'SEAL Team': Jason Weighs Crossing the Line in His Search for Ray (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 4, Episode 5 of SEAL Team, "The Carrot or the Stick."]
One of Bravo's own is in danger, and not only did it put Jason Hayes (David Boreanaz) back in the field — he'd just decided he was done operating — but in Episode 5 (the first since a brief hiatus) it brings him to the brink of a dangerous line.
Ray Perry (Neil Brown Jr.) is still missing, but there are no real leads on his whereabouts, leaving Jason to follow up on the smallest of crumbs. So, without approval to go after Target A, a terrorist with ties to Ray's abduction, the team follows up on a single ping in Sousse, Tunisia.
The team rounds up people in an area shop, thought to be a way station for fighters, family members, and hostages of a terrorist group. The lead comes up empty — until Sonny (AJ Buckley) spots one of the detainees, Faraz (Ashwin Gore), wearing his friend's watch. It's clear he won't talk. His boss, Mr. Nasri (Ibrahim Renno), won't either, not even with the offer of protection for his family.
That's when Jason decides to turn to "enhanced" interrogation, with strong protests from Clay (Max Thieriot). "We gotta be better than that, better than them," Clay argues.
"If we don't sink to their level, Ray's got no shot," Jason argues, as Sonny joins him in the room with Mr. Nasri.
A worried Clay tries talking to Faraz again and, by questioning his place in the hierarchy, gets him to reveal Ray was moved the day before. He hopes he got the intel in time to stop Jason from doing something he'll regret, but Sonny assures him he needn't worry: Jason "walked right up to the line and stopped himself from crossing it." (He did, however, take out his anger on everything else in the room.)
Meanwhile, Ray is tortured, both mentally — he's forced to kneel multiple times in front of a camera, machete to his neck, before being returned to his cell — and physically. "It's not about breaking your body," he tells another prisoner, Zied (Ben Youcef). "Pounding on the soles of your feet, ripping at your fingernails hurts like hell. They want to break your mind and your spirit." He stays sane by thinking about what keeps his spirit going, like his family. That's what he tells Zied to do as they're forced to kneel once again...only this time, the other prisoner doesn't leave the room alive.
As he's taken back to his cell Ray figures out what the static he's been hearing is from (a TV, unable to get a signal), and then, as the episode ends, we see that he's being kept on a ship.
So, another episode without Ray being rescued and the team getting close only to be a step or two behind (they were across the road from him in Episode 4). And that's what makes this storyline so engaging: We follow their struggles and the pain inflicted upon their brother simultaneously, making it even harder to watch and making us root for Ray's safe return home. Will Thirty Mike (Tim Chiou) be right and Ray escapes? Will Bravo realize he's not even on land anymore?
One thing's for sure: Neil Brown Jr., is delivering one of the best performances of the series and it's one you don't want to miss.
SEAL Team, Wednesdays, 8/7c, CBS