If “Getaway Day” was all about how being a soldier affects the homefront, “Call Out’ deals with how difficult it is for soldiers to acclimate to war conditions. The team arrives in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, where every day is a fight or flight situation for them. They fluctuate between the impotence of waiting for information so an op can be planned and the high intensity of even walking around in a place where anyone could be there to kill you. It’s all hypervigilance and it’s exhausting. As the team settles into their new quarters for the next 3 months, they each react differently. Ray wants to stay in touch with home, while Sonny uses humor. Davis is strictly by the book, but Clay gets distracted by a bullet necklace left in his new bunk by one of the dead SEALs from Echo Team. Still, it is Jason that seems to be having the hardest time. He’s extra irritable and impatient, and no, he’s doesn’t want to talk about it with anyone. In fact, Maggie is the only one whom the deployment doesn’t seem to phase. She even takes Jason’s rants in stride. As the episode opens, the team rides through Jalalabad for their first mission – find and capture the man who may know why Echo Team was led into a trap. Things are tense and every person with a cell phone seems to be an enemy combatant. They are worried and for good reason. Once they have their suspect, a group of men surround the house and start shooting at them. Welcome to Afghanistan, Bravo One.
1. Two new characters are introduced in this episode. Staff Sergeant Vanessa Ryan is played by the excellent Marsha Thomason, who played Diana on White Collar. She’s been assigned to the team because of politics, which of course, does not go over well. However, on her first mission with them, she proves to be valuable in a very tricky situation. Paul Mulwray, played by Darren Pettie (The Mist and Madam Secretary), is harder to read. He’s a journalist with high ties to the military. Whether he turns out to be friend or foe or something in between remains to be seen.
2. For those who love Cerberus, the dog, he gets a lot of screen time.
3. Clay’s bullet necklace subplot is actually pretty touching. It focuses on how the team deals with the loss of their friends. From wondering whose bunk they are now in to the team finishing a project that Echo Team started, they pay homage to soldiers fallen.
4. What seems to be a pretty straight up case turns into a twisty mess with possibly higher stakes than they expected. While they could wrap it up in the next episode, it is more likely that this storyline will develop over several episodes and maybe throughout the rest of the season. For those who prefer serialized storylines, this might be what you are looking for.
The pacing is all over the place in this episode. There are the high energy missions but a lot of it is the team getting settled, which makes for some slow stretches. It feels deliberate but while the team is waiting, the audience is waiting too. They also throw in a silent montage that worked well in the last episode but is less effective here because it doesn’t have the high emotional content that made last week’s so touching.
“First week in country. Let’s not make it our last.”
“Hey, it doesn’t bother you all we’re gonna make our only teammate with no arms climb a ladder?”
“I don’t need to be taken care of here, buddy.” “The hell you don’t.”
“I’m sorry. I don’t acronym with strangers.”
“Never trust a sniper who can’t sew.”
“Sleep isn’t a weakness.”
“Sometimes luck happens.”
“Stalking isn’t attractive.”
“You ever wonder how many times you’ve slept in a dead man’s bed?”