‘The Brave’ 1×12 Review: Close To Home – Part 1

“You’re a born liar and a master manipulator.”

“Close To Home: Part 1” is one of the first episodes where I wasn’t left breathless and I think that was done on purpose. With the start of The Brave’s two part finale, I think the writers are setting us up for a heart pounding, show-stopping amazing finale and I don’t know if I’m ready for it! This week saw the team struggling and bared some weaknesses, but it also portrayed strengths. Dealing with a man who was a born manipulator, our team was forced to look within and decide whether to give him the satisfaction of getting to them or rising above his games.

MIND GAMES & TRUST

Psychological warfare and trust were at the forefront of this week’s episode. From the moment we saw Campbell’s reaction to Alex Hoffman, it was evident that this man was much more than just a rouge agent. Campbell is typically one to not get ruffled. She doesn’t let people get under her skin and she keeps her composure but the instant she saw him, heck, heard his voice, the Campbell we knew was hardened and evasive.

It was something that didn’t sit well with Dalton especially. He and Campbell have always been open with each other. Even if they couldn’t let the rest of the team know the full ins and outs of their missions, they always had an open flow of communication between them. You could tell that this didn’t sit well with Dalton because Campbell is someone he looks up to and respects.

The same can be said for Noah and Hannah. There was this sense of doubt and worry. This was the first time we’ve seen this team show any signs of weakness when it came to their trust with one another. That’s something I’ve always admired about the team, their unwavering trust and support in each other. And while I don’t think that’s gone, I think they’re definitely worried. Campbell has always been a prideful woman, one who doesn’t ask for help but knows when she needs to step back and the Campbell we’re seeing is anything but that. I, like her team, am worried about her and what will happen. Hoffman is someone that clearly meant a great deal to her and is a secret she’s kept for over nine years.

While the trust in Dalton’s team was strong as ever, Hoffman’s mind games rattled two members of the team, Preach and Amir. Even though they didn’t give into Hoffman, they certainly fell into his web for a moment. Both are extremely poised and strong amazing men who have hearts of gold and minds that are so pure and resilient. To see them get riled up by Hoffman’s words was definitely a hard sight to see, especially Preach.

I’ve always seen and continue to see Preach as that voice of reason for this team. He carries himself so well and no matter what is going on around him, he can always find the positive and joy in things. He is the kind of person any one would be lucky to have with them in the field. You need that break from the harshness of war and the nastiness of this world, and to see Preach falter hurt. He still held his own and stood his ground but this was the first time we saw that exterior crack a little.

This falter in trust throughout 1×12, not just in each other but within themselves, further proved the kind of threat Hoffman is. Here is a man who has turned his back on his country and deceived any and everyone he has come in contact with. He has played, charmed and used people to further his agenda. When you have someone like that in your face shining a light on the things you love and casting doubt on your deepest fears, it takes a toll on even the most strong willed.

BADASSES OF THE WEEK

Amir – Amir is the man with the plan and also the man who tells you when a plan smells funky. Once again, Amir proved that going with your gut is usually the best bet. This man has so much experience and brings so much to the table and I love when we get glimpses of his pure genius. He’s definitely an underrated character and one of my badasses of the week.

Preach – While usually so poised and reserved, we saw Preach get his feathers ruffled a bit. But what makes him the other badass of the week is how he handled himself. He stopped, collected himself and moved on. He didn’t let the words of an evil madman deter him from his mission. He once again showed why he is that voice of reason this team needs.

QUOTING THE BRAVE

Campbell: “The way you tell me things could be as important as the information itself. Let’s say you pause in the middle of a sentence. Could be you’re searching for a detail, or it could be your subconscious trying to convey something to me that even you can’t your fingers on…I’m your partner. I’m your protector. I’m your parent and your priest.”

Hoffman: “Do you believe that if someone repents at the last moment of his life, that all his sins are forgiven?”

Preach: “I do. But I also think if you wait around for the end of your life, you’re kinda missing the point entirely. One atones here in the present to enjoy a better future…here. Now, contrary to popular belief, scripture’s not a how-to for getting into some kind of promise land in the afterlife. It’s a how-to for living here more abundantly.”

Hoffman: “You’re an inside man. Probably been undercover in a dozen terrorist cells? How many times you just stood there, watched a woman being beaten? How many times you just walk by when you saw innocent people being tortured, you never so much as made eye contact?”

Amir: “What are you hoping to accomplish? You think by playing some mind games, you’re gonna compete with what I’ve endured? Or by appealing to our similarities, what, you’re gonna win yourself a favor or the benefit of the doubt? You have no idea who I am or what I’ve been through.”

Campbell: “He is radioactive. And his being alive…when the dust settles, I don’t want you among the ruins.”

Lewis Jacobs/NBC | 2017 NBCUniversal Media, LLC.

BRACE YOURSELF

Yes, brace your damn selves because we all know next week’s finale is going to be utterly phenomenal! The previews alone for the episode leave you already trying to catch your breath. “Who will survive?” I’m sure I’m not alone when I say, “everyone better!” Trying to imagine this team with anyone other than the current eight people is simply impossible. They all work so well together. Not just Dalton and his squad but Campbell, Noah, and Hannah. The dynamic of this operation doesn’t work without any of these stellar human beings. They all help each other in a special way. Each brings something so unique and different to the table.

Dalton and Campbell are the definition of leaders. Preach and Noah are pillars of strength and poise. Hannah and Jaz are strong willed and fight for what they believe in. And Amir and McG will fight with their last breath for the safety of the innocents. This team just won’t function properly if it was to lose one of these members.

It is yet another entity that makes The Brave so successful. You have the perfect group of characters who prove week after week what strength and courage truly are. If one team member falls, they are all there to help them up. They fight not only for the innocent and their country, but they fight for each other. They are what freedom stands for, as cheesy as that sounds. But it’s the truth because at the end of the day, they will always be willing to do whatever it takes for the good of the USA.

I can’t believe we’re already at the season finale and I’m most definitely not ready for it to end! If you’re like me, make sure you continue to let your voice be heard and let NBC know via social media and any means necessary to #RenewTheBrave!

The Brave season finale airs Monday, January 29th at 10/9c on NBC.

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