[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the first two episodes of SEAL Team, “God of War” and “Forever War.”]
TV Insider has confirmed that Jessica Paré, who plays Mandy Ellis, is no longer a SEAL Team regular, but that she could still return at some point on-screen. She’ll also direct an episode this season, keeping her “in the family,” as David Boreanaz told TV Insider.
Season 4, which premiered December 2, saw Ellis, upon returning home from Afghanistan and the team’s latest deployment, decide she needs to step away from her work. “It’s not who I want to be,” she told Jason. “If I don’t walk away now, I’m going to lose myself forever. And if I stay, you’re going to talk me out of it.”
“Our show strives to be as authentic as possible to the experiences of our service members, and similar to real life, SEAL Team units change and evolve so in our show some of the characters move on as well,” showrunner Spencer Hudnut said in a statement. “Over the last 3 seasons, we’ve seen how war takes a toll not just physically but mentally and emotionally. In this new 4th season, many of our characters will be at a crossroads and confronting tough decisions in their careers. For Mandy’s story arc, it was finally time for her to retire and leave this life of service, but this does not mean we won’t potentially see her again later.”
He added that “we are excited to announce that she will actually be coming back behind the camera as a director for an upcoming episode this season, and this will be her directorial debut.”
That makes at least two SEAL Team stars stepping behind the camera this season; Boreanaz directed the premiere — which was set to air as last season’s penultimate episode — and says he’ll do one more.
SEAL Team, Wednesdays, 9/8c, CBS