Hasani uses a joint operation with Latif as cover to get a relative out of jail. Since this attracts the attention of both the CIA and British army intelligence, Latif is not happy with him.
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: After successfully [[spoiler: implanting the bombs inside the bodies of the suicide bombers]], Latif personally blows the brains out of his medical advisor.
** [[spoiler: Mahmood also gets this, after being forced to spill the location of the [=WMDs=] Latif is after]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:''Strike Back: Vengeance'']]
* AllMenArePerverts: How Scott and Stonebridge track the corrupt politician working for Knox, by finding him in a strip joint.
* AnyoneCanDie: It wouldn't be Strike Back if they couldn't.
* [[spoiler: BlackDudeDiesFirst: Among the members of Section 20 (thereby excluding Stonebridge's wife), Sinclair is the first major casualty of the season.]]
* CaliforniaDoubling: See above. This time, episodes five and six are the aversion. The final episodes take place in South Africa as well.
* TheCavalry: A detachment of African Union forces rescues Scott, Stonebridge, Dalton and Richmond from Somali rebels by blitzing their location with tanks and armored personnel carriers.
* ColdSniper: Jessica Kohl. Karl Matlock, who often acts as her spotter, seems like this, but later episodes reveal that he doesn't always sleep well at night.
* CorruptPolitician: Conrad Knox has one of these in his back pocket. [[spoiler: He uses this connection to arrange for the detainment of Section 20 (minus Stonebridge and Scott, who were in the field at the time), which leads to Sinclair's death]].
* DueToTheDead: The group drink a toast [[spoiler: to Major Sinclair, before continuing the hunt for Knox]].
* EmptyQuiver: The driving plot point of the season is a set of nuclear triggers which were smuggled out of Libya by a former member of the Gaddafi regime - who killed his original escort and tried to turn them over to the Brits. Unfortunately, interference by a number of parties, particularly Conrad Knox, results in the triggers passing through the hands of several different individuals, before winding up in Knox's hands, at which point he builds his own warheads.
* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: Conrad Knox does love his daughter, and has genuine affection and friendship with Walter Lutulu, going as far as to get Matlock to free him from prison. [[spoiler: Doesn't mean he won't kill Lutulu if he won't play ball.]]
* EvenEvilHasStandards: [[spoiler: Karl Matlock, upon learning that Knox's plans have devolved from uniting Africa to working with street thugs to blow up a city ForTheEvulz, decides that he didn't sign on for that kind of meaningless slaughter. Sadly for him, Craig Hanson has no such reservations, and shoots Matlock to remove him from the equation]].
* EveryHelicopterIsAHuey: Including one notable scene, the rescue of Walter Latulu from prison, where the helicopter changes from a US Navy Seahawk in one scene to a Huey in the next.
* FailedASpotCheck: Stonebridge fails to spot a trip wire and the team barely escapes getting blown up by a grenade.
* FreudianExcuse: Conrad Knox was the heir to one of South Africa's biggest banking families, who in his view helped prolong the Apartheid era. He plans to make up for it by uniting Zimbabwe and South Africa along with the entire African continent into one nation with a nuclear arsenal.
* GrenadeSpam: When the team first tries to capture Othmani, he has a bag of grenades with him and he keeps tossing them behind him as he is making his escape. The team members have to constantly dodge behind cover to escape the blasts.
* HeroicBSOD: Stonebridge has a few, as a side-effect of [[ShellShockedVeteran PTSD]] from [[spoiler: Kerry's death]].
** Baxter and Richmond appear to suffer early stages of this, [[spoiler: after Sinclair is murdered]].
* HopeSpot: See VillainousRescue.
* InTheBack: [[spoiler: Karl Matlock ends up dying this way, c/o Craig Hanson]].
* ItsPersonal: What the hunt for Knox becomes, [[spoiler: after Major Sinclair is murdered.]]
* LaserGuidedKarma: [[spoiler: The corrupt politician working for Knox ends up getting gunned down by Richmond while trying to flee from the prison where Sinclair was murdered]].
* NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished: Stonebridge gives Jake Hanson another chance to qualify for the SAS. It is against his better judgement but Hanson's brother once saved Stonebridge's life and Hanson seems really dedicated to the service. Things go horribly wrong when Hanson has a psychotic break and Stonebridge has to kill him. Craig Hanson takes this really bad and [[spoiler: murders Stonebridge's wife]].
* NotSoDifferent: How Scott sees Mossad operative Rebekah Levy; they're both doing the same things for the same reasons, but Scott has managed to move on from and come to terms with being a CIA hitman, while Rebekah is still actively working for Mossad.
* OhCrap: Everyone gets these on a regular basis, even Conrad Knox.
* PunchClockVillain: Knox's men are mercenaries who only follow his orders because he pays them a lot of money. They are still highly trained and very dangerous.
* PuppetKing: Knox's plans for Zimbabwe amount to this. He jail breaks popular opposition leader and close friend Walter Kutulu with the intent to covertly install him as President (via Democratic election, no less). [[spoiler: Unfortunately, when he discovers that Knox plans to arm Zimbabwe with nukes, he becomes angry, and Knox assassinates him to keep him quiet.]] A subsequent attempt using Kutulu's daughter Lilian [[spoiler: fails even more spectacularly thanks to Section 20, and she succeeds in revealing Knox's dirty dealings to the world]].
* RedShirt: subverted. [[spoiler: Sgt. Liam Baxter, who is actually pretty handy]].
* Retirony: Carl Matlock's job for Knox was supposed to be his last, whereupon he would retire to Switzerland. [[spoiler: Doesn't pan out, thanks to Hanson.]]
* TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized: Walter Kutulu believes that he can become President of Zimbabwe through democratic means and only needs Knox's mercenaries as protection. Knox feels that their chances will be much better if they first assassinate key members of the current government.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: At the very end, Matlock decides to desert Knox, because Knox has grown too radical for his tastes and his decisions have become too questionable. [[spoiler: Hanson kills him before he can really get away though.]]
* SympatheticVillain: Knox's motivations in a twisted sense. He wants to unite the African continent into one country, give it a nuclear arsenal so it can stand up for itself on the world stage and make up for his family's complicity in prolonging the South African Apartheid period. However, this deteriorates over time, and as Scott and Stonebridge keep on foiling his plans, he suffers a huge SanitySlippage and falls off the DespairEventHorizon. Eventually, he settles for giving a nuke to Nigerian thugs to detonate indiscriminately, a decision that [[EvenEvilHasStandards shocks even]] [[TheDragon Matlock]].
* ShellShockedVeteran:
** Jake Hanson is one of these, and ends up having a psychotic break from a combination of this and drug use - during a live-fire exercise being overseen by Stonebridge. He kills several members of the squad during the break, and Stonebridge is forced to blow his brains out to save another man.
** Stonebridge also starts suffering from this after [[spoiler: his wife is murdered in front of him]]. This puts his teammates in danger [[FailedASpotCheck when fails to notice a booby trap]] and then [[HeroicBSOD starts having flashbacks in the middle of a firefight]].
** Carl Matlock turns out to be one of these, which is why he initially joined up with Conrad Knox.
* ShootTheDog
* StuffedInTheFridge: Stonebridge's wife.
* TakingYouWithMe: Othmani, upon realizing that El Soldat is likely going to pull a YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness (despite the fact that they're ''brothers''), decides to reconnect the circuit to the bomb strapped to his chest, blowing them both up in the process.
* TookALevelInBadass: Sgt. Julia Richmond, compared to ''Project Dawn''. Whereas she spent most of that season in the Crib doing analysis, this season sees her in the field quite frequently, and she often demonstrates a level of skill and savvy on par with that of Scott, Stonebridge and Dalton.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Conrad Knox, from funding the escape of a Zimbabwe dissident leader, planning the unification of the African continent and assembling a nuclear arsenal which he initially planned to bestow to the new country, he runs on this troupe but slowly the "Well intentioned" part deteriorates as he becomes increasingly deluded, crosses the DespairEventHorizon and is DrivenToSuicide .
* WouldHitAGirl: Stonebridge has no problems with shooting Jessica Kohl (who, to be fair, has no problems shooting him).
* VillainousFriendship: Between Carl Matlock and Jessica Kohl. Their exact relationship is never actually articulated, but they're at least a close IntergenerationalFriendship, to the point where Kohl is comfortable being topless around Matlock, and Matlock is visibly upset when Stonebridge kills Kohl.
* VillainousRescue: In episode 2, Matlock[[note]]no not ''[[IThoughtItMeant that]]'' [[{{Matlock}} one]][[/note]] and Kohl pull one of these via GunshipRescue, raining down a hail of fire on the mob of Somali rebels so they'll back off and let them get to Scott, Stonebridge and co. They offer to turn over rebel leader Huseyin Waabri, a valuable bargaining chip for 20 - but demand the nuclear triggers they're carrying as payment. [[spoiler: Scott hands them over while Stonebridge holds Dalton at gunpoint to insure her noninterference. While walking back to their cover, though, Waabri taunts Matlock about a switch he made earlier, and Matlock fills him with lead just as Scott throws him aside. [[SubvertedTrope The gunship pulls out]] and the rebel mob descends upon them once more]].
* YouOweMe: Craig Hanson once saves Stonebridge's life and he calls in that debt so that Stonebridge gives Hanson's brother another chance to qualify for the SAS.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: ''Strike Back: Shadow Warfare'']]
* AbortedArc: Locke's personal quest to find the man who killed his son is never resolved by the end of the series. It's acknowledged in-story, and Locke appears resigned to never finding closure.
* AFatherToHisMen: Dalton tried to be this, but wasn't very successful. Locke does a better job of pulling it off, albeit as a more stern father.
* AnyoneCanDie: [[spoiler:Sgt. Liam Baxter, introduced at the beginning of ''Vengeance'',]] meets his end before the title sequence rolls on the premiere.
** [[spoiler: Mossad agent Rebekah Levy, who was in ''Vengeance'' and the first episode of ''Shadow Warfare'']], dies midway through the 2nd episode.
** [[spoiler: Major Dalton dies at the end of Episode 4.]]
** Scott and Stonebridge aside, (after all, they have the most obvious PlotArmor) the ''only person'' from the second series[[note]] nobody came back from Series 1[[/note]] who is still alive at this point is Sergeant Julia Richmond.
** [[spoiler: Leo Kamali, who'd been hinted to be a possible DragonAscendant, is killed at the end of Episode 8 by Al-Zuhari. The next episodes subverts this with a FakingTheDead reveal.]]
* BaitAndSwitchTyrant: Colonel Phillip Locke first appears to be the usual ObstructiveBureaucrat... But then quickly shows himself to be on top of the ball, pragmatic - "Bring in Kumali alive, but if not possible, terminate," - and a ReasonableAuthorityFigure. And that's before his BigDamnHeroes moment. [[spoiler: Yes, he does relieve Dalton of command of Section 20, but he had damn good reason to do so, given how unhinged Dalton was becoming. And that was ''before'' he learned she was drinking on the job and becoming addicted to morphine.]]
** It's inverted for Dalton, who becomes rapidly more unhinged and demanding as the series goes on.
* BigBadFriend: [[spoiler: Scott and Stonebridge consider Kamali to have become this, because they genuinely thought the three of them had become friends... and then they learn he's the real BigBad of the season.[[/spoiler]]
* BigDamnHeroes: Major Dalton is facing down a hitman, and her pistol misfires... and then Colonel Phillip Locke [[CarFu drives into the hitman]]. "Always was a little heavy on the gas."
** Locke then ups himself in episode 9 by using a grenade launcher to provide covering fire for a hot extract.
* BookEnds: [[spoiler: Kamali's first appearance onscreen is executing a tortured Liam Baxter with a bullet to the head. His last appearance has a tortured Kamali being executed by a bullet to the head. Like several other tropes, subverted in episode nine]].
** The series starts and ends with Stonebridge and Scott on the road together.
* BoomHeadshot: How [[spoiler: Baxter and Rebekah Levy die, courtesy of Kumali and The Jaguar respectively. Unlike most cases of this trope, Rebekah takes a while to die, enough time to say the Shema Yisrael and goodbye to Scott]].
** The Jaguar later gets this from Scott.
** And then [[spoiler: Dalton gets it also.]]
** And then [[spoiler: Kamali.]]
*** [[spoiler: Subverted later - al-Zuhari was dead before the start of the series, and Kumali had taken his place. His execution by al-Zuhari's enforcer was staged]].
* BorrowedBiometricBypass: [=McKenna=] first seduces and then kills a member of the British Embassy staff in Budapest, then uses her fingerprints to gain access to the NATO hard drive.
* BulletproofHumanShield: Used on occasion by the lads, notably in Episode 9 and Episode 10.
* ButForMeItWasTuesday: While extracting Kumali from the Jaguar's villa, Stonebridge and Scott kill a Russian who tried to stop them. When the Jaguar [[ColdBloodedTorture asks why they killed the son of a powerful Russian mobster]], both Stonebridge and Scott are genuinely confused and ignorant about who they killed.
* CaliforniaDoubling: Episodes 1-4 are shot in Cape Town, the rest of the series in Budapest. Episodes 5 and 6 are again the aversion.
* CassandraTruth: Dalton believes that Sofia, the woman passenger picked up during Section 20's raid on what was supposed to be Al-Zuhari's transport into Lebanon, is not innocent and is involved with al-Zuhari. Locke strongly disagrees. [[spoiler: Turns out Dalton was partially right - Sofia is al-Zuhari's wife, and she's carrying an SD card intended for him, though she's genuinely ignorant of Al-Zuhari's plans - but it's not much comfort.]]
* CasualDangerDialog: A fine example in Episode 10, as Scott and Stonebridge fight their way out of a van, starting with arguing about whether to act on "three" or "go" (in Morse code!), to Stonebridge talking to a terrorist who he's knifing - "Right, I need this car a lot more than you do!" to Scott being chided over his language by Stonebridge. See the Funny tab.
* ColdBloodedTorture:
** In Episode 2, Stonebridge and Scott are tortured with cattle prods by The Jaguar.
** In Episode 4, Dalton waterboards Sofia Aboud.
** In Episode 6, Locke is on the receiving end of this.
** In Episode 10, Scott and Stonebridge electric torture a Mook.
* ColonelBadass: Colonel Phillip Locke is a 30 year veteran of the British Army and served in every conflict Britain was involved in during that time. Stonebridge is clearly impressed that Locke is involved in their mission. Locke then proves his reputation correct when he singlehandly saves Major Dalton from a hitman.
** When the team are ambushed at an airport, Locke's response is to go on the offensive and kill everything (until getting attacked from behind). Later, when forced to dig his own grave, he instead kills the men guarding him, and nearly escaped on his own. And even while wounded and being tortured, and offered the name of the man who killed his son, he still won't give up NATO secrets.
* CombatPragmatist: For the most part, Section 20 are this. Par for the course, really. A good example is in Episode 9, when Stonebridge and Scott infiltrate a terrorist camp and used suppressed weapons to kill sleeping jihadis.
* ContinuityNod: Locke refers to Stonebridge's pursuit of Hanson in ''Vengeance'' on occasion.
* CouldSayItBut: Locke uses this to gently hint to the boys that he knows they're still holding the diamonds from Beirut, and suggests they might want to recheck the paperwork, and leaves them be. The boys reluctantly fill in the paperwork and leave the diamonds for Locke; Scott is mixed annoyed, frustrated and impressed that Locke [[GenreSavvy figured it out]].
* [[spoiler: DeadAllAlong: al-Zuhari was killed in a bombing run by the Israelis a few months before the start of the season. Kamali's been running his operation in his stead, and sending out false intel to conceal this]].
* DeepCoverAgent: [[spoiler:Leo Kamali, the terrorist financier who killed Baxter,]] is actually a CIA deniable asset.
** [[spoiler: Turns out he's also running the operation due to al-Zuhari's death, and was his own DoubleAgent inside the western forces]].
* DentedIron: Stonebridge spends several episodes in deteriorating physical condition, are a result of exposure to a chemical agent. Fortunately, it's eventually treated successfully.
* DistaffCounterpart: Richmond and Martinez pretty much become this to Stonebridge and Scott, supporting them in the field (and on several occasions, doing operator shit when the dynamic duo are unavailable). Also, the girls are left-handed, in contrast to the right-handed boys.
* DoubleAgent: Locke was running [=McKenna=]'s brother as a double agent inside the Real IRA. The Real IRA set a car bomb for Locke in retaliation for this.
** [[spoiler: Kamali was his own DoubleAgent inside the western forces: the CIA trusted him because he's their DeepCoverAgent, but in truth he's always been ready to backstab them.[[/spoiler]]
* DressingAsTheEnemy: Inverted. The terrorists for Al-Zuhari's terror attack infiltrate Rammstein Airbase dressed as USAF personnel.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: Section 20 goes through a great deal of hardship and loss, but in the end Al-Zuhari's network is shattered and the plan is foiled, and a lot of bad guys are now out of the picture.
* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: Al-Zuhari arranged for his wife Sofia Aboud to meet him. [[spoiler: Except it turns out that Kamali actually arranged that as part of a plan to ensure Dalton would end up dead.]]
** [[spoiler: Kamali]] does genuinely love his daughter, and this whole jihad was kicked off when his wife was killed by an American pilot who fired on the ambulance carrying her.
** Russian mob boss Arkady Ulyanov pursues Section 20 in order to avenge his son Viktor, who was collateral damage in the first attempt to snatch Kamali.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Zamani, al-Zuhari's enforcer and most loyal fanatic, protests the plan to spread smallpox virus over Berlin, because it will kill many innocent people, including Muslim women and children. [[note]]He has no problems with infecting American soldiers heading back to the US, it must be noted.[[/note]]
* EveryCarIsAPinto: Scott sends Ulyanov's men's car over the side of a ravine, and it explodes spectacularly a few moments after it crashes. Hilariously enough, they'd had to ditch the car because ''it was out of gas.''
* EvilBrit: James Leatherby, former SAS Major, now smuggler operating in Beirut. Well technically he's Scottish, but it's close enough.
** [[spoiler: Leo Kamali, who's a Briton of Arab descent.]]
* FaceHeelTurn: James Leatherby was a former Major in the SAS and was operating in Lebanon, then went rogue and became a smuggler and criminal.
* FakeOutMakeOut: Stonebridge and Martinez have one at the beginning of episode five, to allay suspicion by their target.
* FakingTheDead: [[spoiler: Kamali, from his apparent BoomHeadshot until he reveals himself in episode nine]].
* GenreSavvy: Locke, who realised that Scott and Stonebridge were still holding the diamonds from Lebanon.
* HannibalLecture: Defied. The BigBad appears to be ready to give this in the finale, but choses to forgo it in favor of action.
---> "I won't justify myself to you. You might understand. And then where would you be?"
* HopeSpot: [[spoiler: Dalton has been shot and cornered by Moraig [=McKenna=]. Locke, Stonebridge and Scott are minutes away. They don't make it in time.]]
* ImprovisedWeapon: In one episode, Scott kills a man with a ''spoon''. Well, the spoon was the first step anyhow: he [[GoForTheEye stabs it into his opponent's eye]], then beats him to death with a chair.
* JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope: Locke worries that Dalton is very close to this, [[spoiler: which is why he relieves her of command of Section 20.]]
* KnightTemplar: Dalton is well on her way to becoming this. The morphine addiction and budding alcoholism don't help either.
* ManipulativeBastard: Leo Kumali, who deftly manages the Colombian cartels, the Russian Bratva, James Leatherby, and Al-Zuhari's interests. [[spoiler: He also seems to be manipulating both the CIA and Section 20 for his own purposes. The final episode reveals that he was the true BigBad and mastermind of events, and that he's been in charge of Al-Zuhari's network for the last six months. In fact, he actually actively manipulated Section 20, the CIA, Real IRA and Ulyanov to get everything he needed to launch his attack.]]
* MoreDakka: During Episode 1, the team managed to steal a boat packing two machineguns. Unfortunately, both guns soon ran out of ammo.
** As a general rule, for the most part, the level of dakka is inversely proportional to the level of training.
* MoscowCentre: The team work with FSB operative Nina Prigova. Naturally, she sleeps with Scott.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Locke [[spoiler: relieves Dalton of command of Section 20, worrying that she's JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope. She decides she's nothing left to lose and kidnaps Sofia Aboud, setting into motion a chain of events that lead to both their deaths, and al-Zuhari's orders being received by the Real IRA.]] In all fairness, Locke had very good reason for his actions.
* NoManLeftBehind: Despite being vastly outnumbered by Hezbollah, Locke heads out to extract Bravo Team, mentioning the trope by name.
* NotSoDifferent: Leatherby tries to pull this on Stonebridge, who disagrees firmly.
* ParentheticalSwearing: Locke can make "Sir" and "Ma'am" sound like swear words.
* PartlyCloudyWithAChanceOfDeath: Weather in Lebanon is cloudy for much of Episode 4, then the rain kicks in [[spoiler: to complement Dalton's death.]]
* PietaPlagiarism: Stonebridge carrying [[spoiler: Dalton's body.]]
* PrettyLittleHeadshots: For [[spoiler: Rebekah Levy and Major Dalton.]]
* ProperlyParanoid: It turns out that yes, Dalton was actually right, despite being such a paranoid bitch. [[spoiler: Unfortunately, vindication is posthumous.]]
* RedShirt: The team backing DEA Agent Kim Martinez.
* RightHandVersusLeftHand: When Section 20 and the DEA go after Kumali they discover that Mossad already has an agent near the target. Even worse, after they manage to capture Kamali, they discover that [[spoiler: Kumali is actually a CIA DeepCoverAgent]].
* RunningGag: A bit of GallowsHumor; every single time the boys try to bring someone in alive, he ends up getting killed, to Locke's exasperation. Episode 9 takes this to almost farcial levels:
---> '''Locke:''' Where's Maroun Salleh?
---> '''Stonebridge:''' Hassan killed him.
---> '''Locke:''' Where's Hassan?
---> '''Scott:''' Zamani killed him!
---> '''Locke:''' Next time just bring me a body! Preferably warm.
** Carrying on from ''Project Dawn'' and ''Vengeance'', Stonebridge and Scott ''still'' keep arguing about whether to act on "three" or "go". ''Even using Morse code!''
* SadisticChoice: Richmond and Martinez set out to rescue some hostages, but can't prevent one of them from being executed on a live camera feed. Richmond points out that if they act while the camera's on, they'll blow the covers of Scott and Stonebridge.
** In Episode 10, Arkady Ulyanov offers one to Locke: give him Stonebridge and Scott in exchange for Kamali, or he helps Kamali escape. Locke pretends to agree.... [[TakeAThirdOption and doublecrosses Ulyanov as soon as he has what he wants]].
* SharpDressedMan: Leo Kumali, James Leatherby and Arkady Ulyanov are rarely seen without being dressed in nice suits.
* ShipTease: Between Martinez and Stonebridge.
* StraightGay: Leatherby. He's gay and is shown on-screen indulging himself, but he doesn't act stereotypically camp or feminine. Best way of explaining it is that Leatherby treats any man who's caught his fancy the same way a straight man would treat a woman.
* TelevisionGeography: 20 get from Ramstein Air Base to central Berlin in half an hour... they're on opposite sides of Germany!
* TheTroubles: Alluded to with the Real IRA's presence. Locke served in Northern Ireland, and his son was killed in a car bomb meant for him. [=Mckenna=] holds a vendetta towards him, [[spoiler: because he was running her brother as a DoubleAgent for the British.]]
* TookALevelInBadass: Continuing from ''Vengeance'', Sgt. Julia Richmond is now one of the field operators, augmenting the team of Stonebridge and Scott.
* TortureAlwaysWorks: Played with throughout the series. Generally, torture doesn't work on main characters:
** Stonebridge and Scott don't break while being tortured by the Jaguar (even despite Scott getting electrocuted in the ''[[GroinAttack balls]]''.
** Locke is tortured by Al-Zuhari's men, but doesn't break, even when [=McKenna=] taunts him with the identity of the man who killed his son.
** Scott and Stonebridge's torture of a Mook in Episode 10 gets enough intel to know when and where the Evil Plan will happen, but not the specifics of the attack, nor the attackers, because the mook doesn't know those details.
** In a ZigZagged example, Dalton's waterboarding of Sofia doesn't render much result. Sofia breaks quickly enough, but she genuinely doesn't know anything about any message being carried, which is why Kamali convinces Dalton to let her escape, and then follow her to al-Zuhari.
* WarriorPoet: While pursuing Section 20, Leatherby recites lines from Rudyard Kipling's poem [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gentleman_ranker Gentlemen-Rankers]] [[note]] about enlisted soldiers who were formerly officers and gentlemen, who're now fallen from grace. Appropriate, given Leatherby's current state.[[/note]], punctuating each line with a shot from a grenade launcher.
--> "We have done with hope and honour, we are lost to love an' truth! God ha' mercy mercy on such as we!"
* WesternTerrorists: A member of the Real IRA shows up in Episode 4, and they're seen in Episodes 5 and 6 as allies of convenience to Al-Zuhari.
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: [[spoiler: The last survivor of the Real IRA in Budapest is killed after he delivers the NATO hard drive to Al-Zuhari's men.]]
** Kamali believes that Al-Zuhari was trying to enact this on him with a car bomb that killed the CIA's Deputy Director. [[spoiler: Turns out the bomb was set by Kamali, and meant for Locke and Van Bruggen.]]
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