The New Big Baddie On “Strike Back” Is Brutal, Unhinged, and Gay

Dougray Scott in a rare quiet moment on Strike Back

We’ve occasionally discussed the Cinemax action series Strike Back, primarily because of the amusing juxtaposition between its hyper-masculine, testosterone-driven, Call Of Duty straight male appeal, and it’s propensity to get its hot male co-stars completely naked every chance they can.

Sullivan Stapleton, overdressed

Season Three (Season Four in the UK) of Strike Back premiered on Cinemax on August 9th, and sadly, the flesh feast has been paltry compared to previous seasons. But another intriguing element has been added this season, as Dougray Scott (from Ever After, and he was in the running as James Bond, and was actually cast as Wolverine in the first X-Men movie, but had to pull out because of a scheduling conflict with Mission Impossible 2) has joined the cast as rogue operative James Leatherby.

James (who made his debut on last week’s episode) is one of this season’s big baddies, and is prone to brutal, violent outbursts, and relies on fear and intimidation to get what he wants.

He’s also gay, and in one of his first scenes, we see him in a love scene with his boyfriend, and while it’s fairly graphic (missionary position, lots of angry thrusting), it’s no different from the straight sex scenes we see so often on this coitus-drenched show.

Unfortunately, his boyfriend Farhan (played by Daniel Ben Zanou) is living on borrowed time, as James reveals himself to be insanely jealous, and in one particularly brutal scene, shoots Farhan in the hand when he suspects him of sleeping with a random hotel bartender.

Then, for good measure, he shoots the bartender in the back.

So James is one mean S.O.B. One mean, gay S.O.B., who’s hugely entertaining. I wasn’t bothered by the fact that we have yet another gay villain, because the show doesn’t mock his sexuality, and when the operatives discover that he has a boyfriend, it isn’t treated with derision, but opportunism (they blackmail Farhan into revealing info by threatening to tell his family he’s gay).

Plus, James really does instill fear into people, and is the biggest badass on the show. That, coupled with the gay sex, must be sending the straight guy fanbase into a tizzy. In fact, a simple glance at the show’s IMDB page bear that out, hilariously. A sample:

“I think that anybody that was laughing during that scene are the ones who are gay bucko. My wife found that scene distasteful as hell. I don’t have a problem with a gay character. Hell I liked Agron from Spartacus and Ray Stevenson’s character from Dexter’s last season but as the poster above pointed out no hetero guy wants to see gay men having sex.
Two women having sex can be a beautiful thing; providing there not bull dykes but watching two men is just abhorrent. Any guys that want to see that shit can check out gay porn sites. Leave it out of a macho show.”


“I’d MUCH rather watch Supernatural!!!”

Here’s hoping James Leatherby has a long and thrusting story arc.

Strike Back air Fridays on Cinemax at 10 PM ET. The next new episode will air September 6th

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