[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for SEAL Team Season 5 Episode 2 “Trust, But Verify: Part 2.”]
The second episode of SEAL Team Season 5 picks up right where the premiere left off, with most of Bravo hiding from North Korean guards in a substation and their op turned sideways, but we know how that’s going to end. What we don’t know is what’s next for Bravo 1 himself, Jason Hayes (David Boreanaz), suffering from a TBI (traumatic brain injury), the effects of which are felt mid-op and could have disastrous consequences.
First, a quick recap of the mission: With smuggler Kwan captured, it looks like Bravo has to cut their losses and leave without Jin, the godfather of the North Korean weapons program who wants to defect, in order to safely make it out of the country. But once it becomes clear that the North Koreans only knew about Kwan’s involvement, they push forward, coming up with a new (risky) plan and eventually racing the clock to make it to the sub (with Jin!) before the Americans have to worry about a possible World War III.
And now, let’s check in with the team. First, the (very) happy news: Stella’s (Alona Tal) pregnant! She and Clay (Max Thieriot) — who is happy after he gets over the shock — are going to have to once again rethink their honeymoon plans.
Meanwhile, while on the mission, Sonny (AJ Buckley) continues to worry openly about Ray (Neil Brown Jr.) operating. “You never know when somebody’s going to break under pressure,” he says when Ray is willing to put his trust in Kwan not giving them up. “We’re rolling with a guy we can’t trust” and he’s squared away “until he isn’t,” Sonny comments to Clay later. “There’s too much at stake here for me to put Ray’s feelings in front of what’s best for Bravo. I’m not sure where Jason’s head is on this.”
After their mission is a success and they’re on their way home, Ray checks in with Jason since, in his mind, his assignment suggested the team leader doesn’t trust him. He’s good, Jason says. But while Ray seems to be on board with continuing to keep his PTS secret — if the wrong person tells command, it wouldn’t be good for his career — he opens up to the team once they’re home.
The last deployment left him with questions, he tells them. “One answer I found is I have PTS. The trauma I went through when I was held captive, it had its hooks in me harder than I wanted to admit. That’s what made me freeze up in Nigeria. Thank god Sonny was there to take the shot when I couldn’t, just like every one of you has saved me at some point, which is why I owe you the truth,” he explains. “Whatever consequences it might bring. I’m doing the work to make sure I’m solid, but here’s what I need from you: you have any doubts about me, my fitness to operate, you speak up, here or to command. I’d rather you wound my pride, my paygrade than have you think I’m putting anyone at risk out there.” His brothers, of course, have his back.
Ray’s not the only one greatly affected by their ops. Jason’s memory problems are getting worse, and this time, it almost costs them everything. He leaves a probe he used to safely cross a minefield behind, and if the North Koreans find it, they’ll know Bravo was there — exactly what they can’t have happen. He retrieves it just in time. “Figures, Jason Hayes has the slightest mental glitch and nearly causes Armageddon. Man does nothing halfway,” Clay remarks on the flight home. Jason blames it on all the moving pieces of the op, but as Clay points out, that’s nothing new.
The only way to describe the scene that ends the episode is heartbreaking. Once home, Jason looks in his fridge, then tries to write down everything that was inside. But each time, he can’t get past beer, milk, mustard, and mayo (leaving off OJ, eggs, and carrots).
SEAL Team has never shied away from tackling the effects of combat on soldiers, and once again, just with these last three episodes (going back to the Season 4 finale), it’s doing so with care with Jason and Ray’s arcs.
SEAL Team, Sundays, 10/9c, CBS