‘SEAL Team’ episode 5, season 3 ’All Along the Watchtower: Part 1’

Fresh off the mission to take down a pirate ship in the Pacific, Jason rolls out of bed in his messy bachelor pad and gets into his morning routine, which apparently includes copious amounts of bacon, medication, and an energy drink.

In sharp contrast to his team leader, Bravo’s newest member — Vic Lopez, fresh from Green Team — gets himself squared away for the day with a morning workout and a neatly made bed.

In the team room, Sonny sports a shiner and a few bruises. The team quickly picks up on them and chides the Texan who in short order throws a pointed verbal jab at Ray for getting involved in his personal affairs (namely his quiet failed relationship with Lisa Davis, the team’s intelligence officer).

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Lopez tries to get a feel for Bravo by talking to his new teammates but runs into rough territory with Clay and Sonny. Still bitter about Vic’s selection to the team, Clay tells the young SEAL that he neither trusts him nor wants him nearby until he proves himself in combat.

Phones buzz, Bravo’s getting spun up.

This time, they’re heading to Yemen on a staggered deployment, along with Mandy and a Global Response Staff contractor. Clay and Ray leave ahead of the rest of the guys to serve as a protective detail for the US Ambassador to Yemen, while the others follow on a C-17 cargo jet shortly after.

Stateside, the rest of the team, including Jason and Davis, seem to believe that Sonny’s been getting himself into bar fights, but it turns out that he’s dealing with his breakup with Davis in a much more... physical way, namely sparring brutally with an MMA fighter at a gym (and getting his butt kicked repeatedly).

Jason swallows his pride and meets with the team’s new civilian physiologist, Natalie, and seems to relent when she tells him that her job is solely to help him increase his mileage with the team by improving his quality of life.

Over in Yemen, Clay and Ray find themselves gearing up for a fight at the diplomatic residence after tensions between warring tribes reach the boiling point.

The rest of the team, now en route, to Yemen to back up their two brothers at the residence, get word from Blackburn that they’re supposed to stay put at the airport upon landing — the suits in Washington DC are worried that a larger presence of American personnel might worsen things.

The situation quickly cooks off and the GRS contractor gets wounded in a hail of gunfire. DEVGRU’s new CO, Lindell, sends the team in to extract Clay, Ray, and the other personnel at the residence, the orders from DC be damned.

Bravo fights its way through an ambush, abandoning their Toyota SUVs, and eventually reaching the residence under heavy fire.

An exfil is planned using the diplomatic motor pool vehicles, but that backfires almost immediately when the cars are destroyed by mortar fire. The episode ends with uncertainty — the team and their protectees are stuck in the compound without any means of transportation to get them to safety, while an overwhelming force amasses outside.

Christian’s Take

Dude, “13 Hours” on CBS!

Lopez shows up

This may be one of the coolest scenes ever … from a 100% gear perspective.

It’s well-ish known that when a new Dev operator shows up at his squadron he basically gets to customize his loadout. “Most of us roll with a 416,” Ray says of the famed H&K rifle preferred by Dev operators and Delta.

But (and feel free to dive into the comments and help me with this) I also see a suppressed .22 handgun (is that an old Ruger SR22?! I also see the “Pirate Gun,” as described by Mark Owen in “No Easy Day” — a sawed-off M79 grenade launcher.

Of course the MP7 and a breacher shotgun to kinda round things out.

There’s a couple 7.62-ish precision gas guns and a couple long-action looking bolt guns, but I confess, I’d be at risk of getting something wrong if I tried to name them.

That’s a table full of pewfection if I ever saw one!

And how about Clay’s sour grapes? I appreciate this shot of realism in the team dynamic. Is this a way for Clay to step up and be a leader by not-so-subtly spurring Lopez to prove himself to his critics?

Also, Sonny’s spiral has impacted his job, with Ray shoving him to the side on the upcoming PSD mission in Yemen.

Special Note: I love Jason’s sporting all these 30 Seconds Out t-shirts!

On the ground in Yemen

I’m a little tired of the whole Clay-as-super-smart-guy schtick. His foreign policy pronouncements and quasi-intellectual know-it-all isms are a little over the top.

Sure SEALs at this level are really, really smart (I once heard a guy tell me SEALs in this unit are as smart as, if not smarter than naval aviators). But, and I don’t mean to be insulting in any way here, I’m pretty sure when on a mission like this, Dev guys focus on the things that will affect their operation and keep their brown nosing to themselves.

Lunch with tribal leader

I totally dig the surveillance and comm action in the crowded market. Clay carrying at the 4 o’clock position? An interesting choice.

The ride back to the embassy, more tiresome FP discussions. And the way the ambassador pronounced “Norfolk” and “Vah Beach”...Hollywood needs to work on that.

And nice draw down from Clay — and restraint. Pretty quick.

13 Hours

All I can say is that this was great action. A little miffed about the lack of cover for Clay and Ray and total skylining to the enemy, but it had a similar ring to it with the Benghazi fight in Libya. Even the sat phone call to Blackburn runs along the same narrative as the Benghazi fight.

I like how Jason decided to spool up just in case. Smart move and a logical one.

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I also love the tension of the drive to the compound. A reminder of the convoy confusion in Mogadishu.

The scene with the Bravo elements fighting from the vehicles is badass too. These actors have been well trained and execute that exfil pretty well from my (admittedly limited) perspective.

I loved this episode, full stop. Lots of great action and full on tactics and gear!

Ingrid’s Take

I loved this episode for many reasons, but mainly because of the action in the last part. When Jason and Team were in the convoy on way to the compound and had bombs thrown at them with bad guys shooting from all over, then ditching the wheels and proceeding on foot…and keeping their wits about them…well that is how a normal non-military person like me pictures how “real” SEAL Teams work.

I liked that Jason was ready with his guys for when they’d get the word to get moving and protect “his” two guys and the three contractors and other embassy people that were up against an “army.” I like it when Jason, under fire, more or less calmly told Clay to get that door open. There was no “or else” – there were no options but to get it open.

Questionable Scenes:

Starts with Lopez working out hard and eating healthy and Jason doing the exact opposite. If he is really that unfit, would he still be leading a Team? I hope not.

How come Ray and Clay are standing above the gathering crowd in front of the compound where everyone/anyone can see them? Sort of, to my eye, unnecessarily dangerous?


What is with that guy – grow up. I realize Seal Team caliber guys aren’t weak at any level, but Clay is just whining, pouting and being mean to Lopez. Give the newbie a break. I have a feeling that in the next episode, Lopez is going to shine and Clay will be forced to change his ridiculous attitude. We need Seal Teams to protect us, not pout like spoiled brats. So there.


So that said about Clay, I do admit that Lopez does not come across like a rough and tough Seal Team guy. Hopefully he backs off the sort of squeaky clean “woe is me” and “I had a tough life” thing. Move forward Lopez…don’t look back.


Was not happy about Ray picking Clay to be part of the two-man advance team.Nor was he happy about Lopez. Thirdly, he’s very unhappy about the break-up with Lisa. So I guess all those things contributed to him asking his trainer to beat him up. A guy thing – or just a release of bad energy for Sonny?


When Clay and Ray were protecting the warlord that Ms Ambassador was meeting with and the guy on a motorcycle came up looking like he was going to pop someone, the camera flashed on Clay removing his gun from his pants and they showed a close up of skin. Very quick, very subtle, sort of sexy!


I think I missed something really key. The US Ambassador says she’s there to make peace between two warring factions. The Team is there to protect her.

So…she meets with the leader of one faction. Then when they’re in trouble in the embassy, she tells Ray that she insists on going a mile down the road to talk to the leader of the other side. Ray tells her in no uncertain terms that she will not go alone to talk to him. Well who is shooting at them to begin with? Which side? What did I miss?

Maybe Ms Ambassador and Ray get out of the compound somehow in Part 2, she talks to the other side and the fighting ends?

Funny Part:

Natalie tells Jason she asked his men about him. A la a 7th grade girl, Jason asks Sonny if Natalie said anything about him. I thought that was very funny.