‘SEAL Team’ Season 3 Will Test Ray’s Loyalty to Jason & the Team

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Aleksandar Letic/CBS

This is how you open a season: with a heart-stopping car chase through Belgrade, Serbia, that doesn’t let up until a fiery crash in front of the stately Parliament building. The cinematic hour of SEAL Team is the first of a two-parter shot on location in the picturesque Eastern European capital, where the elite Bravo unit has been deployed after the bombing of several American military outposts.

Bravo’s leader, gutsy Jason Hayes (David Boreanaz), and his No. 2, sniper Ray Perry (Neil Brown Jr., above left, with Boreanaz at the smashup), take a step-by-step approach to finding the terrorist mastermind behind the crimes. “They’re working their way up that food chain, pursuing money launderers to bomb makers,” says exec producer John Glenn (he has since exited the show).

Particularly in the opening, Boreanaz says, Jason is revved up: “His headspace going into these missions is like a high-octane, 650-horsepower Mustang that just roars. Down the line that affects him.”

You can’t blame the guy for putting all his energy into the job. “Jason has been worn down by the loss of his wife [who died last season in a car accident] and his kids going off to college and boarding school,” the actor says. “There he is alone, out of the house he sold, living in a one-bedroom [place] above a garage.”

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No wonder Hayes, aka Bravo 1, needs all the support he can get. When Season 3 begins, multilingual Clay (Max Thieriot) is back, having recovered from the leg injuries he suffered in a Manila bombing, and brilliant CIA handler Mandy (Jessica Paré) is able to work with the unit in the field. Still, there’s potential for trouble. “Jason makes a huge decision in the first two episodes that affects Ray and tests Ray’s loyalty to him and Bravo,” Glenn reveals.

How it all plays out will involve more international locales. Four episodes’ worth of material was shot over three weeks in Belgrade. (The city will later double for Paris.) And not all the tension we see was faked. Brown notes: “Tactically, driving in live Serbian traffic was scary, man, scary.”

(Aleksandar Letic/CBS)

SEAL Team, Season 3 Premiere, Wednesday, October 2, 9/8c, CBS