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SEAL Team: The Carrot or The Stick - Review

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This episode was a little difficult for me to watch. It actually took me a few tries before I was able to watche the entire episode.

There were a couple of reasons for this. Part of my issue was that there were so many hopeless scenes. Part of it was the realistic lack of forward movement in the search for Ray, and of course watching Ray struggle.

I do not believe it was a bad episode. As frequently happens, when I watch SEAL Team, the elements that make it difficult for me to watch are those present because the writers were doing their job well.

Bravo Team

Bravo Team have hit, we're told, a lot of dry holes. They're feeling defeated and trying not to give up. They want someone to give them the right answer now. I understand, but a couple of early scenes chaffed my sensibilities.

Even when I am extremely angry, I work very hard not to snap at people. It is totally just me, but it colored my initial assessment of these scenes.

Jason's scene with Lisa, which started with him snapping at her because she was getting a cup of coffee, annoyed me. But, it did underline how helpless and frustrated Jason is. Not surprisingly, she was not intimidated. Jason practically begged Lisa to give him something to do. (I did forgive him for snapping when he reminded Lisa that he had faith in her instincts.)

The briefing during which everyone (most annoyingly Thirty Mike) questioned her instincts annoed me anew. No forgivness, from me, for that bad behavior from me though. LOL

My biggest issue was watching Bravo Team bitch and moan in front of prisoners. Really? Especially after realizing at least one of them spoke English. While it worked storywise, the lack of professionalism clanged for me. And yes, Thirty Mike front was and center.

Of course, they soon learn that Lisa was, once again, right. She put them in a position to find a lead and a good chunk of the episode was bout them ferreting out that lead.

It appears the only person on Bravo Team that has truly been paying attention to how Jason does things is Clay.

While Jason walks up to the edge by planning to torture an answer out of one of the prisoners, Clay uses some of Jason's out of the box thinking and pulls out some cop show interrogation techniques that get the prisoner to reveal all while bragging about his superiority.

Clay's approach gets them the information they need, and Jason didn't sell his soul.


When the second man joined Ray in his cell, I guessed that he was either a spy, or was not going to survive the episode. Ray, between training and savviness, never said too much. Whichever way that story was going to play out, the second prisoner was a good way for the audience to get a deeper sense of what was going on in Ray's mind.

The addition of a second prisoner actually helped break the tension of Ray's wordless scenes for me. Neil Brown Jr. did such a fabulous job in those scenes that they wrenched my heart. When Ray was returned to the cell after the first knife scene...whoa.

Unfortunately, the guy did not survive the episode.


Overall the episode felt really static, but ultimately that static element leant a realistic feel to the story. Reality is frequently frustrating, especially in fiction.

I was a little frustrated by the bickering that happened in front of prisoners, but that was the only real ding in the episode for me.

What did you guys think of the episode?

Clay’s Nicknames:

Crocodile Blondie (E1/2)
Blonde Ambition (E1/2)
Justin Bieber (E1/2)
Ol' Peaches (E1/2)
Blonde Icarus (E1/2)
Obie Blonde Kenobi (E3)
MahatmaBlondie (E5)

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