In “Deadliest Warrior:” CIA vs. KGB, the combat was between two spy services from the Cold War, circa 1979, which just happened to be at the dawn of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the end game of the US/Soviet conflict.
Spoilers surely follow.
One of the CIA experts, himself a former intelligence officer, mentioned during the episode that he had kept to his oath not to reveal things, like methods and such from his days as a spook. So, one suspects that the encounter that was set up at the end of the CIA vs. KGB episode was based more on conjecture than on how such a battle might have turned out.
For instance, the exploding cigar weapon was cute, albeit something that had proven to have been an embarrassment to the CIA; it had failed to take Fidel Castro out of our misery, for example. One wonders if a CIA operative really would have tried to burn a source (literally) by offering him an exploding cigar after getting the microfilm from him.
Indeed, if one stumbles into a machine gun fight in the middle of an enemy headquarters, one is not a very good spy, as cool as such a thing looks in an action film. Any CIA team so caught would have bigger problems than fighting their way out through a similar-sized team of KGB. There would be a swarm of guards with automatic weapons, and there would likely be nothing for it but a bite down on the cyanide capsule.
The exploding dead drop spike was pretty cool, though, and just the thing to deal with the excessively inquisitive. The man with the garrote was a classic recreation of one of the last scenes from “The Godfather.” We’ve seen the boot knife in a number of movies too.
The briefcase pistol and the camera gun looked like something from a James Bond movie, circa 1967.
While both the CIA and the KGB had paramilitary elements, perhaps a more realistic approach would have been to have staged the encounter on neutral ground, say, a European capital. The microfilm McGuffin was a good idea, though a better idea would have been an attempt by the CIA to spirit a defector out of the country with the KGB trying to prevent it. The object would have been not so much how many of the other side one kills, but whether the mission was successful.
But, this is “Deadliest Warrior,” and not “Cleverest Spy.” It was a good thing, though, that training and technology won out over brutality, which was overrated by the “Deadliest Warrior” people, in my opinion. So, we have the last surviving CIA spook striding off nonchalantly, apparently unconcerned that his team is terminated and that he has to get out of a hostile country in one piece.
Blood on the Sand: CIA vs. KGB, Spike TV