‘SWAT’ Star Shemar Moore Says Showrunner Was Inspired by Clint Eastwood Movies

by Suzanne Halliburton

If you watch the season five premiere of SWAT Friday night, you might get a Clint Eastwood vibe.

Shemar Moore, who stars as Hondo Harrelson, said Friday on The Talk that a SWAT show runner is a big Clint Eastwood fan. And that this premiere, which is a two-hour episode, was inspired by the movie Pale Rider.

“So of course, I said, well, I don’t look like Clint Eastwood so maybe we should call it Bronze Rider, ” Moore quipped. “I’m just sayin.’”

So let’s set up the Bronze Rider story of SWAT. Moore’s Hondo is disillusioned. At the end of season four, Hondo came forward with allegations that some of the LAPD officers were racist. “And (he) outed the department for allowing that kind of behavior,” Moore said on The Talk. “(He) went so far as to go the Times and put the LAPD on blast.”

“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.”

Hondo left LA and headed to a friend’s vacation home in Mexico to reassess his life. SWAT called the season five premiere Vagabundo, which followed the season four finale, Veritas Vincint.

“What you’re going to see (Friday) is a wonderful story,” Moore said of the SWAT premiere. “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.”

So How Is SWAT Opener Like Pale Rider?

Here’s how the premiere is like Pale Rider, the Eastwood movie. In the movie, a teenaged girl prays to God to send protection for her family. Some evil men destroyed their neighborhood, even killed her dog. The next day, Eastwood comes into town riding on a pale horse. He’s representative of Death as part of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Pale Rider, which generated $41 million in the box office, ranked as the highest-grossing Western of the 1980s.

Like Eastwood, Moore rides into a Mexican town and befriends a young woman and her widowed mother. They’re trying to save their farm from land grabbers. Moore protects them.

SWAT shot on location south of Mexico City. Executive producer Shawn Ryan said the SWAT team will be back together by the second hour. Next week’s episode also has Hondo still in Mexico, but this time he’s working with a local cop.

Hondo retreats to Mexico to reassess future, only to find himself drawn into a family’s fight for justice. Photo: Pepe Molina/© 2021 Sony Pictures Television