Welcome back SEAL Team Aficionados! Bravo Team returned with a nail biter on Wednesday evening. I really enjoyed the tempo! Previously, I complained that the show was jumping around from arc to arc at a mind bending pace, and it did not touch upon one subject long enough to do it well. “Pattern of Life” nips that (problem) right in the bud. The entire episode focused on an op surrounding a Yemeni family at their home. Tensions were running high because when rookie Clay was clearing the room, he accidentally shot the homeowner’s daughter who got in between her father and the bullet that was meant for him.
So, to sum up the first half of Season 1 thus far, this is what we know:
In the pilot, Nate, a Bravo Team member and close friend of Bravo teams fearless leader, Jason Hayes (David Boreanaz) is KIA
On a (somewhat) parallel timeline, Green Team trainee Clay Spenser (son of Special Ops royalty Ash Spenser (played by Max Thieriot)) sets his sights on becoming a Tier 1 operator and drafted to a DEVGRU (US Naval Special Warfare Development Group) Squadron. Team leader (Bravo team) Jason Hayes is not a fan of Ash and is not sure how or IF he wants to deal with Ash’s cocky son, but keeps track of Clay’s progress.
Family relationships are strained because the Team is your true family. Jason and his wife Alana are separated, Ray (Jason’s #2 played by Neil Brown, Jr.) and his wife Naima are awaiting a new baby and struggling with family finances. Clay is trying to be his own man and step out of the tall shadow cast by his famous father (who also wrote a memoir, to the dismay of other Special Operators, especially Jason). In addition to his own personal problems, Jason deals with the aftermath of Nate’s death, as well as Nate’s widow Molly and his son (Jason’s godchild).
It’s been a rough road for Clay as he hovers around the bottom of his class especially when he loses his best friend Brian on a routine jump, but in the end he makes it through the course. He then takes his relationship with grad student Stella (Alona Tal) to the next level, which Brian would approve of.
Jason, while dealing with his own problems, mourns the loss of his friend Nate and struggles to understand some of the things that Nate was caught up in. He finally lets him go and drafts Clay to Bravo team to replace the loss of Nate. Jason’s and Clay’s worlds converge. Let’s see how it goes forward.
First, I’d like to deal with the elephant in the room. Two characters who seem to be lost in the shadows of the main characters. Who is the 5th member of Bravo Team that goes on every op with Jason and the Team? His on screen name is Trent (no last name) who is portrayed by the very handsome Tyler Grey…a real life former Army Ranger. The second is someone we see a little more often, but is still kind of doing his thing in the background. That person is Lt. Commander Eric Blackburn played by actor Judd Lormand. I’m not certain of the fate of Trent, but I was told today that Eric’s role is no longer recurring and he is now a series regular. Ok, great! So, let’s learn more about him. We know Jason and Ray’s story (for the most part, but I want to know more about Sonny, played by the very talented and sexy A. J. Buckley). The writers are starting to touch on it, but they just keep on giving us “little teases,” and nothing really substantial. We know his friend Danny lost a leg on an op and never made it to the Special Ops course that they were going to go through together. Sonny made it to Tier 1, and Danny was medically retired. And how about the girls…Davis and CIA Mandy? They kick ass week after week! We want more! One more cast member that I can’t get enough of is Cerberus, The Hair Missile (played by Dita, the gorgeous Belgian Malinois). All in all, I will give the show a grade of A. It’s here to stay for awhile.
So, what grade will I give each member of the cast? Read on:
David Boreanaz as Bravo Teams fearless leader Jason Hayes – I loved David in Bones and I thought I was going to have trouble with the conversion but he is SO very convincing as Jason Hayes, the only grade I can give him is an A+ He is seriously carrying this show with this great supporting cast. Each week he gets better and better, like he is growing into the part. I can’t wait to see how he settles into it next season…yes, next Season…there is no way CBS is not going to renew.
Jessica Pare’ as the Team’s CIA Analyst (Spook) Mandy Ellis – I love Jessica in this role. When I first watched her in the first two episodes I was thinking… is she really that timid and nervous in the role or is she just acting? I guess she was just acting because Mandy may look a little reserved but she is fearless and doesn’t let anyone intimidate her. She is seriously kick-ass, stands up for her beliefs and can shut down any man that talks down to her without even thinking about it. The highly educated and extremely smart woman surprises me every episode. I think there may be something between she and Jason…they seem to have a mutual respect (?) for one another, and they also stand darn close to each other. I’d love to see where that goes. Jessica gets an A.
Neil Brown, Jr. as Jason’s right hand man, Ray Perry – Neil portrays Ray as a squared away, pull no punches, sailor with a great head on his shoulders. He is not afraid to call Jason on something which he disagrees with and he’s certainly not afraid to put Sonny in his place. Sometimes Neil comes across as a little stiff, but I think that’s just Ray’s manner. I’d like to know more about his past. All in all, Neil gets an A, as well.
AJ Buckley as Sonny Quinn – I’m anxiously awaiting to learn more about Sonny. Sonny was originally billed as having a troubled past but if it was that troubled he wouldn’t be a SEAL, let alone a sailor. We got to hear a bit about his friendship with Danny, his friend who lost his leg…there is obviously a lot of sadness and maybe even guilt there, and AJ plays it extremely well. AJ portrays Sonny as a funny, friendly good ole boy who can take a joke, but I get the feeling there is a lot more sadness in Sonny than we currently know. Sonny is one of my favorite characters and I cant wait to see whats in store for him. A for AJ.
Toni Trucks as Lisa Davis kicks ass and repeats in every episode! I LOVE how Toni portrays Davis. She is a straight up, squared away, intelligent, sailor and is the heart of the team. She keeps the team going in the right direction and gets them everything they need. She’s sharp! I LOVE the character and I hope her and Sonny are or become an item. A+ for Toni!
Max Thieriot as Clay Spenser – Max is a very talented actor and I believe that casting him in this role is a stroke of genius. We know a lot about him already and I’m sure we will learn a lot more as his world converges with Jason’s. I’d like to see him portray Clay as not so sullen…maybe having more emotion. I just never really know what he’s thinking. I DO like Max though, so an A for Max.
Judd Lormand as Lt. Commander Eric Blackburn – I love how Judd portrays Eric. He is professional, composed and politically correct, but is always politically correct. He doesn’t show a lot of emotion and is very officer-like. I can’t wait to learn more about him. Great casting. A for Eric
Dita as Cerberus, the hair missile. She’s an awesome dog! Love her! A+ no question!
I believe that this show is one of CBS’ gems , and there is no doubt in my mind that it will be renewed for Season 2. Let me know what you think!
SEAL Team airs on Wednesdays at 9/8c on CBS.