[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for SEAL Team Season 5 Episode 6 “Man on Fire.”]
Jason Hayes (David Boreanaz) is definitely a “Man on Fire” in the latest SEAL Team episode (now on Paramount+), as his focus is finding Mandy Ellis (Jessica Paré), held captive by terrorist group SGS, no matter what it takes. But as time’s running out before Bravo’s sent home, do they find her alive?
But first, in the last of a three-episode arc, Bravo must escape the Molotov cocktails dropped on their vehicles on their way to the HVT’s (high value target) location. The HVT is their best lead to find Mandy, but he’s not talking, so Jason — after sending Ray Perry (Neil Brown Jr.) elsewhere in the building, a point of contention then and later on — orchestrates a plan so another member of SGS can escape and Lisa Davis (Toni Trucks) can track his cell … which will hopefully lead them to Mandy.
That was “sloppy,” Ray argues once back on base. Clay Spenser (Max Thieriot) wonders if he’s “mad because Jason went rogue, or that he did it without you,” calls it “a calculated risk.” Bravo 1 was “desperate,” Clay points out, adding he’s been watching Jason since the last deployment. “Twenty years of combat is eventually going to catch up with him. I just want to make sure we can clock it before it’s too late.”
Ray may be hurting that he’s no longer Jason’s “Jiminy Cricket,” but Sonny Quinn (AJ Buckley) tells him that Clay stepped up while he was in captivity. He made sure Jason didn’t “cross a line he could not cross.” Ray realizes “Clay had his back when I couldn’t.”
Davis then finds something: where SGS is manufacturing their explosives. It could be where they’re holding Mandy and the warlord with her. The mission is approved but when they get there, they find the warlord’s body (identified by a gold tooth) completely burned along with others. “They wouldn’t have done it to her,” Ray says. “SGS has a different type of hell for women and men.” But one body could match Mandy’s height and build.
When Bravo clears the mine, Jason follows a terrorist, who attacks. As Jason fights for his life, someone comes to his aid, allowing him to grab his gun. And that person is Mandy! She’s bruised, but alive!
Back on base, she explains to Bravo, “I’m not [back in]. … Truth is once you’re in the CIA, you’re never truly out.” So she was pulled back in? “More like I asked,” she admits. “An old friend needed help.” She’d been undercover with the warlord 10 years ago, with his sister her asset. “We got close, so when I learned she was in trouble” — her brother was going to kill her if she didn’t marry one of his foot soldiers — “She always did right by me. My conscience wouldn’t let me leave it alone,” Mandy explains.
“There was no choice,” she continues. “After all the assets I burned when I was in, I thought maybe this would help balance the scales a little.” The CIA disavowed her because they allowed her to reactivate her cover but wouldn’t fully sanction such a low-priority mission. She went anyway, Jason remarks. “I take no for an answer about as well as you do,” she tells him.
While Mandy got her asset out, her exit was stalled. So how did she survive once captured? “Well, I am — I was pretty good at my job, so I proved my worth.” She sold the warlord out, sharing his trade routes, to save herself. Sonny remarks that spooks like her know how to spin the yarn, but “it’s the truth, I swear,” she tells them.
Mandy can’t return to the States with them; she still has to jump through some CIA hoops before she can leave. After saying goodbye to the others, only Jason is left. “I think you may be taking this man of few words thing a little far,” she comments. “I’m just happy you’re safe,” he says.
“Really?” she asks. “Look, Sonny’s right. I’m a professional liar. But I have never lied to you.” He doesn’t seem to believe her, but when she says she’ll let him know when she’s back stateside, he stops her as she’s walking away. “Hey, I got stabbed for you, so none of this texting bulls**t,” he says. “I want a phone call.” She promises to give him just that before watching Bravo leave.
This article originally ran fist at TvInsider.com