A HEARTBREAKING REALITY
S.W.A.T. returned after a couple of weeks off with an episode which everyone should watch. It made you feel the raw emotions people feel in the world we live in today. The team had to relive the horrifying memories of a school shooting when a copycat tries to redo the past.
In January 2013, the team responded to a school shooting at River Hill High. Two shooters opened fire on their classmates, 6 passed away with the youngest being 14. Throughout the episode, we get flashbacks to the team, led by Buck at the time, at different moments during the attack on River Hill High. The mother of the shooter that was killed, Ainsley Mogavero, after giving an emotion-filled talk for MCM (Making Children Matter), she finds a letter in her mail and goes to S.W.A.T. HQ immediately. We soon find out that a copycat is planning to reenact the events of River Hill High, by amassing a higher body count than the original one.
Hondo, Street and Luca pay a visit to Patrick Demers, the other school shooter that wasn’t killed, and it brought back old emotions about that day for Luca. After going through the boxes of letters Patrick has received, they find a letter supposedly from the same copycat that sent a letter to Ainsley. In it, he included a picture of him with a tech9, the same gun that was used in the River Hill High shooting. During the visit, Patrick talked about how survivors of people who jumped off the Golden Gate bridge feel. About how the moment you step off you realize that is wasn’t the only way, how you feel instant regret the instant you step off the bridge. But, some actions you can’t take back – like the moment you step off. Patrick directs this to Luca when he says thank you for stopping him that before more students died. We then see a flashback to Luca and Deacon searching for the shooter, but the flashback was about the scene where Luca found a young kid lying on the floor bleeding out. He was already dead when he got there and we see the pain, the anguish, the anger that Luca feels about that day and towards Patrick.
SWAT decides to use Ainsley’s twitter to find out who the copycat is. A hit came back from the tech9 serial number and it linked to a Kurt Wilson. He was also on the school’s threat list. After the team found Kurt, they took him into custody to question him. Kurt soon after gave up the name of the person who has the gun, Vince. We then see that a Vince has messaged Ainsley to talk and they soon confirm it’s him. After finding out his identity, Vince Frans, the team raids the house only to find the mother dead. After info from the sister, they realize they’ve been guarding the wrong school. Vince is going after his previous school, Leighton High.
Realising this, Cortez and Hicks inform Leighton High’s principal and tells them to send everyone to the gymnasium for protection. Hondo and the team roll up to Leighton High only to see that Vince is already there. They spot him while searching the outside of the school and he fires at them. Vince runs away from them and uses a table as cover from them. The team surrounds him and Hondo tries to talk him down. Tan uses a flashbang to distort him and Deacon tackles him to the ground. It’s all over. Relief sets in as they were able to prevent another attack, prevent River Hill High from happening again.
In the final flashback, we see the team after the shooting at River Hill High. After taking down the final shooter, Deacon finds Lyla, a student who was trapped in the closet hiding from the shooter, with a gunshot to the chest and unconscious. Deacon immediately screams for a medic. The scenes that follow were heart-wrenching. Deacon wiping blood off his hands, Luca with a look of pure sadness on his face. We see the team in a different light. What it’s like for first responders when they have to respond to a school shooting, we see the effect it has on them. We see Chris and how her journey into SWAT began, from K9 unit. Deacon goes home to say night to his daughter, the one who Annie was pregnant with in 2003. Her name is Lyla, he named her after the girl that died in the shooting. Deacon then tells her Lyla about the girl who he named her after. It was pure emotion.
After the episode ends a message from Hondo, Chris, Street, Deacon and Lt. Aaron Pisarzewicz to the public. A message to parents, school faculty and students about school shootings. A message for us to do more, to do better. To show kindness, to be involved in our children’s lives, to speak up when we know about an attack. A message to us to help those around us. A message of how we can be the generation to end school shootings because it’s a crime so heinous it doesn’t belong, ever. 113 children lost their lives in 2018 school shootings, with over 300 school shootings. Children who’s lives ended unnecessarily, lives which should not have been cut short. The brutal reality we face is that we need to do better. We need to be better. If not for us, then do it for the kids. So they don’t have to grow up in time where they have to fear for their lives in the own classrooms, from the kids around them. You could also scan the barcode on the screen for more tips on how to prevent school shootings and school safety.
Thanks for reading the review, I hope you enjoyed the episode. It showed the harsh reality we face today. I’ll be back next week with another review for S.W.A.T. S02E12. You can see the promo for next week’s episode below. Thanks.