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SEAL Team - The Worst of Conditions - Review: "We Don't Do This" +POLL




So, confession, I’m a crier. As expected, I was a mess watching this episode. I think this is one of the best episodes of the series so far.

That said, I am not a fan of in medias res openings. They’ve become so overused that they feel lazy writing. It may serve a purpose in a pilot where the writers want to convince a new audience to hang on while the series characters are introduced but unless it is required to tell the story, I’d rather they skip it.

It was not required here. If they had to open with an action sequence it would have worked much better if they’d opened with the initial moments of the attack in Mumbai, especially because the take over was in progress later in this episode.

Homefront:


This week especially, I did not care what was happening anywhere else in the world. I wanted to go straight to what happened after Jason answered the door.

Unfortunately, by the time Jason got to the hospital, Alana was already gone. Ray did exactly what I expected him to do. He ran straight to Jason’s side.

It’s always been clear that Alana was Jason’s first and only real love. Any woman he connected with after their divorce was finalized would never hold that same place in his heart.

Jason’s devastation was expected. The man was barely functional. He confessed to Ray that he simply could not bury Alana. Ray assured him that he and The Team had his back and they did.

I come from community, like so many of us, where family and friends come together to help a family through a time like this. Everyone brings food, friends stop by to help with chores and errands.

Stella, the other newbie to the military life, did not. Despite that she jumped right in to help, but I don’t think she would have been quite as efficient without Naima to give her a specific task. She was pleasantly surprised by the realization that The Team and, by extension the military, is like family.

This was a moment that reminded me why her perspective is necessary to the show. She doesn't just remind us that marrying into the military requires an adjustment to the hardships. She also reminds us of the unexpected benefits of being a member of the military community.

Alana’s death rocked everyone’s world. I expected the major focus of the episode to be on Jason’s reaction to her death. What I didn’t expect was for this loss to be more to Bravo Team than compassion for a friend who has lost a loved one.

This loss hit Bravo Team harder than the loss of Echo Team. Intellectually, it makes sense. These men know the chance they’re taking when they go to work.

The loss of a Team Member hits hard and hurts, but it’s a possibility they know is out there. But the loss of a wife or a child is something they hadn’t considered. As Clay says, “We don’t do this.”

Jason’s mother Linda arrives to take care of her son. She knows Jason and realizes that the challenge of surviving the death of Alana will be the toughest fight of his life.

Jason tried to maintain control. The only way to do that was by avoiding the well-wishers that would force him to face his feelings so he hid in the garage.

But the simple matter of fixing one of Alana’s famous dishes (ketchup tacos?) for the kids was too much. Jason finally lost control and tried his best to destroy the refrigerator and garbage can.

The outburst frightened the kids, but their fear did not seem rooted in a fear for their safety but in the sight of their father at such a loss.

I liked the moment between Jason and Mikey. Mikey’s been more of a extra than a character, so it was really nice to have that moment between him and Jason.

We’ve only seen Emma as a bit of a smart ass, but here we saw glimpses of her father in her. She shared Jason’s instincts to destroy things to vent her grief, and, while Jason hid in the garage, Emma tried to convince Hanna, Adam’s (the Green Team trainer) daughter, to run away from the wake with her.

Unlike her father, she’s not afraid to feel her pain or let her father know how she feels.

Of course Bravo Team was paged during the graveside service. Emma absolutely went off on her father when his pager when off. Jason could only hold her.

Mission: Rescue an American from a hotel in Mumbai


Jason apparently calmed Emma down before turning up at the mission briefing.

It was evident from his expression that, if he’d gone on that mission, one or more of Bravo Team would not have returned, because he was in no shape to function in the field.

I like to think Harrington would have stepped in if Jason hadn’t come to his senses.

Clay asked the team if they were going to let Jason go on the mission in this condition. For once, when Sonny shut him down it was with understanding and compassion.

In a way, Jason lived up to the faith Sonny has in him. He made the smart decision not to go on the mission. I was almost as relieved as Emma when Jason walked into the house.

One of my biggest fears when Alana decided on the divorce was that the writers would use it as a way to write the Hayes family off the show’s canvas. Jason’s decision to stay with his family made me feel so much better about this.

Whatever happens with the Hayes family maybe Jason won’t turn into a jerk who considers his kids an inconvenience.

Once Bravo Team starts their mission in Mumbai, they replay the episode’s opening sequence. Bravo Team reaches their goal only to find that the FSO’s (foreign service officer) room is empty. But not much of this episode’s time is given to the mission. It makes sense and works well. We just could have done with out the repetitive sequence in the teaser.

Miscellaneous:


Whew! Jason and Ray made up. Ray’s presence at Jason’s side wasn’t predicated on Jason’s apology. Jason needed him. He was there. Brother is not just slang they toss around.

I’m guessing that, because we only saw Alana’s parents, that Jason’s mother will be around for at least one more episode.

Davis made OCS! I really hope that she doesn’t turn it down. I'm not sure how that would work on the show's canvas, but I'm happy for her.

One of my favorite moments was Sonny climbing into a bottle and Naima yanking him out of it…and the hug he gave her.

Final Thoughts:


As difficult an episode as this was to watch, it was more than I had hoped for. I expected cast to be up to the task, but I hadn’t expected the writers to add more layers to the story. The level of the team’s shock and pain made the episode feel richer.

This season is steadily improving. I’m excited.

What are your thoughts on the episode?





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