‘SEAL Team’: Is Bravo Ready for a Covert Mission in the Season 5 Premiere? (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the SEAL Team Season 5 premiere “Trust, But Verify: Part 1.”]
The members of Bravo have quite a bit going on in their personal lives as SEAL Team Season 5 begins, but they’re going to have to forget about all of that: what they think is a training exercise in South Korea turns out to be anything but that. As Blackburn (Judd Lormand) points out, if it doesn’t work, the team won’t make it home. Uh-oh.
Before they spin up and find out what’s really going on, they do have some time at home. Jason (David Boreanaz) is still suffering from headaches and shows signs of memory loss when Clay (Max Thieriot) reminisces. If he has a TBI, he’s not fit to lead Bravo, but Clay doesn’t think he needs to be too worried yet.
Meanwhile, Ray (Neil Brown Jr.) is dealing with his PTSD through exposure therapy (which has been good for his relationship with his wife) but Jason is the only one who knows. If someone says something, he’d be pulled from operating for good, Bravo 1 explains when Ray expresses doubts about keeping it from everyone.
Sonny (AJ Buckley) — a.k.a. “the world’s most overprotective father” — has been spending time in Texas with his daughter and thinks he has two more weeks with her when he’s called back. His offer for him and Davis (Toni Trucks) to move to Texas? A fantasy, she says as they catch up since she’s been busy with a DOD fellowship. But his time in Texas made him realize he loves three things in this world: his daughter, Bravo, and Davis. It’s not fair they can’t all co-exist, but that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.
Clay and Stella (Alona Tal) are happily married but have yet to go on their honeymoon. And the team’s latest mission is clearly going to continue to delay their plans.
But all that must be left behind when Bravo finds out they’ll be conducting an operation inside North Korea. Once on Yongsan Air Base in South Korea, the team learns exactly what they’ll be doing for a mission that, if not executed to perfection, could lead to catastrophic consequences: The South Koreans believe that Jin, known as the godfather of the North Korean weapons program, wants to defect because his wife already has. It could be an intelligence coup. Bravo will be providing support to a North Korean smuggler, Kwan Jon-Wi, who defected a decade ago. Bravo needs to shut down the power to an electrified river so Kwan and Jin can cross it without there being any sign they were there.
Their only way in is to charter a flight to Russia, then jump out. Once on the plane, Sonny voices his concerns about whether everyone (meaning Ray) can handle the mission. He was a liability on their last deployment, he reminds Jason. What if he freezes up again and this time does get one of them killed? Jason argues it’s his call, but for Sonny, that might also be a problem. Bravo 1’s loyalty to Ray may be blinding him. “You’re questioning Ray’s judgment or mine?” Jason asks. Later, Clay admits to Jason that he thought he might stand Ray down once they learned this isn’t a training exercise, but he trusts his leader’s instincts.
Bravo is only expected to be on North Korean soil for less than 24 hours … if everything goes according to plan. The chances of that are zero, really, even though Bravo and Kwan, once they link up with her, go over everything. They have to be completely silent: it’s a total mission failure if they fire a single shot or use force. “One misstep or hesitation could cost us everything out there,” Sonny says pointedly. It’s pretty clear who can’t be working together on this mission.
While Ray and Trent (Tyler Grey) keep an eye out for Kwan and Jin, Jason, Clay, Sonny, and Brock (Justin Melnick) head to the substation to turn off the power. At first, everything seems to be fine. Jin’s on time with his walk during which Kwan will grab him in a blind spot. But there are at least twice as many guards at the substation as she said there’d be, meaning more people for Bravo to avoid. And then military police grab Kwan just as she’s driving up to the rally point.
If the North Koreans know about Kwan, they might know about Bravo, the team realizes, which could explain the extra men at the substation. With the op compromised, they have to move out. But then the four at the substation get separated: Clay and Brock under a grate, with guards above them, and Jason and Sonny hiding in the shadows, with another guard very close by smoking. Uh-oh! (But we see how this could likely end: with Ray saving the others, including Sonny, alleviating his concerns.)
SEAL Team, Sundays, 10/9c, CBS