‘The Brave’ 1×01 Review: Heroes on the Field & Behind the Scenes

“The defense of the United States and its citizens relies increasingly on two groups…the intelligence analysts in Washington who uncover and interpret threats, and the Special Forces operators tasked with eliminating them.”

Those thirty-two words made everything real. NBC’s The Brave debut was everything we hoped for and more! Hitting the ground running within the first few minutes, The Brave gives an inside look at what goes on in intelligence, “behind the wire,” and the brave men and women who risk everything for the freedom and safety of our citizens.

At the helm of the Defense Intelligence Agency is Deputy Director Patricia Campbell (Anne Heche) who recently suffered a loss of her own as her only son was killed in action. Down range at the Special Operations Group, former Delta Force operation Captain Adam Dalton (Mike Vogel) serves as the Ground Operations Team’s commander. With two strong voices with years of experience working together, the episode progressed flawlessly. It was as if you had been watching these two work together for ages and not just a mere 43 minutes.

Vogel shined as he always does portraying such a strong and honorable soldier who is willing to drop all in a moment’s notice for the greater good. But a commander is only as strong as the team he leads and Captain Dalton has quite the team. Communications officer Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Ezekiel “Preach” Carter (Demetrius Grosse), field medic Sergeant Joseph “McG” McGuire (Noah Mills), sniper Sergeant Jasmine “Jaz” Khan and intelligence Agent Amir Al-Raisani (Hadi Tabbal) make for the ultimate “A Team”.

‘The Brave’ 1×01 Review: Pilot
‘The Brave’ 1×01 Review: Pilot

Captain Dalton proved that it’s not just about leading a team but about knowing your people, a mindset that is vital to the armed forces. We are Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, and Seamen, but at the end of the day, we’re humans and having someone who cares during the darkest times makes the finish line that much easier to reach.

Back on the homefront, Director Campbell has an equally resilient team supporting the Group Operations Team. A familiar face that many Quantico fans will recognize is the remarkable Tate Ellington who portrays analyst Noah Morgenthau. Serving as his counterpart is Hannah Archer (Sofia Pernas), a prior field agent turned analyst who is still adjusting to being behind the computer versus out in the throes of war.

While Captain Dalton’s team is the boots on the ground, the analysts are their eyes in the sky and one can’t work without the other. The trust and teamwork portrayed was prevalent throughout the episode and made the situation even more believable.

You got a feel for these characters from the very start.

All of them have strong personalities, an active voice, and aren’t afraid to speak up and fight for what they believe in. It was a team you automatically trusted and it’s what makes this show so great.

With most military shows, things seem predictable and robotic. The Brave gave the viewer a true inside look of the heroes behind the scenes making the hard choices and fighting the good fight. It truly is a breath of fresh, patriotic air!

Bringing a whole new meaning to “bravery”.

The episode’s plot was predictable at times but blew you away during others. At a Doctors Without Borders camp north of Damascus, Syria, an American doctor (Kimberly Wells) is kidnapped. Immediately, both teams are called into action with Director Campbell informing Captain Dalton that they are off the books and must act swiftly and quietly.

Upon learning Dr. Wells’ whereabouts, the plot takes a turn when it’s discovered that the followers of an al-Nusrah Front (ANF) terrorist group leader, Burhan Baghdadi, who was recently killed in an American attack, are behind the kidnapping, which shortens the already minimal timeline for the operations team to find Dr. Wells.

With a genius plan plotted by Agent Al-Raisani, the team is able to locate Dr. Wells’ location and it is revealed that she was taken not for ransom, but to perform surgery on the previously thought deceased Baghdadi. Faced with a decision delivered by Washington to forego Dr. Wells’ rescue in lieu of eliminating Baghdadi, Captain Dalton and his team successfully complete both their original mission and still get the bad guy.

Dr. Wells is reunited with her loved ones, Director Campbell realizes she can still be who she once was even with the loss of her son, and Hannah finds her footing in intelligence. But of course, nothing stays quiet for too long and The Brave ends its debut episode with the same fire and adrenaline it began with as a mobile vehicular IED heads straight for Captain Dalton and his team.

End credits.

Overall the episode flowed well; it seemed believable and there were no missteps from my viewpoint. It was organic and real, right down to the adorable scene with Vogel and the dog at the beginning. Something as pure as a man with a dog in the midst of a war is heartwarming and grounding all at once.

‘The Brave’ 1×01 Review: Pilot
‘The Brave’ 1×01 Review: Pilot

The Brave did so many things right in its introduction to prime time TV and there’s honestly nothing I would change. It highlighted overcoming painful pasts and the power of teamwork. It even highlighted and tipped a hat to all the hard work the women in the armed forces and workforce have to overcome to get to where they are. It was refreshing to see a woman at the helm of this giant operation and to see such a strong force in Sgt Khan’s abilities.

As a fellow servicewoman, I’m proud that a show like this is on the air and I look forward to what comes next for this BRAVE team!

The Brave airs Mondays at 10/9c on NBC.


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