Tonight, SEAL Team season 2 episode 19 took on perhaps even more content than usual. Why is that? You still had Jason, Bravo Team, and the mission, but then you had a different sort of mission at home.
“Medicate and Isolate” was really the story of Brett Swan, and more than that, one of the most important stories that a show like this could tell. The title is a reference to what Swan feels is a policy that many veterans’ institutions and programs are taking — giving the impacted person medicine to deal with their psychological issues following their time in combat and then just sending them back out into the world. Swan hates taking the medication — it keeps him from feeling alive — but there’s also clear evidence that he doesn’t function well without it. He routinely gets himself in trouble with the law.
Clay may have not been the person in need of the medication tonight, but clearly, he was very much involved. Despite nursing his own injuries and dealing with questions as to whether or not he will ever be back with Bravo, he put that to the side. He wanted to try and help him, though doing that provided to be very difficult.
In the end, Swan’s goal was trying to get properly diagnosed for what he feels is a traumatic brain injury. He felt like he had all of the proper symptoms of it, but the moment he got in front of a doctor, it was clear just what the problem was — the system. Because Swan wasn’t diagnosed with a TBI coming out of the field, he couldn’t authorize an MRI or anything else. He had to follow protocol, as frustrating as that was.
For Brett, the sad story tonight was that he got more pills and that was it. Then, when Clay went to pick up more medication for him, Swan chose to take his own life. He couldn’t live with the pain anymore and killed himself in a truck after giving the remainder of his money to a homeless vet on the street.
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As for Jason’s mission…
He and the rest of Bravo found themselves in Mali trying to handle a recovery mission, one that obviously proved itself to be a whole lot more challenging than anyone probably expected going in. You had some of the typical gunplay and drama that you would expect, but we almost wish that the mission was either saved for another week or just given a little more consistent time. Even though they incurred loss, there were still survivors who were able to make it back out of there in one piece. Because there wasn’t more consistent time given to it, though, we probably didn’t feel the same oomph to this as we probably wanted to.
“Medicate and Isolate” was an American tragedy for Swan. This is a man who found his back against the wall for the bulk of the episode — he had a problem, and he knew how to treat the problem. The problem was that he had no money and there was no institution to help support him. As a story within this show, this was powerful; yet, beyond that there was something more here. There was a message of “this is something that can’t be forgotten. This is something that shouldn’t be forgotten.”
Yet, we wonder just how much attention will be paid. This was an emotional story as Bravo grieved and Swan struggled with where he now was. Yet, it was also so much more than that.
What did you think about SEAL Team season 2 episode 19? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments, and also come back soon for some additional updates. (Photo: CBS.)