'S.W.A.T' Recap: The Team Becomes the Center of an Immigration Scandal
'S.W.A.T' Recap: The Team Becomes the Center of an Immigration Scandal
Robin Lempel
Robin Lempel
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
S.W.A.T. gets extremely topical during the episode titled, "Fences" as the team and the community debate illegal immigration. And Street ends up at the center of the controversy when he gets an undocumented immigrant, who did nothing wrong, arrested. I love it when shows are relevant to what's going on in the real world, and "Fences" does offer unique perspectives from the families, community, and police. 

"Fences" begins with a group of criminals driving in a car and killing a construction worker. Hondo and Jessica, meanwhile, are hooking up when they get a text from Hicks about the murder. ICE wants backup, so it's back to work for Hondo. Plus, they've got another problem: Someone leaked Jessica and Michael's proposal to the press before they could bring it to the board.

Will the Team find Ochoa?

A bunch of ICE officers round up a group of immigrants, including some of the guys from the cars. They're looking for the leader from the murder: A guy named Ochoa. Suddenly, one of the criminals attacks an officer and everyone runs. Of course, that's when the S.W.A.T. team has arrived and a huge chase ensues. It's absolute chaos. Street takes down a guy named Carlos, but Carlos doesn't know Ocha and didn't actually do anything wrong. An ICE member asks Street for Carlos' I.D., though, and Street gives it to him. He's undocumented so ICE takes him away despite his innocence. Of course, everyone on the street is filming them.

Carlos' sister, Ariana goes to the media and blasts the police. Hicks also yells at Street for handing Carlos' I.D. to a federal officer even though they're a sanctuary city and aren't supposed to give up undocumented immigrants. Now, they look bad to that community and those people won't trust them.

While the team researches Ochoa, they debate whether or not Carlos should have been given up. And it turns out, Street's trending on social media and a whole debate starts online.

But Hondo gets a text that someone from the gang talked and takes Deacon with him while the rest keep researching. They talk to the guy who says he was trying to escape men like Ochoa when he moved to the U.S. and that Ochoa made him do things. He tells them that Ochoa likes metal music.

This is the perfect tip because Christina knows a place. But the team heads out to find a whole group of immigration protesters outside. Ariana is there and asks where her brother is, but Christina pulls Street away and tells her they can't help her.

Some of the team goes to the metal bar Christina knows, but the owners deny knowing where Ochoa is and are pretty pissed at Street. But they ultimately admit Ochoa was there with a prostitute a few nights ago.

So Deacon and Hondo talk to the woman, who has some serious bruises on her neck. She's terrified, but she finally tells them about Ochoa's hideout nearby. The team storms the building and finds guys with weapons. But they claim Ochoa attacked them, escaped and say that they were trying to arrest him too.

It turns out, these guys are white nationalists who hunt undocumented aliens and wanted to make a citizen's arrest on Ochoa, which is pretty messed up. Hondo leaves Deacon to talk to them himself.

Meanwhile, the protest is getting worse, so Jessica goes to talk to Ariana. Jessica explains she's an immigrant and a citizen. One of the protesters doesn't trust she's on their side, but Ariana agrees to talk to her.

Deacon, meanwhile, leans that the two vigilantes didn't technically do something illegal and the team debates immigration reform again. But they find pictures of Ochoa and have to get back to work.

At the same time, Jessica tells Ariana that everyone needs to be heard in order for there to be progress, so she brings Street in to talk to her. Ariana calls him a monster and says her brother was innocent. He says that they were there to help, someone was stabbed, and everyone was running. Her brother ran too, so he had to arrest him. He's just trying to keep the city safe.

Ariana says Carlos risked his life getting them away from gangs in El Salvador. Then he worked hard to get them a good life. She's in med school because of him and Carlos is nothing like Ochoa. That's when Hondo comes in with some disappointing news: They have photos of Carlos and Ochoa together. That can't be good.

The team goes to talk to Carlos, who denies having anything to do with the gang. Then he admits that his sister's in trouble. He explains there's an underground organization hiding undocumented immigrants to keep families together. Ochoa had overheard Carlos talking about using it to protect Ariana, who's a DACA recipient. Ochoa asked for his help, but he said no. But someone broke into his apartment and stole his sister's contact in the underground. So, Christina goes undercover to the contact, but can't get in. The team bursts in instead and finds Ochoa. Hondo gets into a fight with him and arrests him. "Blood, rape, kill," he says in Spanish. That can't be good.

Is Jessica's Proposal or Relationship Doomed?

Meanwhile, things are getting complicated for Jessica's proposal. Mumford rants to Hondo about Jessica's proposal. He thinks she has something against the cops, but Hondo tries to defend it.

And Mumford's not the only one who's upset about the proposal. Jessica calls Hondo to show him that someone smashed the windows of her car. He comforts her just as Michael drives by. Now the question is: Will he reveal their relationship?

Michael does confront Jessica about it, but she says the relationship is none of his business. She says that the relationship doesn't get in the way of work, but Michael calls the relationship unethical, especially because they never disclosed it. This relationship and the cover up can ruin the proposal and Michael doesn't want to be a part of it. He tells her to choose between the proposal and Hondo, which is so harsh.

So Jessica has to tell Hondo what happened. Hondo says their personal lives aren't the department's business, but Jessica says she can't try to reform the police while breaking the rules. Hondo promises to figure something out.

The Rally

Now that Ochoa has been arrested, Ice is taking care of him. Hondo wants to help Carlos, but they've got bigger problems. The protesters are planning a rally and things could get ugly. And things are tense with everyone. Mumford's pissed at Jessica for her proposal. Hondo wants to go in help at the rally, but Michael, who's pissed at Hondo and Jessica, says S.W.A.T. shouldn't go in after what happened with Street. But Jessica agrees with Hondo, which upsets Michael. It's a mess. But the team's going to the rally.

However, Deacon meets with one of the anti-immigrant activists who says that his friends are going to the rally and taking things too far. They're going to take Ariana and dump her over the border. So the team heads out to save her.

The white supremacists almost manage to take Ariana when the protesters start a fight with the police, but they save her. The protesters all start freaking out, so the team tries to manage them. Street, meanwhile, helps Ariana and she thanks them.

The Breakup

Eventually, Hondo talks to Michael alone and asks him why he was spying on Jessica. He says that he's jealous. Police know who the good and bad guys are. In politics, you never really know and you have to make the first move. Then Hondo realizes Michael was the one who leaked the proposal to the press. Michael thinks Jessica is smart and will go places, but only if she doesn't create a scandal. She can't be in a relationship with a subordinate and brush the scandal off. It's a terrible double standard for a woman, but it exists. So if Hondo cares about Jessica, he'll protect her.

In the end, Hondo says they need to improve relations with the cops and the community and she can make a difference. He's in the way and the timing for them isn't right, but maybe they can get back together down the line. Before Hondo leaves, Jessica tells Hondo she loves him and he says it back. It's really sad. Jessica then tells Michael that she and Hondo broke up and that they can move forward with the proposal. She's committed to the department. Hondo's pretty devastated though.

Justice for Carlos

During their breakup, Jessica tells Hondo that they'll try to help Carlos. But he gets a call and has to tell Ariana and Street that Carlos is being deported. Ariana swears she'll bring Carlos home with or without their help. Street apologizes for his part in this and gives her his number and the number for an immigration attorney.

Do you think Jessica should have chosen the proposal or Hondo? Was Street wrong to arrest Carlos? Leave your comments below.

S.W.A.T. airs on Thursday nights at 10/9c. on CBS. Like our S.W.A.T. Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of CBS)