There is nothing more satisfying than when a series finds its rhythm. That is exactly the case with Shooter.
What started as a sinfully good summer guilty pleasure has blossomed into a fantastically written series with intricate storytelling and nuanced performances. You may have come for the nonstop action, but you stayed because of the aforementioned.
Season three is the strongest to date, and Shooter Season 3 Episode 5 is the best hour of the season yet.
You know why this hour didn't disappoint? It had everything, and I mean everything. It catered to all of the characters, gave us the best insight into Bob Lee to date, and all of the dynamics between the characters were superb.
This hour moved the plot forward at a nice pace, allowed for character depth and development, and served as a redemptive swan song for a notoriously shady character. It gave us a breakthrough with Bob Lee and Julie, and we got that Swagger love we love so much.
First, let's talk about Bob Lee. This is hands down one of the best installments for his character throughout the entire series. We have spent two seasons getting to know Bob Lee "The Nailer" or the family man.
Bob Lee: You can't expect me to let this go.
Julie: I just want you to let me in.
This is the first time we're experiencing Bob Lee as an individual. It's not about the soldier, or the father, or the husband. It's about who he is as a person at his very core.
Shooter Season 1 was great for many reasons, but one of the things that stuck out was that Bob Lee came across unfazed by anything. We knew him on the surface level, but that was it. Now, we're peeling back the layers of this character -- unmasking him to see what's underneath.
On top of that, the series is balancing it out with the action and conspiracies that we all know and love. That's how it's done, Shooter!
Bob Lee is a tough nut to crack, and much of that is due to his upbringing. Earl was far from an open book, himself, and Bob Lee is discovering that in many ways he's his father's son. The parallels drawn between Mama and Papa Swagger and Bob Lee and Julie were particularly striking.
All Julie wants is for Bob Lee to let her in. It's something that Bob Lee struggles with doing, and it's not that he doesn't want to open up. It's not something he's accustomed to doing, and he doesn't know how. It's the most genuine and sympathetic Bob Lee has been throughout the entire series.
It's the chink in his armor-- a flaw that is so decidedly human, refreshing, and captivating.
Can we spend a minute talking about Ryan Phillippe during this hour? The nuanced portrayal of Bob Lee's internal struggles was spellbinding. Everything, from the slight facial expressions to the change in tone was subtle but impactful.
Bloody hell, I love Ryan Phillipe so much. If anyone assumed that Bob Lee is a one-note and one-dimensional action hero or caricature, this is the type of content that will tell a different story.
Everything I learn about my dad keeps leading me back to Atlas.Bob Lee
Personally, Bob Lee was never as relatable as he was while being called out for not emotionally opening up or processing his feelings in a way that wouldn't interfere with what he was doing. It was clear that he was holding things in, and as customary with internalizers, it eats away at you while simultaneously seeping out in unhelpful ways.
Everyone knew he didn't have his head in the game. While it was easy to dismiss Julie and take her feelings on the matter for granted, Isaac was someone who managed to get through to Bob Lee.
The dynamic between Bob Lee and Isaac was the best. Isaac, oddly enough, was the perfect person to challenge Bob Lee on this. Isaac isn't trustworthy, and his past actions are unforgivable, but he has become one of the strongest characters. He has also wormed his way into being likable.
Isaac: You need to learn to let shit go.
Bob Lee: Would you?
Isaac was dropping some pearls of wisdom and truth bombs on Bob Lee, and it was difficult not to root him on the entire time. It was everything Bob Lee needed to hear, and if anyone knew what they were talking about, it was Isaac. It was also difficult to disagree with his statements about their past.
Bob Lee has every right to hold a grudge. He can hold a grudge until the grave, and it would be understandable, but at this rate, they're on the same side. After everything the two of them have been through recently, and what Isaac has done to prove himself, Isaac was right about Bob Lee letting shit go.
Gregson was another nefarious and shady character who had shining moments throughout the hour. The scene where the ragtag team of Harris, Nadine, and Isaac tracked her down and carted her away was one of many incredible moments of the installment. Team them!
Gregson has always been a slippery character, and it's never easy to tell what she's up to and whose side she's aligned with, so it wasn't unexpected that she would consider turning on them in favor of working with Atlas and Red Bama.
Did you recall her ever being this funny though? She had some hilarious lines, and the rapport she built with Harris was amusing and sweet. It seemed fitting that she would leave the key with him. The second she fixed his lapels and gave him advice about Nadine, it was clear what to expect next.
None of the team can deny their fondness for Harris.
Atlas henchman: The card.
Gregson: I figured as much. Still doing their dirty work, I see.
Who is the mysterious guy who took Gregson out and instilled fear in Red Bama? Gregson appeared to know him, so he must have worked with the CIA at some point, right? Is it wrong that his badassery was intriguing?
Speaking of badassery, hands down, Shooter has some of the best fight scenes on television. They are like poetry in motion, and this hour was chalked full of them. Almost everyone got in on some ass-kicking, and it was AMAZING!
It's impossible to pick a favorite fight scene; they were all so good. The sequence when Bob Lee, Isaac, and Gregson were making a run for it after retrieving the card was thrilling.
It was awesome when Bob Lee kicked in that door, and Isaac's brute force thing he had going on was fantastic. Bob Lee's kitchen fight scene was one of the best, and let's not forget Carlita came in like a gosh damn ninja and kicked some serious ass when those goons were gunning for Nadine.
We have Bob Lee, Isaac, Nadine, Carlita, and Harris. They all are on the kill list that keeps getting shorter with every death, but they all have something to offer, and most of them can hold their own. I would not want to go up against them. God, is there anything better than a badass team of people coming together for a shared mission? I think not.
My money is on them. How about you?
Also, what do you make of the real Guiterrez contacting Bob Lee, and what will he have to say about Earl?
Will you miss Gregson? What was your favorite fight scene? Do you like this introspective Bob Lee character development? Hit the comments below!
If you need to, you can watch Shooter online right here at TV Fanatic!
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.