Those of us who's memories have dimmed will find some changes to the show from season one. A mix of continuity and non-continuity.
In Season Two, almost all non-police action has been removed. No more of the guys hanging around Crazy Mary's having a beer after work. Almost all references to girlfriends, wives and children have been removed. Retconned Hondo (I call him Horndog Hondo) even chastely lusts after some of the female guest characters (does Betty know about this? Hondo, how could you do this to your sons!) Another change is that Hondo is now front and center of every single episode, with the other guys on the squad often relegated to background characters. The show also reused sequences from two season 1 eps in season 2.
On the other hand, Chief Roman is still the chief even though he's mostly spoken of and not seen. And the Ritchie crime family still serves as The Sopranos of SWAT-land, even if none of the characters from "Hit Men" in season one are reprised. And good old Deke seems to have stayed married, although Clio is not seen in season two.
Several actors appear again playing completely different characters: Sal Mineo, Christopher George, Robert Webber, Robert Loggia and Loni Anderson among them. New guest stars in season two include Ann Francis, Elinor Donohue, Frank Gorshin, Diedre Hall, Lesley Ann Warren and Susan Dey.
The first season rotated two directors all season, while the second season added different directors each week, which gives the show a slightly different feel.
The stories were largely tightened up and the police action is more intense and better filmed. No more entertaining yet ridiculous plots like "Death Score" or "The Steel-Plated Security Blanket." This was a more serious, police-action oriented season.
"Kill S.W.A.T." and "Ordeal" are outstanding episodes, while the spectacularly violent "Deady Weapons" is a good example of why this show got cancelled.
Loving this set. Thanks to Shout Factory for finally making it available. I actually preferred the first season with its greater continuity and some emphasis on the private lives of the officers, but there are some great episodes here and it is awesome to finally have them on DVD.