After an action-packed finale that wrapped the entire season up, quite nicely, I still managed to have just as many questions as I do answers.
I can definitively say that Shooter Season 1 Episode 10 certainly ended on a high note. It has been weeks since the news that the show would be returning for a second season, and as enjoyable as the episodes have been, a large part of me was still questioning whether or not the show had any longevity.
So can Shooter successfully pull off another season of Bob Lee Swagger and Co. taking down bad guys? After watching "Primer Contact" I'm going to say, possibly.
The episode picked up where Shooter Season 1 Episode 9 left off, with the Swaggers trying to put together a plan after Nadine informed them that Grigory kidnapped Mary and took her to the Russian embassy. As we've come to learn, hell hath no fury like a Swagger scorned.
The Swaggers wasted no time getting down to business, orchestrating a plan to get their daughter back. Julie raising hell with the Russian ambassador and drawing attention to the kidnapping was perfect.
You are frightened but you have nothing to fear. Your father has something that belongs to us, when he gives it back, you will go home.Grigory
Bob Lee quickly finding someone to impersonate in hopes of getting past security and into the embassy, was also great, even though it wasn't the most successful. Was anyone else surprised that they were able to get Mary so easily?
The ambassador didn't want anything to do with Grigory and his beef with Bob Lee. I can't say I blame the man, I'd do anything to avoid an international incident when its been, what? A couple of months since the Ukrainian president was assassinated?
He damn near escorted Bob Lee to Mary, himself.
Mary: Daddy always comes back!
Bob Lee: Always, sweetie, always.
Bob Lee took down a few guards, put a henchman "to sleep" and hit an alarm, and BOOM. He and Mary were out of there. All this happened not even halfway into the episode.
He got to reunite with Julie, and all could have been well if they took off and fled the country, but of course that isn't Bob Lee. He had to finish it. I was more surprised that Julie didn't expect this out of him.
If we haven't learned anything at all about the man, we've learned that he has his own set of values. Faith. Family. Country. There was no way in hell he was going to take off when he had a flash drive of war crimes and Grigory out there terrorizing people.
Krukov will never stop coming after us...if I'm not back, you keep heading south.Bob Lee
Plus, like he said, it didn't matter where they went, Grigory was going to keep coming after them.
Which brings me to the tracker. I tried really, really hard not to roll my eyes at that one but I did. I couldn't help it.
So of course while Grigory was playing "nice Russian grandpa" to little Mary while he was holding her prisoner, he slipped a tracker into the food she was eating. Because people do that.
Did you know, we can make a tracker so small, you can eat one and never know it?Grigory
My thing was, Mary wasn't trying to eat or drink anything initially and she barely touched the food when she did finally give in...so how does that work? Am I missing something? Please tell me if I'm missing something.
So, while Bob Lee was preparing himself to take out whomever crossed his path at the park, in an effort to eventually take down Grigory, Grigory sent all his men to Bob Lee, and took it upon himself to follow the tracker to the motel where Julie and Mary were hiding out.
I really enjoyed watching Bob Lee having a shootout with Grigory's men. Nadine is such a good person and genuinely cares about Bob Lee so naturally she was concerned. Isaac knew Bob Lee's reputation so he wasn't so much, meanwhile Bob Lee was taking out multiple guys at once.
Memphis: How many men can Swagger take out?
Isaac: I don't know.
Memphis: Well how about an estimate?
Isaac: A shitload.
It didn't really seem like Bob Lee needed that much help, though he appreciated the backup. I mean the second Nadine and Isaac got involved, they both ended up shot. Fortunately for Nadine, her Kevlar saved her.
Isaac wasn't fatal, but does anyone really care either way? Meh.
What I have really enjoyed this season is the burgeoning friendship that has developed between Nadine and Bob Lee.
Once Julie called about Grigory pretty much blowing her and Mary's hotel room to pieces in search of the Annex B, Bob Lee and Nadine's focus quickly shifted to rescuing the girls.
I smiled watching Nadine in the dirt next to Bob Lee with her own rifle. She's come a long way with her sharpshooting skills.
She has literally become his protege, and that makes me happy. Both of them seem like the loner type, and neither of them seem to have friends but they've bonded through this insane experience and their friendship/partnership seems like something that will last.
Your husband had to be the hero didn't he? Very American. Where's your husband now?Grigory
The Russian ambassador and the C.I.A couldn't stop Grigory, but Bob Lee finally did. That was a hell of a shot. I loved when Mary asked what happened and Julie took one look at Grigory with a hole in his chest and told Mary that her father was there.
I had previously mentioned a couple of times that I wanted to know how they could realistically address the fact that despite all the good Bob Lee was doing, he was still a fugitive on the hook for assassinating the Ukrainian president.
I didn't want it to be something that was wrapped up with little to no explanation ro swept under the rug, because the show got too bogged down with everything else going on throughout the season.
I was pleasantly surprised and pleased that it was addressed. Nadine had to take him in after all of that. It was unavoidable.
Of course, that's where the set up for the next season came in. We were introduced to Gregson earlier in the episode, but we really got a feel for her when she was sitting across from Bob Lee demanding that he give her the flash-drive.
Bob Lee Swagger, you are exonerated from the assassination of the Ukrainian president.Gregson
It seems that she's the new Meachum, now that Meachum is "retired." In one meeting, that included a host of threats and her loading and shooting the rifle used in the assassination at Bob Lee (our boy didn't flinch. Man, I love him) he was able to walk out of the room with clean hands, cleared from any wrongdoing alleged or otherwise.
Especially since the weapon had been shaved down and rendered incapable of being fired. Nadine figured he was responsible for that, and almost brought herself to asking about it, but figured it would be best to let it rest.
Did I mention I love their relationship?
Those last few scenes with Gregson and Bob Lee gave me a feel for what another season could look like. In addition to all the other things Bob Lee holds dear, justice is important to him and he knows that Gregson is shady.
Gregson: I don't have all day.
Isaac: I want out.
Isaac: I almost got killed.
Gregson: You volunteered. You knew the risk.
But Gregson's final moment with Isaac are what really left things open-ended for the next season. I still don't know what it is about this faction of the C.I.A. and whomever else, but she eluded to the fact that things were just beginning.
And dit doesn't seem like Isaac can be free of it, no matter how much he wants to. I might actually be feeling badly for the guy. A tad.
The finale was solid, by Shooter standards.
Nevertheless, I hope their standards improve for season two. There are a few things that need some work. For starters, they can either simplify their narrative or, if they want to make it complex, they have to commit to it and see it through.
Some things felt like they were done on the fly, storylines being thrown in and dropped, too much going on that was irrelevant, there were so many parts of the season that were thrown in just to make things complicated or add filler, and it turned out they served no purpose in the end.
At times there were too many characters and names being dropped. Seeing as half of them weren't even important by the end, what was the point?
Nadine: Whelp,[salutes] bye Marine.
Bob Lee: We'll work on that salute, Corporal.
They also have a bad habit of having plot holes and continuity issues that can be distracting. There's a lot of overlooking or "just go with it" happening. It doesn't make the show any less enjoyable, but it is a noticeable flaw that needs to be worked on.
They just need to tighten a few things up. It's a kick-ass action show, with great characters, a great cast, fun dialogue, but that doesn't mean it can't take its plot points a little more seriously.
I've enjoyed the series so far and I'm really happy that I get to see more of Ryan Phillippe and Omar Epps on my screen. I don't always care for Isaac, but I do like Omar Epps.
What did you think of the episode? What were your thoughts of Gregson? What do you hope to see in season two? Do you think there is anything about Shooter that needs improvement? What are your theories about this organization Isaac, Gregson, and Meachum find themselves involved in? Comment below!
Don't forget you can watch Shooter online right here at TV Fanatic and catch up on the first season.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.