When will Bob Lee find peace?
It sure as heck was missing from Shooter Season 3 Episode 9. Bob Lee bailed on his family (again), bailed on his squad, and he nearly got his ass handed to him by white supremacists. He also had to deal with Red Bama telling him a thing about himself while dislocating his shoulder and Julie kicking him out.
Bob Lee is not in a good place right now.
Neither is the series. Watching the latest installment after the cancellation news was bittersweet. While Shooter isn't a perfect series, it is one that improved with each season.
Shooter Season 2 improved by leaps and bounds over the first season with the Solotov arc. This season, while it took a bit to get into the flashback-heavy Earl Swagger aspect of it all, it has consistently put out some of the best installments of the series.
It's disheartening to learn that this fun summer series is getting the boot. Hopefully, the series will be wrapped up in a decent way and fans will have some form of closure because right now, Bob Lee isn't doing so well.
Julie: What do you want me to do about the eulogy?
Bob Lee: I get to Ray Junior in time, I'll read his confession.
Bob Lee was on a mission, and that mission was to take down Junior by any means necessary. The combination of his grief and his vendetta had him running on a fool's mission that wasted time, jeopardized his team, pissed off his wife, and nearly cost him his life too.
It's understandable that Bob Lee would be gunning for Junior after Sam's death. It was so quintessentially Bob Lee that no one should have questioned it. Bob Lee also made it abundantly clear to the rest of the squad that his father's murder is the only reason he was on the mission.
Nadine expected more out of him than she should have. Isaac, however, didn't bat an eye. He's on a revenge tour himself, so he's not in the position to judge.
Nadine: What are we gonna do about Bob Lee?
Isaac: Let him do what he's going to do.
Julie was less inclined to let him off the hook because she's tired of him not being the family man she wants and needs. Julie is entitled to feel that way to a degree, and her frustrations are somewhat valid.
The thing is, Bob Lee doesn't go looking for drama, but he will put his all into ending something. Once something falls into his lap, he has to see it through. He didn't go looking to be set up for assassinating a foreign president.
He would've been behind bars or dead if he didn't clear his name, and what good would his absence have done for her family?
Solotov and Atlas were gunning for him and taking everyone out in his unit, and she was on the receiving end of that danger. It was a danger that wouldn't have disappeared unless someone put a stop to it. Even now, the man is on a hit list.
Julie has a right to be frustrated, and it does suck that Bob Lee is in and out of the house and not spending enough time with her or Mary (who made an appearance!). She had every right to be pissed about the Junior pursuit, but is it fair of her to be upset about the other missions?
I loathed the conversation she had with her sister, though. Is someone expected just because you did? Julie admitted herself that Bob Lee has always been this way and she knew that going in.
Her sister felt Bob Lee should be willing to change for her because Julie has grown and is not the same person, and Bob Lee should do the same.
Bob Lee: Jules I don't think I'm going to make it in time.
Julie: I didn't expect you would.
Bob Lee: Honey, I had to do this.
Julie: You didn't. You wanted to. It's different.
Bob Lee: Alright, well, I'll get on the plane as soon as they let me. I'll be home soon.
Bob Lee: What?
Julie: Don't come home. Not until you're ready to stay.
I'm not sure I agree with that sentiment. It's unfair and unrealistic. I have no doubts that Bob Lee will do what he has to do to get his family back and make some improvements. He should grow, and we have seen him facing his issues and demons and working through some personal things.
His development and introspection is the best component of the season. Anne meddling in Julie and Bob Lee's marriage was frustrating, and Julie's ultimatum felt like she was kicking Bob Lee while he was down and punishing him. He's already broken and barely keeping it together.
Hell, he already caught some flack from Bama who didn't mince words with Bob Lee either. As awful as Bama is, he read Bob Lee like a graphic novel. His assessment of Bob Lee was on point. But who killed Earl if he didn't?
Gerald McRaney has been incredible in this role. The best moments and quotes from the hour came from Bama and Bob Lee's one-on-one. Bama laid the perfect trap and sent Bob Lee on a runaround only to end up in his clutches.
It initially seemed like we would get a super fun scene of Bob Lee beating up white supremacists and fraternity douche-bros, but that wasn't the case.
Who doesn't want to see the good guy punching
I appreciate that this season Shooter has subtly thrown in social commentary and current events without alienating its audience.
The most satisfying part of the Alpha Boys' presence (outside of a humorous moment where Isaac, even the proud patriot but with too much melanin to fit in, pretended he wanted to join them) was Bama's quote.
Pride has a way of warping men's thinking -- tries to convince those fellas downstairs to fill Tiki torches with explosives by telling them that they were losers because of people who don't look like them instead of the actual truth which is they are losers.Bama
It turns out Atlas isn't necessarily a group of white nationalists. They're using the white nationalists because they're stupid, gullible, and easy to manipulate. That sounds about right.
It makes one think of the famous Lyndon B. Johnson quote:
"If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."
So, the Alpha Boys and their explosive Tiki torches are doing Atlas' bidding without even realizing it and will go down for them, and they're too blinded by their hatred to see it.
In the end, Bob Lee's side mission was still fruitful for the rest of the Swagger team despite his bailing because of the explosive Tiki torch/Alpha Boys discovery. It was a dangling thread, but he still would have been of more use helping them take down Brooks.
Isaac and Nadine going after Gold, and Isaac taking Gold out felt pointless by the time it happened. It ended up being more frustrating when you consider they both left Carlita, who they don't trust at all, with their most vulnerable member of the team and the decryption card.
That's assuming that Carlita handing the card over to her presumably former Atlas paramour wasn't part of a larger plan. Carlita does not seem trustworthy. However, Nadine and Isaac can't possibly be that stupid.
Harris: You guys are talking about blackmailing a Supreme Court nominee.
Nadine: You want to help, or do you want to keep asking questions?
Harris: Technically, I can do both.
They're trying to get Carlita close to Russo, right? Hell, she can't be dumb enough to believe that Atlas will welcome her back with open arms and make her a soldier of theirs again.
It's safe to say Carlita is playing this Atlas guy. Their whole Boris and Natasha spy flirtmance with the sneaking up on each other and the music is so extra. It has to be a fake out!
"Alpha Dog" was a solid enough hour that gave us a few pieces to move things along just barely, but it mostly felt like an hour used to delay the ongoing plot. Oh, and an hour to have our protagonist down and out. Poor Bob Lee!
Let's have it, Shooter Fanatics. Are you bummed about the cancellation news? Which side do you think Carlita is on? Was Julie's ultimatum fair? Will any of you join me in rioting if anything unspeakable happens to Harris? Hit the comments below!
As always, you can watch Shooter online here via TV Fanatic!
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.