Shooter Season 1 Episode 3 Review: Musa Qala

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What an explosive episode!

Yes, that pun was shamelessly intended. Judge me. I don't care. I'm too stoked about all the progress made in Shooter Season 1 Episode 3!

I was hesitant about how the series would play out, especially after Shooter Season 1 Episode 1, but I'm so glad that my reservations about it have all but vanished. The series is every bit the fun, suspense, and action that I hoped it would be!

On the Run - Shooter

Now that we're three episodes in, a rhythm has developed and all the characters are finding their footing with their select roles.

Bob Lee is the badass man on a mission; an unstoppable force that will give everyone and everything a run for their money. He's a little over-hyped at times, but after a bit of a rocky start, Ryan Phillipe is believable in this role!

Julie is the strong support system, holding her own, smart, savvy, and not one to be underestimated. I really appreciate that, especially since the wife in these types of scenarios is usually an afterthought. I'm invested in the Swagger family, for Julie, and little Mary too. 

It's the antagonists that are screwing with me.

To be fair, Isaac isn't the issue. Although, I'm still dying to find out what exactly his motive is for setting Bob Lee up. What happened between the two of them to make, what I'm presuming is a cordial enough relationship, become something like this? 

Bob Lee always thought you were a coward. I think he was being kind.


He seems too smart to be involved with what's going on. He also seemed too smart to use Bob Lee as his fall guy, when he's the one running down all the reasons why Bob Lee is not someone to go up against. And how the hell did he recognize he was probably walking into a trap but then still fall for it? 

Isaac confounds me, but Payne is just too much. Payne is the stereotypical "psychopathic" villain. In fact, it's to the point of being cartoonish. I half expect him to tie someone to railroad tracks and twirl his mustache.

Or, you know, he could set a potential explosive device beneath a church pew. Or better yet, he could gleefully tie someone up to a contraption and make it look like they killed themselves.

Kyle: They won't believe you. Why would I fucking kill myself?
Payne: For the same reason we chose you. You're an angry, abusive cop with a history of depression.

R.I.P. Kyle, you bloody idiot! 

I'm actually surprised he lasted as long as he did. How could he not think that the plan was to have him killed anyway? Whether he said anything to Nadine (or anyone else) or not, he was still a loose end that knew too much and needed to be dealt with. His days were numbered. 

I loved that scene with him and Nadine at the bar. The poor moron spent all that time bragging about how great of a cop he was, how amazingly perceptive and intuitive he was, and he didn't even realize Nadine was F.B.I. and interrogating him. 

I really like Nadine. She's one of my favorite characters at the moment. I just wish she would keep things close to the vest and trust herself!

Her gut is probably better than Olivia Pope's, but she doesn't go with it nearly as much as she should. Julie already picked up that Nadine is good, and she had to convince Bob Lee that Nadine could be on his side, but Nadine needs to be confident in herself.

Bob Lee: I'm trusting you with my life. You can either tell everyone I'm still alive or you can trust your gut and let me try to figure this thing out.
Nadine: Last time I trusted my gut, I got somebody killed.
Bob Lee: Well the good news is, I'm already dead.

She also should stop sharing every little detail with her boss. I'm not sure if he's on the up and up either. The only characters I trust  completely are the Swaggers and Nadine. 

I don't think she needs to let her boss in on just how close she's getting to Julie or even to Bob Lee. I'm so used to an agent or cop following their instincts, coloring outside the lines, and not always following orders that I'm actually annoyed that Nadine doesn't do that more!

The Swaggers' are putting more faith in her than she is in herself right now. Nevertheless, Bob Lee is committed to finding out who the real shooter is, and he's aligned himself with Nadine. I look forward to the two of them working together!

Mary: Saving his life wasn't the best part.
Julie: Oh yeah? What's the best part?
Mary: Daddy had to be a ghost.

I did not hide the fact that I was a bit disturbed that the bedtime stories Bob Lee told his 7-year-old, were about missions where he killed people. But I couldn't stop grinning when Mary reassured her mom. 

Bob Lee was adamant about Julie reminding Mary of that particular story, when he met up with her in the ladies room. Finding out the significance of it after Bob Lee was presumed dead was pretty kick-ass. Even if Mary did do that creepy whisper thing like the kid from Sixth Sense. 

It's such a common go-to, but damn I love it when a character fakes his/her own death or they're known as a ghost! It's still ridiculous that mostly everyone, especially Isaac, bought into it because this is the Bob Lee Swagger...but I don't care. I loved it. 

Let the fun begin! 

I still have more than a few questions though, like why on earth did the Russians use the Americans to kill the Ukrainian president? What does Isaac have to do with any of this? What is with this entire conspiracy? When does the ghost sniper that Bob Lee has been trying to track down for eons come back into the picture?

What did you guys think of the episode? Were you surprised that Isaac thought he killed Bob Lee? What was with Payne at that church? Are you excited about Nadine and Bob Lee working together? 

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! 

Musa Qala Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (8 Votes)

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

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Shooter Season 1 Episode 3 Quotes

Bob Lee's true skill is killing, and he's mastered it.


Leo, [grabs gun] I'll leave this by the door.

Bob Lee