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SEAL Team - Medicate and Isolate - Review

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Instead of an action sequence focused on the episode’s mission target, this episode opens with Brett Swann watching video of a mission where he lost a friend. Doesn’t seem healthy. And I couldn’t help but wonder, how did he get access to that video? Can a soldier officially request mission video like that?

The stateside story focused on Brett trying to get treatment for his brain injury. The doctor agrees that that is likely the root cause for Brett’s mental issues, unfortunately, he can’t treat him because there is no official record of the brain injury received while he was serving.

The episode refers to TBI, but I suspect, from context, that Brett’s injury is closer to the type of cumulative brain injuries affecting football players that has been in the news over the last few years.

It was heartbreaking to watch Brett go from such a level of excited relief to hopeless devastation. The outcome of that loss of hope was absolutely devastating.

This was an odd episode for me to watch, because both of my parents worked at the VA and my memories are not of people so overworked and beaten down that that they can barely connect with their patients. I was so affected by this episode that I did a bit of research and spoke with my mother after watching and she clarified something that I have always misunderstood.

I had always thought of it in the say way I think of a health insurance system. She pointed out that the VA isn’t like Kaiser ™ for veterans. The VA’s mandate is to provide care for injuries and illnesses acquired while a veteran is in service. (She said a lot of veterans believe that as well and that the VA should, in her opinion, do more to clarify that point.)

Given that clarification, I understand the doctor’s statement better. But Brett wasn’t in a vehicle that drove over an IED. Brett didn’t “forget” to report the single incident that caused the trauma. There was no single incident to be added to his file.

I realize that they’ve only recently accepted the existence of these types of injuries, but, clearly, the VA needs to make some adjustments to how it handles cumulative brain trauma (CTE) received over years of service in combat situations.

Jason slept over at the house of his new love interest. Odd, we’ve never seen him wake up creaky. Had me wondering if he’s spent so many years sleeping on cots that comfy couches are hard on his joints….or he could just be getting old.

Jason sees Ray with his new friend, Christine, again. He finally broaches the subject with Ray, asking about Naima. Unfortunately, the discussion doesn’t get very far because their beepers go off.

Mission: Recover A Fallen Soldier’s Body

The team is headed to Mali to recover the body of a soldier who was killed by an RPG during an ambush by the Islamic Fighters of Mali. The United States does not want his body used in any propaganda.

Bravo Team recovers the body without incident, but they come under heavy fire before they can make it to the LZ. They call in some extremely effective air support.

Help me out here. While Bravo Team was marching through the dark terrain, there are some hyenas and Cerberus barks. Did Brock say “phooey”. My closed-captioning said he said “phooey”. Did you guys hear “phooey”? Also…those hyenas were creepy.

The mission was uncomplicated because the main focus was on Brett’s story. That was okay with me. I was pretty affected by Brett’s story.

I liked getting to see Clay take care of someone else. He had his brother’s back in a way that I couldn’t see him as being capable of when the show first started.

Again we see the writers taking their time to craft a story, giving us not only the conclusion, but the groundwork for character motivation.

I’m not sure the scenes of them at the VA would have been quite as strong had we not watched the two men grow closer; seen Brett show Clay how men care for each other. I can’t imagine Clay’s father having been much of a role model in this arena.

I am loving this show so much right now. One of my pet peeves is when a show does a message episode that forgets the drama. For me, this episode did a terrific job of getting me so emotionally involved in the characters story that it made the message connect on a personal level.

What did you think of the episode?

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