“We’re not the investigators…we’re the tip of the spear.”
Coming off of the explosive (literally) pilot episode, The Brave continued its stride in being one of the best military shows to ever grace prime time. There were three key factors in this weeks episode that resonated with me: waiting, trusting, and moving on. Each team member tackled these in different ways and with different mindsets making them so relatable and real. Let’s break down these three dynamics in “Moscow Rules”.
From waiting for their next mission to waiting for word from DC on their next move, Captain Dalton’s (Mike Vogel) team had a lot of time to sit and, well, wait. This is something every service member will tell you is the norm when it comes to military service: “hurry up and wait”. Waiting can take a toll on a person mentally and psychically. In times of war, adrenaline is pumping and you want to move on to the next mission, to where you’re needed; to help those who can’t help themselves. Amir (Hadi Tabbal) and Jaz (Natacha Karam) in particular struggled with this.
With the casualties caused by last week’s mobile IED, Amir was ready to take revenge on the people responsible. Sitting around “doing nothing” was a concept he wasn’t okay with which is a completely normal reaction. When you’re in the field of work these special operations agents are in, doing nothing is an impossible task. You feel as if you’re failing somehow; like you’re not living up to what you’ve been trained to do. Dalton guided Amir by explaining that when they are called upon, they will act. It’s what they’re meant to do and while it might not always be the easiest thing, it’s what’s necessary.
The scene with Amir and Dalton talking about this issue reminded me so much of the movie Jarhead when two Marines who had trained their entire careers for war finally had their opportunity to make a difference only to be stopped last minute. That let down, that moment of waiting, it can change everything.
Jaz also struggled with waiting and like Amir, she wanted to act; to go in guns blazing and save the day. Not because she wanted the glory, but because she felt it was right and it was needed in that moment. By Amir agreeing that in that moment, waiting was their best option, Jaz felt as if he wasn’t being a team player.
“It’s our job to be ready…” Dalton said, “Until that point, we will wait. THAT is being a team player.”
Once again, he leads by example. Dalton is everything you want in a leader and he continues to show his team that while your heart may always be in the right place, sometimes you have to let your mind take over and do what’s smartest.
In the end, Jaz rose above and trusted in Dalton and her team. Not to mention getting to see her badass sniper skills in action…PERFECTION!
We saw trust in both Capt Dalton’s team and back in DC with Director Campbell’s (Anne Heche). Unlike last week where Campbell ran point, it was Agent Morgenthau’s (Tate Ellington) turn and Campbell put her full trust in his decisions. Every decision Morgenthau made affected not only DC or Dalton’s team, but would have an unimaginable impact on America. This made the situation so real. Every day, analysts in DC are making decisions and uncovering information that impacts everyone who calls this country home.
Dalton’s team had to trust in DC and their decisions. They had to WAIT until they had the all clear before acting. They had to TRUST that the decisions and the plan set in motion would work out. Here are five people on the other side of the world taking orders from someone over a headset and hoping that these orders don’t get them captured or killed. If that isn’t trust, I don’t know what it is. Once again, this show brought the struggles that our military and Department of Defense deal with.
Moving on doesn’t just apply for mission to mission, its knowing that no matter what has happened, you can’t dwell on it. You can’t continue to wonder what you could have done differently or better. In times of war and conflict, it’s easy for a solider to blame themselves or their leaders for mistakes or outcomes that weren’t always the greatest. We have emotions and those emotions are what makes us human and stronger people and soldiers, but those same emotions can also hinder us.
Amir was so fixated on what happened at the beach that he felt he was wrong by not doing something. As Dalton pointed out, everyone handles moving on different. McG (Noah Mills) and Jaz were talking smack while playing horseshoes and Preach (Demetrius Grosse) was talking to his family. In a time of war, you have to find an outlet that is healthy and truly helps you free yourself. Dalton helped Amir see that while focusing on the tragedies wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, you shouldn’t let it consume you.
A saying that is well known in the service is to “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” meaning, pick yourself up and move on. Some see it as turning off your emotions and moving on and not talking about anything but I’ve always seen it as dusting yourself off and taking on the next task head on. Mental health and talking about your problems is something that many service men and women struggle with. It can be seen as a sign of weakness or trouble. I have always seen it as a sign of strength and I think the topic of moving on in the way that works for you is a way to break that stigma. “Moscow Rules” really honed in on that and it was wonderful to see.
TELLING THE MILITARY’S STORY
The Brave can go from full throttle to relaxed so seamlessly. From McG shining as a medic in the field to Dalton and Patton the dog, it’s so organic and real. As a fellow medic, seeing McG flex his medical muscles made me so proud. He was calm, cool, and collected, which is everything you want from a field medic. His demeanor calms his patients and they trust that he’s truly going to get them to safety.
The show continues to shine and prevail as it gives everyday people an insight as to what our military members truly go through. I have watched both The Brave and CBS’ SEAL Team and to me, The Brave takes the cake! While SEAL Team is a great show, it’s predictable and you know you’re watching a TV show. What this show does right is when you watch it, it feels like a documentary. My heart was racing when the team was evacuating the bath house…RACING and I honestly didn’t know what was going to happen and was deeply concerned.
THAT’S how a show should make you feel. You should be on the edge of your seat not knowing what’s coming next. It honestly fills me with pride thinking about this show and what it’s doing for our service men and women. I’ve never felt so emotionally connected to a TV series before and to me, that means NBC is doing everything right with this gem they’ve discovered!
The Brave airs Mondays at 10/9c on NBC.