The stakes are higher than ever as Clay lets his instincts take over, but guilt over his actions may tear him apart.
SEAL Team 1×10 “Pattern of Life” on CBS had us feeling as torn as Clay (Max Thieriot) seemed to be. Jason (David Boreanaz) insisted the right call was made, but Clay wasn’t so sure shooting a young girl could ever be the right call. But the team needed the cell phone to track terrorist recruiters. Jason was willing to do whatever it took to complete his mission. Sonny (AJ Buckley) and Ray (Neil Brown Jr.) backed Jason up, but were also there to comfort Clay about what had to be done. Being a SEAL is never an easy job, but this team knows they’re doing what they have to.
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Clay isn’t the only one that is in question over the fate of the young girl. Davis (Toni Trucks) and Mandy (Jessica Pare) question the general’s seemingly lack of emotion over what happens to her as well. The whole family almost has the team convinced that they have the wrong house. But they prove to have been right when they find the phone hidden in some pipes. After the younger brother tries to take blame for the phone, but his fingerprint won’t unlock it, Jason knows they’ve been right all along. It also helps to validate Clay’s shooting of the girl when it’s her fingerprint that opens the phone. Now that they’ve got what they need, they take the girl and the phone and leave the family to pick up the pieces.
Let’s meet our roundtable and have them break it down!
Micha (@ciaomichaella) – Chocoholic fan girl who loves live tweeting, television, spoilers, books, and social media.
Andrea (@Andrea_Colanni) – Lover of all things David Boreanaz and Max Thieriot, so naturally, SEAL Team is the perfect show!
Manuela (@yellowhat3) – Spent four and a half years in the Naval Reserves and watches SEAL Team mostly for David Boreanaz!
Bryna (@Becoming_Bryna) – Artist and wannabe car wrangler and agent!
Rachel (@tickledbloo) – Small business owner, mom and wife from rural Northern Michigan.
1. Who did you agree with on shooting the young girl? Clay or Jason?
Micha (@ciaomichaella): Jason said it was the right call for the mission, given the circumstances. As team leader and someone with ample experience, you have to trust him. Ideally, no one should’ve been shot, that would have spared Clay a lot of guilt. But that wouldn’t have added to the story.
Andrea (@Andrea_Colanni): I agree with Jason. As unfortunate as it is, having to shoot people is part of the job. Clay knew what he was signing up for and he just needs to learn it is sometimes necessary.
Manuela (@yellowhat3): I agreed with Jason implicitly. Hesitation is a death trap and a quick reaction was necessary to protect the team. The young girl could have been anyone.
Bryna (@Becoming_Bryna): Jason. So very unfortunate that innocents are caught in the crossfire, but Clay does have to get his mind straight and move past it in order to complete the mission effectively. It’s critical not to second-guess oneself.
Rachel (@tickledbloo): Clay seemed to simply feel bad about it, like he made a mistake. Jason rationalized it. I agreed with both. In the end, it was a good thing that it was her and not a different family member.
2. When they couldn’t seem to find the phone, do you think there was a moment the team thought they may have the wrong house?
Micha: There is always that possibility, but they work with a great team. They have to trust that the intel they got was accurate.
Andrea: I definitely think there was a moment where they wondered. But thank goodness it turned out to be the right one, because then Clay would have been really crushed.
Manuela: For a split second, maybe for Ray. It seemed like he was wishy washy and Jason seemed irritated with him. Jason pushed all possible lines of interrogation in order to gather more clues to the whereabouts of the phone. Leave no stone unturned! The mom did an excellent job trying to plant doubt at the beginning. I loved how Jason remained diligently in communication with TOC. I thought Sonny was instrumental in getting the clues from the boy. Kudos to him.
Bryna: Yes, I thought it may have been the wrong house too. It reminded me of Black Hawk Down when they invaded the wrong home.
Rachel: Of course, but the intel was correct, so I was pretty sure they were in the right place.
3. Mandy and Davis express their concerns over the young girl and the fact that the general doesn’t care. Do you agree with the general’s type of attitude?
Micha: People in higher positions are often more about the big picture rather than the finer details. At the end of the day, all he cares about is the bottom line – if the job gets done. The teen’s life, had she died, would have just been collateral damage.
Andrea: That’s a hard one. I don’t think that anyone should get to the point where they just don’t care about human life. Understanding that there will be casualties is not the same as indifference. I felt that the gneral was very much indifferent.
Manuela: I didn’t much care for the general, but he did present his argument very clearly and I agree with his pros vs. cons of staying longer to find that phone. Although treating everyone like a number is cold and disconnected somewhat. I wonder if Davis would act the same way as an officer.
Bryna: I think it’s more about the general caring about halting further terrorist attacks by being thorough and keeping the team on point and on task. I don’t think he’s being malicious. He’s weighing how many more attacks will be halted and innocent lives saved by finding this phone.
Rachel: Personally, no. I don’t know that I could ever be that lackadaisical about another life in that situation. This is one of many reasons why I’m not suited for doing what they do.
4. The husband and wife insist they don’t agree with violence. What do you think? Were they lying?
Micha: No. Especially given the way the episode ended. The parents were innocent. It was the daughter who got radicalized into terrorism of her own volition.
Andrea: I find it hard to believe that they were completely innocent. Especially with the way they tried to cover the ownership of the phone. Something was fishy with them to me. It’s hard to believe the daughter was in it all alone.
Manuela: I tend to believe the father more than the mother for some reason. He remained calm and cooperated during the questioning honestly. The mother seemed to give off so much resentment and fury and kept trying to deter the team with her more aggressive behavior.
Bryna: I do believe that the husband and wife don’t believe in violence.
Rachel: I thought they were both genuine, but I would have a hard time telling if they were just trying to save themselves.
5. When the daughter’s fingerprint was the one to unlock the phone, what were your thoughts? Was it all really her?
Micha: I was not surprised at all. After all the mystery and twists that followed her getting shot I started thinking it was likely she’d be the guilty one.
Andrea: I just have such a hard time believing that she was really solely responsible. But I suppose that’s why it’s a good thing I’m not a SEAL!
Manuela: At the beginning of the episode you could already see how disconnected the daughter was from her family. She was isolated downstairs, listening to music while her family slept upstairs. I could also see contempt and distrust in her eyes when she was looking at Clay while receiving her mother’s blood transfusion. She admitted her guilt before her thumb was put to the phone. I was convinced it was her.
Bryna: Wow, great plot twist! Dang! I think it was the daughter’s phone.
Rachel: I thought it could be the daughter or the son, but that was mostly because of drama value. I don’t think it was all her. The indoctrination came from somewhere else.
6. Do you think the girl’s parents knew what she was doing? If so, do you also think they were involved?
Micha: I don’t think the parents knew. The mom’s actions seemed reactionary after the drain phone was discovered. I think she didn’t know until that point, and then she jumped into protective mom mode.
Andrea: The reactions from the parents seemed genuine, but I just can’t fathom how they wouldn’t know. That, and where would the girl have gotten feelings and thoughts like this from? I just think the parents were playing. At least the mom.
Manuela: It’s a toss up, because they genuinely seemed oblivious and the father looked really surprised when Bravo Team pushed through the doors. I don’t think they were involved, but it did look like they paved the way with the old propaganda they had and people they knew in the mosque. It made it accessible and easier for the daughter perhaps to be impressionable. Also, the mom was trying so hard to protect her daughter, so maybe she had a gut feeling of what her daughter was doing.
Bryna: No, I don’t think the parents knew what she was doing. I think the mother is covering for the daughter. With some parents, kids can hide some of their activity from them. I’m more shocked at the general’s responses now.
Rachel: No, especially with their parting reactions. The dad crying? Heartbreaking. He was just a dad in that scene.
7. Jason and the team take the girl away. What do you think will happen to her now?
Micha: It depends on exactly what is in her phone and whether or not she chooses to cooperate. She might turn informant in hopes of getting bigger fish to fry, or she might end up rotting in prision.
Andrea: I don’t know, but I hope she cooperates with whatever the team wants. For her own sake. If she ever wants to see her family again, she will give all the information she has.
Manuela: Well, after she receives medical attention, I believe she’ll be used to gather more intel about other people involved in terrorist activities and then tried. Possibly as an adult.
Bryna: She will be brought back to her full health, but will be carefully interrogated, as she is a minor.
Rachel: Hard to say. I don’t know that I want to know. Probably jail time in Gitmo and a rigorous debriefing.
Final Verdict: With one terrorist cell taken down, the team is looking to stop nuclear weapons sales next!
This episode went a long way in showing Clay that the kid gloves have been removed. The writing was done impeccably, showing just a few of the harsh realities of what SEALs must face during their missions. It’s been made clear with this episode that emotions have no place in the field. Jason clearly understands, as does the rest of the team. But it was something Clay still needed to learn. Something that has been made obvious to him after his ordeal.
As much as we want to see some of the truths of military life, this one got a bit hard to swallow at times. We especially weren’t big fans of how the general handled things. While the mission is obviously important, and emotions need to be kept away from the field, the general just seemed to lack any emotions for human life. There’s a distinct difference between wanting the job to get done, and having no regard for how many lives are lost in the process.
Next week, the team is in for another mission gone wrong! They just can’t seem to catch a break. Especially when it comes to stopping nuclear weapons sales. It’s not the problem of intercepting the sale, it’s the transportation of the weapons that is going to prove more than a little bit difficult. Especially when the nukes with unsecured fuel rods. Something that is made even more difficult when Ray obtains a shoulder injury, but he isn’t honest about it!