The Checklist: Shooter (S2 Ep8) “That’ll Be the Day”
With only 8 episodes, the second season of Shooter on USA Network flew by. The second season was originally set to go 10 episodes, but due to an injury suffered by the star of the show, Ryan Phillippe, the season was cut down to eight episodes and the show was forced to work around Phillippe’s broken leg to complete the second season.
The result of this unexpected injury… the season finale was jam packed. Think about it, what happened in this one final episode was originally supposed to take place over the course of three episodes.
1. Did we get the final showdown between Bob Lee Swagger and Solotov?
Right from the start of season two, the collision course between our hero Bob Lee Swagger (Ryan Phillippe) and our villain Solotov (Josh Stewart) was set. It was only natural to believe that the second season would end with Swagger and Solotov having a final confrontation. This finale seemed logical after a season’s worth of cat and mouse between the highly skilled snipers, that even saw Solotov don a disguise and an assumed identity to get close to Swagger’s wife Julie (Shantel VanSatten) and daughter Mary (Lexy Kolker). Solotov’s “Travis” got in so deep that he was invited to attend Mary’s First Communion! And it isn’t until that sacred event that Bob Lee confronts Solotov… but Solotov was once again one step ahead and instead of getting a Swagger/Solotov showdown, we end up with a Swagger/Solotov team up!?!?! 0/1 for the lack of the showdown, but a bonus point for a well done swerve. 1/1
2. Was there any sniper science?
This episode was fast paced and had a lot going on to say the least and there really wasn’t much time to stop and explain trajectories, wind speed, etc. We do however get some sniper surgery, as Solotov removes a bullet from his unlikely ally Bob Lee Swagger. Partial credit. 1.5/2
3. Was anyone killed?
Not only do we get a death, it is on the gruesome side. After Angela Tio (one of Swagger’s fellow Marines, who was introduced at the start of the season) is injected by a hypodermic needle as she is on the run. Angela makes it inside a public bus, then collapses inside. It is there on the floor of the bus where she dies coughing up blood and revealing the name of the head of the covert group known as ATLAS to Nadine Memphis. 2.5/3
4. Were there any notable guest stars?
Harry Hamlin, who many may remember as Perseus in the original Clash of the Titans movie, was back as Senator Addison Hayes. The Hayes character appeared in one other episode earlier in the season, but here in the finale we learn that Addison Hayes is the head of ATLAS, the group that our evil sniper Solotov works/worked for and the role that Addison played in making Solotov the man he became. If Shooter is renewed for Season 3, expect Hamlin’s Addison Hayes to be a major player. 3.5/4
5. Was there a cliffhanger ending?
While there has been no official announcement of a Season 3 of Shooter, the season finale did what any season finale worth its salt would do and that is left the audience with some major cliffhangers! First and foremost there’s Solotov and Bob Lee Swagger. Bob Lee took a bullet for Solotov, Solotov then extracted that bullet. There is an uneasy and I assume extremely temporary alliance there… Julie Swagger is concerned for her husband Bob Lee, and she too finds herself with a strange bedfellow in the form of Isaac Johnson (Omar Epps). As you may recall it was Johnson who helped frame Bob Lee Swagger in the first season and become persona non grata with the Swagger family because of it, but now Julie and Isaac are about to join forces to track down Bob Lee and Solotov… And last but not least is our favorite former FBI Agent Nadine Memphis (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) who ends storming into the office of Senator Addison Hayes… This is exactly how a season finale should be done. 4.5/5
- Final Score: 4.5/5 (90%) A great episode deserves a great score and Shooter scored big in the season two finale. Here’s hoping USA Network picks the show up again for at least one more season, if for no other reason than to tie up all the loose ends.