SEAL Team on CBS is starting to become a reliably pro-American, pro-military show in a television landscape that doesn't give us much to enjoy. In the October 25 episode "Collapse," the drama portrayed American service members respectfully as those doing good in the world and liberals as, well, ridiculous.
This episode has Jason (David Boreanaz) and the rest of his SEAL Team protecting the American Embassy in South Sudan as the ambassador refuses to evacuate in an increasingly unstable political environment. The team is told that their job is to protect the embassy while Americans remain there, and help to evacuate safely "if things go the other way." If you think this has shades of Benghazi, you're not the only one. Team member Ray (Neil Brown, Jr.) boils it down to "so...after it goes Benghazi, the DOD can say they had a Tier One team on the ground."
Once in South Sudan, Ray is confronted by African-American journalist Stefan Bol who tries to get information by race-baiting. He doesn't realize that Ray has a bond with his SEAL Team that is far deeper than identity politics.
Stefan: Stefan Bol. You mind if I ask you some questions?
Ray: Oh, you're a reporter?
Stefan: What gave it away?
Ray: Can't do it. Nothing personal.
Stefan: I'm also, uh, willing to go off the clock a while. Just big guy lying low while the brothers outside blow off some steam.
Ray: Those your brothers, huh?
Stefan: Yours, too.
Ray: You know there's people out there that will slit our throats just because of the color of our passports, right?
Stefan: Never bothers you? Show up in a place like this, alongside all them big white boys...
Ray: Watch your mouth.
Stefan: Anybody else looks like you is on the other side of your guns.
Ray: Time for you to go. Trust me, I am not the one. And those big white boys you're talking about? They're my brothers, too.
Stefan: Only colors that matter are the, um, red, white and blue?
In the next scene, the SEALs are evacuating American teachers out of a school, reinforcing once again who the good guys are and that the red, white, and blue are the only colors that matter to people in peril.
Meanwhile, back in the United States, Clay (Max Thieriot) and Brian (Jay Hayden), who are still in SEAL training, are at a party that Clay's girlfriend Stella (Alona Tal) is throwing. She's a liberal postgraduate student and her party is full of more of the same P.C. anti-military leftists you see on college campuses.
Evan: Alright. The, uh, the American snipers?
Stella: Wow. Hey. Hi, Brian. Clay, this is Evan. Evan, stop it. Everybody behave, please.
Evan: No, you worry too much. No, no. My new friends and I, we don't start fights at parties. We're evolved. Isn't that right, friends?
Clay: Ah, this is your show, man. You tell us.
Stella: These are my guests. If you can't behave like a human being...
Evan: All right, they're your guests, but if they weren't, they could always just knock down the door and take whatever they want. What they're trained for.
Brian: Actually, most of our training is just about balancing beach balls on our noses, so...
Evan: Is this, uh, really what you want? After everything I've heard you say about American militarism, this regressive, cartoon masculinity?
Stella: Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that I'm really against American militarism and regressive, cartoon masculinity.
Clay: Me, too.
Stella: Oh, good. Bullet dodged.
There's nothing regressive or cartoonish about their strength, and the scene ends there, taking us back to the SEALs in South Sudan keeping Americans safe with their "cartoon masculinity," making this liberal college student look even more utterly foolish.
We find out that the acting American ambassador in South Sudan is reluctant to order an evacuation because it could threaten his relationship with a major campaign donor. CIA Analyst Mandy (Jessica Pare) makes it clear to him that he has to order the evacuation to save American lives, and he is finally pushed into doing it. He is, as one of the SEALs says, a "weasel," and gets himself safely aboard an American aircraft leaving people behind at the embassy and the flag still flying. Jason and his team rescue both. When they arrive on the plane, Jason hands him the properly folded flag saying, "You must have left it behind by accident." The scene reminds of how precious the flag is to the military and really drives home how offensive it is for rich athletes to kneel during the National Anthem.
This year, we have SEAL Team, NBC's The Brave, and Valor on The CW, three shows that respect the military, our flag, and American values. Is Hollywood finally remembering that not everyone who watches television wants to watch our country mocked, that the "flyover states" wouldn't mind tuning in once in a while, too? With shows like this, maybe there's hope.