Taylor Sheridan’s ‘Special Ops: Lioness’ : A Riveting Foray into Espionage:
Taylor Sheridan’s ‘Special Ops: Lioness’
The Paramount network has seen a monumental rise in popularity in recent years, largely due to the TV mastermind, Taylor Sheridan. From the sweeping Western family epic “Yellowstone” to its collection of spin-offs and prequels, Sheridan has demonstrated an uncanny ability to create compelling narratives. He even ushered in Sylvester Stallone’s inaugural small-screen role with the mob series, “Tulsa King.”
However, his most recent endeavor sees him diverging from his familiar crime narrative, venturing into the high-stakes realm of international espionage. “Special Ops: Lioness” introduces us to U.S. Marine Cruz Manuelos, played by Laysla De Oliveira of “Locke & Key” fame. Recruited into the clandestine “Lioness” program of the C.I.A, Cruz finds herself in a world where female agents form alliances with the family members of perilous terrorists, all with the aim of eliminating these high-profile threats.
Adding star power to the series, Zoe Saldaña stars as Joe, Cruz’s handler, alongside Academy Award winners Nicole Kidman and Morgan Freeman in supporting roles. Sheridan’s knack for attracting top-tier talent isn’t new; he’s managed to bring on board Hollywood legends like Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren for the “Yellowstone” prequel, “1923”, and has alluded to an undisclosed project featuring “probably four of the biggest movie stars alive.”
The thrilling premiere episode of “Special Ops: Lioness” is now available on Paramount+, with a season trailer that promises a roller-coaster ride of high-stakes action. One particularly gripping tease comes from Freeman’s character, alluding to “a kill mission in front of CBS news.” However, amidst the thrilling narrative and explosive sequences, lies a core of reality that grounds the series.
Is “Special Ops: Lioness” rooted in reality?
The concept of an all-female Lioness team finds its origins in a genuine unit established by the U.S. Marines, albeit with a slightly different mission. Task Force Lioness, also known as the Female Engagement Team, operated in Iraq and Afghanistan with a focus on identifying women potentially involved in terrorism.
Given the Muslim cultural beliefs prevalent in Iraq and Afghanistan, it was challenging for male Marines to interact with women, who were increasingly being used to orchestrate attacks. Thus, the Lioness team was born to enable closer surveillance, build community relationships with women, and manage searches at checkpoints.
Although “Special Ops: Lioness” suggests a long-standing program, in reality, Lioness was a short-lived solution, eventually replaced by locally recruited women trained to conduct culturally sensitive security operations.
As the world anticipates the unveiling of Taylor Sheridan’s latest masterpiece, we stand at the brink of an enthralling journey into the intricacies of espionage, underpinned by a real-world context that offers an additional layer of intrigue. The story of “Special Ops: Lioness” is just beginning, promising a thrilling ride through the murky world of international intrigue and secret missions.
(Sources: Philip Ellis, Men’s Health; Paramount Network)
Ready to take the center stage is “Special Ops: Lioness,” a thrilling new venture by Sheridan, the creative genius behind the iconic series “Yellowstone.” Zoe Saldaña leads the stellar cast in this gripping Paramount Plus series, which premieres this Sunday. Be it fans of the “Yellowstone” creator, Saldaña enthusiasts, or spy-thriller aficionados (did we leave anyone out?), everyone’s in for a treat.