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SEAL Team - Rock Bottom - Review: "Sonny's the Adult?"

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Off Duty:

Clay’s story had taken a very unexpected direction than I expected when the explosion initially sent him back to the States. He seems to be on more of a crusade trajectory now.

As Clay began to understand the problem with the VA’s handling of brain trauma issues, I found myself remembering Clay telling Stella’s father that he planned to go into politics one day.

I’m glad that the show didn’t try to give us a nice, neat, fictional tidy solution to the problem of how brain trauma is handled by the military. They also didn’t take the sound bite approach and simply blame the VA’s process. It’s not simply a red tape problem, especially among tier one operatives.

If the soldier doesn’t lose consciousness or exhibit other outward symptoms, it’s usually up to the soldier to report the issue. Tier one operatives are unlikely to make a report, because it could end their military career.

Loved the way they illustrated their point by having the doctor ask Clay if he had any symptoms after the explosion. Clay, of course, said “no”. (Just as Jason did at the end of season one when he was hallucinating.)

Clay’s first step was to make an official request for a Purple Heart for Brett Swann. Harrington was willing to put in the paperwork, but made it clear to Clay that it would likely get turned down, because Swann’s TBI was never reported.

Clay realizes that the atmosphere in the military needs to change. The regulations won’t change until the military has more information.

They can’t get more information about the injury until soldiers report it. But for that to happen soldiers need to feel they can make a report without ending their careers.

He threatens to go to the press. Harrington makes it clear that if he does that he could face a court martial. The last thing I really expected for Clay, when this show started, was to wonder if he would sacrifice the career he loves to save his brothers.

Jason’s conversation with Emma goes about as well as we have all come to expect.

Ray accuses Jason of ‘coming apart at the seams’ since Alana died. I haven’t interpreted his behavior as such, but I have noticed that he seems to deny or avoid difficult personal issues, but that doesn’t feel like a change in the character.

Jason’s avoidance issues with regard to Emma’s leaving the nest finally push her too far. When he admits that he hasn’t read an important financial email, she loses it and hangs up on him.

The woman Jason almost started a relationship with makes the mistake of trying to talk to him while he’s wallowing. He chases her away.

He also snaps at Mandy. Mandy doesn’t walk away, but she won’t allow him to take it out on her either.

Nor does she allow him to lie to himself about why people in their business won’t talk to anyone about their problems. It’s not to protect their loved ones. It’s to protect themselves.

When Ray uses calling Naima as an excuse to step away from the team, likely to meet up with Miller, Jason calls him on it. The argument escalates into a fistfight. Not good with Shaw watching their every move.

What’s worse is that they drove Sonny to be the adult in the room. When Sonny called them children, I almost fell off the couch.

Blackburn finally, and in no uncertain terms, tells Jason he needs to get it together, or Bravo Team will be dismantled. Will Jason be able to do it?


Lisa had to face a demon before she could face her final test; the burn room.

That demon is the fact that her mother (described by Lisa as a drunk who left her children home alone) blamed an 11-year-old girl for the death, by fire, of one of her sisters.

The surviving sister was so young she believed her mother’s lies and refuses to forgive Lisa. Although, I suppose that’s not the point. The point is that Lisa finally believes it was not her fault.

She passes the final test and graduates. Clay was there to represent Bravo Team which was awesome.

The only downside for me with this part of Lisa’s story was the predictability of it.

It was nice getting some backstory on her character, but I couldn’t get engaged in her walking the gauntlet because there was no question that she’d make it; there wasn’t any tension.

Missions: Capture or Kill the Next Osama Bin Laden

For a change, the opening sequence is actually Bravo Team on a “stealth” op to seize a weapons shipment and capture prisoners for questioning. The bad guys refused to cooperate with the stealth aspect of the mission, but Bravo Team did capture a valuable prisoner.

Someone’s radicalizing previously peaceful anti-western groups in South East Asia.

Mandy wants to go after them, but Shaw, being more politician than soldier, is hesitant, because it could be detrimental to his career. That’s not what he says, but it seems pretty clear that’s his main concern.

Mandy points out that they had this moment with Bin Laden, and, because they ignored it, thousands died. She gets the go ahead on the op. The big question is will the riff between Jason and Ray affect Bravo Team’s effectiveness.

You ever think about how frequently jinxes happen in shows like this? Blackburn declares that “Nothing can go wrong on this one.” Seriously?

The team didn’t even get on the ground before something when wrong. Ray’s chute fails.

I’m still not sure how or if Ray and Jason’s fight played any part in the chute failure.

That’s been my conundrum with the missions since Mexico. It has never seemed to me that Jason’s mission decisions are wrong.

It’s not until Ray beat the prisoner in Payback that it seemed that Ray’s personal issues were affecting the mission. So, I’m wondering, was it that Ray was too distracted to check his parachute properly?

I know it’s someone’s job to prep the equipment, I just have it in my head that each man would triple check before jumping. (Lisa's replacement?)

Or was this just an unfortunate malfunction that put the mission in trouble? I realize that won’t matter to Shaw, but I’m really curious.

This set of episodes has spent more time with the characters than in the field and I don’t miss it. The character set-ups and pay offs have worked really well to build tension.

I spent the last few episodes on the edge of my seat, waiting on that fight between Ray and Jason. And I really, really, want to know Clay’s decision.

It’s why I was so let down by the end of Lisa’s final OCS related episode. I wanted that sense of tension when she went into the gauntlet.

What did you think of the episode?

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