Shooter Season 1 Episode 1 Review: Point of Impact

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Well, the wait is finally over!

It was beginning to feel like Shooter would never actually see the light of day. There were so many postponements, delays, and halts it was hard to keep up. And the idea of Ryan Phillippe not being on my television screen would have been a crying shame.

Is he a vampire? Sometimes I wonder. Even with the beard and overall gruff look, I'm not entirely sure he's aged since 1995. But I digress.

 Shooter Season 1 Episode 1 was everything I expected out of a pilot. It's not entirely bad, but it's not entirely good either.

Recruited - Shooter

Naturally, the pilot's sole purpose is to set up the foundation for the rest of the series. 

Even though the series is based on a movie, and of course a novel, we weren't spared from the slow and tedious introduction to Bob Lee Swagger, his family, and the other players. It made for a slow hour that left the viewer impatiently waiting for the totally expected, but still interesting fun, to start.

I'm in it for the action and bummed that there wasn't much of that until the final five minutes. 

I don't know about you, but when things are slow, I find myself analyzing things I wouldn't otherwise focus on. For example, my God the Swaggers had an incredible house! But what, exactly, do they do to afford that thing? As far as I could tell, neither of them have a steady job.

Or things like, how does a Marine who lost his best buddy in combat to this super badass sniper, saw some serious action overseas, and has 210 kills under his belt come across so well-adjusted?

I'm not saying he should be haunted or that PTSD is inevitable for veterans or that everyone responds to things the same way. I know from relatives and friends that not everyone handles their service the same way.

I know that the emotionally wounded, unstable, veteran trope is something that is exploited to the nth degree. There is something refreshing about Bob Lee not falling into that category nor the sociopathic alternative. But I still expected something.

The only moment it felt like he was someone the slightest bit affected by his time served was when he was recalling what happened to Donnie. Other than that, I just didn't expect The Cleavers having dinner and tucking in his daughter with bedtime stories about killing terrorists. 

Underestimate Bob Lee Swagger at your own peril. He's the real deal.


But more importantly, as much as I love Ryan Phillippe, and I really, really do, I, much like Agent Payne, didn't buy into badass Bob Lee Swagger. I didn't feel it. I didn't see it either. But it's just the pilot, so maybe we will soon. Fingers crossed.

He's amazing enough at his craft that Isaac reached out to him to practically beg him to take on the latest threat to the president. Because if anyone could nail the sonavab!tch it's Bob Lee "The Nailer" Swagger!

In the usual fashion, Bob Lee (do I really have to use both? I don't want to) is done with that part of his life. He's a family man, and he's just flat out not interested, even though he goes hunting, they made a show of him hunting the hunters, and he has an entire armory in his shed.

Donnie was right. A bullet is forever. He died because I trusted my gut.

Bob Lee

In fact, it didn't seem like he wanted to get involved at all until his wife gave the go ahead. Because behind every badass man, there's a strong woman urging him to go out and kick ass. 

After finding out that the sniper planning to assassinate the president was the same one responsible for shooting him and killing Donnie, well he had no choice but to avenge his friend and serve his country one more time.

I know how he's gonna do it.

Bob Lee

I noticed they really had a field day with the technical jargon. There were special effects for calculations and measurements. There was footage of famous shootings like MLK. There was a great deal of role playing and walking through scenarios that involved pumpkins used for target practice, gunshot wounds, and repeated use of a bullet heading towards the president's head.

And while they didn't outright show the president's head being blown off, we got to see the gory effects. The show is clearly geared towards gun enthusiasts. I wasn't opposed to all of the "extra" stuff, though I felt it was unnecessary; but I can understand if it's not everyone's cup of tea. 

My name is Bob Lee Swagger. I did not kill the president!

Bob Lee

Bless Bob Lee's heart, he thought he had everything all figured out only to get set up and royally screwed over in the end. I loved the classic flashback montage showing us all the reasons why he would become the primary suspect. 

He did his due diligence investigating and trying to get in the head of Solatoff. Did anyone else see that ending coming? Him standing there in the room with the perfect vantage point, and a sniper rifle set up? Sighs. 

It was so obvious, that it was truly odd that he hadn't pieced it together himself before it even happened. He lives in the middle of nowhere and yet someone rifled through his shed and left the light on the night before the attempted assassination!

Director: Stop. You're not any good at that.
Nadine: At what?
Director: Kissing ass.

The rest of the episode was focused to introducing us to Nadine Memphis. 

I like her. She seems dedicated to her job and a real go-getter. She has a bit of a checkered past, but she'll undoubtedly be the one who goes against her superiors and rival agencies, and will actually help Bob Lee find the person responsible for shooting the president. 

The show is already swimming with FBI, CIA, Homeland Security, and the Secret Service agents. Out of them all, Nadine is the only one at the moment who seems trustworthy. 

Overall we have lots of guns, some action, agency pissing matches, conspiracies, and Ryan Phillippe. What's not to like? 

So what did you think of Shooter? Did you find yourself comparing it to the movie and/or book? Did any character stand out to you? Hit up the comments below and let us know what you think.

Don't forget you can watch Shooter online right here at TV Fanatic!

Point of Impact Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (6 Votes)

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Shooter Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

Bob Lee: We don't need night vision, we're Marines.
Mary: Semper fi!
Bob Lee: Semper fi.

Hunter: That wolf is ours!
Bob Lee: She might have a different opinion