‘SEAL Team’s David Boreanaz Breaks Down the Season 4 Finale and What Jason’s Headache Means

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the SEAL Team Season 4 finale, “One Life to Live.”]

Bravo Team suffers a major loss in the Season 4 finale, which also leaves some suspense for the remaining members.

Full Metal (Scott Foxx) dies from injuries he sustained from an RPG while protecting his teammates, and the episode ends with them grilling him at the bar. It also ends with Jason Hayes (David Boreanaz) suffering from headaches, Ray (Neil Brown Jr.) dealing with his trauma and admitting he has PTSD, Sonny (AJ Buckley) a new father and considering moving to the Texas – and asking Davis (Toni Trucks) to accompany him, and, happy news, what sounds like a breakup speech from Clay (Max Thieriot) ending with a proposal for Stella (Alona Tal). (She says yes!)

Boreanaz, who also serves as an executive producer, breaks down the Season 4 finale ahead of the drama’s move (after four episodes in the fall) to Paramount+ for Season 5.

Clay wonders if losing Full Metal could push Jason over the edge. Then we get this heartbreaking depression of Jason, this scene in a therapist’s office with Ray, and Jason talks about remembering the lives of his dead brothers. How is Jason doing mentally at this point in Season 5?

David Boreanaz: He’s trying to balance what life is outside Bravo and what life is inside Bravo, inside the wire, outside the wire. He came to a certain idea of, maybe there is a possibility that he could co-exist with the two. It’s not a guarantee right now, but I feel like after this season and where he’s heading into season 5, he’s found himself more like a support guy, more like a Jedi . He gained his wings by going through pain and working with his therapist, his brothers. [This is] a new chapter for him. That’s not to say though that he’s not still dealing with a lot of emotional pain, physical pain as well as what we see at the end of the season finale, a glimpse of maybe the mental component. The RPG could have made something worse with his brain. He’s definitely a case study in many ways and he always tries to get that right.

He got a glimpse of who he is as Bravo 1 with these conversations with [former team member] Theo [Kurt Yaeger] this season.

Yeah, that was a big episode for his character. I’m thinking of going back and checking with somebody who – not that he doesn’t remember, but just with Jason, he compartmentalizes so well and I feel like he started opening those doors that he closed. Instead of ignoring and moving on, he accepts it and tries to heal in many ways. Then seeing his older brother and where he is is also going to make him a stronger person if he allows himself to heal himself, which is going to be interesting to see.

He also checks in with Clay, Sonny, and Ray near the end of the finale.

It’s about rotation and healing. It’s taking care of yourself and I don’t think Jason does the same. He’s a team leader. When he came out [on missions], he’s a pretty strong leader. As you see in his past, it’s all Bravo, Bravo all the time, ignore and replace, but it can only work so long before it starts seeping through the cracks there, like we we saw in season 4. in season 5, we will see where it takes them if he continues in this way. It’s the kind of fun and challenging thing to do, winding my brain around this slowly as we develop where these characters are going to go, especially Jason.

Erik Voake/CBS

Jason’s headache at the end of the episode – I half expected him to collapse in the bar and this be the end of the season.

[Laughs]

Is this something we should be worried about, that there could be head trauma?

Yes, with him these types of symptoms do not simply disappear. It’s definitely a little red flag for him and it has been in his past, and I’m not saying we’re going to be focusing heavily on this season 5, but I think it reminds him that he’s in pain. There is damage there. How bad is that? We don’t really have [explored] this. It’s a reminder of the suffering this character went through, the amount of pain he went through, and the side effects of that. It’s also a reminder to the audience that Jason isn’t that guy who can take it all on and come out perfect on the other end. It is a reminder of the casualties of war and how it weighs on a person facing it.

What does Jason think of Bravo after the season? They were quite divided.

Yes, there was a sense of division between them. They are always there to support each other, despite adversities and conflicts. I think it feels a bit better to see where they were at the start of the season. I feel like he knows his place a little better now, how he can balance that. He turned into, while he was out there on a mission, checking in with his brothers, making sure they’re okay, and there’s more to it than just going out and leading. He must be a complete leader. At the end of the season, there is a certain sense, we went through the fire and came out a little better on the other side.

SEAL Team Sonny Baby Season 4 Finale

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What will Bravo look like moving forward? They have just lost Full Metal, Sonny is now a dad and is thinking of leaving, Ray is dealing with his trauma, Clay is married…

I always say the show is a show and it’s a workplace show and we don’t like to embellish it. We like to dive into stories that are going to stay true as best we can. And because it’s a show about the workplace and what they do, not everyone is guaranteed to come out all pink and with a pretty bow on the wrapper. We go to these places and we show the mental breakdowns, we show the physical breakdowns, and no one is safe. That’s the reality of this show, whether you like it or not. It’s like that. Characters enter and leave and they will enter and leave. So I would say no one is safe on the show like that.

Something this final showed is how SEAL Team is at those quieter, heavy, and emotional moments like we got in the second half of this episode and balancing those with the action scenes like in the first half. It also seemed to set the show up by continuing to lean into those more emotional moments perhaps more than in the past?

I think there is a balance. I think you can apparently marry the two better as we go along. If you can look at the season and say it was a bit more emotional than other seasons, I’d tend to agree with you on that, regardless of the environment and the how we had to pivot to tell these stories that we could go and couldn’t because of this pandemic. We leaned more into the character study and the emotional moments that really raised the bar when it came to the characters. But I think there is a balance. I think you can still have that in the mission, the operations they’re running, and the training cycles with these guys. I think we’ll continue even more as we progress, especially starting with Season 5, which will be arriving soon before you know it.

SEAL Team Jason Hayes Bravo 1 Season 4 Finale

Sonja Flemming/CBS

Was there anything planned that got scrapped, like a major cliffhanger, just in case you didn’t get renewed?

No, we shot it the way we wanted to shoot it. There were a lot of open questions. If we hadn’t come back, I don’t think it would have done the show, the characters, or the fans especially any favors to leave them hanging like this. So I don’t think that would have been the best. We didn’t write the episode knowing we were going to come back or not come back, we just wrote the episode.

SEAL TeamSeason 5, fall 2021, CBS and Paramount+

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