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Seal Team - Other Lives - Advanced Review






If you enjoyed the pilot of Seal Team, you’ll enjoy this one too. It is set up in a very familiar fashion, including both the mission and the personal lives of those involved. It even has a Nate flashback, where Jason remembers telling Nate that Alana and he are separating. This occurs as Alana and Jason are packing up the house for Nate’s wife, Molly, who doesn’t want any of their old things. She wants a fresh start after Nate’s death and refuses to keep the old memories, which bugs Jason - though not as much as Alana refusing to go on a date night with him. She thinks it is best that they stay separated in all things to keep it less confusing. Her biggest concern is not his work hours but that even when he is physically home, he is somewhere else mentally. Given his tendency to delve into flashbacks in her presence, she has a point. Even at the end, when she tries to connect, he cannot answer her honestly and instead calls over his son to distract himself from his most recent loss.  On a happier note, Ray and his wife get good news about their baby, who is doing well and should arrive by the end of the month.  In a great scene, Jason tries to talk Ray into sitting this mission out so he can be with his wife in case the baby comes early.



While Seal Team does dwell more into the characters’ lives than The Brave does, the mission gets the most screentime. In this episode, a group of Syrians have been working on a deadly bioweapon called VX in an abandoned hospital. Fighting in the area destroyed the lab and caused the toxin to leak out, killing hundreds of cows. Jason’s SEAL team is tasked with finding definitive proof that the Syrians have been making VX. To do so, the team must jump from an airplane at a higher altitude than Mount Everest to avoid any Russian anti-aircraft missiles. They also need to bring a scientist, whom Jason nicknames Dr. Death, with them to make sure the area is safe and get proof of the illegal bioweapons. Of course, the mission goes sideways halfway through with the discovery of….hostages. (It’s a theme.) From that point, it is a race against time to get the civilians out before the army comes back.



Highlights:


Jason is great in a crisis, understanding the politics of a situation and using them to get what his team needs. It was also fantastic to see him have to make a decision that affects Ray and have it not come back to bite him. Those two make a great bromance!

Dr. Death was a real plus for me, starring in both the funny scene and the biggest hero one. I really hope he will become a regular.



Toss-Up:


Spenser is easily the character I like least, but I did love his comeuppance here. He takes a massive shot to his ego after a smaller one earlier. It’s good to see someone call him on his cocky attitude, even if indirectly. However, he feels shoehorned in here because he is not a part of the mission at all. Instead, he is in training at the same place the team is stationed. There’s an awkward mess hall scene thrown in that seems designed specifically to make Jason remember that Spenser even exists. The show also breaks from the action to show Spenser hitting on someone at a bar. It’s good to see Alona Tal of course, but the whole thing felt unnecessary as does the opening training scene. If they are going to keep this character (and I’m good if they don’t), they have to get him on the actual team sooner rather than later.



Lowlights:


Again there is little insight on the other members of the team except for Ray, whose wife and baby continue to be a major segue on the personal side. We get a few scenes with Sonny, which may make people love or hate his character, but for me he still seems very much one-dimensional. I’m not sure who the other people involved even are, although I finally learned Evans’ name. Lisa gets no development in this episode as the intelligence side, including Maggie, has little to do.

I think they need to make Jason’s wife, Alana, more sympathetic. They don’t make her an evil witch but it would be easy for fans to take Jason’s side when things are more complicated than that. Instead of having her drill him about things he can obviously NOT talk about, like his mission, it would be good to show her just there for him in little ways. It’s obvious that she cares and she knows something is wrong with him but she doesn’t know how to reach him to help him through it.



Grade: B





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