The Shemar Moore-starring drama S.W.A.T. was among CBS' big renewal wave in April and while Season 4 ended with some pretty big changes for most of the characters, things were left pretty open-ended for where the upcoming season would take fans. Thankfully, new details are emerging about Season 5 already, and executive producer Shawn Ryan has revealed what Moore’s Hondo is going to be up to following that surprising demotion in the finale.
Shawn Ryan previewed S.W.A.T.’s new batch of episodes while talking to TVLine, saying the Season 5 premiere will kick off with a big two-parter that will partially take place south of the border. The episodes will largely be filmed on location in Mexico - a good sign that the industry is inching back to pre-pandemic standards - while other cast members appear back in L.A. in other subplots. Shemar Moore fans will be happy to know these eps are as Hondo-centric as ever, and Ryan revealed the pair are inspired by a classic genre:
As Hondo tries to decide what to do next with his career, he finds himself regrouping at a friend’s vacation home in rural Mexico, in a two-part season premiere inspired by some of the classic Clint Eastwood Man With No Name Westerns.
While a western can mean just about any kind of tale involving cowboys and the open range, Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood's A Fistful of Dollars and its follow-ups are indeed a very specific kind of subset within the main genre. I really hope CBS pays for at least a taste of Ennio Morricone's iconic film scores to really set the mood.
S.W.A.T.’s Season 4 finale ended on some big cliffhangers, with arguably the most notable one being Commander Hicks demoting Hondo after the way he dealt with incidents of racism within the department, such as by calling the press. It was unknown then what would happen afterwards, and whether or not Hondo would actually leave S.W.A.T. Some fans feared announcements of Shemar Moore's exit, but that won't be the case, and in describing the movie-like scenes from the Season 5 premiere, he said:
[Hondo is] reluctantly pulled into the troubles of a local widow and her daughter. Against a spectacular mountain backdrop unlike anything you see on scripted television, these first two hours of Season 5 will allow us to explore Hondo’s character and choices in a unique and exciting way for us. We can’t wait to show these episodes to our fans.
On Twitter, Shawn Ryan responded to a fan who asked about the time jump between Season 4 and Season 5, to which the executive producer said it would be a few months. Basically the length of, say, a summer hiatus. It will be interesting to find out what happened with everyone during that gap, considering how things left off for Street and Chris. But a Hondo-centric episode means more Shemar Moore, and that’s honestly the best way to kick off a new season of any show.
Meanwhile, filming for Season 5 reportedly starts later this week, meaning it shouldn’t be long until CBS confirms a premiere date for the fall. The show is changing its time slot, though, as it will be moving to Fridays at 8 p.m. EST before then moving to Sundays at 10 p.m. EST later in the season after former Wednesday partner SEAL Team moves to Paramount+. Season 5 of S.W.A.T. is going to be a big one, but try to keep yourself busy with the 2021 Summer TV schedule in the meantime!