SAS Who Dares Wins Interrogation Episode Six Credit Channel4 / Minnow Films
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SAS Who Dares Wins Interrogation Challenge Pushes Recruits Beyond Their Limits

“It lays you bare, it opens your soul for others to see and for a lot of people that’s extraordinarily difficult to deal with.”

SAS Who Dares Wins Interrogation Episode Six Credit Channel4 / Minnow Films

 

Some viewers might have been moved to tears in the final episode of Channel 4's SAS Who Dares Wins as the most recent series came to a close during an intense interrogation challenge.

Millions of viewers have followed the progress of their favourite recruits since the start of the series and Sunday's episode was the last chance for Mark, Louise, Milo, Hannah, James, Vicki, Rick and Lou to impress.

The question on many viewer’s lips was, will a woman make the grade and pass the course? 

This series was the first to feature women after, in a landmark moment for the British Special Forces, the MOD announced in 2019 that SAS selection would be open to women for the first time.

SAS Who Dares Wins Lou Interrogation Episode CREDIT: Channel 4 / Minnow Films
Credit: Channel 4 / Minnow Films

The final recruits were split evenly between the genders, with four men and four women proving themselves worthy of facing the final hurdle, a punishing 18-hour long interrogation overseen by a faceless man only known as The Umpire and his team. 

The Umpire, whose identity is kept a secret for security purposes, explains just how powerful interrogation can be. He said: 

“It lays you bare, it opens your soul for others to see and for a lot of people that’s extraordinarily difficult to deal with.”

Before the interrogation process begins, The Umpire individually makes each recruit aware that they are free to voluntarily withdraw (VW) themselves from the process at any time. 

However, by this point, the recruits have made it to day 11 and gone through gruelling challenges that have pushed them beyond their comfort zones on a daily basis so each one of them is determined to give this last challenge a go. 

As fitness business owner Vicki explains, there’s no giving up at this late stage. She said: 

“I have every intention of holding onto my number. I have to think that I’ve got a chance of getting right to the end.”

The first stage of the interrogation challenge is known as 'harshing' which is aggressive questioning designed to put the recruits under immediate stress to make them feel anxious and disorientated.

WARNING: Clip below contains swearing

Credit: Channel 4 / Minnow Films

Many viewers took to Twitter to vent during the brutal interrogation scenes.

SAS Who Dares Wins has always made sure to focus on physical and mental health equally but in this episode, it was imperative for the recruits minds to be pushed beyond their limits.

In between each stage of the interrogation challenge, the remaining recruits are hooded, bound and held in stress positions while temperatures on the base drop to minus five degrees and they listen to repetitive and distressing noises on a loop.

Four hours into the interrogation process James and Vicki have reached their limit and ask to speak to The Umpire to voluntarily withdraw from the competition.

In an incredibly powerful and moving moment, the cameras cut to PR Director James who is allowed to call home and speak to a loved one.

It was a rare display of emotion from the 34-year-old which resonated strongly with the audience.

Credit: Channel 4 / Minnow Films

A Surprising VW

In a shocking moment which drove many viewers to take to Twitter to express their shock, midwife Louise, who many predicted would win the show, voluntarily withdrew herself from the final challenge.

SAS Who Dares Wins has always highlighted the importance of being open and honest about your mental health and in a powerful moment of compassion Chief Instructor Ant Middleton hugs Louise.

Credit: Channel 4 / Minnow Films

Chief Medical Advisor Dr Sundeep Chohan takes Louise to one side to assess how she is coping after several hours of intense, gruelling interrogation.

Louise, who has impressed many viewers with her determination and can do attitude, said she found the repetitive noise unbearable:

"I'm just done, my head's done. The noise went through all the loops and started again and I was just thinking, 'oh I just can't'."

Lou's Time To Shine

Orthopaedic surgeon Lou has consistently impressed the Directing Staff (DS) throughout the course.

Lou never failed during physical tasks but gave the DS cause for concern when she found it difficult to express her emotions.

As Lou explains, her job as an orthopaedic surgeon involves telling patients they have cancer. She explained what's been driving her to not voluntarily withdraw from the programme:

"Those conversations are always difficult but you look at these patients and they just get everything thrown at them and they're so resilient.

"If they can go through this, I can manage this and that's genuinely going to drive me through this."

The Umpire and Ant observe Lou's interrogation from another room on the base and are visibly impressed by how she handles herself under stress. The Umpire said:

"This lady is so driven, so focussed on what she needs to achieve. Everything else is in the periphery."

Credit: Channel 4 / Minnow Films

The Pressure Builds

Firefighter Mark is another recruit who impressed the DS with his physical strength and his willingness to share how the suicide of his wife six months before the show filmed has devastated him.

In the last episode of the series, Mark reveals why he wanted to take part in SAS Who Dares Wins. He said:

"I'm just hoping that it sends me on a path to find some kind of peace and some kind of understanding of it all and accepting."

The interrogation team decide to amp up the pressure on Mark by bringing in Milo, the recruit Mark had formed an incredibly strong bond with.

When neither recruit cracks under pressure the interrogation team escort Milo outside and bury him in a box underground.

A move that was designed to make Mark beg for Milo's release and break in front of the interrogators.

SAS Who Dares Wins Interrogation Episode Six Milo Buried Box Credit Channel4 / Minnow Films
Credit: Channel 4 / Minnow Films

A Break Through

The next stage of the interrogation challenge sees the recruits gathered in the same room and questioned in front of each other.

Eventually, Mark breaks the cover story and starts to reveal the information he and his fellow recruits were trying to hide.

It's unclear what drove Mark to take this course of action but perhaps seeing Milo being punished because he wasn't breaking character was one step too far?

However, the DS are thrilled by Mark's decision to give the interrogators a small detail to focus on to give the recruits more time as a team to be rescued if this were a real-life kidnap situation.

SAS Who Dares Wins Interrogation Mark Firefighter CREDIT: Channel 4 / Minnow Films
Credit: Channel 4 / Minnow Films

Milo's Moment To Shine

One recruit, who previously suffered from a lack of confidence, impresses the DS during a one on one chat with an interrogator.

Milo manages to humanise himself to the interrogator and responds to her questions in the same manner and at the same volume. Ant says:

"Number seven's taking charge of this, he's taking responsibility."

The interrogation team realise that during Milo's one on one chat they were transfixed by his honesty regarding the death of his brother Travis in Afghanistan.

Marine Travis Mackin was killed in action in the Kajaki area of Afghanistan's Helmand Province on the morning of January 11 2009.

Credit: Channel 4 / Minnow Films

Eventually, the time came for the DS to decide who had passed and who hadn't quite made the cut.

As each recruit was told their fate Ant made space to allow them to express their emotions.

The relief each recruit felt was clear to see as they burst into tears and collapsed into Ant's arms for comfort.

One of the recruits who passed was, in fact, a woman and Ant made sure to express his delight at her passing. He said:

"You've reinstalled my faith in allowing women into the military, especially on the frontline because if they're all like you then you can certainly get the job done.

All Images Credit: Channel 4 / Minnow Films