SEAL TEAM Boss Teases a Season of 'Consequences' for the Unit's Decisions - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

SEAL TEAM Boss Teases a Season of ‘Consequences’ for the Unit’s Decisions

December 2, 2020 by  

SEAL TEAM season 4 spoilers

“God of War” — Bravo Team enters enemy territory in the snowy Spin Ghar Mountain Range to capture Al-Hazred, the leader of a terrorist group and son of the terrorist leader that Jason took down early in his career, and made him Bravo One. When they are attacked, Jason and Cerberus, Bravo’s canine member, are separated from the team, in part one of the two-part fourth season premiere of SEAL TEAM, Wednesday, Dec. 2 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. The dramatic two-hour season premiere was directed by Bravo One himself, David Boreanaz. Pictured: David Boreanaz as Jason Hayes. Photo: Erik Voake/CBS ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

[Warning: This post contains spoilers for the SEAL TEAM season 4 premiere.]

SEAL TEAM’s Jason Hayes (David Boreanaz) survived his ordeal in the season premiere, but came out of it a very changed man: he opted to step back from the team.

But, um, what does that mean for Jason and the team going forward? SEAL TEAM boss Spencer Hudnut breaks down the big two-parter, reveals how Jessica Paré will return to the show, and more…

David Boreanaz is no stranger to directing big episodes, but this was coming at a lot of different angles: it was emotionally taxing for Jason, physically difficult as he and Cerberus (played by Dita) were injured and trying to survive on a hill, and his main co-star for a huge chunk of it was an animal. What were the conversations you had with him about tackling an installment like this?
David always wants bigger and bigger, and I’m constantly saying, “You remember that you’re actually going to be in this?” He just has this uncanny ability to handle it all, and spin so many plates at once. This episode, the first one that airs, I started talking about it with David and [executive producer] Chris Chulack, months and months before we even wrote it.

We knew we wanted to do something big in [the hour that] was supposed to be the penultimate episode of season 3. We knew we wanted to take that character on this emotional journey and really shine a light on what life was like and who Jason Hayes was before he became Bravo One.

There were definitely moments where, going up into the snow, where, honestly, I was willing to maybe compromise, because it felt like a little too much. And David just kind of threw his personality and just determination [into things]; it really led us on that journey.

He worked really closely with with Dita. I am so proud of this episode, not just because of how big it is, and how emotional it is, but also just because the whole crew and cast united behind David, and they pulled this off. And they pulled it off over the course of six months, which is also kind of crazy. And so he embraces every challenge we throw at him. Of all the episodes we’ve shot, this is the one I think I’m most proud of.

This was an unusual situation, because you filmed most of the first hour and part of the second hour before the show shut down. When you came back to finish the first hour, was there anything you had to tweak with the new restrictions?
For episode one, I would say we made virtually no changes. We didn’t have to alter anything. We really lucked out in that we shot at Big Bear in March and we got all that work completed, because we never would have been able to do that, obviously, coming back in October.

The day [we shot] of Jason and Cerberus marching through the woods on their own was Thursday and we were shut down that Friday. So we really, really stuck it in under the wire.

[We shot] the flashbacks when we came back. And those, because of the restrictions, the changes wouldn’t be in the script; [it was the locations.] We were going to shoot the flashbacks at an airport, and that wasn’t possible anymore. So we had to make changes like that. But in terms of story, the first hour is definitely not impacted. I would say the second hour, the script that we finished shooting in October looked different from the script we started started shooting in March.

What changed?
I would say the original script that we had written back in February 2020, the last scene that people will see in the episode [airing tonight] was actually the end of the third act [in the planned finale]. So there’s an entire fourth act to what was supposed to be the finale that we’ve now…essentially turned into its own episode, which will air next week. So that was obviously a big structural change.

There are a few other things that also changed along the way. And it was a challenge, because we shot half of it. So trying to marry things was a bit of a challenge. But Chris Chulack, who directed the episode, did a fantastic job of making it seem seamless, and that was all shot in the same consecutive eight days.

Jason stepping back feels like it could be a major change for the show. How much will it stick, and how will the show be handling the fallout?
He’s definitely going to have to deal with the consequences of that choice. It’s not an easy choice. Much of season 3 was really about him kind of denying that [it being a decision]. He said things like, there’s no choice in duty. And I think what those flashbacks do is allow him to realize, I did, at some point, choose to be all in all the time, which has led to the Bravo One that we’ve seen on the show.

The flip side of that is that he now has a choice to step away and try to put himself first. But that’s after two decades of being an operator, leading Bravo team. I think it’s going be a real challenge for him. This is a character who’s evolved over the course of the season. But that doesn’t mean that this is going to be an easy transition for him, by any means. I think along the way, there will be temptation to step back to what he knows and loves.

How much will he be leaning on family and friends along the way?
Well, I think it’s definitely important to him to find people who will help him have a life after Bravo Team. That is definitely his family and other people away from the team. We will see a fair amount of that. And I think that’ll be very clear when episode 3 begins.

As writers, how do you balance what feels like a natural pathway for Jason away from the team when so much of what the audience has watched the first three seasons has been that bond between the brotherhood?
We strive to deliver as authentic a portrayal of this community as possible. That is the tightrope that we walk in the writers’ room. Obviously, the camaraderie, the brotherhood, we don’t want to lose sight of that, because that really is the heart and soul of the show. But when these operators step away from their team, they are out on their own. And they really do struggle with that transition. So it’s a balance.

There are other characters on Bravo Team, at the end of that second episode tonight, who have made decisions that there will also be consequences to. So I think Jason will not be alone in trying to deal with this new normal. The audience will see all of Bravo really struggling with life after Jason Hayes. And then from there, there will be circumstances that may change people’s paths this season.

One of the biggest changes was Mandy leaving. (Jessica Paré is no longer a regular on the drama.) What can you say about having her exit the way she did, and when/how Paré  might pop up again?
There are lots of ways to, especially in a show like this, to say goodbye to characters. And some can be very permanent goodbyes. And I think It’s clear that when Mandy walks away, that the door is still open. So I think we will see her down the road this season.

It’s really sad to see a character like that stepping away. But I think it was a really dignified and brave choice that she makes. And again, going back to the authenticity of the show, we pride ourselves on really showing the toll that the combat and the trauma and emotional stress of these jobs takes on people. And I think, there needs to be consequences to that. And so people need to either step away from this or be removed, because that’s just the reality. But we will see Mandy down the road. Just because she’s gone doesn’t mean that that connection she and Jason shared is gone.

On a side note, Jessica, who was one of my favorite people I’ve ever worked with, is actually going to be directing an episode of SEAL TEAM this season. So she always and forever will be part of the SEAL TEAM family. And the same is true for Mandy.

When will she be directing?
She’s directing, currently, it’s going to be episode ten.

With the caveat that Jason and Mandy’s kiss wasn’t supposed to conclude the COVID-shortened season, what conversation did the writers’ have about how much they should actively discuss their relationship before she left?
There are obviously long conversations about how to do that. And, you know, again, with the way the season ended, kind of abruptly, the kiss being the last thing that we went out on, I think it built things up more than than we intended. Only because if you really look at that episode, you really find those two characters kind of at rock bottom. Mandy’s dealing with a lot of another CI, Jason’s really struggling with the reality that he’s now hunting the son of a man killed 13 years ago. And  they’re both kind of lost. And as much as they have that deep connection and attraction and care so much about each other, I think that that moment was less, maybe about a romantic moment than two characters really, in that moment needed to silence the voices in their head. And I think it’s true to their characters that they would both try to downplay what that meant, even though we all know, and I think deep down, they both know that, that that was a big moment for the two of them. Again, just because she’s she’s leaving doesn’t mean that that dynamic they have is going away. And so I think down the road, there may be more to mine there.

Clay claiming to write the Marsden letter seems like it will have wide-reaching consequences. What can you tease about how this will be impacting the team?
What Clay did, I think, has a domino effect, not only on himself and Ray, but also in Jason’s decision. This hot-shot kid, who came into Bravo Team, maybe thinking about himself more than the team at times, to take the fall to really after parts of season 2 and season 3 questioning, does he want to be a door kicker? I think he’s firmly answering that question. And Rebecca raised the question earlier in the season of, “You know, this path leads to Jason Hayes.” And I think Clay is finally saying, “That’s the path I want to walk down.”

But he’s going to have to pay for that choice. Ray’s obviously going to—on many levels, he appreciates Clay doing it, but he’s going to really feel guilty about the price that Clay is going to have to pay for it. And you know, and the irony is that, Ray going making this Warrant Officer decision, he did it for his family. But as we see, he’s home for a day before he’s told he has to go off to leave again. And I think he’s slowly going to realize that the choice to go Warrant Officer is going to have a price to pay and his family is going to pay a price for them as well. So it’s really the season is really about people dealing with the consequences of their decisions.

Looking to Cerberus for a second, is this really it for his time with the team?
I know there’s a lot of people speculating that Dita will not survive. I will just say my wife, very early on in the show, made it clear that if we killed the dog off, she would divorce me. That was never really going to be on the table.

What really got this started was actually Justin Melnick, who is on the show and Dita’s owner and handler, came to me and said, Dita doesn’t know that this isn’t real when we’re shooting guns; she doesn’t know that these missions are just for television. So her stress level does raise every time we film an operation, and we shoot these operations from multiple angles. The amount of combat stress that she has, it’s gotten to the point where Justin decided the best thing for Dita, rightfully so, was to actually remove her from these combat scenes.

Obviously, Dita is beloved and we wanted to do right by her. But it also gave us an opportunity to really dramatize, these guys who are in such denial about what this job does to them, when they see it in Cerberus, because they’re very quick to want to do what’s best for Cerberus. And it’s sort of an interesting parallel: for the dog on the team, they see the toll it takes, but when it comes to themselves, they’re able to kind of deny that. So much like, you know, any of our characters, life after Bravo team, the question is something that we’re going to explore for Cerberus as well. So, you know, while she won’t be running operations anymore, she’s still definitely part of the SEAL TEAM family.

Are you looking to bring another dog into the team?
We’re definitely going to have another dog with the team. Bravo team will have another canine, a new team member in the near future.

There are a couple of moments in the premiere that felt like Sonny and Lisa were working their way back to each other. How much are you playing with that dynamic this season?
That connection between them is so strong that it’ll never go away. I mean, they both went down paths in season 3 where they found themselves in relationships with other people, but they’re just one of those couples that always manages to find themselves together at the end of the night, so to speak.

Sonny certainly going back to Texas, repairing his relationship with his father, opened his eyes to the value in having something beyond operating and also opened his eyes to the idea that, you know, just because the door shuts doesn’t mean you can’t open it again. And I think Davis has gone through the season really questioning herself, as she took on this new role as officer with Bravo Team. But by the end, she’s the one responsible for hunting Azfaar Al-Hazred. I think she’s really found her footing and maybe a little more open to the idea of having something just beyond work. Especially with what she sees [in] Mandy’s decision; [it will] have an impact on her. I think those two are constantly going to feel the gravitational pull of the other. And it’s just a question of can they ever make it work?

What else are you excited about with season 4?
This season, we’re really focusing on, thematically, bringing the battlefield home, and just really getting deeper into what toll this job takes on people.

I think we’ll be surprised by what Bravo Team looks like when we come back next week. We’re really exploring the brotherhood, exploring the lengths that the teammates will go for each other, showing the high cost of this job, is really the thing that gets us excited. And really honoring those who put on the uniform, particularly during a pandemic. We’re not writing to the pandemic within the show, I think somatically, we’re really highlighting and applauding those who kind of raise their hand and run into the fire first. Whether it’s, you know, special combat, Special Forces types, like the ones on our show, or just people on the frontlines battling COVID. And so I think they’re just thematically really honoring this community.

Just to clarify, will there be a time jump between episodes 2 and 3?
When we start up episode 3, there will have been some time for them to settle into the new roles that they find themselves in.


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12 Responses to “SEAL TEAM Boss Teases a Season of ‘Consequences’ for the Unit’s Decisions”

  1. Nancy on December 3rd, 2020 1:54 am

    Jason and Mandy not only was heartbreaking for mr but total dissapointment. Having Mandy leave the way that she did but have Jason behave the way he did was terrible. Nothing was made clear here but that Mandy is gone. I guess hearing that she’ll be back down the road and a door was left open is supposed to comfort us well it doesn’t. We waited 6 month for these 2 episodes which will clear how Jason and mandys future looks like. Well apparently there is no future. Mandy is to broken walks away. Jason won’t go after her. Jessica wil do few episodes so that means whatever the future brings if any won’t last. In the mean time Natalie is buzzing around and Jason is thinking about her being his future? Now we have to wait again to see if Mandy returns and for what reason. I’m tired of waiting of being mislead and I don’t care to see Natalie ever again. My heart is crush and angry. So I’m done. Good luck with the show.

  2. Chaney on December 3rd, 2020 2:29 am

    Biggest fizzle in my viewing memory . To exit Mandy the way you did after 3 seasons is inexcusable but she’s expendable, and I’m done

  3. Ann on December 3rd, 2020 2:50 am

    Thanks Hudnut you just served up,a big middle finger salute to the millions of fans who have watched Mandy and Jason journey since the pilot, it’s a bait and switch thing, and I am done..will not watch another episode.

  4. Tam on December 3rd, 2020 2:55 am

    How do you measure disappointment? I have followed Jason and Mandy since th pilot, they were so great together, and you have just trashed it and I’m crushed . I’m done with ST.

  5. Jayne Young on December 3rd, 2020 3:46 am

    What is there to say …big mistake ..3yrs we have watched this relationship between Mandy & Jason ! To say we read more into the kiss is just ridiculous you used as a tease with promise for the future …nothing !! As for Natalie that was never or will be right she treated him so unprofessional !
    I & many others i suspect will not wait for crumbs that JP will make appearances …I am done Good luck with the Series I suspect your ratings will plummet !
    Talk about two fingers up to fans devastated !!

  6. MM on December 3rd, 2020 8:14 am

    The Op was good but the homecoming was more like a homewreck…we have watched Mandy and Jason from the beginning 3 season season ago…it could have been such a good story, insteadcit was a disappointing failure….betrayed, and done….
    Glad JO is directing in 10 is this a consolation prize?
    To say we didn’t see what we saw in the kiss is insulting … but never mind I’m done with the show……

  7. Will on December 3rd, 2020 9:03 am

    The mission was good HAVOC was great… but the exchange between Mandy and Jason was painful, to exit her form the show after all this time the way you did was unforgivable, to insinuate that the kiss wasn’t meant to be anything else was insulting. We have watched these two build there connection for 3 seasons, for nothing I feel like it’s been a waste of my time…

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  9. Liz on December 6th, 2020 2:13 pm

    I echo the sentiments of the posters above. It’s seems like the producers and writers were giving fans the middle finger to do this and then to have Natalie come back on top of this, really? That makes it worse. That whole debacle was not good the first time around and I found myself changing the channel when they were together onscreen it because it felt awkward and forced. To say I’m disappointed is an understatement about JP’s departure. Mandy really grounded Jason and I will miss seeing their dynamic and that relationship. DB and JP had chemistry off the charts. I was rooting for them. For me, that was the biggest draw of the show. I was really looking forward to this season, but this has put a damper on things.

  10. Sandra on December 7th, 2020 10:03 am

    I am a die hard fan of David Boreanaz!! He is the sexiest man ever regardless od the show

  11. CM on December 8th, 2020 9:52 pm

    I really wish these production people would quit insulting our intelligence, by hollering the authenticity word whenever it suits them, especially when they trying to justify a character change, if you don’t follow through with the Jason and Mandy story it will be the biggest miscarriage of a story at I my memory. Nothing else will do, and you will lose viewers for a decision that was probably over budget, well you get what you pay for.

  12. Cm on December 8th, 2020 10:06 pm

    Oh please quit using the authenticity card whenever you need to justify an unpopular change. Just own it. Bring Jess back you spun the web now you’re destroying it in the name of authenticity,