SEAL Team 1×15 Review: No Man’s Land

Deployment has been the best thing to happen to SEAL Team this season, and with this continuing storyline as the team hunts down the people responsible for Echo Team’s death, we get right into the investigation this week.
Time elapses as Mandy creates her suspect board, as the team heads out on missions, as people are interrogated. We feel frustration and disappointment along with the team as more suspects are removed from Mandy’s board, while those responsible for Echo’s death are still not located.

Jason, wired, running on caffeine and limited sleep, drags Mandy out of bed and catches the viewers up on the past week, during which the team has hit eighteen targets.
He’s feeling like they’re hitting a dead end, but Mandy’s determined that they’ll find the men they’re after, “another way.” What way? Well, she doesn’t quite have that figured out yet.
It’s catching up with Jason. It’s catching up with all of them.

So. Many. Mandy. Scenes. THIS IS THE BEST. We’re seeing a little more of her personality, and getting to see more of what her job entails. It’s Mandy who drives this episode, from the first scene to the last.

I don’t like that she’s talking to Mulwray as much as she appears to be. I don’t like that he’s pushing for info. I don’t like that she’s answering (even if she isn’t exactly telling him the truth).

But she has her reasons. She needs to find out just how much she can trust him.

Brock gets some excellent scenes this week. He’s reviewing footage of Cerberus from the Kamal mission, when he notices Cerberus react to drugs. Namely: Heroin. The potential conclusion here is that whoever paid Kamal to kill Echo, paid him in heroin. And there’s a link to the lost SEAL team because Mandy has traced the source of the heroin to a poppy farm that Echo had previously burned.

Clay and Sonny are working towards a fall-out. “How can you be sure, though?” Clay asks. “This whole thing could be a coincidence.”
Because it came from the bomb-maker’s house,” Sonny reminds him.
But Clay adds that everyone knows Afghanistan is flooded with heroin.

He throws in a “cowboy” at the end, directed at Sonny.
“I asked the same question,” Mandy tells them.
Jason thinks it’s a good question, which doesn’t surprise me as he often leans in Clay’s favor. And Sonny quietly fumes.
There’s proof though, that the farm and the death of Echo are related, and that’s all Clay was looking for, something solid to show this is no coincidence.

It makes me like Clay a lot more. Not the name-calling, but the fact he won’t instantly accept something as an absolute until he sees more proof. This clashing with the team to do it, however, makes me like him a little less.

At the farm, Sonny and Clay find a system of underground tunnels, and head down into them, but not without snide comments thrown back and forth first. Previously I would have said these two need to bond, but I feel like the animosity here, and the fact they’re both stubborn, is going to prevent these two ever seeing eye-to-eye. An all-out clash between these two characters is the only way this is currently headed. Maybe they don’t need to bond. Tension is much more interesting than everyone being buddies. It’s more realistic, and that’s how Sonny often feels to me. Out of them all, he seems the most human. He’s a divisive character, whom the rest of them have had time to adjust too. I quite like this friction between him and Clay.

In the tunnels the guys discover ten million in US dollars, and quickly deduce that men are using the hiding place as a bank. It’s up to Bravo now to figure out who these men are.

The team gains permission from TOC to stay at the farm and await the arrival of whomever is bringing in the cash – and they don’t need to wait long as Davis informs them a moped is approaching.
The driver turns out to be fifteen-year-old kid, who speaks good English, and acts ignorant on who the money belongs to.

It’s interesting here that Ray turns to Clay for advice, and then disagrees with what Clay suggests. It’s something we need to see because sometimes Jason agrees with Clay too much in front of the team. Clay’s ego needed that from Ray, or he risks becoming too cocky an unlikable.

When Jason turns to his team he, unfortunately, notices Clay isn’t agreeing with Ray, and asks for his opinion. “Put a tracker on him and cut him loose,” Clay says, repeating his earlier words. And suddenly I’m rolling my eyes alongside Ray, and Sonny, because Jason thinks it’s a fantastic idea. I hope this is all a learning experience. I hope in some way this is Jason setting Clay up to fail so he’s brought down a peg.

Because right now all I can think is that Jason needs more sleep. Or Alana.

Lisa guides the team as they follow the kid on the moped through Jalalabad’s streets, and into a house – where they discover the kid they thought was a young boy is actually a young woman. They bring her in and Mandy interrogates her. And Mandy doesn’t go easy on her, saying whatever it’ll take to get the girl to talk. Accepting that the girl’s motives aren’t political, but that she’s just trying to survive and look after her younger brother, Mandy agrees to allow her to meet with the men, as she was supposed to that day. They wire her up, and Mandy prepares her for the meeting and exchange of money.

And this – THIS – is the utilization of Mandy I’ve been waiting for. Deployment has satisfied my need for her to do more. I hope now that this can continue back in the US, when the team goes home, and that the writers will dive into her home life more too (and Blackburn’s too. I’m curious to know more about him).

Clay’s not making friends on this team with anyone but Jason. He’s losing points with Ray, never had them with Sonny to begin with, and while Ray keeps his cool better than Sonny, the bootlicking is bothering him. Ray’s someone I’d want on my side and losing that bond to become best buddies with Jason doesn’t feel worth it.

As for Amy, this new character thrown into the mix who feels all kinds of unnecessary, I don’t like her. I refuse to like her. I’m team Jason and Alana. Give this show enough seasons those two will work their way back to one another. In the meantime, I’m not interested in watching him flirt with other women.

Jason’s cold side comes out at the end of this episode. The girl will stay with them on the base, work as an informant, and in return she’ll get a ticket to the States for her and her brother.
At least, that’s what he’s promised her. Doesn’t mean he’s going to give it to her…

Mandy and I do not approve.

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