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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

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. To do this, he relies heavily on his experiences with numerous adversities throughout his life, ranging from his upbringing in a broken home in South Los Angeles to fighting his way through the racially-charged ranks of the LAPD in an effort to combat racism in policing.

He also relies strongly on his unit, which he considers to be his family. Behind him in rank is Sergeant David "Deacon" Kay, a 10-year SWAT veteran whose leadership skills and dedication to the unit run parallel to Hondo's.

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.

S.W.A.T. has aired five seasons. The sixth season is airing as of October 2022. On May 5 2023, it was announced that the sixth season would be the last, and that the final episode would air on May 19. Three days later, CBS reversed course and announced that the show hadn't been cancelled after all, having instead been renewed for a seventh and final season.

The show is in a shared universe with The Shield.

This show provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: All of the female officers in SWAT, and the police overall naturally. They are trained professionals after all. However, it's a plot point that Chris especially (as the first female officer in SWAT) has to fight against prejudice and doubts they're capable of the job.
  • Age-Gap Romance: While ages haven't been stated for characters, Shemar 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 parts of an episode 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. He takes Cortez and the Commissioner as hostages in order to make his point of finding his younger sister.
  • Artistic License – Explosives: In "Short Fuse", a terminally ill convict escaping the hospital turns a defibrillator and oxygen tank into a mini bomb. 1) Tanks like that were removed from use a few years ago, 2) there's enough coating on the tank the shock wouldn't get to the oxygen, 3) and while oxygen obviously does fuel fire and can be explosive, there's no ignition/spark. Defibrillators don't work like that. This was probably done purposefully, as it therefore wouldn't work in real life if someone got ideas.
  • Artistic License – Law Enforcement:
    • In regards to the composition of LAPD SWAT:
      • SWAT Sergeants are shown to have a five man squad under their command; in reality, each Sergeant has two squads of five under their command.
      • SWAT Command is depicted as (at least, for the first two seasons) Captain Cortez and Commander Hicks overseeing the Sergeants. In reality, SWAT command consists of six Sergeants and one Lieutenant.
    • Even though "Ekitai Rashku" is shot (mostly) in Tokyo, the production team made some mistakes (either on purpose or for security reasons):
      • While the TMPD uniformed officer's clothing is correct, the emblems on their uniforms/peaked caps is not the actual MPD's Asahikage seal.
      • The SPU is not the tactical unit of the MPD. It's the Special Assault Team.
      • The division Inspector Benjiro Yoshida is in charge of is located at the 警視庁重大犯罪課 (MPD Major Crimes Division). The actual correct kanji is the 警視庁組織犯罪対策部 or Keishichō soshiki hanzai taisaku-bu (MPD Organized Crime Control Division).
  • Awesome Personnel Carrier: The Terradyne Gurkha which Metro uses to transport its elements.
  • Bad Influencer: In "The Tiffany Experience", Jessica took her niece to a party hosted by an influencer who established herself as this trope when she made her party guests wait for her by pretending to have just left the airport; she was actually in L.A. the whole time. She showed very little concern for the girl that died at her party. It's then deconstructed when the influencer reveals that she has been playing her online persona since she was 15, and her audience won't let her grow up.
  • 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.
  • Bigot with a Badge: Deacon discovers a number of racists within the LAPD in Season 4, including a SWAT recruit. It takes Hondo going to the press to get them bounced off the force. Hondo considers quitting the police in disgust over the fact he had to do this since the department wouldn't fire them otherwise.
  • Bit-Part Bad Guys: Many of the episodes begin with a Batman Cold Open where the team deals with a threat that usually has nothing to do with the episodes' actual Villain of the Week.
    • S1E9 "Blindspots" has a misogynistic office employee holding all his co-workers hostage in a conference room due to getting passed up for a promotion yet again by a woman.
    • S2E13 "Encore" has an abusive ex-husband confronting his ex-wife on the whereabouts of his children.
    • It was mentioned by Tan and Luca that in S2E19 "Invisible" that they and the rest of the team (sans Deacon) had thwarted a hostage crisis at a massage parlor.
    • S3E1 "Fire in the Sky" has the team about to arrest a guy robbing celebrity mansions and collects semi-automatics. The raid ends because of a done strike at the beach by the true Villain of the Week. See Bait-and-Switch.
    • S4E2 "Stakeout" has Street chasing after a guy who stoles boxes of disinfectant wipes, latex gloves, hospital masks, and toilet paper.
    • S4E6 "Hopeless Sinners" has a former forklift operator of a tire center who shot and killed his boss (albeit accidentally) for firing him due to old age. He attempts to shoot himself, but the team thwarts it.
    • S5E16 "The Fugitive" has a duo of robbers who stole barrels of nitroglycerin. One of the robbers jumps off a bridge but is quickly captured by Hondo.
    • S5E20 "Quandary" has an Ax-Crazy teenage girl shooting with an assault rifle from the real Villain of the Week's house.
    • S6E10 "Witness" has a woman holding residents of a shelter hostage under the belief they had something to do with her son's disappearance.
  • Black-and-White Morality:
    • As far as Deacon is concerned, actions are either legal or they aren't. This view sometimes brings him into conflict with Chris, who is more compassionate towards illegal immigrants.
    • Being a third-generation S.W.A.T. officer, Luca doesn't understand Street's conflicting loyalties between his job and his criminal mother. To Luca, loyalty to S.W.A.T. is everything.
  • Black Dude Dies First: The first (and as of Season 6, only) member of S.W.A.T. to die is Erika, a Black woman.
  • Blackmail: In "Imposters", the titular robbers who dressed as SWAT for robbing people forced teenage girls from every family they'd robbed to strip naked, then say on video sexual things they wanted to do, so that they wouldn't report things which could help catch them in fear of this being posted online where it would follow them around for the rest of their lives.
  • Bodyguard Crush: The Character of the Day for S1E16, "Ransom". At the end of the episode, it looks as though Rick's charge might reciprocate his feelings.
  • Broken Pedestal: Marcus thought Saint lived up to his name as a proud community leader and ignored Hondo's warnings the man was a criminal. Imagine his reaction when he not only sees Saint beating up a cop but even prepared to kill Marcus to hide his crimes.
  • The Cameo:
    • Ryan Bergara and Shane Madej from BuzzFeed Unsolved appear as a pair of UFO hunters in one episode.
    • S5E11 "Old School Cool": Wil Wheaton plays a tech assistant to help hunt for a hacker.
  • Character Tic: Played for laughs as the team makes a game out of it in the third season premiere, with each team member picking a "Hondo-ism" from his favorite sayings and mannerisms (Such as telling the team to “Stay liquid” or grabbing the straps of his tactical vest) with whichever team members left standing at the end of the shift (Or whoever was the last to have their trait used) buying all the food and drink for a party. Naturally, the person who came up with it - Deacon - winds up footing the bill.
  • Christianity is Catholic: The cast's one religious member is Deacon (as his nickname attests), a devout Christian who it turns out is a Catholic - although Hondo and Chris were also raised Catholic, though they no longer practic. Except for an evil Protestant minister from one episode, that's about all Christian or indeed religious depictions so far.
  • "Die Hard" on an X:
    • "Armor" for when the LAPD SWAT's own HQ is taken over by an armed criminal.
    • "SOS" has SWAT being deployed on a cruise ship that was hijacked.
    • "Lockdown" is an entire LA courthouse being taken over by Los Mags assassins.
  • 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 S1E3 "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 S2E10 "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 S2E23 "Kangaroo."
    • In Season 1, the team is shown hanging out together at an abandoned mall hitting golf balls, and at a bar where they appear to be semi-regulars. These team hang-outs are only shown once, and are then never mentioned again.
  • 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".
  • Eco-Terrorist: "Cry Foul" involves extreme activists having blown up oil derricks and then targeting a corrupt CEO who'd refused to fix safety issues, despite his own derrick endangering residents nearby. Though the protagonists take them down of course, they also express disgust at their targets' misdeeds, agreeing with their motive if not the method.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • In S3E10 "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 chooses to let them die rather than read the confession the hostage-takers have given him.
    • S4E4 "Memento Mori" has an arms dealer willing to give up the buyer who purchased an assault rifle with a M203 attached since his daughter and her kids were going to a memorial concert the buyer was going to target.
  • Fair Cop: Most of the team are quite good-looking. This is lampshaded in "Homecoming" when Chris, Street and Tan are getting photographed for a publicity piece, where a reporter (who's a very attractive blonde woman too) notes all of them are quite photogenic. It continues to be the case with many other cops, the women especially.
  • Family of Choice: The idea of SWAT being a family is something that is repeatedly brought up and hammered in over the series; a significant part of Street’s character development in the first two seasons is built around him learning this.
  • 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:
  • Generic Cop Badges: In "Ekitai Rashku", the uniforms of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police are correct, but the emblems on their peaked caps don't show the MPD's Asahikage seal. Which is ironic since the episode was filmed on location in Tokyo.
  • The Ghost: Chris, as of Season 6. The character retired from SWAT in the previous season as Lina Esco left the show, but is mentioned at various times over the course of the season due to the character entering a relationship with Street.
  • Gory Discretion Shot:
    • Used in S3E18 "Stigma", with the team finding a woman brutally murdered in her own kitchen trying to protect her infant daughter, who has a gunshot wound to the face herself. All the viewer sees is a pool of blood, with the horror of the scene being conveyed on the faces of the team.
    • S5E16 "The Fugitive": A faked video shows Hondo shooting two police officers, but the video remains focused on "Hondo" as he shoots the two officers. This is, however, a plot point in the episode.
  • Halfbreed Discrimination: Erika mentions she's biracial with Black and White parents, noting how the Imperial Dukes (a white supremacist group) would hate her for that, along with their having an interracial relationship. Sadly, they end up killing her (though it was during a shootout, not specifically due to her ancestry).
  • Hiding Behind Religion: In "Hopeless Sinner" Chris and Deacon are both disgusted by Bishop Miller exploiting his church to get money (or, in the end, a bride) by taking advantage of desperate homeless youth.
  • Hostage Situation: Sometimes the reason why the LAPD orders the SWAT unit to be deployed.
  • Inappropriately Close Comrades:
    • Hondo and Cortez date clandestinely due to fraternization rules preventing a relationship between them (she's his superior too). Once they get caught, it forces them to break up.
    • This is the main factor preventing Chris and Street from dating too. At first, she flat-out says she'll never date a fellow cop regardless to him.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Love Confession: Street finally challenges Chris to deny she loves him after she's leaving SWAT. In "Zodiac" she admits it, they kiss and go into his bedroom.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: The team does nearly all the detective work alongside their typical SWAT work; with help from other squads and departments as necessary.
  • 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.
  • Minority Police Officer: Dealing with the complexities and struggles minorities face in the police force and especially S.W.A.T. are recurring themes throughout the series.
    • The main protagonist Sergeant "Hondo" Harrelson is a Black cop, who gets promoted in charge of his own S.W.A.T. team at the start of the series effectively as a PR stunt (his predecessor and friend accidentally shot a Black teenager). Whilst often struggling with balancing his loyalty to both the uniform and his background, Hondo strives to make the best of his position, trying to build trust and improve minority relationships with the police force, believing it's the only way to tackle the underlying issues that ruin so many lives. Hondo likewise admits that he feels the need to always excel so that he wouldn't get passed over because of his race.
    • Chris Alonso is the only female member of the team, as well as being a bisexual Latina. When her team members are angered at her being held to a different standard in a physical evaluation, Chris is so used to it that she just outright expected the examiner to be prejudiced. She tries to use her position to open doors for other women in the police force but admits to worrying that the higher-ups see her as their necessary good deed and won't carry on the progress.
    • Their superior Captain Jessica Cortez is a Latina woman, who is also a naturalized American. This all conspires to make her career more difficult. When Commander Hick's discovers she's in a relationship with Hondo, he outright spells out to him how as a woman this will destroy her career if it comes out and Hondo falling on his sword for her won't make a bit of difference.
    • Victor Tan is of Chinese descent, and the only East Asian on the team.
    • Later when Chris leaves Zoe Powell takes her slot. She's a Latina too. Her friction with other people stems from her being a hot-headed loose cannon at first though.
  • Miscarriage of Justice: In Season 5 there's an arc where Deacon (who it turns out runs a prison Bible study group) meets an inmate he'd arrested years ago, who's been convicted of murder but maintains his innocence. Deacon, though not convinced at first, agrees to look into the man's alleged alibi. He becomes convinced that the man's innocent and works to reopen his case, with his wife Annie's help. It turns out they're right as the victim was killed by a woman whose husband had cheated with the victim, letting slip information that only the killer would know.
  • Modesty Bedsheet:
    • "Ekitai Rashku": After having sex with Hondo, Nichelle has a sheet wrapped around her chest.
    • "Sins of the Fathers": Chris has this later, covering herself after waking up alone in a motel room post-sex with a guy.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: The Imperial Dukes, a group of Western Terrorists responsible for several attacks on L.A. as well as the death of Erika.
  • Noble Bigot with a Badge:
    • Luca's grandfather. Luca was very disappointed to learn that his grandfather didn't want him working under a black sergeant. Hondo reminded Luca that his grandfather once pulled children out of a community center fire four at a time and didn't separate them by color.
    • Mumford and some of his team were very upset about Cortez's progressive reforms, but they were all horrified when she received death threats over it.
  • Not Staying for Breakfast: After Erika's death, Chris has a one-night stand and departs without giving the guy either her number or even name, despite his request for them (he's interested in more, but she sure isn't).
  • 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 driving under the influence. He proceeds to make her family's life living hell.
  • 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 them to temporarily call off further recon ops.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • In the Emancipators' final episode, S2E23 "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.
    • In S3E12 "Bad Cop," Street quits SWAT after being AWOL for a few days as he tries to help his foster brother get out from under his drug dealer boss. This runs contrary to all of his Character Development from the prior season as he looks to be making the same mistakes that cost him his spot on the team in the first season - with The Reveal at the end of the episode that he’s undercover with Hondo & Hicks’ knowledge, Street’s actions are the biggest hint that everything is not as it seems.
  • Open Relationship Failure: During season two, Chris goes on a date with a woman called Kira who reveals she already has a boyfriend named Ty, and that the pair of them are polyamorists looking for an equal third. Being bisexual, Chris decides to give it a try and is initially happy, finding it fulfilling and that their personalities compliment hers. However, as time goes on Chris begins to realize that due to being initially attracted to Kira she is always going to be closer to her than Ty, whilst despite their best efforts the fact they were already together before they met her means that Kira and Ty will always be closer to each other than her. Realizing its not going to work out, she breaks up with them.
  • Oppressive Immigration Enforcement:
    • Invoked in "Fences", where an illegal immigrant fleeing an ICE Raid is apprehended and arrested by Street, who had no idea they were one and assumed they were just a regular criminal fleeing the authorities, leaving them facing deportation. Being in violation of California's status as a sanctuary state, it leads to SWAT facing a major public backlash, complete with the immigrant's sister leading a protest outside police headquarters, and putting Street in hot water with the brass. Matters are only made worse when all the publicity the case is recieving inspires a radical anti-immigration group to kidnap and forcibly deport his sister.
    • In "Safe House" the team's sting operation to rescue a hostage from dangerous gang members is interrupted by ICE agents launching a surprise raid in the same area with them recklessly turning up guns blazing, throwing the entire situation into chaos and endangering multiple civilians all because ICE didn't bother to give local law enforcement a heads up on their activities, with one agent even nearly shooting Officer Chris Alonzo just for being a Latina woman. Commander Hicks, who holds a suspicion for all "three letter agencies" due to seeing them as arrogant, irresponsible glory hounds, openly admits to considering ICE easily the worst of them all.
  • Passed-Over Promotion: Deacon was the most senior member of the team after Buck, but because of the racial issues surrounding Buck's dismissal (white cop pursuing a white suspect accidentally shooting a black kid), the team lead post was given to Hondo at least partially because he was black. Tensions between Hondo and Deacon over Hondo getting promoted over his head, and Hondo needing to prove himself because of him getting promoted out of place for political reasons, are plot points in early episodes.
  • 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 sweatshops. 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.
  • Publicity Stunt Relationship: In "The Tiffany Experience", the titular Tiffany is officially happily dating a fellow online celebrity Tristan who makes elaborate prank stunts. However, as Jessica Cortez discovers whilst guarding her from a crazed Stalker with a Crush, the two aren't actually together and are simply "cross-pollinating" each other's feeds, further empathising how shallow and fake Tiffany's supposedly caring brand really is. It ends up going horribly wrong as said crazed stalker ends up seeing Tristan as an obstacle to him being with Tiffany and murders him, ignoring his pleas that they're not really dating as further a sign of him not being worthy of her.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Mumford announces his intent to retire from SWAT during Season 2. He works his final shift in "Invisible" towards the end of the season.
    • Captain Cortez leaves SWAT Command for the FBI at the end of Season 2.
    • Chris Alonso leaves SWAT at the end of Season 5.
  • Relationship Upgrade: After tons of sexual tension, flirting and Street openly seeking a relationship with Chris, she admits her love to him, they kiss and go into his bedroom.
  • Retirony: Discussed and narrowly averted as Chris is saved while on a mission just after announcing they'll be leaving SWAT.
  • Revenge Porn Blackmail: Revealed to be the MO of a gang of home invasion robbers the team investigates in Imposters. Targeting wealthy families and gaining access by impersonating SWAT officers, the robbers MO is to forcibly drag the families teenager daughters away, strip them naked and then force them to do increasingly sexual activities on camera, with them threatening to publish the footage on the internet if the families cooperate with the police. To make matters worse it turns out this aspect of the plan was cooked up by a spoiled classmate of the girls, who had the extra intention of holding the videos over their heads as revenge for a perceived minor slight. Everyone involved is beyond disgusted that a 16-year-old could do something so horrific.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: The extraction of Afton in "Sins of the Father" is similar to how Carlos Ghosn was able to evade Japanese law enforcement after he was granted bail.
    • "Farewell" has the plot influenced by NATO forces withdrawing from Afghanistan in 2021 and how most Taliban fighters targeted ex-soldiers/police officers/NDS agents/Afghan interpreters despite the Taliban saying that they will not allow their fighters to do such a thing.
  • 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.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Chris arrests a young man for drunk driving while off duty, but it turns out that his father is the deputy mayor and he makes the case disappear. He'd done so twice before too. She fights to bring him down, and eventually succeeds with Lynch's help, catching the guy on tape admitting his acts, which is used for making him resign (while they urge that his son get the help he needs).
  • Self-Defense Ruse: When Jim Street was a child, his mother deliberately provoked his abusive father so she could kill him and claim self-defense. She ended up going to prison after Buck Spivey was able to get young Jim to tell the truth about what happened.
  • Shout-Out:
    • After Hondo’s promotion to 20-David in the Pilot, Mumford mockingly asks if he got to work by swinging from the buildings like Spider-Man.
    • When it’s decided that Luca will be living with Street, Luca asks if he has Xbox or PlayStation.
    • Generation One My Little Pony characters are named in S2E2 "Gasoline Drum" - Ela lists Peppermint Crunch, Banana Surprise, and Peachy, then Deacon asks about Swirly Whirly and Cherries Jubilee.
    • The episodes "Thai Hard" and "Thai Another Day" as references to "Die Hard" and "Die Another Day".
    • Street mentions that the rescue of a prisoner in "Maniak" is something out of Apocalypse Now.
  • 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, as the LAPD is one of the few departments that require all officers to operate in pairs.
    • "Inheritance" has the explanation of 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.
    • Although Hondo and Deacon both hold the rank of Sergeant II, Hondo operates as assigned team leader while Deacon operates in the same capacity as the other lower ranking officers in the squad, while holding a certain degree of seniority.
  • Spell My Name With An S: In his first episode after his promotion to the opening credits, Patrick St. Esprit is credited as Patrick St. Espirit.
  • Story Arc: In Season 2, one is formed over the LAPD and other LEOs hunting down the Emancipators.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • In "Gut Punch", Victor's suspended from the LAPD after news got around that he was involved in a brawl in a bar while drunk. Even though it's his first time, the department has him suspended for a couple of weeks without pay to send a message that officers who start things and violate the law will not be tolerated (the guys he beat up didn't press charges). His teammates and immediate superiors are all surprised he got this.
    • Even before the suspension, Hicks benched Victor from field duty for a month, even though it left the team a bit short-handed. No matter how capable an officer Tan is or how he's needed, there was no way Hicks could ignore a cop caught in this mess.
  • 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 
  • Terminally-Ill Criminal: "Short Fuse" sees the squad facing Joey Barrata, a hit man with a specialty for car bombs. Already serving a life sentence for multiple murders, following being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and given three months to live, Barrata breaks out of prison and unleashes another bombing spree on the city. Initially assuming he's after revenge, the team later realise he's been hired for one last big job so he can be sure his sons will have enough money after he dies.
  • These Hands Have Killed: Hondo struggles with this in "Never Again", when he fatally shoots a suspect who turns out to be a young woman, as he was raised to never hit women. Deacon talks him out of it by pointing out the woman he shot had already killed several people and probably would have done more.
    Deacon: Hondo, at the end of the day, you didn't shoot a woman. You shot a killer.
  • 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.
  • Troubled Teen: "Homecoming" involves Hondo being contacted by his old friend Leroy, presently serving a life sentence for being a senior member of the 20 Street Hammers, who upon hearing his son witnessed a shooting, fears Darryl is being dragged into the same gang culture he was at his age. Darryl proves to be a decent kid but is the victim of lack of opportunities and the culture he's growing up amongst. Hondo manages to arrange for him to live with aunt hoping to keep him out of the lifestyle. But upon his return in season two Darryl reveals he accidentally got his girlfriend pregnant and needing quick money to support her was forced to turn back to his old contacts. His actions only succeed in getting him sent to Juvie, where he is stabbed by another teenager. Hondo resorts to effectively adopting Darryl in the hopes of ensuring his life isn't ruined.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Chris and Street are attracted to each other from early on. She's unwilling to get into a relationship with him though, as police fraternization rules prevent it. Street says he's willing to transfer if need be, though Chris isn't happy about that idea. Both have relationships with other people in the meantime too.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Erika is introduced and barely lasts half a season before being killed off.
  • Western Terrorists:
    • "Radical" has SWAT up against radical leftists who bomb business targets in LA (after the first was killed by his own device) and then another takes hostages after being cornered.
    • "Contamination" involves the LAPD facing off against sovereign citizen 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.
    • "Pride" has a group of violently anti-LGBT+ right-wingers attack a Pride event using trucks.
    • "Animus" has an example of lone wolf sexist terrorism when a spree killer goes on a rampage against women whom men posted revenge fantasies online about in an extreme MRA group, which is pretty clearly based on Elliot Rodger or similar people. After the team stops him, a similar act's committed in Kansas City, having been inspired by the first, to their dismay.
    • "Crusade" has SWAT intervening against the Imperial Dukes, a pro-Neo Nazi terrorist group. They turn into recurring villains, with many cells.
  • 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 an 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.
    • "Crusade" ends with Erika dying from a gunshot wound sustained during a raid, hitting her near her collarbone.
    • "Whistlebower" has Hondo planning to reveal himself as the source that got some racist LAPD officers suspended. He's warned that the city government will want to have his head for the matter.
    • The end of "Veritas Vincint" that the LAPD may want to get rid of Hondo after he publicly outs himself as Deacon's source on the presence of racist officers in the force.
    • "27 David" suggets that Rodrigo Sanchez's presence in the LAPD was a ploy by LAPD officials just to pressure Hondo to quit over his reveal of corrupt and racist police officers in the SWAT unit.
    • "Quandary" has Chris already making plans to leave the SWAT unit in order to take over Mama Pina's safehouse to help women who are disadvantaged in life.
  • Wham Line: "Next of Kin".
    Hondo: "All units. 58-David is down. I repeat, 58-David is down. We've lost Erica Rogers. Over."
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: After drinking a lot and going to a motel with a guy whom she met, Chris wakes up unable to remember most of this... including where her car is. Street helps her look for it, but gently chides Chris for drinking too much and being rash as a result.
  • Whatever Happened to the Mouse?:
    • S2E5 and S2E7 "SOS" and "Inheritance": Devlin, a black man in the academy alongside Street trying out for the only open SWAT spot due to budget cuts; Devlin makes SWAT over Street, but doesn’t appear in any subsequent episodes of the series
    • S1E18 "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 S2E19 "Invisible" and even appears in S2E22 "Trigger Creep" but there's no mention of Deacon's wheelchair-bound boy.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: "The Fugitive" is one to the 1963 TV series and 1993 movie adaptation of the same name where Hondo's framed for attacking fellow cops and supposedly killing them.
  • 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. 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.
  • Will They or Won't They?: It's teased between Street and Chris over five seasons with the two having an obvious mutual attraction, but she won't date a fellow cop. After she leaves SWAT they finally get together, kissing and heading into his bedroom.
  • Yakuza'': "Ekitai Rashku" sees the team extraditing a Yakuza clan gangster back to Japan then, once he's busted out of custody by his cohorts, aiding the Tokyo Metropolitan Police in getting him back.


Video Example(s):


Looks like I'm in charge

A breach was suppose to start to get the Burmese drug lord Zaw Min, but the raid was ordered to be stopped. Somchai was informed that Commander Niran's daughter was taken in a kidnapping. And to prove it, he was provided a photo of her being tied up.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / IHaveYourWife

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