Tacticool

‘SEAL Team’ Episode 8, Season 3 — Danger Crossing

Jason’s at a bar (big surprise, right?), seemingly trying to distract himself from the mess he finds himself in — a deceased wife, two kids living away from home, and an injury that could potentially end his career as an operator.

In record time, Dev Group’s physiologist, Natalie, makes an appearance and convinces Jason to go through with the surgery that could get him back to jumping out of aircraft and cracking skulls with Bravo.

Sonny’s at the gym with Clay, and when Davis shows up, the temperature drops about 300 degrees below freezing — Sonny ignores his ex-flame and stalks away.

Back in uniform, Clay is summoned before Captain Lindell, Dev Group’s CO, and promptly notified by the no-nonsense SEAL that he was put up for a Bronze Star with a valor device for his heroics in Yemen. Clay, frustrated because of Ambassador Marsden’s death, resists the award but Lindell shuts him down immediately, noting that it was earned and it could boost his career in the teams.

When Ray, now Bravo 1 while Jason gets fixed up, and his wife try to settle in for some quality time, Jason shows up and hijacks the moment, only to leave soon afterward to grab something for his daughter from the family storage locker. The memories prove to be a little too much for the SEAL and he escapes to the bar where Sonny finds him and convinces him to get the surgery done and to return to where he belongs — leading Bravo.

Sonny’s phone goes off, and the two know what that means… Bravo’s getting spun up. This time, the team will be heading over to Iran of all places to recover a downed Marine F-35 pilot in a pararescue-style op.

Back in VA, Natalie shows up at Jason’s bachelor pad to drag the SEAL to his surgery. Though he resists, he’s sedated just as Bravo gets ready to infil Iran via HAHO from a C-17.

When the team makes it to the last known location of the pilot (who was apparently only armed with an M9 and some Hannibal Smith A-Team level ingenuity), they find abandoned tents and hail clicks on Iranian radios that sound like morse code. Surmising that that’s their pilot, they set off.

The team reaches the pilot just in time — she’s surrounded by Iranian soldiers on higher terrain and taking heavy fire.

Back Stateside, Jason gets another call from his daughter while recovering from the surgery he hasn’t told her about. She still needs a set of papers from the storage locker, and it’s urgent. He hobbles over to the locker to try and find them, but the memories from various photo albums and letters overwhelm him and a panic attack ensues. Natalie has to come pick him up.

In Iran, the team tries to get escape and hump back to the Iraqi border while still taking fire from the Iranian soldiers, who apparently have the accuracy of Star Wars Storm Troopers. In no time, things go wrong and Sonny is left behind. The team turns around to get him, and see a grenade pop off right where the Texan was last spotted.

Somehow still alive and just a little scratched up, Sonny’s about to run black on ammo while returning fire. Out of nowhere, with marksmanship skills that would make John Wick blush, the Marine pilot shows up and saves the day, dropping multiple bad guys and rescuing the stranded SEAL.

Just when their luck is about to run out, Havoc Base (the TOC) gets the bright idea to vector in friendly fighters to “mistakenly” cross the border and conduct a show of force. One high speed pass later, the Iranian forces and an enemy helicopter are scared away and Bravo’s free to return to friendly lines.

Back in the US, Clay’s on a date with one of Ambassador Marsden’s former staffers. He bemoans his award (humble brag?), but she convinces him that it isn’t the end of the world.

Davis shows up at Sonny’s apartment and after a tense few moments, the two seem to make up and… well, take the conversation into the privacy of Sonny’s digs, behind a closed door.

Jason, now all too aware of his numerous panic attacks, and the fact that his life is just a complete mess, finally goes into counseling — something he’s avoided for the duration of the entire show — ready to finally seek help for the things he can’t fight off on his own.

Christian’s take

Whoa, what a tactical disappointment!

As Ian mentioned in his synopsis, an F-35 getting shot down by some Iranian missile and no wing man on station to scare off bad guys? Yeah right. Also, an F-35B STOVL version? Ain’t no way they’re sending those aircraft far out to the Iranian border.

On the plus side, I like that all season we’ve been seeing the gamut of ST6 missions. Straight up counter terror with a bomb-maker threat; embassy QRF; pirate ship takedown; security assistance during a diplomatic mission. And now a downed pilot recovery mission in a highly sensitive area.

A cool mix of missions and a nice way to highlight what Dev can do.

And one last thing...I LOVE the HAHO jump...looks scary is shit!

But that’s where the armchair tactician’s applause stops.

Why, oh, why do we continue to have these gab fests while patrolling in broad daylight? I get it, you need good light to get good shots. But please, I beg of you “oh production crew” to please give a nod to realism and have some of this patrolling take place at night. There’s no way in HELL these guys would be so packed in walking around during the day.

And that Blackhawk that flies over — right over their heads — and supposedly doesn’t see them? You’d think that if the Iranians had the technology to shoot down a Lightening II they’d have the technical wherewithal to use thermals to see dudes hidden in the bushes.

In fact, the helo’s so close it’s blowing dust on Bravo as it goes over? What, are these guys wearing invisibility cloaks?

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Back in the command center, I do appreciate that Marine Lt. Col. Jordan Stewart has the properly placed “dual cool” — the dive bubble and jump wings of a Force Recon Marine or a Raider — in his left chest.

And dude, sure, “Every Marine is a Rifleman” and all, but one aviator taking out an entire IRG camp? Not seeing it.

And yeah, we’re in enemy territory — in freaking IRAN no less — and we’re going to take a tactical pause to have a little chit chat with Clay about his cool guy attitude about not wanting the Bronze Star award? My God, have we jumped the shark already?

Aaaaand the firefight…

OMG, LOL. Bravo is surrounded. Bravo is outgunned. Bravo has the low ground. Yet no one is hit (yeah, I know, Sonny) and they just keep ninja-ing their way through IRG troops like a hot knife through butter.

What’s their loadout, 200 rounds? Does anyone go bingo on ammo? Nope.

Miss Marine Badass isn’t even aiming her notoriously inaccurate AK, yet she’s dropping tangos left and right. And do we ever see her do a mag change?

Ray keeps pulling the 3-gun move canting his barrel like he’s got an RMR, yet he’s running an EOTech with a pivot-mounted magnifier.

Sonny’s predicament sucks for sure. Holy crap is he slinging lead like a boss. But he just gets a couple scratches from that grenade that lands in his lap.

Don’t mess with Texas!

Diving into the credits, maybe this is a director style thing (and maybe a writer deal). Michael Watkins directed this episode, while Allison Liddi-Brown directed “The Strength of the Wolf” (the pirate ship episode). She also directed the “Paradise Lost” episode of season 2 where the team is attacked in Manila — an awesome one.

Watkins, don’t remember his episodes much.

But maybe it’s the writing too? Holly Harold gets the writer credit for this episode. And guess what, she also wrote the dingus one with the Azerbaijan power plant mission...the second stupidest episode of the season.

Let’s hope she sharpens her pencil and gets things a little more refined for any followups…(sigh)

I’m done. I feel let down. This mission was stupid

Ingrid’s take

Skipping right to end of Episode 8 – kudos to Jason. He has issues, is acknowledging them and is seeking help instead of trying to face it all himself. Good for him.

Now I’ll go backwards.

Natalie, Sonny and Ray talked Jason into rescheduling surgery. Natalie comes over to take him to the hospital even when he says that’s what Uber is for. She tells him hospital won’t let him leave in Uber or taxi after anesthesia. Natalie is there when he wakes up from surgery and tells him it looks like it went well, but no promises. She takes him home and he finally says he appreciates what she’s doing for him. About time Jason! She leaves pain pills but he doesn’t take them. So stubborn.

Emma phones and needs records of some kind that very day. She doesn’t know about surgery. He goes to storage unit to look for what she needs, but comes across a scrapbook of married life and list of fallen comrades. He nearly goes over the edge right as Natalie phones and asks if she can come and pick him up. He’s so choked up he can barely respond. She gets him home, he’s still obstinate. She slams door on way out with words something to the effect that asking for help is one of the most important parts to his recover. In other words, move your ass Jason, get up, face your demons and GET HELP.

Last scene – Jason at office of therapist of some kind. He’s finally reaching out for help. Says everything good from his past is gone and future holds nothing. He feels empty and needs help. Better late than never. Hopefully in Episode 9, we’ll see beginnings of his new outlook on life.

The other big part of this episode centers on a military pilot - who happens to be female – who gets shot down on a mission and ends up in Iran. Bravo Team is assigned a highly classified mission to go in and rescue her.

A few thoughts on this:

-There is GREAT camera work as they parachute out of their plane. It is synchronized with lights over Jason’s head as he goes to surgery. Super cool.

-Big question though with the parachuting. As I’ve written before, I love Dita the dog. She is with the Team on ground in Iran but I’m not sure how she got there? I didn’t see Brock holding her as he parachuted out of the plane? I’m not sure if that is even possible. Hmmm.

-Another observation. As they’re looking for pilot, they walk very close together. Sort of seems to a noncombatant like me that they should be further apart so they don’t put themselves in position of all getting taken out by the same bomb or something. Just sayin’.

-They find three dead tangos the pilot took out and then they hear her sending them some kind of secretive Morse code telling them where she’s at. They come across her as she’s fighting off even more enemy. She’s a pilot, a fighter, a markswoman, very well trained and extremely tough – and oh yes, she’s a woman. I’d like to see more of her kind on the show.

-When Sonny is surrounded on all sides by enemy fire, he’s kicking ass. I was glad to see this after his Paris running scene in last episode. He’s starting to come across as the first class fighter he is instead of a good ole boy.

-From inside command headquarters, they all agree that the Team can’t engage inside Iran…but that perhaps they can use some planes close by to scare the Iranian fighters a bit. Hey, those fighter pilots didn’t know they were crossing the border – yeah right – but so cool and it worked.

It wouldn’t be a complete show without a couple of romantic interludes:

-Lisa was frantic when she saw Sonny pinned down in Iran, but not outwardly so. She goes over to his apartment after he gets home, calls him a jackass but say she still loves him and then the door closes behind them. Hmmm again.

-Clay has date with Rebecca. He’s upset that he’s getting a medal for bravery in Yemen. He doesn’t think he deserves it, that he failed to protect the ambassador. He asks Rebecca what she thinks the ambassador would have done and Rebecca tells him that she accepted anything and everything as part of her arsenal to use at just the right time - all in her quest to make the world a better place. Good thought for Clay and bye, bye Stella!

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