SEAL Team’s AJ Buckley opens up on ’emptiness’ of Max Thieriot exit

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Paramount Network’s military drama SEAL Team came to a heartbreaking end after Clay Spenser (played by Max Thieriot) was killed. Ahead of the finale, actor AJ Buckley opened up about his initial reaction and the atmosphere on set following Clay’s death. 

Throughout the season many have watched as Clay and Sonny Quinn’s (AJ Buckley) friendship blossomed into a fulfilling kinship. 

Although they initially butted heads, the more time they spent together on the frontline, the more they discovered they had in common. 

The brotherhood also extended to the rest of the Bravo team as the men became comrades in their personal lives and professionally. 

As fans were devastated to see Stella Baxter’s (Alona Tal) reaction when she learned Clay had been killed, fans were even more emotional to see Sonny learn his best friend was dead.  

Reflecting on the news of Max’s departure, AJ shared: “ Max told me when it was happening. 

“Max and I became really close over the show, he is one of my best friends.

“Our kids were born a couple of months apart during that first season and all sorts of stuff, so we became incredibly close and it was a really hard thing to hear.”

AJ explained: “But I knew that it was an opportunity for him to sort of ‘stretch out his wings’ and go [co-create and star in CBS’ Fire Country].

“I think it was tough for everybody, but me in particular because it’s one of the best parts about going to work. 

“Max and I would drive into work every day together, so I lost my battle boo, there’s an emptiness, for sure.”

Praising his co-star, the actor added: “He’s such a great guy, on- and off-screen, he is salt of the earth and probably one of the best guys I’ve ever met in the business. 

“So I’ll miss him, man. I’ll miss my buddy,” AJ told TV Line. 

Clay was killed while the Bravo team was away on a mission in Jordan, therefore they were the last ones to find out. 

However, after a successful outcome, the team were celebrating their win when they received the shocking call.

As they were taken aback in horror and shock, Sonny was convinced there was a mix-up and tried to call Clay. 

After the wave of denial, Sonny emotionally lashed out, which left emotional fans to take to social media to share their feelings. 

Clay’s death was particularly heart-wrenching because he and Stella agreed to move away with their new baby. 

This was finally looking hopeful for the soldier after living with trauma and PTSD from losing his leg, during a life-saving operation. 

Clay had left home to help after a distressing call from Ben and went to help his friend, who was about to shoot himself. 

But as Clay took the gun off him, a security guard shone his torch on a frightened-looking Ben and shot Clay, who instantly met his death. 

SEAL Team seasons 1-6 are available to stream on Paramount Network.

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