Revisiting season 1 of History's 'Six' and what to expect from season 2
Season 2 of History Channel's 'Six' continues from where the last one left off and adds a larger-than-life antagonist as well as several other subplots
History Channel's drama series 'Six' chronicles the operations and daily lives of the men who are a part of the U.S Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU), more commonly known as SEAL Team Six, which is one of the country's armed forces' most elite counter-terrorism units.
Despite being based on a premise that has previously been covered by a vast array of shows, 'Six' manages to capture the audience's attention with some beautiful visuals of war-ravaged Afghanistan and Boko Haram-dominated Nigeria as well as some immaculately crafted fight scenes that felt rooted in reality.
Furthermore, the ever-present tension between certain members of the team and their gripping backstories ensure that the familiar pitfalls of similar shows are circumvented.
After the 10 episodes of season 1 culminated in a cliffhanger and left viewers with plenty of questions, season 2 looks to be just as promising as it continues to explore the themes and stories previously laid down. We revisit everything worth remembering about the debut season of History's action-packed show and why this upcoming season may just be better than the first one.
SEAL Team Six primarily consists of six members: Walton Goggins as the Former Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Richard 'Rip' Taggart, Barry Sloane as the Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Joe 'Bear' Graves, Kyle Schmid as the Chief Special Warfare Operator Alex Caulder, Juan Pablo Raba as the Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Ricky 'Buddha' Ortiz, Edwin Hodge as the Special Warfare Operator First Class Robert Chase, and Jaylen Moore as Chief Special Warfare Operator Armin 'Fishbait' Khan.
There's also Donny Boaz as Special Warfare Operator First Class Beauregard 'Buck' Buckley and who plays a small but significant role as the season progresses.
Episode one set the tone for the rest of the series as we see why Rip is estranged from the rest of the team and is a private security agent in Lagos, Nigeria. In his relentless quest to see Jihadi leader Emir Hatim Al-Muttaqi (Jarreth J. Merz) dead, Rip loses the principles that gave him his clarity of thought in an all-too-cutthroat world.
His cold-blooded killing of an unarmed American citizen sparks a mutiny that sees him leave the team and irrevocably sets forth a chain of events that stretches the team members to its limit and tests their loyalty to one another.
Tragedy strikes when Boko Haram capture the now-removed Rip and a group of Nigerian schoolgirls and their teacher Na'omi (Nondumiso Tembe).
Initially apprehensive, defeatist, and resigned to his fate, the SEAL once again finds purpose in his life as he desperately attempts to rescue the girls from the terrorists' clutches. Selfish and aloof at the start, Rip undergoes a sort of personal redemption in a bid to right his perceived wrongs.
On the other side is Michael Nasri (Dominic Adams), who had to watch Rip mercilessly gun down his brother in front of his eyes. Nasri is a devoted disciple and a second son to Muttaqi, who had rescued him and his brother as a child, and who now works as a recruiter for terrorists. But Nasri forgoes his duties in recruiting and coercing homegrown terrorists and seeks out Rip with reckless abandon so he can extract his own, personal revenge. When negotiations with ally Boko Haram for Rip breaks down, a bloodbath ensues and makes his organization's bid to expand in the malleable African region that much more complicated.
The members of SEAL Team Six are beset by grief upon learning of the capture of their former leader. The tension simmering between now-Team Lead Bear and Caulder come to light as its revealed that the latter was responsible for the mutiny.
But, as it is consistently insisted throughout the series, there is little that will stand in the way of a bond that has been forged through nothing less than blood, sweat, and tears.
There's also the fact that their personal life often overwhelms their professional. Bear is struggling to deal with the premature death of his daughter Sarah and a marriage that is slowly unraveling at the seams because of the stress that the special forces life inflicts on the person, not much unlike that of Rip's.
Buddha wants to quit the SEALS and the constant threat to his life in exchange for a cushy private security job so he can pay for his daughter's dance school.
Caulder, who's portrayed as a 'free soul' with not a care in the world, suddenly has his estranged daughter, Dharma, walk back into his life, and finally, Chase is the outsider who has to often deal with the distrust of his new teammates (read Buck) because of his newness, rawness, and his stellar Harvard educational background that seems to indicate he would jump ship into politics at the first given opportunity.
Each of their backstories provides that much-needed anchor that reminds the viewer that, despite their ruthless, unforgiving nature in combat, outside it, they're merely humans who have to deal with their trials and tribulations.
It would have been easy for the creators to have had the team go all guns blazing in to rescue their fallen leader, but instead, 'Six' pleasantly tells us why they have such undying loyalty to Rip. Throwbacks provide glimpses into the recent past where he's shown interacting with each of his former peers and how he was not just their teammate but also their mentor. It's a loyalty born out of respect.
But not to worry, there is an all-guns-blazing scene as well. Army intelligence manages to triangulate Rip's location to an abandoned cement factory and, following a brief scouting mission, a formidable force led by SEAL Team Six razes the jihadists down, rescues both Rip and the Nigerian captives and takes Nasri as captive. All's well that ends well, right? One final twist sees one of Nasri's recruits, Marissa from Oregon (Katherine Evans), seek out Rip and shoot him through the chest. She records the entire ordeal and broadcasts it on the internet, effectively sending the country into shock.
The second season continues where the first left off: with Michael Nasri. While an important cog in the jihadist machinery, that's practically all he is, a cog. The CIA wants the head of the snake and someone who is cryptically referred to as 'The Prince.' Leading the investigation into hunting down primary antagonist 'The Prince' (Nikolai Nikolaeff) is Olivia Munn's high-level CIA Operations Officer, Gina Cline, who inevitably ends up stepping on the toes of the notoriously prickly SEALS.
While little is known about the Prince, Nikolaeff told Meaww that there more to his character than meets the eye. "We see his evolution, beginning from a low-level fixer who has some really traumatic and heartbreaking things happen to him, and who is effectively betrayed and he has these really awful things happen, to his eventual rise to become who we know as 'The Prince'," he said.
He continued: "He's had a lot happen to him that you wouldn't wish on anyone. If there's one thing I hope the series does, is that the audience when they watch it, they might ask themselves 'What kind of person would I become if this kind of thing had been done to me?'"
Punctuated with the same gripping cinematography that accompanied season 1, the current season looks set to be a bloodier, more action-packed version of its predecessor, but without losing any of its previous charms. The added factor of the shadowy CIA intervening in SEAL Team Six's day-to-day operations, the despair beginning to consume its members, the horrifically violent nature of 'The Prince,' as well as several other subplots mean that season 2 is not to be given a miss.