Hondo and the team dealt with a wide range of emotions that were incredibly powerful and engaging on "U-Turn."
S.W.A.T. Season 4 Episode 12 is extremely well-written, digging into many different sides of emotions both on and off the job.
As such, the team got thrown into a unique case that could have been extremely deadly.
The harrowing stories were spread across the board, with Hondo and Street shouldering the burden.
Hondo had to deal with Darryl's emotions with his child while dealing with his father's erratic actions. Street had an emotionally driven storyline, as well, when he had to come to terms with his recently hospitalized mother.
Both of those emotional side stories, along with a weighty, intense case, made for a brilliant installment.
Lingering, tense feelings permeate the hour. The intense emotion is present from the onset of the first gunshots.
The following initial raid was stressful: Hondo and the team arrived at a house where there were two young girls -- one with bruises on her arms and the other holding a gun.
Immediately after Hondo masterfully deescalated the situation, we were introduced to Ramiro. The father of two girls with a criminal past, he's connected to the bulk of the case.
The meat of the case was revealed once we learned about a previous crime committed with the same gun the girl was brandishing -- and it's one big conspiracy of a case.
Very deadly hitmen were hunting activists from Guatemala, and the murdered woman was a reporter helping the activists expose corruption in Guatemala.
Luca: Well, LA's got the largest Guatemalan community in the U.S. That means lots of political enemies to squeeze, undocumented workers to extort.
Hicks: But if your M.O. is to target your own people, why the hell would you kill an American Reporter?
It was up to Hondo and the team to stop the hitmen before it was too late.
We got a tour through Little Guatemala with many entertaining different twists. Unlike some shows, though, which lean toward the predictable, the twists here are unpredictable and earned.
Lots of the characters introduced were incredible, and the information they provided was beneficial.
Conversely, a few characters were introduced within the case that weren't used to their full potential. More time or information from the Guatemalan owner of the refugee aid site, or maybe more from the activists that needed to be helped, would have made the story more powerful.
Instead of that personal insight into the Guatemalan side of the story, there were separate emotional beats from Street and Hondo. Despite that missed opportunity, in no way is this a complaint about those emotional scenes, which were well-earned and well-portrayed.
Those scenes ushers in some stunning TV.
Street and Chris shared a heart-to-heart in which he bared his soul about his troubles with his mother. Before this, his mom was a touchy topic for Street, so opening up a little bit about her was wonderful.
Of course, at the end of it, he reverted to putting up his walls again.
Chris: Who's in the hospital? I saw someone trying to call your phone.
Street: I told you that it's nothing.
Chirs: If it's nothing, then answer me.
Street: My mom has been sick for a while, apparently. Um, they transferred her from the prison infirmary to Pleasant Green Hospital.
Chris: I'm really sorry to hear that. You talk to her, see her?
Street: No. I told you, I'm done trying to save her.
That sliver of a moment when Street looked like he was ready to open up, that small bit of admission in his voice, pulled at our heartstrings.
Street almost seems too scared to open up, which made the moment well earned. The scene was beautifully done. The acting was superb, and everything felt very natural. Street's feelings about his mother, the good and the bad, were visceral.
Chris brought up the subject, implying against her usual actions that she does care deeply for Street.
Now that Street has broken things off with Molly, it will be fascinating to see what happens between him and Chris.
Even if there wasn't much about their relationship so far, the show seems to be building their friendship to the point that things might lead to something romantic.
Hondo also has some beautiful, emotional scenes that should not go unmentioned.
He has a lot on his plate, dealing with his father while also trying to quell Darryl's emotions regarding his child's custody arrangement.
Hondo loves his family, and it's admirable how involved he is with them. But his sister, Winnie, and he don't see eye-to-eye when it comes to their father.
Winnie seemed to doubt that her father really has changed, while Hondo was more confident in his dad's new direction.
Winnie and her dad got into a big argument, and it seemed like Daniel Sr. was ready to skip out on them. Winnie was emotionally drained, struggling to connect with Daniel, when Darryl called Hondo. Neither Hondo nor Daniel appreciated the move.
Hondo got angry, which was later echoed during a deeply moving scene with his father.
Hondo: Then why leave? Right when we can help you the most?
Daniel Sr.: Because if I leave, you can hate me, instead of me breaking your hearts again.
Hondo: Listen here. Ain't no world where you disappear and hearts don't get broken.
The conversation between the two men beautifully expressed how each man really felt about the other. The raw emotion exhibited by both Hondo and his father was absolutely breathtaking.
Dealing with disease is hard, and the portrayal of the fear one has during tough times is something rarely seen and greatly appreciated.
A large part of the episode's intrigue came from the harrowing case driving the house, with emotions unfolding in lockstep with the team's personal lives.
The parallels unfolded, leaving no doubt to their intention.
The case had some holes in it (as many of these cases tend to do), but the showdown between the bad guys and the team was amazing.
Although they could not tie up all of the loose ends, it wasn't necessary; the story was still satisfying.
So, SWAT fanatics! What did you think of U-Turn?
Are you as anxious as we are about the cliffhanger that they left us on?
What do you think will come of Street's efforts with Chris? It seems like we may finally be getting some development.
Let us know what you think after you watch S.W.A.T. online!