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SEAL Team - Getaway Day - Advanced Review

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It’s 12 days before deployment and the Tier One SEAL team is preparing to be away from their loved ones for 3 months. With so many relationships up in the air, it’s time for some serious reflection and discussion. Suddenly the unthinkable happens and another SEAL team in Afghanistan is killed, probably in a suicide bomb attack, giving Jason and his team only 18 hours before deployment. In a departure from most episodes, “Getaway Day” is more about the homefront than the battlefield. In fact, the team doesn’t leave the country until the last 15 minutes of the episode, and even that should have waited until the second part of this 2-part storyline. It’s jarring to go from the deep emotion of the homefront to a quick, last-minute raid. Luckily, the majority of the episode deals not only with how the job affects a SEAL’s family but also in how they bond in grief. It’s an approach that is slower but deeply satisfying as it allows for further depth and gives the homefront characters some meaty scenes where they shine. It also ties up all the loose relationship ends, since it was the last episode of the original order before the show got picked up for a full season.

As usual, Jason and his family get the majority of the screen time. Opening with him fixing the shower and wanting Alana to join him in it, things get tense quickly between them when she brings up their traditional, pre-deployment family vacation to a waterpark. She wants to know if he plans to join them, which leads to yet another discussion of where their relationship stands. Jason wants to move back in; Alana is not sure that’s the solution. By the end of the episode, though, there is some much needed resolution to their drama. Still, Alana’s best scenes are not between Jason and her, but in the comfort she provides to her friend and fellow SEAL wife, whose husband died in the Afghanistan attack. SEAL teams are close, as shown by how all of Tier One shows up at the widow’s house to offer their support in this tough time. It’s devastating to all of them, but they stick together in crisis just like they do in combat.

While Jason and Alana get a lot of this episode’s attention, it’s Ray and Naima who steal it’s heart. Previously Ray hurt his shoulder and lied about a doctor saying it was okay to be deployed, mostly for the hazard pay so they don’t default on their mortgage but also because he needs to be there for his SEAL family. However, Naima gets a call from the doctor and realizes that he cancelled his appointment. He is not medically cleared to go into the danger zone and she is not happy. While he assures her that he is fine, she also finds the pills he’s been hiding in his sock drawer from her. No wife is that gullible and Naima most definitely is not. However, this episode focuses on both the strengths and issues in their relationship, making it feel the most realistic and shows them as two strong people who are even stronger together. It even gives some background information on how the two met when Ray gives advice to Clay, getting ready for his first SEAL deployment.

Speaking of Clay, he also starts the episode in the middle of a big relationship decision since he proposed to Stella in the previous episode. Now that the morphine and shock of being in mortal danger has worn off, they must decide together whether or not to take that step. Again it is awkward, but again, there is resolution. Thankfully, Sonny has no relationship baggage to tote but that doesn’t mean that he avoids the hard conversations either. In the best character interaction of the episode, Jason and he have a few heart-to-hearts. From mentally preparing for deployment to the grief of losing friends, Sonny actually gets the most character insight of the episode. Davis and Mandy have less screen time, with Mandy serving mostly as exposition. However, they will likely be featured more in the second part, where it returns to the action in Afghanistan.

Verdict - This is a well-written episode that focuses on the non-military side of the characters primarily. It is emotional and well-balanced, if a bit slow moving in parts, and it goes more in-depth about what it means to live in a SEAL family than most procedurals would. The drama-focus works well right through the silent montage of Tier One saying goodbye and getting on the plane. Then, for some inexplicable reason, it reverts back to the typical format for the last 15 minutes with set-up on finding those responsible for the other SEALs’ deaths. Since there is no resolution to that plan in this episode at all, it seems odd that they didn’t make the whole first episode about the process of deployment and make the second episode about the mission. This would have ended better on the silent montage, which was so powerful.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - relationship resolutions / focus on the characters’ emotions
Best Character - Naima
Best Scene - Naima and Ray at the widow’s house
Best Character Interaction - Jason and Sonny
Best Advice - Ray
Best Quote - “You shouldn’t lie to me, no matter what it is. I can take it. That’s my job.”
Weirdest Quote - “Otters are good.”
Worst Timing - Every single relationship hashes it out at the widow’s house while she’s grieving her husband’s death. Surely you all could have waited until you got home.
Biggest Threat - Naima is going to be doing a lot of talking
Most Universal - the bad mother-in-law
Most Humorously Awkward - Stella and Danny meet
Most Romantic - Ray tells Clay about Naima
The “Who Knew?” Award - no taxes if you buy a vehicle during deployment
The “Welcome Back” Award - Dylan Bruno from NUMB3RS / Beth Riesgraf from Leverage

Other Quotes:

“Come on. I know you. I’m the love of your life….”
“Here’s the part where you...uh, you’re supposed to tell me to keep my head on straight or keep my a** in line or one of the many Jason pearls of wisdom that you drop at these times.”
“I know how hard it is for you. How the closer you get...the more you feel like there’s a noose tightening around your neck.”
“It’s really hard.” “Yeah, the hardest part of war pretty much.” “How do you mean?” “What comes after.”
“Okay. I promise. I promise.” “Liar.”
“She saved me that night and every night since.”
“We’re family. We’re going to get through this.”

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