S.W.A.T. Recap: Did the Season 3 Finale Leave Anyone Hanging Until 2021?

SWAT Recap Season 3 Finale

As S.W.A.T. Season 3 came to a slightly early close (with just one episode unfilmed), were viewers left with any kind of cliffhanger until the CBS drama returns in 2021?

As revealed by CBS’ schedule for the 2020-21 TV season, S.W.A.T. is M.I.A. for the fall and won’t return until midseason. Showrunner Shawn Ryan told TVLine last month that the planned but postponed finale, in addition to serving up a storyline tied to the 1992 L.A. riots, would have “picked up an A-story beat that was sort of a cliffhanger in the previous episode.” So what was the cliffhanger?

Wednesday’s makeshift finale found the team laying in wait for a band of drug smugglers, having come across intel on where and when their contraband-filled PJ would be landing. S.W.A.T. tried to cut the plane off as it touched down, but the aircraft instead tried to take off again, clipping its wing on the team’s rig. The jet lost altitude shortly thereafter, crash landing in the suburbs. By the time S.W.A.T. arrived on the scene, the passengers — including a highly elusive kingpin known as “Diablo” — had all scrambled.

Street and Chris checked out the apartment building where a known associate lived, unaware that Diablo himself was already holed up their, nursing a wound. His small army got wind of the cops’ presence and a shootout ensued, with Chris and Street veritably pinned down in the courtyard, their ammo running low. Chris at one point took a bullet to the upper chest, and though her Kevlar caught it, she was quite dazed and a bit breathless. Nonetheless, she and Street forged ahead, looking for an apartment in which to elude Diablo’s gunmen. Shortly after they did, team members arrived to safely extract them.

Hondo eventually tracked down Diablo, who had taken a hostage inside an apartment. With Luca perched on a nearby rooftop across the way, rifle in hand, Hondo led Diablo to step closer and closer to the window — until at which point Luca could get off the shot cleanly. But before Diablo made that fatal error, he cryptically revealed to Hondo that his business in Los Angeles involved stopping something from happening. And from his tone, it sounds like that “something” is something S.W.A.T. will want to stop as well! But what is it? Tune in tomorrow next year!

Elsewhere in the finale:

*Hondo aimed to make amends with Nichelle for his crappy behavior the night of her shindig, but 1) she is now traveling the country visiting other community centers and 2) she is done with him.

*On both ends of this week’s derring-do, Street and Chris bonded over how they both tragically lost parents.

*After initially declining the invite, Deacon — having counseled a beat cop on how to best cope after losing her partner — agreed to speak to a group of new recruits about the importance of nurturing their mental health, as he himself has been doing since the Buck business.

Want scoop on S.W.A.T., or for any other show? Email InsideLine@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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