In Strike Back Origins (2010), epi3 & 4, John Porter (portrayed by Richard Armitage) is sent to infiltrate a prison to free a man called Felix Masuku (portrayed by Shaun Parkes)–a supposed terrorist/spy alleged to have assassinated the President of Zimbabwe–and then to kill Masuku. But what Porter uncovers when he talks to and listens to Masuku, is something more sinister. Masuku was not the killer and he was working for the “same side” as Porter–when it was actually a military coup led by a Colonel Tshuma (portrayed by David Harwood) that assassinated the President. And Masuku could make explosive revelations about covert operations–and that is why the higher ups want Masuku killed.
Porter’s decision to trust a man he does not know–Masuku–is radical within his context of following commands unwaveringly, and this puts Porter at odds with his superiors. Through their journey to safety–and to prove Masuku’s innocence–Porter and Masuku pair up to help a nun and save some children. That wasn’t in their plan, but they could not fail to help when they come into contact with the nun, Sister Bernadette (searingly portrayed by Sibulele Gcilitshana) and her students. Porter’s and Masuku’s consciences would not allow them to ignore the nun’s and children’s desperate situation. Their personal honors demand that they help. And the young nun with conviction and determination is a force to be reckoned with–making Porter, especially, confront the supposed ease with which he kills, even when it is to protect the nun and the children. Her message being that all lives are valuable and worthy, or none are–and our humanity is lost when we forget that. Porter eventually takes her warning to heart, and she bestows upon him her forgiveness.
Two men–one white Porter, and one black, Masuku–came together to save lives and see justice be served. This episode sent a powerful message to me about uncovering the truth, speaking truth to power, and using power (their guns and their expertise) for good. So on this day–the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Observance in the U.S.–Richard Armitage’s role as John Porter and Shaun Parkes’ role as Felix Masuku for episodes 3 & 4 of Strike Back (2010) resonates especially with me, about the power of unity in creating a greater good, than that which we can achieve by ourselves.
P.S. The video below contains quite a bit of footage from Strike Back Origins episodes 3 & 4, as well as the song’s “24” lyrics admonishing us “…To tie up loose ends , To make amends …” and that we “Need your blessing. And your promise to live free. Please do it for me.”
“24” — John Porter ( Richard Armitage ) Strike Back, a video by campcurry1243