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Series / S.W.A.T. (2017)

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"The incident commander shall request SWAT when at a barricaded or hostage incident when the suspect is probably armed; the suspect is believed to have been involved in a criminal act or is a significant threat to the lives and safety of the public and/or police; the suspect is in a position of advantage, affording cover and concealment or is contained in an open area and the presence or approach of police officers could precipitate an adverse reaction by the suspect and the suspect refuses to submit to arrest."
Statement seen in the show's opening sequence
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S.W.A.T. is a 2017 Police Procedural drama series and an adaptation of the 1975 series of the name (the second of which, after the cinematic remake from 2003). This version was developed for CBS by Shawn Ryan and Aaron Rahsaan Thomas. It stars Shemar Moore in the lead with Stephanie Sigman, Alex Russell, Lina Esco, Kenny Johnson, Peter Onorati, David Lim, Jay Harrington and Patrick St. Esprit. It aired the first episode on November 2, 2017 in North America.

The show centers on Sergeant Daniel "Hondo" Harrelson, an African-American native Angelino and former Marine who is appointed to be the leader of a SWAT element after a shooting incident involving gunrunners seriously wounded an African-American teenager, which ignites racial tensions throughout the Greater Los Angeles Area. Hondo tries to walk the line between doing his duties as a LAPD SWAT officer while navigating department politics and maintaining ties to the community he grew up in. Not to mention that he's hiding a relationship with his superior, Captain Jessica Cortez.

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The unit also picks up Jim Street, a new recruit assigned from the Long Beach Police Department. Tensions start to show since he's Hot-Blooded who goes into action without thinking about the serious consequences.

Amidst the high ratings it received and a full season pickup, compared to the original series (which aired as a midseason replacement), the series was renewed for a second season. It premiered on September 27, 2018.

Moreover, the series has been renewed for a third season, given the high ratings it received, having now outlasted the original which ran for two seasons. It premiered on October 2nd, 2019.

The show has its Mythology gag page.


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This show provides examples of:

  • Age-Gap Romance: While ages haven't been stated for characters, Shemare Moore is 49 and Stephanie Sigman is 32 as of 2019, this is a 17 year age gap.
  • All There in the Manual: The opening shows information on when SWAT started in LA, what their role is and when they're needed in the field.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: In "Armory", an arrested suspect escapes from his cuffs thanks to a hidden stash in his arm and take Cortez and the Commissioner as hostages in order to make his point of finding his younger sister.
  • Awesome Personnel Carrier: The Terradyne Gurkha which Metro uses to transport its elements.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The team is about to arrest a tough crook who is working a remote control. When a drone passes by, they think he's using it as a spy camera. In reality, the guy is playing a video game and the drone is being used to detonate a bomb on a nearby beach, forcing the team to call off the raid and help people.
  • Big Eater: Luca - eats friends out of house and home, runs up food app bills, and knows all the good food trucks in the city. Possibly Chris as she's been shown eating on several occasions.
  • Bodyguard Crush: The Character of the Day for S1E16, "Ransom". At the end of the episode, it looks as though his charge might reciprocate his feelings.
  • The Cameo: Ryan Bergara and Shane Madej from Buzzfeed Unsolved appear as a pair of UFO hunters in one episode.
  • Character Tic: Played for laughs as the team makes a bet where each one picks a "Hondo-ism" from his favorite sayings to fist-bumping to grabbing his vest and whoever who picks the one Hondo doesn't use buys all the food and drink for a party. As it happens, Hondo ends up doing all of them so no one actually wins.
  • "Die Hard" on an X: "SOS" has SWAT being deployed on a cruise ship that was hijacked.
  • Dirty Bomb: The episode "The B-Team" has the LAPD and FBI working together to hunt down a radical faction of the Okinawan independence movement since they wanted to use a dirty bomb against USFJ bases for the crimes committed by USFJ military and civilian personnel against the local populace with assistance from a corrupt research assistant from a research center who was Only in It for the Money.
  • Do-Anything Soldier: SWAT is shown conducting follow-up questioning and investigations after raids and operations. This is a bit of Artistic License as SWAT (especially in a department with a dedicated unit like the LAPD) exists purely to handle dangerous tactical situations with any follow-up being handled by detectives.
    • Justified in the third season premiere as the team is about to pull a raid on a hotel when a drone bomb explodes at the beach just a few yards away. As the team are the closest police in the area, they're the natural first responders. Also, as they had spotted the drone earlier, it makes sense they would be used for the following investigation.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In S2:E3 "Pamilya" Luca is kicked out by his girlfriend and says "... tell me whose car to throw my stuff in," indicating he does't have his own vehicle. In S2:E10 "1,000 Joules" Luca talks about driving his vehicle on an empty freeway because people are gone for the Christmas holidays. This implies he's done it more than once. A truck, presumably owned by Luca, is seen in S2:E23 "Kangaroo."
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Mumford retires with a going away party and a visit from a civilian who he saved back when he was an active SWAT operator in "Invisible".
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: In season 3 "Monster" Aden Syed, a former Somali warlord famed for his brutality escapes to LA and has a wife and child. His wife described him as being a kind man and a good father. Subverted, when he choses to let them die rather than read the confession the hostage-takers have given him.
  • Far East Asian Terrorists: SWAT and the HRT are deployed in "The B-Team" against a faction of the Okinawan independence movement that has gone radical and wants to make a dirty bomb against USFJ bases in Okinawa thanks to a corrupt research assistant in a research center who was Only in It for the Money.
  • From Camouflage to Criminal: "Payback" has the LAPD facing off against a group of ex-Army soldiers who are upset about a private security company double crossing them after being recruited due to the fact that they're experienced in the field.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: Deacon and Hondo check in on Deacon's old partner, Hawkins, who had gotten in deep with a mountain gang. They chat it up with Hawkins talking of how glad he was to get out from the gang as they walk around the woods. He mentions how his gang, the Mercs, were always acting up and no shock they'd be targeting the Jackals. At which point, Hondo states they never said which gang the Mercs were targeting. It turns out Hawkins has fallen in with the Mercs for real and his men attack Hondo and Deacon.
  • Impersonating an Officer: Openly used in "Imposters" when a team of crooks pose as SWAT officers to pull off robberies. Naturally, the real team find themselves facing problems showing up after these guys have attacked.
  • Interpol Special Agent: One pops up in "Gasoline Drum" to help the team with a gang from Turkey.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: Happens occasionally as the LAPD will clash with federal agencies and even Interpol.
    • When a drone bomb explodes on a beach, a Hollywood cop is set up at point to ensure the various police and federal agencies don't make things harder for the investigation.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: Sometimes, Hondo's element does detective work aside from typical SWAT work.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • "Cuchillo" in Spanish means knifenote . The suspect, who has the same name, has a knife that says "cuchillo" and uses a knife-like weapon to stab a civilian in the leg.
    • "Pamilya" means family in Tagalognote . The said episode involves OFWsnote  forced to serve as drug mules from Manila to LA since their relatives in Manila are targeted as leverage.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: A minor story angle in "Wild Ones" has Chris dealing with the Deputy Mayor in LA City Hall after she pulled over his son for drinking under the influence. He proceeds to make her family's life living hell.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In the Emancipators' final episode, S2 ep23 "Kangaroo," the bad guys outsource the killing and don't live broadcast the second of three deaths. This is very unusual and is their undoing as the good guys rescue the victim and it is not discovered by the bad guys.
  • Oh, Crap!: When the LAPD attempts to find a way to breach into the Fuentes residence in "Lion's Den" due to a standoff with the LASD, they heard the baby through audio, which forced to temporarily call off further recon ops.
  • Private Profit Prison: The team was called in to deal with a riot in a privately operated state prison. They soon discovered that the corporation has been Cutting Corners left and right. The prison is overcrowded and its infrastructure unmaintained. The prisoners are made to work in sweat shops. To make the situation worse, experienced guards have been replaced with cheaper new employees who have barely any training. Even the model prisoners are ready to rebel and the prison's vicious gangs are using the riot as a distraction for their own schemes.
  • Rules Lawyer: The central concept of "SWAT Tag" where teammates cite each other for every minor mistake (such as wearing the wrong color socks or having a pouch unbuckled) to take possession of playing cards that will win them a prize at the end of shift.
  • School Shooting: The heart-stopping Season 2 episode "School" features a school shooting the team answered to in a flashback set six years before the series pilot.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Generation One M.L.P.s are named in S2:E2 "Gasoline Drum" - Ela lists Peppermint Crunch, Banana Surprise, and Peachy, then Deacon asks about Swirly Whirly and Cherries Jubilee.
    • Criminal Minds references:
      • S1:E4 "Radical", a suspect is Kevin Lynch; this is the name of Garcia's long-time FBI tech boyfriend.
      • S2:E9 "Day Off" might have a Shout-Out to Shemare Moore (Hondo)'s previous work on Criminal Minds: Hondo believes that Officer Reid pulled him over out of racism; SSA Spencer Reid was Morgan (Moore)'s best friend.
    • Luca says that Deacon isn't "back to full beast mode yet" in S2:E18 "Cash Flow."
  • Shown Their Work: The series is rather attentive to detail in depicting police procedure, such as when Jim Street is berated for rushing ahead without his partner (the LAPD is one of the few departments that require all officers to operate in pairs).
    • "Inheritance" has the explanation on the history of the SLA, the reasons why SWAT was deployed and the significance of the first SWAT patch with the number "54" on it.
    • "The B-Team" has Hondo correctly explaining why parts of the Okinawan independence movement are against the USFJ and why the movement started.
  • Smurfette Principle: A minor plot point with there being only one female field agent in the in-universe stated "boys club" of SWAT. She's keen to change that but expresses worry that female trainees will get passed over because the higher ups think that they've "done their good deed" by promoting her.
  • Story Arc: In Season 2, one is formed over the LAPD and other LEOs hunting down the Emancipators.
  • SWAT Team: Like the original show, it centers on the LAPD's SWAT team in a modern-day setting.
    • "Ekitai Rashku" (filmed in Tokyo) has the Tokyo Metropolitan Police's Special Police Unit.note 
  • Title Drop:
    • "Pamilya", meaning family in Tagalog.note 
    • "Armory", referring to SWAT unit's own armory.
    • "School", referring to the educational institutions.
    • "Invisible", referring to undocumented migrants who are forced to work in low wage jobs.
    • "Rocket Fuel", referring to a variant of PCP that Hondo saw back when he was a uniformed officer.
  • Token Minority: One of the early conflicts on the show is Hondo being chosen as team leader over Deacon in a blatant attempt to cool down racial tension after the team's previously leader accidentally shot a black teenager. This gets called out by pretty much everyone in the first episode, including Hondo.
    • Also done with Hondo's sole female field agent. She's well-aware that some people think her presence is pandering and that some higher ups think that they don't need to promote any other women to field work because of her.
  • Western Terrorists: "Contamination" involves the LAPD facing off against sovereign militiamen.
    • "Inheritance" has SWAT deployed to deal with armed kidnappers trying to be the Spiritual Successor of the disbanded Symbionese Liberation Army. "Encore" identifies them as The Emancipators.
  • We Would Have Told You, But...: In season 3, Street goes undercover after a public falling-out with the rest of the team. When they're brought in on the plan in the next episode, Hicks explains that he and Hondo kept them in the dark so that their reactions would be genuine and help to sell the deception.
  • Wham Episode:
    • "Shaky Town" has the greater LA area hit by an earthquake.
    • "Inheritance" has the kidnappers getting away from a LAPD manhunt while posting a propaganda video that they'll be back.
    • "Encore" has the caller call in Hondo, telling him their show is not over.
    • "Bad Cop" implied that the troubles Street has in helping his foster brother Nate was no accident. It's part of a deep cover op.
  • Whatever Happened to the Mouse?:
    • S1:E15&21 "Crews and "Hunted": Erica, a black woman in the academy trying out for one of five SWAT spots. She made it! And was never heard from again.
    • S1:E5&7 "SOS" and "Inheritance": Devlin, a black man in the academy trying out for the only open SWAT spot due to budget cuts. He made it! And was never heard from again.
    • S1:E18 "Patrol": Luca realizes a visiting elementary student has dyslexia and offers to her mother to help her and Deacon tells a wheelchair-bound student about a friend who plays in a special basketball league and Deacon can hook the boy up; she is mentioned in S2:E19 "Invisible" and even appears in S2:E22 "Trigger Creep" but there's no mention of Deacon's wheelchair-bound boy.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: One of the prison escapees in "Cuchillo" is taking care of illegal rare animals, and has a HUGE snake around his shoulders. Hondo does not mess with snakes.
    • If Tan's facial expression in the background directed to the escapee and Luca's displeased noises are anything to go by, neither of them like snakes either. Deacon, who only watches, just smirks.
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