This week on Paramount+’s SEAL Team, Jason was finally presented with a hard truth about a past mission. How did he at first respond, and what path did he take toward finding a greater peace?
Picking up some 16 days from where last week left off, times are still tense in Bravo’s makeshift base — and they’re about to get worse, when Jason confronts Clay and Ray about the watch schedule being designed to always have one of them looking over his shoulder. Disappointed to see Ray succumb to Clay’s theories, Jason suggests that this is still about leaving the mine probe he almost left behind in North Korea. But Ray and Clay spell out for him the hard truth about Mali, and how it was Jason’s forgetfulness, not an enemy RPG, that collapsed a building and landed all of Bravo in the hospital. Jay dismisses the claim as “bulls–t,” dismisses his two brothers as disgraces to the Trident, and then storms off.
Ray and Clay later find Jason sitting on the edge of the rooftop — with a gun. They also find him having accepted the truth, and thus apoplectic that his 20-year career will end in “the worst way possible,” with the loss of his bird. That he is supposed to be leading his brothers, not nearly killing them. That he might end up as broken as Swanny.
Clay points out that brotherhood is about knowing when to step up and help each other out, that science is moving fast in the treatment of TBI. Jason, though, refuses to be a lab rat, and instead is resolved to “going out on my shield, on my terms.” The next morning, Ray reaches out to Jay again and offers to take them for a breakfast burrito; Jason agrees, as long as Ray doesn’t say a word to him. After eating, they end up at small, remote home, where Ray introduces Jason to Marc Lee (hey, it’s Animal Kingdom‘s Shawn Hatosy!), a former Ranger who dealt with his own TBI and PTS with the help of psychoactive plants such the haumuchu cactus aka “San Pedro” (a real thing!). Jason is skeptical, but upon hearing Marc talk of achieving “enlightenment” by “dissolving away the ego” with psychedelics, says to hit him up.
As the cactus juice kicks in, a dazed Jason regards a tree inside Marc’s home… which then relocates itself to the Bulkhead, where he is reunited with Curtis “Cujo” Johnson, Jorge and Full Metal — aka the first death he felt responsible for, the first team member to die under his own watch as Bravo 1, and the last. Jason is apologetic for their respective demises, but they each make clear that they have no regrets dying as they did and would prefer to be remembered for how they lived and fought. Besides, they note, none of theirs is the death that hangs over Jason’s head the most. And as Jason follows a hooded figure through a doorway of light and into his old apartment, we see that it is… his late wife Alana.
Hearing Jason obsess over her death, Alana refuses to be painted as a “victim” of his decisions. After all, she was simply making a run for some wine, beer and chicken when a truck hit her. She also explains that while he may have been witness to her unhappiness, kids Mikey and Emma spent more time with her and thus got to see other sides of her. Alana tells Jason that he needs to stop fixating on how things end, and instead remember how they started — that their good days together outnumbered the bad ones. “Things go wrong, but they also go right,” she says, echoing one of his fallen brothers.
Jason laments that Alana made a “mistake” by spending so much of her life loving him, but she counters, “You don’t get to tell me what my, our life was, because we were both there.” And yes, he did “f–k us up,” but how could he not have, Alana posits, given all the blood and trauma he has lived through? Still, that doesn’t condemn him to a life of misery, she says. Alana then realizes that, just as on the day they first met, “I have to save you again,” by denying her husband any regrets and and assuring him, “Jason Hayes — you are worthy of love.”
Elsewhere…. When Sonny went AWOL, Clay (with Davis’ help) tracked him down in a rough part of town, where Sonny apparently stole some coke and cash from some gangbangers, then invited a bevy of locals to a hotel room for an all-night bender. Clay quickly ushers everyone out, then chides Sonny for possibly jeopardizing their Omega mission — and/or worse, inviting trouble from a local gang. A coked-up Sonny brushes off Clay’s concerns, but sure enough, after Sonny sobers up by catching a few winks, two (and then more) gang members come looking for what was stolen. Sonny saves Clay’s life, and vice versa, during a first skirmish inside the hotel room. They then start clearing the halls of other thugs, using fists and guns, as they carefully but quickly make their way out of the hotel without running into the arriving local police.
Sonny and Clay eventually wind up on a dusty roadside, ditching/scrubbing their ride, where Sonny says he never asked to be “saved,” that Clay nearly orphaning his newborn back home in NICU just now was on him. When Sonny quips that everyone can’t have a “perfect, white picket fence” family life, Clay fires back with a reminder of his tiny son’s ordeal, and how the tot’s “reward” for his bravery was almost losing his Dad because of Sonny’s “pathetic ass.” Clay’s point lands squarely on a repentant Sonny, and they await their ride back — which turns out to be from Ray and Jason, who are returning from their own strange day.
Meanwhile, on the Omega mission front, Lisa pored over boxes and boxes of truck GPS logs to deduce that the Venezuelans are refining the uranium in an underground facility that is accessed by a series of tunnels that spit out at nearby businesses.
What did you think of the episode “Keys to Heaven,” and its blasts from the past?