“…diverse casting, timely premise, and nonstop action.”
"The episode is one answer to whether network TV dramas, ever reliant on law enforcement officers as unalloyed heroes, can reflect opposing views as the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others drive demands for systemic change in police practices."
"Co-creators Shawn Ryan [...] and Aaron Rahsaan Thomas have clearly taken aims to balance some of TV’s better narrative techniques (long story arcs, deeper characters) within the 43-minute confines of episodic network fare."
"As in real life, reforming systematic TV’s habits will take takes years to realize. That a show like "S.W.A.T." is talking about these issues at all is a meaningful step."
"...well poised to react to the unrest since cop-community relations were already in its DNA."
"...the powerful, 1992 L.A. riots-themed season opener, which was postponed from last season but is only more relevant now"
Set to the backdrop of a global pandemic, the S.W.A.T. team faces challenges like they’ve never experienced before, both personally and professionally. From securing a safe memorial service for a beloved pop star, to saving Guatemalan activists from a hitman, to exposing a white nationalist sympathizer within their own ranks, the team must work against the clock to keep Los Angeles safe. Meanwhile, Hondo’s (Shemar Moore) loyalty is torn between the Black community and his brothers in blue, as he reckons with racial tension in LA, both past and present. Street (Alex Russell) explores his boundaries with his mother and his love life, while Chris (Lina Esco) grieves an unexpected loss and Luca (Kenny Johnson) aids the team from afar. Deacon (Jay Harrington) struggles with the public's changing attitudes towards police officers, Tan (David Lim) celebrates his love for Bonnie and team friction builds when a chance to work abroad gets competitive. Whether busting an elusive sex trafficking ring or helping hostages escape from a seized courthouse, at the end of the day, the team must not only come together but also consider who they are and what they stand for individually.