[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for SEAL Team Season 5 Episode 5 “Frog on the Tracks.”]
“Oh s**t.” Jason’s (David Boreanaz) reaction to the position Bravo finds itself in at the end of the first SEAL Team episode on Paramount+ is befitting of the entire 42 minutes. (The runtime is the same as its CBS episodes.) And that’s far from the first time Jason curses in the episode (the benefits of streaming). And oh does the situation definitely call for it.
But other than the occasional swear, the military drama feels the same as it did when it aired on CBS. Still, it kicks off its streaming service debut with quite the wild ride — and we’re not just talking about for Sonny (AJ Buckley), hanging off a train speeding through a tunnel while Bravo tries to stop suicide bombers — and a really good episode, picking up right where “Need to Know” left off.
SEALs on a Train
Jason’s focus remains on Mandy (Jessica Paré), after seeing the photo of her as one of SGS’ captives. And so when Bravo is dropped onto the commuter train in which the last of the three SGS HVTs, Saidou Boukare (Sallieu Sesay), is with a bomb, Jason’s focus is on that man, in hopes that he knows something about where she is. The members of Bravo must strip down to their civvies, arming themselves with what they can conceal, and they quickly move through the cars (and Sonny on top, to enter heavy when the time comes), their goal to disable the suicide bomber — what’s in Boukare’s head could be useful — before the train reaches the target: underneath the US consulate.
With one of the SGS fighters live-streaming from the train, Davis (Toni Trucks) is able to relay information to Bravo: There are six terrorists and more than one bomb. Ray (Neil Brown Jr.), the only other person who knows about Mandy, reminds Jason that there are hundreds of lives, including theirs, on the line. His head needs to be here. It is, Jason insists. Brock (Justin Melnick) stays in one car after Jason spots an additional bomber among the passengers. Then, when Boukare and two men get off the train at the last stop before the consulate, Jason sends Clay (Max Thieriot) and Trent (Tyler Grey) after them, even as the agency’s Carl (Maximilliano Hernandez) says his team (Ground Branch) will handle it.
Things get complicated when, via the live stream, Davis sees that there are likely explosives left behind in the lead car in suitcases, and she can’t get eyes on the trigger man. “F**k,” Jason says (the first curse of SEAL Team). The train car is packed and, with the clock ticking, Jason walks in, without any face covering, to get eyes. He’s successful, but when he returns to Ray between the cars, he finds out Clay’s no longer in pursuit of Boukare.
What’s worse: They haven’t heard from Sonny. They have to move fast to take out the SGS fighters before one of them triggers the bomb. As Jason and Ray, faces covered, move into the car, Brock shoots the man he’s been watching. And when one of the terrorists takes a woman hostage, Sonny takes him out through the window as he hangs off the side of the train. They get the job done just in time.
Jason vs. the CIA… and His Own Team?
But what about Mandy? Ray calls Jason out on nearly getting them killed because his mind is on her. “Why’s she even in captivity? She left the agency,” Jason points out. And why isn’t Carl doing anything about this? Maybe he doesn’t know, Ray suggests, though he admits that he doesn’t trust the guy. Still, going to him with nothing but that photo might not end well.
Jason then tracks down Clay on the base to call him out for letting Boukare go. In return, Clay points out that he’s off his game. “You have something to say, f**king say it, you f**king say it now,” Jason tells him before walking off.
And so he’s not in the best mindset to go to Carl — who calls him out on his “operational malpractice” by not using all the firepower in his arsenal on the op — with what he knows about Mandy. Make her a priority, Bravo 1 insists. It’s “need to know,” Carl says, and with his personal connection to Ellis impairing his tactical judgment, Bravo is off Boukare hunting. So Jason goes to Davis, who begins digging quietly, knowing that after Boukare’s men beat Ground Branch in the last two ops, they’ll be looking to take him out.
Ray again calls out Jason, this time on the two of them being out of sync because Bravo 1 is ignoring him. He jeopardized the mission and the chance of saving their friend. It’s time to read in the others. Jason listens to him, and the others, too, wonder how she got tangled up in this. Is she back at the agency? Did she never leave and instead that was a set-up for a new cover? Could she have lied to Jason? Something’s clearly up since Davis finds Mandy’s files redacted when she sneaks onto Carl’s laptop. The man in the photo with her is a powerful warlord whose compound was overrun by SGS two weeks ago. Was she with him?
The only way they’ll get answers is if they find Mandy, and to do that, Bravo needs to be on the op going after Boukare. Jason manages to get his team on it by using Carl’s words — it’s operational malpractice not to use all the firepower in his arsenal — against him. But, of note, Carl calls Mandy a “disavowed agent.” Did she go rogue or flip? Before Bravo and Ground Branch move out, Davis gives Jason a device to pull data off any devices in the area; maybe something will give them a lead on Mandy.
As the members of Bravo make their way to Boukare’s possible location, they hear warning shots in the distance. But what’s worse is when that stops as they pull into an alley. “Oh s**t,” Jason says as he looks up before Molotov cocktails are dropped on their cars.
SEAL Team, Sundays, Paramount+