SAS Who Dares Wins Oppo Mark Milo Rick James Sam Credit: Channel4 / MinnowFilms
Special forces

SAS Who Dares Wins: When Your Oppo Lets You Smash Into The Rocks

In the most recent episode, recruits discover who they can trust with their lives and one finally opens up about the death of his wife.

SAS Who Dares Wins Oppo Mark Milo Rick James Sam Credit: Channel4 / MinnowFilms

This week the SAS Who Dares Wins recruits face a terrifying free falling abseil into a rocky gorge with their ‘oppo’ responsible for breaking their fall.

The recruits discover who they can trust with their lives and one finally opens up about the devastating suicide of his wife.

As Chief Instructor Ant Middleton explains, oppo is a military term for buddy.

“When we go into a combat zone we move in pairs. If we go for sh*t, if we go for a piss, if we sleep, we do it together. You will not leave your oppo, is that understood?

“This is about putting your lives in each other’s hands.”

One of the Directing Staff Jason Fox explains that SAS training enforces the ethos of trusting each other. Every challenge in this episode is designed to put pressure on relationships and see who is trustworthy.

"We might have got them to bond but we want to test how strong that bond is by just poking them.”

SAS Who Dares Wins Oppo Lou Abseil Challenge Credit: Channel4 / MinnowFilms
Credit: Channel 4 / Minnow Films

The recruits, of which there are only 12 left, face the ultimate test of trust, free falling from a bridge into a 60-metre rocky ravine and hoping that their oppo breaks their fall before they crash to the ground.

In the morning recruits were asked who they don't trust with Rick, Cameron and Sam receiving the most nominations.

The recruits who were voted the least trustworthy are then tasked with breaking their oppos fall. Something which visibly unnerves their partners.

Highly driven barrister Rick is responsible for breaking the fall of PR Executive James who broke his neck five and a half years ago in a rugby accident. He said:

"There is an element of concern that something might happen in the future but it doesn’t put me off my stride.”

In a shocking moment of television, as shown in the clip below, Rick doesn't manage to prevent James from crashing into the cliff edge.

Credit: Channel 4 / Minnow Films / CONTAINS SWEARING

Thankfully James is unhurt but that doesn't stop Ant Middleton from demanding an explanation from Rick. He said:

“You’ve been picked three times today for not being trusted, three times and then you go and f***ing let your pal crash into a f***ing rock potentially breaking his legs.

"Three times you were picked. Why the f*** did you let him run into the rocks for, why didn’t you f***ing break beforehand?

Credit: Channel 4 / Minnow Films / CONTAINS SWEARING

Moments like this highlight just how crucial it is to be able to completely put your trust in your partner when in the Special Forces.

Back at base Ant and Directing Staff Mark Billingham ask to speak to Rick about the most recent challenge and why he is finding it difficult to make close bonds with the whole group.

Fighting back the tears, Rick goes on to reveal how badly he was bullied at school. He said:

“I was just a little kid, the smallest in the class.”

At which point Ant says “same”. Rick continues:

“Daily routine would be… usually a kicking during the day, usually take my school work and destroy that then I’d have to go into class and get a boll***ing or admit to the fact that I was being bullied which I didn’t want to do because I thought it made me look weak.

"Going to PE they’d all ask to go to the toilet halfway through, take my school uniform and p*ss on it and then it was a case of either I put it back on and wear p*ssed wet through clothes all day or say to the teacher I’m being picked on.”

Rick says that he stopped "being a kid who was bright and bubbly" and decided that he didn't want it to "f*** up my whole future". He said:

"Get my head down, get my revision done, get my exams passed and when it does end I’ll be the one who’s won.”

Ant points out that Rick has been scarred by being bullied but that he can’t let it affect the way he interacts with the people around him.

Meanwhile, recruit six Mark has been consistently physically strong since starting the course and the Directing Staff want to know what’s driving him so they sit him down for a face to face chat.

Mark has been reluctant to talk to his fellow recruits about something that turned his world upside down six months before. Eventually, Mark opens up and says:

“I lost my wife six months ago, she committed suicide. She was perfect, honestly, in every single way.

"She was beautiful, she was funny, happy honestly, like a fairytale. But she had these things that ate away at her own self-esteem and anxieties. I’m still really lost with it and I don’t fully understand.”

Credit: Channel 4 / Minnow Films

The Directing Staff staff encourage Mark to speak to them if he thinks it will help but he’s unsure. He said:

“I 100% appreciate it but I just can’t see any cure for it. I can’t see anything that anyone’s going to say to me that’s going to make it easier.”

In true SAS Who Dares Wins fashion Jason responds warmly to Mark's emotional confession with “it’s still early days man.”

After speaking with Ant and Jason, Mark takes some time away from his fellow recruits to gather his thoughts. To the camera, Mark reveals more about his wife's devastating suicide.

“I was the first person to find her when I got in from work. She hung herself.

"With mental illness, that’s the stigma, people don’t believe it’s out of their control. She loved life so I know 100% that it wasn’t her choice.

"I just think why didn’t she ring me that day or just talked to me and told what was happening because I know I could have talked her down.”

Mark’s oppo Milo notices that his partner is feeling emotional so finds an excuse to spend some time alone outside and chat.

Milo’s brother died from an IED in Afghanistan in 2009, so he understands what it’s like to cope with the sudden death of a loved one. He manages to get Mark talking about how his wife’s death has affected him. Mark said:

“I just don’t understand why sh** happens and it is like physical pain you’re in. I feel like my hearts aching all the time.”

Once again, SAS Who Dares Wins breaks down the stereotype of men not being able to be open and honest about their emotions with one another when Milo offers Mark a cuddle and he gladly accepts.

Credit: Channel 4 / Minnow Films / CONTAINS SWEARING

Cover Image: Channel 4 / Minnow Films