SEAL Team Season 4 Episode 5 Review: The Carrot or The Stick

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The hunt for Ray goes on and on.

The second part of Bravo Takes Tunisia on SEAL Team Season 4 Episode 5 examines the lengths to which team members were willing to go to save their missing brother.

And the answer to that question was ... it depends.

Surviving Captivity -- Tall - SEAL Team Season 4 Episode 5

This marks the third episode featuring Ray falling into the hands of terrorists as part of his new duties as a warrant officer.

It hasn't been that long in narrative time. But it's been five consecutive episodes for viewers since Ray's abduction. With another hiatus, it's going to be a long time before we might see the conclusion of this story arc.

Driven Leader - SEAL Team Season 4 Episode 5

While, of course, TV productions are at the mercy of Covid now, with SEAL Team still on production hiatus, might a little network foresight have avoided such sporadic scheduling?

A show should get one, maybe two cliffhangers a season, not one every month because, well, there aren't any new episodes to air because networks are throwing them on as soon as possible then hoping for another one to show up.

And when that doesn't happen, tough. Is it any wonder streaming services are thriving more than linear broadcasting? Viewers want continuity.

The scenes with Ray and his mysterious cellmate were the lesser, more predictable part of the narrative.

Early on, it seemed like Ray's cellmate was a spy put in there to get information out of him.

Roughed-Up Captive - SEAL Team Season 4 Episode 5

But the fact that Ray was able to hang onto his piece of metal grating/saw throughout their time together squashed that idea.

Ray was a rock who was mentally tough. He bucked up his frightened civilian cellmate without ever giving away what he was.

And he was always scheming to escape and even got his cellmate to believe.

Only Ray guessed wrong. The cellmate was disposable. Ray was drawn to him, and then his cellmate was killed in the enemy's latest attempt to break him.

The intriguing twist was that Ray was being held on a ship. That's going to more difficult to storm, even for Navy SEALs than if he were still being held on land.

Pushing Hard - SEAL Team Season 4 Episode 5

The big questions are 1) how much longer will Ray be captive, and 2) how long will the resulting PTSD storyline last?

Don't get me wrong. Ray and Clay are the most layered characters on the show, so focusing on either of them is a good thing.

Ray's recovery is bound to be more interesting than the continuing debate over whether Jason can be anything else beyond Bravo One.

Jason has had mixed feelings about this whole mission. He's back where he belongs in charge of Bravo but only returned because Ray got abducted.

Otherwise, he would still be back at headquarters, ignoring his own assignments to kibbutz with the out-of-whack Bravo Team.

Intense Interrogation - SEAL Team Season 4 Episode 5

You can't really blame him. Coming up with mission plans has to be like playing a shooter videogame rather than being in the middle of the action.

Jason is quickly aging out of being an operator. But it's so much more enjoyable to look back on past glories than it is to attempt to guage an uncertain future.

He remained the king of denial, telling anyone who would listen that he was just back until Bravo recovers Ray.

But seriously, who else can run Bravo? Ray will have to heal. Clay remains in Lindell's doghouse because of the letter. There are no other viable candidates among the current roster, which has been already proven earlier this season.

Lindell needs Jason as Bravo One, not as an indifferent paper pusher. And a few months with Natalie and Cerberus has probably gotten the need for normalcy out of Jason's system.

Possible Informant - SEAL Team Season 4 Episode 5

Jason's not himself if he's not in the fight. Most of Bravo is the same way.

That's why Jason had to hassle Davis, who was doubting herself because she hadn't had many successes with recent missions in the search for Ray.

Jason, who lives on hunches, told Davis to go with her gut and shouted down any of his brothers who questioned Davis's suggestion for a mission.

That's why Jason fixiated on Ray's watch rather than follow orders and chase down the leader of the terrorists who took Ray.

It was enjoyable to watch Jason and Clay's approaches to interrogating the enemy smugglers. It wasn't like Sonny could use his superpower and drink this group of Muslims under the table.

Surprising Development - SEAL Team Season 4 Episode 5

In the end, Clay used psychology to pry information out of the disgruntled subordinate who had Ray's watch, thinking he was sparing Jason from crossing the line and torturing the group's boss.

Bravo has a direction to go now, finding out where Ray was taken after they just missed finding him on SEAL Team Season 4 Episode 4.

But how do they go about finding one ship in a big ocean, since escape now seems unlikely for Ray? And does that mean more than one episode until Ray is rescued?

Then, after Ray returns, what will the new status quo be?

Let's hope there are some answers Wednesday, Jan. 27, on the final new episode for this month.

Seeking Intel - SEAL Team Season 4 Episode 5

To follow Ray's travails, watch SEAL Team online.

What was your opinion of Ray's cellmate?

Were you concerned Jason would go overboard?

Are you ready for this storyline to wrap up?

Comment below.

The Carrot or The Stick Review

Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (11 Votes)

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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SEAL Team Season 4 Episode 5 Quotes

Clay: Sonny, carrot before stick.
Sonny: This job is turning you into a real pacifist, Mahatma Gandhi.

Ray's out there somewhere and he needs us. We're going to go out and find our brother and bring him home ... alive.