A troubled past. A dead grandfather. An unexpected romance. Murder, LLC.
S.W.A.T. Season 1 Episode 7 was a wild ride!
On this surprisingly heartwarming episode of S.W.A.T., the case-of-the-week hit a little too close to Hondo's home. After a drive-by shooting of three local gang-members, Hondo did what he does best -- put himself right in the middle of the action.
By this point, we're used to seeing Hondo get chummy with the locals, but this was different. It was his turf. He didn't just know these gang members, these neighbors, the witness...he knew them. That made the story that much more intense.
What started out as an already very personal situation for Hondo, it only got more complicated when his childhood friend Leroy reached out to him, hoping to get protection for his son Daryl who witnessed the killings.
I desperately wanted to know what the history was between Hondo and his old friend, just as I've been craving more info about Hondo's past since the beginning of the show. Both of my wishes came true.
Viewers learned the story along with Daryl. Three young friends on the streets. A big talker. A murder. Retaliation. One when high, one went low.
Hondo: D never knew when to shut up. Until someone shut him up for good. Just some ignorant-ass dude on the corner with a temper and a gun.
Daryl: Did he get caught?
Hondo: Your pops caught him behind the laundromat before I could, and man I wanted vengeance bad, but Leroy talked me down. He told me that I was meant for something better than the streets, Daryl. Then he went around the corner, took care of business himself. You're daddy went to juvie, but I went to high school.
This turn of events is certainly not unheard of, but it did fill in a few blanks in regards to Hondo's character. Hondo is a man who is defined by his leadership, his morality, his goodness. Sometimes to a sickening extent. But now we finally have an idea of why he is the way he is.
Leroy saved Hondo from making a violent and life-altering decision as a young man. He put his friend on the path to something better, the path that led him to SWAT. And Hondo readily admitted that everything he does is in service to the version of himself that Leroy believed in.
It was certainly understandable to me that Hondo would feel a sense of responsibility to be "better" because of the sacrifice that Leroy made for him. But the thing is, Leroy didn't necessarily make a sacrifice. As he said himself, it was his own decisions that landed him in prison. It was never a trade-off.
Hondo: You know everything I've done since what happened back then, was me trying to be as worthy as you thought I was. You helped make me who I am. But I made you who you are too, and I've been sorry about that ever since.
Leroy: Man, come on, get over yourself! I'd be right here even if we never met. We all got our own paths, this was mine, you just happened to jaywalk across it back then. You hear what I'm saying? This is not your fault.
It was a good truth that Hondo needed to hear. He spends so much of his time taking care of everyone else. Hopefully, this relieved some of the pressure on himself to be so dang perfect all of the time.
The best part of this revelation, I think, was how Hondo was able to return his wisdom to young Daryl. It was an incredibly touching moment when Hondo to Darnell the story of how he was named, and their connection was that much more believable after learning about Hondo's past.
In the end, Hondo was able to help put Daryl in a better situation than the life he was headed toward -- similarly to the way his father, Leroy, helped Hondo. Their story came full circle.
Hondo didn't just share advice with Daryl, but he spread the wealth to Luca as well.
I feel like I'm in a petting zoo. All I want to do is bite people.Luca
After losing his grandfather, the "original S.W.A.T.," Luca was understandably struggling. But we soon learned that it wasn't just the overwhelming attention and condolences that were making him uncomfortable, but something much deeper.
Look, we're trying to celebrate a man's life here. You need to shake a few hands, smile at the stories. Say something nice for the memorial. The girl's still waiting to put you on camera. Either find the strength or fake it. But do it.Luca's Dad [to Luca]
Pride in his job, his family, the S.W.A.T. in their blood, has been a huge part of the Luca that we've come to know. That is why it must have been so heartbreaking for him to differ from his grandfather about something as fundamental as race.
At first, I couldn't quite figure out what was causing Luca so much trepidation with the memorial video or going to blows with his dad, but after discovering what he said about Hondo, it makes sense. Luca took the side of decency but struggled to reconcile the fantastic officer his grandfather was with the flaws he came to know.
Luca: I'm done hearing all the stories about how great my grandfather was. You know, he wasn't. I mean I wasn't even speaking to him at the end.
Hondo: Since when?
Luca: I was waiting for an apology. And then the clock stopped. So that's that, you know, he can't apologize, and I can't forgive.
Hondo: What happened, man?
Luca: He didn't want me on your team. He said SWAT leaders look like him and me. Not like you.
Unsurprisingly, it was Hondo that helped Luca see the light. To help him accept that his grandfather could be both a respected officer and hold outdated views.
It's clear that Luca feels a deep loyalty, and it's a testament to Hondo's character that he could look past the hurtful things that were said about him to help his friend heal.
Hondo: We can still love people despite their mistakes, man. They're still family.
Luca: You're a better person than me.
On a lighter note, we got some exciting development in the relationship between Chris and Street this hour!
It was adorable to see Street asking Chris out on a date, and I was so happy that the show was finally addressing the question mark between them, although I loved Chris' response even more.
Not only did Chris let Street down softly, and with valid concerns, she also dropped some education on him as well. It's not easy for a female to do the job that she does, and it comes with a price tag, as both she and Tan pointed out: grabby hands, innuendos, assumptions, critiques. All of which the men don't have to deal with.
Street: How about just one date? Although I gotta tell you, in all modesty, I've never had anyone stop at just one, but we could try.
Chris: For real now, come on. You need to ease off a little. I've worked too hard, too long, to risk my rep for pheromones, and I'm not gonna be the cop that every other cop thinks he can sleep with.
I think it's fantastic that S.W.A.T. is highlighting these realities and shedding light on the double standards that exist between men and women in law enforcement, and in general. Hey boys, Chris is one badass officer who can take down bad guys just as quickly and skillfully as you can, and look cuter doing it.
Street was in for another surprise when the girl he was asking out got swiped up by Chris, as we all learned of her bisexuality. Not only is this an excellent way for us to get to know Chris' character better, but it adds a new aspect to her relationship with Street too. If the tension between them wasn't enough, now we can watch them fight over girls too! I'm here for that.
Chris: It's just Jilly and me tonight.
Street: Sounds like a date.
Chris: Yeah, it is.
Street: I thought you liked men.
Chris: I love men. And I also love women. Why does a girl have to choose?
For an episode that centered on a group of callous hitmen who made a game out of murder, "Homecoming" turned out to be a warm hour of television. The monsters were put to bed, and the whole team ended the day a little wiser than they started it.
How do you feel about Hondo's backstory? Do you think Luca should have forgiven his grandfather? Team Street or Team Jilly? Comment below, and watch S.W.A.T. online to catch up with the season so far!
Kassie King was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in December 2017. Follow her on Twitter.