The Terminal List has made the rounds, done its big premiere, and action junkies like me binged watched it over a long weekend. I loved it, and Frumentarius already did a great review you can find here. Today, I’ll look at the show’s top five moments that blew me away with their authenticity. I’m talking about their use of firearms, action scenes, gear, and more.
Five moments stood out to me and deserve to be mentioned. If you’re not a nerd like me, these things might have been something you missed. I think the show’s creators, writers, stunt coordinators, and the team of real SEALs who made this show authentic deserve all the credit. So let’s dive into it.
1) The reloads
Reloads in movies and TV are rare, and there is a reason why it’s a trope that guns have infinite ammo in media. A few shows and movies get it right. For example, John Wick movies keep realistic round counts in their guns. What films like John Wick still get wrong is when to reload. In a gunfight, you reload when you can and retain partially loaded magazines. And that’s how they reload in the Terminal List.
In one scene, we see an up-close version of that when Pratt’s James Reece reloads his Glock and retains the partially loaded mag after taking down an assassin sent after him. Throughout the series, there is continual reloading just like this.
Another scene that stands out is when Taylor Kitsch’s Ben Edwards wields a shotgun in episode four.
He’s constantly reloading during the scene. He reloads behind cover, reloads on the move, and always keeps his scattergun topped off.
2) Slug select drill
Episode four of The Terminal List also contains a fantastic scene that had me doing that Dicaprio meme from Once Upon A Time in Hollywood.
Ben Edwards and James Reece corner a group of sicarios who’ve taken hostages.
Reece aims his rifle to score an easy headshot for a SEAL. Ben does what’s called a slug select drill. He ejects the round of buckshot from the chamber of his gun and manually loads a slug. A slug is a solid projectile versus buckshot which is eight to nine individual pellets.
He and Reece then take coordinated headshots on the two targets. It’s a brilliant and very easy scene to overlook if you don’t know what to look for. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a slug select drill in a piece of pop culture.
3) Explosively formed projectile
James Reece is mad with vengeance on the mind. He’s very clearly willing to exact extreme violence to take the names off his terminal list. Part of this means targeting a bad guy who is constantly surrounded by elite armed commandos. Taking him out would be tough, so Reece turns to using a tactic pioneered in Iraq by insurgent forces.
The tactic is known as an EFP (explosively formed penetrator). This shaped-charged IED uses a cylinder-shaped charge with a concave metal disc commonly made from copper. When the device explodes, the disk becomes an armor-piercing slug. In Iraq, such slugs penetrated through vehicles like HMMVs and MRAPS.
In the Terminal List, Reece builds one and then uses it to disable the bad guy and his security through his vehicle. It’s portrayed accurately, and it’s the first time I’ve seen such a thing in pop culture.
4) Use of thermals in smoke
One of the running themes throughout the Terminal List is not that Reece is some kind of super-solider. He’s good at his job, well trained, and most importantly, smart. Super smart. He uses his environment, his gear, and his training to succeed.
In one scene, he’s in a close-quarters battle situation where he is outnumbered. That’s a terrible situation to be in. That’s not a winning situation unless you’re smart, and Reece is. He tosses in a couple of smoke grenades and then uses a thermal optic to see his threats and quickly deal with them.
5) Gear selection
The team at the Terminal List put together great action scenes and authentic gun handling. The show’s creators also picked great gear for the show. The guys wear their plate carriers correctly and properly orient mags in the pouches, and Ben carries quite the shotgun loadout and ammo capacity.
Not only Reece but also the bad guys and police are all armed with the proper guns and gear. It’s a mix of rifles from companies like Knight’s and BCM but high-quality rifle manufacturers. We also see weapon lights from premier companies like Cloud Defensive. Reece carries a Glock 19 with a Taran Tactical outfitted upgrade kit.
Even the little things, like the Gatorz glasses, are accurate for a SEAL to use. It’s all extremely high-quality gear and it’s used appropriately. It’s downright impressive.
The ‘Terminal List’ in action
The Terminal List is a fun show, and to me, it’s one of the better Amazon productions. I might still like Reacher a little bit more, but Terminal List comes in at a close second.
Check it out and let us know below what you thought of it.