Spoilers for "The Unit" coming up just as soon as I shine my boots...
There are episodes of "The Unit" -- last week's, for instance -- where the wives' storyline feels particularly shoehorned in, as if someone at CBS told Ryan and Mamet that they would lose female viewers if the wives were absent for a week. Last night's episode was something different, in that the usage of the wives was absolutely appropriate, but the action storyline (Jonas' one-man mission) seemed obligatory.
Ryan and Mamet waited until the third season to kill off a regular because they wanted the death to have meaning for the viewers (though the death would have had far more meaning if it hadn't been one of the two sidekicks), and so I was expecting "Play 16" to dwell entirely on how everyone handled that death. I suppose an argument could be made that a solo suicide mission is exactly how Jonas Blaine would respond to the death of one of his men, but every time we cut to the MidEast scenes, I wished we were back in Col. Ryan's office, or with Mac at the coroner's, Grey's hospital room, or even with Molly, Kim and Tiffy as they planned the funeral.
Still, there were many affecting moments, with the big throat-lump moment coming at the funeral when Col. Ryan called out the names of the Unit members one by one until he got to Hector's. I'm sure that's a real ritual, and it was far more moving than I think any flowery eulogy might have been. Plus, these are men who don't do flowery. I loved that Bob refused to tell the reporter anything about Hector beyond his fondness for ice in his beer; to the reporter, that felt like nothing, where to Bob that was probably giving up more info than he wanted. Knowledge of who and what Hector was, even small details like that, is something private to the men who served with him and the women who knew him, and Bob found a way to protect that while still getting what he wanted out of the reporter.
One question for you all: the screener I watched was a rough cut that didn't have main titles. After the show went to all that trouble to create that goofy new opening credits sequence with the five guys walking towards us in slick suits (probably because someone in CBS research found that the military angle was a turn-off to some viewers and thought new credits could fool them), did they redo them for this episode, or was Hector still walking with the others?
What did everybody else think?