The Unit

Season 1 Episode 1

First Responders

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Mar 07, 2006 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
316 votes

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Episode Summary

The Unit is a covert team of U.S. Special Forces operatives who must undertake missions around the world. The latest newcomer is Bob Brown who joins Jonas' team and they set out to rescue an airliner filled with European businessmen who have been hijacked by terrorists. Meanwhile, Bob's wife Kim is struggling with how much control the Unit has on her own personal life.moreless

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  • This is a cleaver title: Reality!

    This is how it is done!
  • Cool show

    Very cool program
  • Jonas and the new guy get a surprise while visiting an old friend in Idaho. A commercial airliner is hijacked by arab speaking terrorists.

    Incredible show that started it all. I read alot of posts saying this was unrealistic. I disagree. I read the Inside Delta Force book by Eric Haney. While alot of people don't think Jonas would enter the plane by himself without armor. This is in fact exactly what would happen. The senior operator would execute this because the plane is to narrow for multiple people to breach. He wears no armor because he wants to move freely and not get snagged on anything. Plus the whole purpose is not to get shot.

    I also love how Bob takes out the spotters in the trees. A knife to the neck of the first one a single shot to the face/neck area of the second and two more shots to seal the fate of the third guy.

    All in all a great way to start of a new show. I will watch until they make no more.moreless
  • Action drama starts out with horribly weak characters. With these people, no situation that requires sympathy for their fate will be suspenseful.

    ***some spoilers***

    What might be a good series left a really bad taste in my mouth right off the bat. Forget the atrocious acting, the drama among the wives made my blood boil. Not being one to enjoy egotistical wives in TV-shows, this had me annoyed to no end in the portrayal of the Unit-men's wives being borderline "Stepford Wives" in the way they expect a hapless new recruit's wife to accept (and like) being deceived into a situation that she had no real knowledge of or had agreed to. All it takes in the end is one of the veterans' wife to give the newbie's wife a pathetically superficial, meaningless speech about "love" and a man's "dreams", that anybody with half a brain could've blown away for the nonsense that it is for that particular wife in that particular situation.

    I mean: REALLY? A woman shouldn't break her husband's "dream" after he callously kept vital life decisions (let alone a chance to be in that decision making process) from her and their daughter? Just accept being kept in the dark? Just accept not being able to say anything to your friends and family? Just accept having to live on a base with complete strangers that you don't know and care nothing for? Apparently, basic respect between a husband and wife only comes one way in this "Stepford" community.

    Oh, and meanwhile, the undeveloped and (because of the way they apparently start out treating their wives as unquestioning sheep who deserve no part in a marriage's decision-making) unsympathetic Unit-agents have their own mission (a plane-hostage situation) that quite frankly left me cold after enduring the robotic treatment of the new wife at the base.

    I'm the farthest thing removed from a feminist, but when even i as a sometimes "chauvinist" man get seriously annoyed by something like this, it means something.

    When i have to start out on a show with characters with either no respect for their wives to tell them what's in store for them, female characters who act like unquestioning sheep in that they expect other wives to also accept it like they did, or characters with no self respect enough to tell those men to go to hell for keeping such important lifelong decisions from them until it was too late, i cannot possibly enjoy it. "The Unit" may mostly be about these men and their missions, but i've already started out not caring whether these guys come home alive or not, and that will render the everything about the show meaningless to me.moreless
  • The Unit is a covert special forces team, that undertake black ops mainly, meaning that they are denieable and untraceable even though they have been sanctioned to be undertaken at the government level.moreless

    We see a new member is entering the unit, so we get to meet the rest of the team and backup by following Bob Brown's integration into the unit, but also Mrs Brown's interaction with the other unit wives.

    Bob Brown is new to the unit, so on his first day(we presume) then he is taken by the senior unit member to go and see one of the units finest gunnery sargeants, but medically retired out of the unit. Else where, Bob's wife is finding that the wives of the unit are getting into her business and re-arranging all the plans that she has been working hard on, she's head strong and does not like the interference that is being directed at her, in her opinion.

    Meanwhile, whilst Bob and Jonas are on their field trip, a commercial airliner is hijacked by arab speaking terrorists and has been parked on a hard to get to airfield, leaving the situation to be handled by the local police force and the other local agencies. Jonas is informed about it, they are then able to borrow some firepower from the former unit member and off they go to assess the situation.

    They take a light aircraft from a nearby airstrip to the airfield where the airliner is, as they approach using the standard approach they overfly a group of AK-47 carrying people that have set up a camp just outside the perimeter of the airfield but in line with the runway.

    The local try to take back the airline using stand protocols, which the terrorists have read (strange), which results in the locals not achieving their mission but just getting some killed. Jonas dispatches Bob and a couple of national guards to go and recce the small group of terrorists and await further orders.

    Other team members have since arrived by parachuting in, at night, safetly and to the correct area, met up with Jonas and have established a plan of attack, after they witnessed the failed attempt of the locals. Intel from Bob allows Jonas to know that the group is a spotting group giving them on board the advantage as they are being warned of what is approaching the plane from all angels.

    The locals get upset when Jonas and his team, board and complete their mission without losing any members, and then they all pack off and head for home for tea and medals.

    A cracking good pilot episode which had me hooked from this initial episode.moreless
Edwin Garcia II

Edwin Garcia II

Highjacker #3

Guest Star

Eben Kostbar

Eben Kostbar


Guest Star

Angela Martinez

Angela Martinez


Guest Star

Danielle Hanratty

Danielle Hanratty

Lissy Gerhardt

Recurring Role

Alyssa Shafer

Alyssa Shafer

Serena Brown

Recurring Role

Sammi Hanratty

Sammi Hanratty

Jenny Gerhardt

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Goof: They pack up the laser designator shortly after the missile/bomb is away. It should have be pointed at the target until impact, because the laser reflection is used to home in on the target.

    • Goof: The team leader said that the plane was an 727, but in fact the plane is an MD-80

    • During the laser spotter scene the pilot called 'missle away' over the radio despite the weapon being a bomb.

    • The Posse Comitatus Act, which is suspended in this episode, is a 1878 (Civil War Reconstruction) law forbidding the use of the Army as civilian law enforcement except by Constitution or Congress.

  • QUOTES (23)

    • (Colonel Ryan is shipping Mack out again)
      Colonel Ryan: Mack, Tiffy, sorry to be taking him away so soon... he just got back-
      Molly: No, you're not Tom. (Jokingly) No one likes a liar.

    • Kim: Wait- Wait- Wait, what's the 303rd Logistical Studies Group?
      Molly: The 303rd Logistical Studies Unit is where your husband works, that's his cover. Other than that this unit has no name, other than that this unit doesn't exist, you will live that cover as if your husband's life depended on it, as belive me it does.
      Tiffy: Any one who knows another piece of information, is another person who could get our husbands killed.
      Molly: You will not tell your mother, your best friend, your priest what your husband does.

    • Molly: How were things at the office?
      Jonas: Same as usual.
      Molly: That's nice. Trash needs to be taken out.

    • Molly: (To Kim) You say you love him, now are you brave enough to act on it? Here you are a pretty little girl, fine daughter, a child on the way, husband in combat… You're frightened, you want him home. This is not your own special circumstance, you know what this is? It is the history of the world.

    • (Molly walks in on Kim on the phone with her sister)
      Kim: Bob is out on deployment. Where, you want to know where...? Just turn on your television... just turn it on...
      Molly: You hang up that phone... What would you do if a woman came into your home to harm your family? You hang up that phone.

    • Jonas: (To Bob) You have been training for this moment your entire life. The universe has been conspiring to put you right here, right now. Off you go, we are all waiting on you.

    • Jonas: Now Rangers, did you sign on to get out of the house or do you come with me to take the door down? (They all follow Jonas)

    • Jonas: These chuckleheads waiting for authorization are going to get a lot of people killed.. Now we are going to take down this plane.

    • National Guard Commander: On behalf of the Justice Department, I just want to advise you that any further action on your part will be treated as a violation of federal law.
      Jonas: Yes, we heard you. (Commander walks away, Jonas to Bob) We take down the plane, he takes the credit. We get everyone killed, he told us so we get court martialed. So let's not get everyone killed.

    • Ryan: They're suckering our first responders. They are going to shoot the rescue plane out of the sky. When they get enough onlookers on the ground, they are going to blow up the aircraft. Get me a secure line with Blane, after that I need to talk to Washington.

    • Kim: I need to talk to someone.
      Molly: Would you like to talk to the Chaplain?
      Kim: What denomination is he?
      Molly: He is the Unit Chaplain; He is your denomination.

    • Ryan: Posse Comitatus will be suspended and you will be given command of the situation.
      Hector: Yes sir.
      Ryan: Suits in Washington wouldn't mind keeping one or two of these guys alive for a little chat. But do what you need to do to come home.

    • Ruth: You have lovely manners, Bob.
      Bob: My wife trained me.

    • Kim: Please take those boxes away. I am not living here. I am free to live off base, if I choose. Army regulations state...
      Molly: You're not in the Army. You're in The Unit.

    • Ruth (To Bob): Fine institution, marriage. I believe it even mentions it in the Bible. Something in Proverbs about not coming between a man and his wife.

    • Colonel Ryan: As far as Washington's concerned this is one hell of an operation by the National Guard.

    • FBI Agent: Sergeant! Where do you think you're going?
      Jonas: I'm going to take down that plane. And I've got my best man in the woods. So if you give me up he will come down afterwards and shoot you dead.
      (Looking at the FBI men)
      Jonas: You, you and you - panic. (Turns to his men) The rest of you come with me.

    • (Charles and Hector parachute in)
      FBI Agent: Who the hell are they?
      Jonas: That's Black and that's White
      FBI Agent: I thought those were your names?
      Jonas: They're our brothers.

    • Lissy Gerhardt: No truth in the news and no news in the truth.

    • Brown: You got any questions about me?
      Blane: You passed selection didn't you?
      Brown: Well then I figure you're going to come back a hero or a real good anecdote.

    • Ruth: Don't you go riling him all up about coming back.
      Blane: Wouldn't think about it.
      Ruth: No, you wouldn't think about it, but you'd do it.

    • (pulling up in front of the house)
      Jonas: It's not much to look at, but it's all right.
      Bob: You kidding? Get to shoot guns, jump out of airplanes, come home to your family. It's damn near perfect!
      Jonas: This is my home, which means that's your home.
      Bob: I don't have a key.
      Jonas:There's not much crime in this neighborhood.

    • Sgt. Cheals: Is the fire service plane there? We need that wheels up and flight ready now! Well, yeah, the pilot would be good, but a key in the ignition will suffice.

  • NOTES (4)

    • This episode was nominated for the 2006 Emmy Award for Outstanding Stunt Coordination. The Emmy went to the show, E-Ring.

    • In every episode, there is a "hidden" or subtle reference to
      Eric Haney: In this episode Bob Brown is looking at photos on the wall of Ron and Ruthie's cabin — the first photo is of Eric Haney.

    • All the missions in the first season are based on actual missions that the writer was involved in.

    • The song at the end is Ooh Child by Beth Orton. The Five Stairsteps originally recorded this song.


    • The Unit's cover is the 303rd Logistical Studies Unit. This is a reference to the fictitious infantry unit in the film Wag the Dog. This film and this episode was written by David Mamet.