This one was really hard to grade.
On one hand, we had a pretty rudimentary case that followed S.W.A.T.'s usual formula- amped-up pace, lots of things happening to increase tension (and ensure you're not paying too much attention to what's going on...) and everyone talking with those heightened voices to give you a sense that this is really an important case, everyone!
Oh, and lots of guns, fast driving and fist-fights...because we can't have a show about a military-themed police unit without bullets, burned tires and (metaphorical) blood flying everywhere.
This time, the show tried for the "personal" angle by having Tan be the target, and, to his credit, David Lim did bring it tonight selling Tan's frustrations and peril. Even though the episode played out like many other "teammate in peril" episodes that feature on so many different shows, Lim gave you a reason to be invested in Tan's, so credit to him.
We also had another incident where Hicks- and now the rest of the team- are questioning whether or not they can trust Piper Lynch. I want to be optimistic about this storyline but it feels awkward, and let's be honest- there's only two ways this story ends: Lynch actually is trustworthy or she isn't.
...and then what do you do with the character? Lynch hasn't been well developed and she's had almost a season under her belt.
Mind you, the writers did turn one dimensional characterization- Street and his shady impulsiveness- into a peach of a story, so there's hope Lynch may not be lost after all.
Then there's Chris' storyline with the Deputy Mayor's son and...well, I want to be invested in it but that has "this won't end well" written all over it and I'm not confident it'll be a riveting storyline. Because too many other shows have done it before and Chris seems to have done this way too many times.
So there's that part of S.W.A.T., the kind of "stuck in a formulaic rut, needs something to inject some life into it" thing that it's been doing all season.
...and then there was Hondo. Perhaps they should have devoted the episode- or an episode- to Hondo's storyline tonight, because it was pretty interesting and layered, ripe for development. Credit here to Shemar Moore, April Parker Jones (who played Hondo's sister Winnie), Rochelle Aytes and the writers for conveying so much with so little time. Just to sense the Harrelsons' struggles with dealing with what Daddy Hondo did to them and how it's affected their relationships and- worse- seeing Daddy happy again when they can't sort out their own happiness is intriguing stuff. Perhaps we've not all been in exactly the same situation as the Harrelsons but we can all relate to the feeling.
I'll wait and see how it unfolds, but so far the story is starting off well. I just hope Hondo doesn't just give Nichelle those "magic words" and everything is all right again- something like this should take some time to heal.