'S.W.A.T.' Is Back With a Patty Hearst-Inspired Crime Spree & Hondo's Love Life Heating Up

Kate Hahn
Preview Bill Inoshita/CBS

The CBS drama S.W.A.T. stirs things up in its nail-biting premiere. An earthquake hits Los Angeles — just as Hondo (Shemar Moore) and his S.W.A.T. team are atop the city’s tallest skyscraper, trying to stop a helicopter from taking off with a kidnapped child aboard.

"A big fight is happening inside the chopper, and one of the team members is hanging onto the skids. It’s spectacular," enthuses executive producer Shawn Ryan. "It’s not CGI — we filmed it from a second helicopter."

'S.W.A.T' Premiere: An Earthquake Hits LA Right in the Middle of an Op! (VIDEO)

'S.W.A.T' Premiere: An Earthquake Hits LA Right in the Middle of an Op! (VIDEO)

Season 2 of the CBS series kicks off on seriously shaky ground!

The aerial antics propel S.W.A.T. into its sophomore season and the team’s frustrating pursuit of a criminal organization modeled after real-life 1970s-era U.S. radicals the Symbionese Liberation Army.

"The group is copying the Patty Hearst kidnapping and crime spree," says Ryan, referring to the 1974 abduction of the publishing heiress. "The [historical] shoot-out between LAPD SWAT and the SLA remains one of the biggest gun battles in the streets of America. For our team, it becomes a longer battle than they’re used to."

"Shaky Town" -- The SWAT team engages in a standoff with human traffickers holding child hostages when a major earthquake hits Los Angeles during their operation and compromises the takedown. Also, while Hondo forms an unexpected personal connection with Deputy District Attorney Nia Wells (Nikiva Dionne), Jim Street has trouble adjusting to his new life as a patrol officer, on the second season premiere of S.W.A.T., Thursday, Sept. 27 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Pictured L to R: Nikiva Dionne as Nia Wells and Shemar Moore as Daniel "Hondo" Harrelson. Photo: Bill Inoshita/CBS ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Nikiva Dionne and Shemar Moore in S.W.A.T..

The outwardly steely and steady Hondo must struggle with other conflicts as well — from the recently fired Street’s (Alex Russell) attempts to return to the squad ("He’ll have to really prove himself," admits Ryan) to Hondo’s new relationship with intriguing Deputy District Attorney Nia Wells (Nikiva Dionne), who brings us deeper inside the unit leader’s mind.

"Hondo is such an ideal cop. We ask: What’s the downside of having to be perfect? What are the burdens?" Ryan teases. Our anticipation is off the Richter scale!

S.W.A.T., Season 2 Premiere, Thursday, September 27, 10/9c, CBS

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This article also appeared in the Sept 17 - 30 issue of TV Guide Magazine

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