'S.W.A.T.'s Hondo Just Got a Tease of the Next Threat in Season 3 Finale

Meredith Jacobs
SWAT Season 3 Finale What's Next
Spoiler Alert Jordin Althaus/CBS

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Season 3 finale of S.W.A.T., "Diablo."]

S.W.A.T. almost finished filming its third season when production shut down, but in some ways, "Diablo," originally the penultimate episode, worked as a finale: a relationship ended (Hondo and Nichelle), the team had to protect the city from a serious problem (the head of a Mexican drug cartel and his men loose on the streets), and there was a tease of a threat to come.

DEA Agent Simons (Chris L. McKenna) enlisted Hondo (Shemar Moore) and his team for a joint mission to intercept a Mexican drug cartel's shipment of heroin at a small airport. The head of the cartel, El Diablo (Luis Carazo) was so brazen — and knew he was untouchable in Mexico — that he killed a cop on camera. But SWAT and the DEA's joint mission went awry; upon seeing the former's truck on the runway, the pilot took off again, clipping the truck in the process. The plane crashed in south Los Angeles.

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Witnesses reported seeing six armed men emerge from the plane, and while in pursuit, one LAPD officer was shot. He died en route to the hospital, despite Tan's (David Lim) best efforts to treat him while Luca (Kenny Johnson) drove as fast as he could. The team took one of the men in custody after that shootout, and Hondo recognized his tattoo from El Diablo's in the video. Simons confirmed he's El Diablo's personal bodyguard, and "he's never not by [his] side." That meant El Diablo was in the U.S., risking capture, which was out of character for him, the DEA agent noted.

As the rest of the men from the cartel were rounded up, El Diablo paid off people to protect him. Chris (Lina Esco) and Street (Alex Russell) found him, and in the ensuing shootout, she hit El Diablo but also took a bullet to the vest. That didn't slow her down, of course, and she was ready to fight her way out of the apartment complex before the rest of the team came to their aid. But the cartel head was still in the wind.

Shemar Moore SWAT Season 3 Finale Hondo

(Jordin Althaus/CBS)

Eventually, they tracked him down, and he had a hostage. Immediately prior to Hondo entering the room, El Diablo ended a phone call before telling the SWAT leader, "this won't end the way you want." Hondo tried to get answers from him about why he came to the U.S. after so long, but all he got out of El Diablo before Luca had to take him down was a warning: "I want you to remember when it happens and the city goes up in flames, remember I tried to stop it."

But what is the "it" he was talking about? It could be anything, but we can assume it's going to be the team's next major problem and one that they need to take seriously considering El Diablo was willing to risk being captured (or killed, as he was). And since that appears to be the case, is it something that affects everyone — law enforcement, drug cartels, and civilians? That being said, how much can Hondo trust the word of a drug cartel leader?

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Unfortunately, we won't get any answers until S.W.A.T. returns — in the midseason. CBS announced its plans for its fall schedule, and the drama is being held.

S.W.A.T., Season 4, 2021, CBS