‘SEAL Team’ Star AJ Buckley on Sonny’s Recovery, Plus How the Drama ‘Gets Very ‘A Few Good Men”
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 4, Episode 9 of SEAL Team, “Reckoning.”]
Sonny Quinn’s (AJ Buckley) reaction to learning he’s going to be a father (childhood friend Hannah, played by Rachel Boston, told him she’s pregnant) wasn’t the best, but at least he’s now told his girlfriend, intelligence officer Lisa Davis (Toni Trucks).
That comes in the March 10 episode after Sonny takes a bullet (he’s OK) during Bravo’s mission in Syria — Ray Perry (Neil Brown Jr.) gets closure when he takes out their target, Yassine “Raqqa Jacques” Kassen (Philip Shabaz), the man who tortured him — and Davis visits him in the hospital. It’s yet another obstacle in their path just as she’s taking care of one by moving teams so they’re not on the same one.
“Reckoning” also ends with a shocking cliffhanger: Bravo 1, Jason Hayes (David Boreanaz), is taken into custody for suspicions of violating Article 119 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (manslaughter).
Buckley tells TV Insider what’s next.
What does Sonny’s recovery look like?
AJ Buckley: It was one of those lucky wounds. A lot of the team guys I talked to who have been shot say, “A bullet can be really bad or it can be perfectly in the right place on the right angle and it goes through and there’s damage, but it’s not as significant as it [could be].” There is a little bit of hospitalization.
I think when we had a longer season before COVID, they were going to allow more time in the hospital, more [from his] recovery, but we have to speed through some things because we don’t have as many episodes to tell the story. Originally, [Sonny would] go through some stuff, but we decided to make the bullet wound more superficial.
What’s the state of Sonny and Davis’ relationship now that she knows Hannah’s pregnant?
It’s a work-in-progress. They both want this, but it’s par for the course for them. It’s a constant struggle for them to be able to fit this square into a triangle.
Especially with Davis planning to transfer teams so they can be together.
Yeah, she makes the move to Echo and some things happen, whether it’s good or bad. There’s a very truthful scene between [Sonny and Davis], and I was really proud of Toni and the performance she gave. It was very raw. There’s a lot of good emotion coming up.
How long is it going to take Sonny to figure out what he wants to do about becoming a father?
Davis is his voice of reason and sits him down: “Get your s**t together. You got a kid on the way.” She talks some sense into him. That’s what’s so great about their relationship. They have that ability to cut to the chase and he respects and loves what she has to say. He heeds her advice and starts down a path of trying to figure out how he’s going to be a dad, have a relationship with Davis and be there for Hannah if she needs anything.
That means he’ll reach out to Hannah and she won’t have to drive up from Texas again, right?
[Laughs] Yeah, what a di** Sonny is.
Sonny does know he wants to be with Davis. Why is he in a better state of mind to try to make their relationship work now?
As we get older, you can only run into the wall so many times before you realize the door is two feet to the left. You just have to get perspective and understand you gotta grow. Growing in life, for Sonny and me in general, is looking at your mistakes, admitting your mistakes, and figuring out where your weaknesses are and putting effort into making those weaknesses your strengths. For team guys, they need to be the best always to complete the task. Those same virtues they have from being a team guy also applies in life as well, being a good husband or boyfriend or father.
NCIS takes Jason into custody for suspicions of manslaughter. What’s next?
It gets very A Few Good Men. It brings up a lot of stuff we’ve seen in the headlines of late and rules of engagement, rules of war. We have rules as American soldiers but you’re playing against a team that doesn’t have rules. It was cool talking to some of the guys about, how do you work in that environment when there is no rules on the other side? You just have to play by our team’s integrity and honor. It’s a great couple episodes that come out.
With COVID and the setbacks we had, it could’ve completely sunk our show because [it] is so action-heavy, but [executive producer] Spencer [Hudnut] really was able to pull an audible and go into the character stuff. If it was Season 1 or 2, I don’t think it would’ve made it but the fact the audience is so invested in us now, we’re able to go down this road with these characters and peel back the layers psychologically and see what’s going on inside.
SEAL Team, Wednesdays, 9/8c, CBS