SEAL Team interview: EP on cliffhanger aftermath, Clay’s future

SEAL TeamToday, the SEAL Team season 6 premiere arrived on Paramount+ after a super-long wait, and it is fair to feel heartbroken by the end.

After all, consider what happened! The good news is that Clay Spenser survived the ambush at the end of season 5; however, his injuries led to a part of his leg and foot being amputated. This obviously changes the course of his entire life, and not just how much time he spends with Bravo moving forward. This is a huge, fundamental shift for the remainder of the season, but be assured that this is not the end of Clay’s story. Max Thieriot is a series regular for at least the rest of season 6, and there are several stories left to tell with him.

For more on Clay’s future, and also the season as a whole, we turn to showrunner Spencer Hudnut for part 2 of our premiere interview. You can read part one over at the link here now.

Matt and Jess TV – At the end of this episode, we learn the harsh truth about Clay’s injury and I feel like there are going to be a lot of teary eyes out there. What went into the decision to have this story end with this amputation?

Spencer Hudnut – Out of the episodes we’ve done, this is one of the ones I’m most proud of. Christopher Chulack, who directed it, our crew, all of the actors — they really brought their A-games, especially Max. I’ve wanted to have one of our SEALs get injured in the battlefield in a way that forces them off of it. That’s been in the back of my mind for a long time.

I would say last season, I started talking to Max about it, especially now that Clay is married and has a kid. The stakes are so high for him. He makes this decision to walk away at the end of season 5, but now that choice is ripped away from him. Seeing him deal with that loss of identity and being taken away from the brotherhood is different than choosing to step away.

For the SEALs we work with here, especially in the writers room, this story is inspired by guys who they’ve operated with who have suffered these devastating injuries. Exploring that journey has always excited me. Max was behind it, and with the uncertainty about his schedule [with Fire Country], it was really the only way to move forward where he can be away from Bravo Team for an extended period of time, while also allowing us to still move forward as a production. There was that aspect of it that made sense to do it now, and with the cliffhanger that we had last season, I didn’t want them to just fight their way out of it and be fine. There needed to be consequences to that ambush.

We already saw in the premiere that Jason harbored a lot of guilt, as Clay went on the mission largely to watch over him. Now that he’s learning about these specific consequences for Clay, how is that going to weigh on him?

Clay and Jason have been so intertwined from the beginning of the show. Season 5 was so much about them on a collision course over Jason’s TBI, and it was really Clay who stepped up and helped Jason confront the issue. We saw Jason do SO much work on himself, not just with the TBI but with Mandy, trying to put Jason first over Bravo One.

As the sheepdog we’ve seen in the past, Jason blames himself for Bravo members who are injured or killed, even on operations he wasn’t on. The truth is, if he had dealt with his TBI, Clay probably would have been on family leave. That’s going to weigh on Jason; it’s going to derail the progress he’s made and it’s a big issue for him this season. Does he isolate himself and take this on on his own, or does he open up and let people like Clay or Mandy help him overcome this guilt?

It’s always great to see Mandy back on the show, and she was a part of the premiere. Will we continue to see her here and there throughout the season?

She really represents a Jason versus Bravo One struggle — who is going to come out on top. She’s a sign that he’s putting himself first. So yeah, she will maintain that presence, but because of what he does, and because — as you’re going to learn this season — she has some desires of her own professionally, it will put their relationship at risk. It’s the line of work they’re in. There is always that struggle of if they’ll continue to find that balance together.

Finally, we’re going to meet Raffi [Barsoumian’s] character soon, who is a new member of the Team. What can you say about him?

He brings a different perspective from our team. Obviously when Bravo loses Clay, the thought is that they’ll go to Green Team, similar to what they did with Vic and with Clay. The fact that Bravo brings in a more seasoned operator really messes with the chemistry of the team. He’s a little bit of a threat to various guys on the team just because he’s jumping the line.

Related Get some more news when it comes to SEAL Team now!

What did you think about the SEAL Team season 6 premiere?

Beyond just that, what do you imagine is going to happen with Clay moving forward? Be sure to share right now in the comments! After you do just that, come back for more news you do not want to miss. (Photo: Paramount+.)

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