“It’s what I do.”
What David Boreanaz does is create iconic television characters. He has had no trouble getting work over the years. He has had the ability to jump from one successful series to another and enjoy longevity in those roles. Unlike many actors who have had big television roles, he doesn’t get at all pigeonholed or typecast. In Buffy The Vampire Slayer he originated the role of the vampire Angel, who spun off to his own series for several years. Immediately after that he took on the role of an FBI agent and partner to the title character on Bones. That job lasted a decade. Before the remains of Bones could be laid to rest, he was already working on his next new series. Now he’s the field leader of a Navy Seal team, and if the first season of Navy Seals is any indication, he’s going to be dodging bullets and RPG’s for the foreseeable future. CBS has a big tradition of long-running shows, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a decade from now I’m talking to you about the 10th season of Navy Seals.
David Boreanaz plays Jason Hayes. Hayes is the field commander for a Tier 1 seal team coded Bravo Unit. These are guys who are always on call for covert ops missions. While the majority of their missions occur in the Middle East hunting down terrorists, they could be called for anywhere in the world and at any time. This season the team spends a lot of time in Mexico and the Philippines.
Jason’s second in command is Ray Perry, played by Neil Brown Jr. Last season he hid an injury that cost a life. Jason has kicked him off the team at first, and the season sees this relationship constantly balance between anger and love. A.J. Buckley plays Sonny Quinn. He’s the contradiction and often humor of the team. While he’s the big muscle guy and a tough fighter, he also has a lot of phobias, which include spiders and heights, which are often unavoidable, particularly for a guy who jumps out of airplanes for a living, sometimes in thick jungles. Justin Melnick plays Brock, who handles the team’s explosive-sniffing German shepherd named Cerberus, who is played by Dita the Hair Missile Dog, who actually does get credit in the show. Melnick actually owns Dita and is the dog’s actual trainer, which works out well on the show.
The team is supported by an overwatch group who sit in a high-tech control room and assist with the missions. The commander of the unit is Lt. Commander Eric Blackburn, who is played by Judd Lormand. He’s responsible for looking out for the team and giving the orders while Hayes commands on the ground. Toni Trucks plays Lt. Davis, who is the team’s equipment and tactical tech provider. She gets them the guns and toys they need to do their jobs. In overwatch is also CIA Agent Mandy Ellis, played by Jessica Pare. It’s her job to get the intelligence for the missions, and she provides liaison with CIA personnel and resources in the field.
The point of view for the show is their newest member. He’s Clay Spencer, played by Max Theiriot. He’s cocky and a bit too sure of himself. This season finds him in relationship trouble. He takes a deep look at who he is and what his priorities are. He also gets a cause this season when he tries to help a retired Seal get help for his brain injury. Since it wasn’t reported years ago, he can’t get help from the VA medical staff. It drives him to suicide and changes Clay quite a bit.
The episodes are action-packed, to be sure. The show’s ability to do battles on a television budget that look this good from week to week is pretty amazing. There’s plenty of battle action with explosions and helicopters and all sorts of operations. Many of the shows are ripped directly from real headlines. You will absolutely recognize some of these stories. The episodes also take some time to look at the impact on the families of the team members and how they deal with this kind of lifestyle. It puts a lot of pressure on Hayes. This year his wife dies, and it also has him looking at his life’s priorities. But when he passes on a mission, his replacement, a friend, is killed. His head’s not really on his game, and his decisions are being questioned this season. It’s a place he’s not used to. He’s also trying hard to connect with his kids, particularly his daughter. There’s a ton of emotional drama there.
Davis is also looking for a change. She’s accepted into Officer Candidate’s School and has to leave the team. The training makes her confront a horror from her own past. She’s got to exorcise that demon or fail.
There are times the show gets a little too heavy with exposition or military alphabet soup. You might want to catch up on your terms, because they’re going to use them naturally without filling you in. Obviously it adds authenticity to the show. I do hate when one character has to explain something that would really not require an explanation in this group of people. The old “as you know …” syndrome doesn’t happen here.
You get all 22 episodes on five discs with the usual CBS season summary and some deleted scenes. There’s a feature on the equipment. The season spends more time on multiple-episode missions. They hunt a drug cartel kingpin in Mexico and get some R&R in the Philippines. But even the cake missions lead to danger. The team is being evaluated by a big shot who wants to split them up. It’s a plot device that’s frankly overused on these team shows. You’ve seen it on all the NCIS shows, Hawaii Five-O, and so many other shows too numerous to count. Catch last season just in time to start season three on CBS. “We’re back. We’re so back.”