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Series / The Brave

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"The defense of the United States and its citizens relies increasingly on two groups. The intelligence analysts in Washington, who uncover and interpret threats. And the Special Forces operators tasked with eliminating them."
Opening introduction to the episode "Pilot".

The Brave is a NBC drama show that aired its first episode on September 25, 2017. It stars Anne Heche, Mike Vogel, Demetrius Grosse, Natacha Karam, Noah Mills, Hadi Tabbal, Sofia Pernas and Tate Ellington. In May 2018, NBC announced that the show would not be scheduled to air another season.

The show centers on missions conducted by the Defense Intelligence Agency, an external intelligence agency that's in charge of providing defense and military intelligence to the American government. At home, daily operations are overseen by Deputy Director Patricia Campbell, who recently lost her son in the War on Terror. Out in the field, Captain Adam Dalton commands a DIA SOG team that is tasked by Campbell to conduct black operations all over the world.

This show provides examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: The NBC website and commercials give more info on the SOG.
  • Arms Dealer: Ranier Boothe, the target of episode 3 "The Greater Good."
  • Artistic License – Geography: Iran as seen in "Desperate Times" and "Desperate Measures" is not just Two Decades Behind, it is more like Four Decades Behind. Customs agents don't ask what your religion is at the airport. There aren't armed guards and secret police on every street corner. Arabic isn't widely spoken in Iran, and even more outrageously, the Farsi in the show is rather shoddy. The arc's villain, Fahim Jarif, has an Arabic name. Ironically, the show's portrayal of a supposedly 2017 Iran would be much more accurate if it was set in Saudi Arabia instead.
  • Badass Bookworm: Any DIA analyst who has a background of serving in the military or in another intelligence agency like the CIA.
  • Batman Gambit: Dalton and Patricia come up with a plan to rescue Jaz from Iranian custody by leaking to the Iranians confirmation that she's an American agent. Because the Iranians have the confirmation and have no need to interrogate her to get it, Dalton knows the Iranians will move her from the Qods Force black site where the team can't get at her to a prison where she'll be publicly executed as an American spy. This allows them to snatch her back while in transit.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted with Jaz in "Desperate Measures" when she is tortured and beaten pretty badly by Iranian forces. Played straight in "Close to Home, Part 2" when Hoffman's phone bomb blows up Campbell and Preach jumps in front of her to shield her. Both of them look remarkably great in the hospital for having survived a point-blank explosion: even Preach, who took the brunt of the blast and is in a coma, only has a few small bandages on his head.
  • Cliffhanger Copout: The first episode ends with the DIA team seemingly caught in the blast of a vehicle-borne IED on a Turkish beach. The next episode begins with a scene in Ukraine setting up the plot, then we cut back to the Incirlik base in Turkey where the protagonists are perfectly fine. The truck bomb from the last episode gets maybe one minute's worth of discussion where they mention about 20 civilians and 4 servicemen died in the blast and they'll probably never know who did it. In the end of episode 8, the DIA finds out through the listening bug on Ranier Boothe that it was orchestrated by Iranian IRGC commander Fahim Jarif.
  • Couch Gag: The map in the background of the title card changes to reflect where the SOG team will be operating each episode.
  • Defector from Decadence: Hossein, the team's local contact in Iran, is a former member of the IRGC who has grown disgusted with how his country's government operates.
  • Downer Ending: Especially since the show was cancelled and not renewed for a second season. Verina is rescued, the USS Wyoming is saved from Chinese capture, and Dalton murders Hoffman, but Campbell's career may well be over and Preach is in a coma.
  • Framing the Guilty Party: When an arms dealer becomes Properly Paranoid about a mole in his organization, the team protects their asset by making it look like the guy's new business partner is the one who was spying on him and stole his money. The business partner is a vicious Mexican gangster who previously ordered an American agent to be brutally murdered so no one in the DIA has any problems setting the guy up.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: In the series finale, it turns out that Alex Hoffman and his mercenaries are working for Red China, and their mission is to use Verina Curtis's hacking skills to divert a U.S. nuclear submarine toward one of the artificial islands the Chinese have constructed in the South China Sea so that the People's Liberation Army Navy can capture the sub and reverse-engineer its classified technology.
  • Guile Hero: Dalton's SOG team rarely ever resort to using direct attacks to achieve their objectives, preferring to use intimidation, manipulation, and the occasional targeted hit to beat their opponents.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: "Desperate Measures" has two: their Iranian contact starts a gun battle with Iranian troops so the team can get over the border into Turkey, and Patricia breaks federal law and potentially ending her career by leaking to the Iranians confirmation that Jaz is a covert American agent so they will move her for execution, giving Dalton and the team the chance to mount a rescue.
    • Zigzagged in "Close to Home, Part Two." The captain of the USS Wyoming is prepared to scuttle his boat along with the whole crew to prevent being captured by the Chinese navy, but the good guys manage to right his course at the last second. Meanwhile, back in Turkey, Preach shields Campbell from Hoffman's phone bomb, but while he survives, he is in a coma at the end.
  • Hollywood Healing: Studiously averted. Injuries carry over from episode to episode and characters sport casts and bandages even as they continue going out into the field.
  • Inside Job: The SOG team realizes that the prison break in "Break Out" couldn't have been done with inside help from sympathizers in the ranks of the Afghan National Police, which is a Truth in Television issue after the Taliban were ousted from power until recently.
  • Institutional Allegiance Concealment: The team operates under plainclothes while heading under sensitive ops. Although in other instances, they wear camos that are easily commons with other militaries like Multicam.
  • Lethal Chef: Amir complains that his teammates are lousy cooks who serve barely edible food, strange smoothies, or power bars because they can't be bothered to go through the effort of preparing a meal.
  • MacGuffin Girl: Cassie Archer, the subject of episode 2 "Moscow Rules." She is so important that one of the Kremlin's top spyhunters from Moscow is dispatched to Ukraine to track her down as the DIA team attempts to get her out of the country. She was being groomed by America's top spy in Russia to be his successor and thus knows nearly everything there is to know about Russia's highest officials.
    • Again with the subject of the two-part series finale, Verina Curtis. She is a 16 year old Hackette who can knock U.S. Navy submarines offline with powerful computer viruses and is being pursued by an unknown party.
  • Middle Eastern Terrorists:
    • The pilot episode deals with the DIA taking out a commander of the al-Nusra Front after they staged a kidnapping of an American working with Doctors Without Borders near Damascus.
    • "It's All Personal" has Amir reactivate his old cover identity to infiltrate an ISIS cell in Paris that is planning a suicide bombing.
    • The two-part episode "Desperate Times" / "Desperate Measures" deals with assassinating a Qods Force commander who orchestrated a truck bombing in Turkey.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Burhan Baghdadi in the first episode is clearly meant to be modeled off of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS. He's even reported to be killed by an American airstrike, only to turn out to be alive; the real-life Baghdadi had been reported killed by airstrikes over half a dozen times and kept turning up alive afterwards. In the show, though, he's the leader of al-Nusra Front (another extremely dangerous terrorist army operating in Syria at the time, being al-Qaida's official Syrian branch) instead of ISIS.
    • The American defector to the Taliban in "Break Out" is modeled after John Walker Lindh, the real-life American Taliban defector who was captured in 2002.
    • Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Fahim Jarif in "Desperate Times" is a younger version of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, who in real life was a senior official with the IRGC and the most famous public face of the organization.
  • Poor Communication Kills: In "Moscow Rules" the team is sent in when a CIA outpost in rebel-controlled Ukraine goes silent. The CIA fails to warn them that one of the agents working at the outpost knows ultra secret information that the Russians would do anything to obtain. The DIA thus underestimates the strength of the opposition the team would face. During extraction, a DIA helicopter is shot down and the team is forced to play a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with Russian trained spy hunters.
  • Pretty Little Headshots: Jaz takes out Taliban escapees in "Break Out" with her suppressed SR-25.
  • The Remnant: The villains of episode 11, "Grounded," are made up of a cell of hardline FARC terrorists. FARC signed a peace treaty with the Colombian government in late 2016 and agreed to disband, leaving said terrorists as some of the few remaining true believers in the cause.
  • Riding into the Sunset: Dalton's team does this at the end of "Stealth", their boonie hats making decent substitutes for ten-gallon hats, and lampshade the moment by discussing their favorite western movies.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: A lot of the episodes' plotlines are inspired by actual current events at the time of airing.
  • Rogue Agent: Alex Hoffman from the two-parter "Close to Home," an American agent who supposedly died 9 years ago and has turned up again working as a mercenary.
  • Sadistic Choice: The team is subjected to this due to the nature of their work.
    • The DIA is tasked with the choice of going after Burhan Baghdadi so that ANF can be crippled badly and risk getting Dr. Wells killed or rescue Dr. Wells and risk Baghdadi escaping in "Pilot". Dalton goes to save Wells, but leaves some Semtex in an empty rifle magazine in Amara Baghdadi's vest to have a makeshift explosive and destroy the van they were using to escape after she was knocked out cold with a distraction.
    • In episode 3, "The Greater Good," the team has to decide whether to pull Sofia out of Boothe's clutches immediately, which will lead to mission failure as it will tip him off about the bug they've planted on him, or leave her to die at his hands. They opt to frame Martin Urzua, a local crime boss and Boothe's Mexican business partner, as the man who's been betraying Boothe.
    • In "The Seville Connection", Dalton is forced to abandoned an SVR defector, which wouldn't make him happy or bring him back to America, which the Russians will know that one of their agents defected. The SOG arranges for his assassination in public so that the SVR won't go after him, giving the defector some breathing space to go to America.
  • The Mole: The rogue FARC fighters had some help in repelling an attempted raid from a sympathizer in the Colombian National Police in "Grounded".
  • Trapped Behind Enemy Lines: Dalton's SOG team was briefly forced to navigate through an anti-Ukrainian rebel-controlled city after one of its choppers got shot down in "Moscow Rules" before they began to hide from building to building. It didn't help that pro-Russian fighters trained by GRU agents were hounding them constantly. This pisses off Jaz since it brings the risk of getting the CIA agent killed.
  • Warfare Regression: In episode 8 "Stealth," it turns out the Russian stealth drone actually crashed within China's borders, not Mongolia as the DIA originally estimated. This makes the mission to recover its technology much more complicated as the Chinese military is one of the world's most sophisticated armed forces when it comes to electronic warfare. The SOG team has to completely strip themselves of any communications devices and cut themselves off from Washington, or, as Campbell puts it, "go old school."
  • Wham Line:
    • For "Pilot"
    Patricia: They [The al-Nusra Front] didn't kidnap Kimberly Wells to get revenge. They kidnapped her because she's a surgeon.
    • For "Break Out"
    Rioting prisoners on the inside would have no access to a control room on the outside. Unless it was orchestrated.
  • Wham Episode:
    • "Pilot" ends when Dalton and Preach see a pickup truck charging straight for them and the Turkish children in a beach.
    • The end of "Desparate Times" has Jaz captured while in a black op in downtown Tehran.
  • White Void Room: Qods Force in Iran uses one of these as an interrogation chamber. All personnel in these rooms wear all white clothing to further add to the effect.
  • Would Hurt a Child: ANF takes out a DWB driver's child after the kidnapping in "Pilot" to avoid leads back to them.
  • Would Not Shoot a Good Guy: Subverted in episode 4, "Break Out." At first it sure looks like Preach did gun down a friendly Afghan guard when clearing the prison's control room of terrorists, and Amir calls him out on it. But Preach points out the guy couldn't have been a friendly since why else would the terrorists let him live and stand in the middle of the room. Also Played With in the same episode, Jaz saves another Afghan guard from beheading, but then opens fire on him too... except she isn't trying to kill him, but is shooting the ground around him to scare him into running into the nearest building so that Dalton can meet up with him.