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david boreanaz jason hayes seal team season 4 premiere cbs

Spoilers ahead for the two-hour Season 4 premiere of SEAL Team on CBS.

SEAL Team returned from its long hiatus with a two-parter to kick off Season 4, which picked up where Season 3 left off when production had to shut down on the show back in the spring. Viewers had reasons to expect a big episode for none other than Cerberus the dog, but the biggest twist of the episode involving Jason Hayes is one that few could have seen coming, and star David Boreanaz has already shared that the aftermath is "going to be terrifying."

The first hour or so of SEAL Team Season 4 was pretty harrowing, with Jason and Cerberus alone and injured in enemy territory in Afghanistan. The situation seemed pretty hopeless toward the end of that first hour, and I for one was pretty nervous that Cerberus was going to die, since obviously SEAL Team wasn't going to kill off Jason in the first episode of one season. The good news is that both Cerberus and Jason survived, and Cerberus is seemingly even being rewarded with a retirement into doggy civilian life.

The startling news is that Jason announced that he too plans to leave field operations behind. The unshakeable Bravo leader is stepping down from Bravo. Jason seemed pretty resolute, but he'd also had a rough ride through the two-part premiere, which raises the question of whether or not his decision to step back will stick. David Boreanaz spoke with ET about the premiere, and he said this about Jason's decision:

I don't know if it'll stick. I do think that his conversation with Mandy after coming back was pretty poignant at the one restaurant he likes to go. How she was like, 'No. This is still a carousel. It's not going to stop spinning. And we're not really effective in a lot of ways.' I think that was a jumping point for Hayes to make that decision. Was it hastily [made]? Was it done correctly? We'll find that out. And how does he deal with it? How does he manage not being all in all the time with the team, but also all in all the time with a wife? He doesn't know what that looks like. I think it's scary, and it's going to be terrifying. I don't know if he makes it.

Jason's conversation with Mandy definitely didn't go the way he intended, and it seems like it may have been a wakeup call. Mandy announced that she was leaving the Navy, following the loss of a CI in Afghanistan, and Jessica Paré is indeed departing as a SEAL Team regular, so it seems her decision at least will stick. Now that he has announced his intention to step back to the team, Jason has set something in motion that could be "scary" and "terrifying" enough that David Boreanaz isn't sure if he'll make it.

Toward the end of the episode, Jason sitting alone in his inadequate apartment and heating up dinner in the microwave was a stark reminder of how much of a support system he doesn't have independent of the Navy. Of course, Jason is still part of the Navy, since this isn't a situation where he can just give two weeks notice and then head out for good. David Boreanaz elaborated on what's in store for Jason, saying:

He's putting so much together. I mean, he's coming home to really nothing. His kids are gone: one's in school, one's at university. A relationship that he's trying to kind of mend and put back together is with Natalie. I don't know if it's going to work in a lot of ways. And that's the reality with these guys. Does he get pulled back in for one mission because one of his team members may die? That may happen. I'll tease that a little bit. But I will say at the end, his last dance is his last dance, and how he decides to deal with that, it's going to be pretty sad. I think it may upset some viewers, and they may ultimately see his departure from this show.

Jason's interactions with Natalie (played by Supernatural and The Mandalorian actress Emily Swallow) were awkward at best in the Season 4 premiere, but the door isn't altogether closed for some kind of dynamic to be rebuilt between them. David Boreanaz also teased that Jason could be pulled back into operations in the event of a tragedy, which gives fans a whole new thing to worry about when it comes to the team. SEAL Team hit the ground running with its COVID-free Season 4 premiere, and fans could be in for quite a ride.

Tune in to CBS on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET for new episodes of SEAL Team moving forward, and be sure to check out our 2021 winter and spring premiere schedule for some more upcoming viewing options. SEAL Team will be one of several big CBS dramas with shortened runs in the 2020-2021 TV season.

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