‘SWAT’ Star Shemar Moore Says He Was Getting His ‘Cowboy On’ in Season Premiere

by Suzanne Halliburton

Shemar Moore, known to SWAT fans as Hondo Harrelson, talked up tonight’s season premiere.

And his big takeaway? He gets his cowboy on, y’all. Moore was in such the cowboy spirit to talk SWAT, he sported a hat to chat about the show on Friday’s The Talk.

“Last year at the end of the season, Hondo dealt with some racist cop issues,” the SWAT star said. “And (he) outed the department for allowing that kind of behavior. (He) went so far as to go the Times and put the LAPD on blast.

SWAT has named the season five premiere Vagabundo. And it picks up, timewise, right after season four ended with Veritas Vincint.

“So they were embarrassed and wanted a little get back,” Moore said. “So my character got demoted. And so we pick up in season five, Hondo ends up in Mexico. He’s not what we’re quite used to.

“What you’re going to see (Friday) is a wonderful story. Hondo is kind of in a different mode, kind of brooding, trying to figure out his purpose, if he has a purpose, what he’s been doing all this time, was it even worth it. You also get to see Hondo on a horse. You also get to see me out there. I was getting my cowboy on. “

New SWAT Episode Is Loosely Based on Pale Rider

Moore said the SWAT premiere is kind of a take-off on the Clint Eastwood movie Pale Rider.

Here’s the episode synopsis: “In the aftermath of his decision to speak out in the press, Hondo retreats to a quiet town in Mexico to reassess his life and professional future, only to find himself reluctantly drawn into one local family’s fight for justice.”

Pale Rider ranked as the highest-grossing Western in the late 1980s. A teenage girl prays to God and asks for protection of her family from the men who destroyed their homes and killed her dog. Soon, Eastwood is riding a horse towards the town. He represents Death in the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

We’re not sure if SWAT is going full Eastwood tonight, but who knows. The first two episodes were shot on location south of Mexico City.

In a preview for TV Guide, Shawn Ryan, the SWAT showrunner, described Hondo as feeling “bruised and battered despite having done the right thing.”

Ryan said in the TV Guide preview: “A lot of his swagger is gone. He’s soul searching about what to do with his life.”

Hondo heads to a friend’s vacation home in Mexico. He meets a woman and her daughter who are trying to keep their farm from land grabbers. Hondo has a strong connection to the daughter. (This is where the Pale Rider comparisons start).

Tonight’s SWAT premiere is two hours. Ryan said by the second hour, the team is back together.