The Brave Season Finale – Close to Home: Part 2
Editor’s note: This is the second and final recap/review for The Brave done by a new writer and super fan of the show. While we’ve made some small edits, we left many of her thoughts and feelings “as is” so you’ll get the most from her review. Hope you enjoy Brynn’s review of The Brave.
Intense. Heart-pounding. Electrifying.
If someone asked me to sum up Monday night’s season finale of The Brave using just three words those would be my choice. “Close to Home: Part 2” delivered everything fans of the show were hoping for and then some. From the opening sequence, to the desperate attempt to save the USS Wyoming and her crew, to that really kick a** junk yard sequence, all wrapped up at the end with a bomb, a quote, and a turn down a dark path. It is everything that a season finale should be. Fast-paced, action packed, emotional and of course left us on a cliffhanger. To say this episode had me on the edge of my seat from the very beginning is an understatement. It started off with a bang, literally, as they opened the episode with a flashback to Vienna 9 years ago when Patricia turned on Hoffman and helped facilitate his supposed demise with a car bomb, and did not let up.
Flash forward to present day at the team’s base and we pick up exactly where we left off last week and you can just tell from the look on Patricia’s face and her demeanor that she is not happy to see Hoffman still breathing. A sentiment she expresses to Dalton later in the episode.
“Oh this guy, why couldn’t you just kill him the first time around?”
“Believe me, I tried.”
To Patricia’s credit she doesn’t let Hoffman bait her, she just jumps right in ready to do what she has to, to clean up the mess he has created. Time is not on their side when it comes to finding Verina and Patricia wastes none of it, telling Dalton to take their prisoner out of his cage so she can talk to him. Dalton is obviously hesitant to do so, but Hoffman pipes in reminding them all he’s tied to a chair on a military base surrounded by soldiers, and personally guarded by the team. Hardly a threat – so out he comes, chair and all, in the first move that sets up the shocking events to come. Once alone Hoffman immediately brings up Patricia’s betrayal of him, trying to justify his actions back then as necessary for the cause.
“Someone has to be willing to do what it takes to win.”
How tough is she?
We see Patricia crack, just a little bit when discussing his current activities, freelance high-level murders, corporate and government espionage; the murder of a father and kidnapping of his teenage daughter. You can see the barely contained rage slip through then, followed by the guilt she feels for not succeeding in taking him out in Vienna as she practically begs him to spare Verina. It’s a moment I can watch over and over again and still get chills. Just more evidence of Anne Heche’s brilliance as Deputy Director Patricia Campbell.
Cut to Verina and her captors for a quick moment. She’s putting on a brave and defiant face but underneath it all you can see the terrified kid she really is, especially in the moment when she asks for confirmation that they’ll let her go once she’s done. In a heartbreaking moment of realization a single tear falls when she understands that, despite the reassurances, they have no intention of letting her go even after the job is finished. It’s truly beautiful acting – Chiara Aurelia who impressed the hell out of me every time she was on screen. Seriously hope that if The Brave gets picked up for a second season we get to see more of her. Maybe working at the DIA?
It’s the little things…
Back to Turkey we go and we get to see what the team is doing while Patricia is working on Hoffman. In one of the softer scenes of the episode we see Preach, McG, and Amir doing the insanely normal activity of tossing a ball around. It’s the briefest of shots but serves as a stark reminder that under the blood, and the dirt, and the weight of the free world on their shoulders – these brave men and women are just normal people. It joins the shots of shakshuka breakfast and horseshoes as one of my favorites for this very reason. The extraordinary doing the ordinary.
Dalton does not join in on the ball tossing fun, he’s sitting off by himself clearly deep in troubled thoughts. Preach, being Preach, comes over to sit next to him and the ensuing conversation reveals just how worried Dalton is about what the fall out of all of this will be for Patricia and how he feels about a man like Hoffman and his impact on the job the team does.
“The guy wraps himself in a flag he walks out the door and he does things that jeopardize everything you and I fight for.”
The conversation is interrupted by Hannah back in D.C. and she does not have good news, another sub has been hacked and it’s on course for Fiery Cross Reef, a man made Chinese island. With that single phone call the stakes have just been raised from saving a single 16-year old girl to saving her, the crew of the hacked sub USS Wyoming, and making sure the vessel and its weapons don’t fall into enemy hands all within 3 hours. If they are going to succeed they are unfortunately going to need Hoffman’s help, which he volunteers to give. Using his phone he has Dalton make a call to set up a meeting with Verina’s captors; the second move Hoffman’s made to his end goal. I actually liked Hoffman’s character last week, he was intriguing and charismatic and left me with a lot of questions; my favorite type of characters. By the end of this episode I was ready to shoot him myself.
Incredibly tough choices
At this point we are taken back to D.C. where Noah is on the line with Captain Halsey of the USS Wyoming who informs Noah in no uncertain terms that he has no intentions of letting his ship fall into the hands of the Chinese. In 88 minutes, if they haven’t been able to re-establish control of the vessel he will scuttle her. And up go the stakes again. That phone call was one of the more emotional moments of the episode for me. There is a crew of 151 people on that sub and all are about to die in order to protect their country from its enemies. These are real choices that real people have to make. It’s not something you stop to really think about but when you do their willingness and bravery to lay down their lives for another will take your breath away. When it comes to honoring the servicemen and women they portray, The Brave never fails at knocking it out of the park.
With their time window dwindling the team needs to figure out how to draw out Verina’s captor enough to place a tracker on him so he’ll lead them back to her. Hoffman provides the name he uses, Victor, and two of his weaknesses – old scotch and beautiful women. They formulate a plan to send Jaz in to catch his attention then send McG in after her to play her douchebag boyfriend with the hope that Victor’s ego drives him to play the hero. The plan goes off without a hitch, and Jaz plants the tracker in the form of a slip of paper with her phone number on it. All while Hoffman continues to toy with Patricia back at base.
A little levity
Just one of the many things The Brave does so well is balance the dark and dangerous with humor, and damn if “douchebag” McG with a backwards baseball cap getting his a** kicked hilarious. The reactions of the team listening in and Jaz standing there watching with a smirk make the scene even more golden, but what really sets it over the top is McG on the way out making sure everyone knows that he could have taken Victor. His pride more wounded during the altercation than his body.
“Put a bandaid on it sugar.”