Atas must fall once and for all.
One can only hope that will be the outcome, but on Shooter Season 3 Episode 12 the organization proved that nothing interferes with them enacting their mission. There is always a contingency in place. It makes them the most formidable adversary yet.
If this is Bob Lee's final fight, then it's a good one.
A significant portion of the penultimate hour for the series focused on the Swagger marriage. For all of you die-hard Bob Lee and Julie 'shippers out there, the pair were able to talk to one another face-to-face and air out there grievances.
Julie had most of the grievances. Bob Lee was mostly there to listen to her and reassure her that he could make the necessary changes and put his family first. He unplugged so that they could reconnect, and it was as if the imminent danger following the others didn't touch them, if only for a few moments.
Julie: Bob Lee, I'm done. I'm done with you being an absent father. I'm done with living in danger. I'm done with Mary living in danger, I'm just done.
Bob Lee: Shit. When you said you wanted to meet I never thought it was about this.
The Swaggers are perfectly fine as a couple. Bob Lee's marriage and family are a significant part of his character on the television series. His love of and dedication to his family are what fuel him, almost as much as his thrill-seeking and hero-complex.
Bob Lee and Julie having a heart-to-heart where they address their marital issues -- no doubt, that's important to his character. They're the primary couple, and they bring the obligatory romance in addition to the familial element.
It can be an essential and necessary aspect of a show like this with a character like Bob Lee showing a healthy romantic relationship that isn't perfect. It ties into his personal growth and evolution as a character. Bob Lee's softer side there to balance out the hardness -- a family man and a husband captures the duality of masculinity.
Julie and Mary round Bob Lee out and prevent him from being a one-dimensional action star. In theory, this is why this particular storyline is important, but in the grand scale of things, is it to me? No.
I pushed it back, reasoned it away, and tried to justify it through the course of this season (and much of the previous season, too), but I stopped caring about the Swaggers as a familial unit.
They are likable enough; Phillippe and VanSanten are gorgeous, awesome, and have nice chemistry. Their scenes were meant to be emotional, but at best I was indifferent.
Julie has become the stereotypical wife of a cop (or soldier, or agent, or whatever high-stress job where the husband may not make it home at night) who doesn't get it. She knew what kind of man she married, but since her expectations have shifted, she expects Bob Lee to meet them.
She was the one that wanted him to go out and do something, but she doesn't want him to do any of this. She didn't want him sitting around the house, but she hates when he's away. She loves him because of his heroism, but she also resents him for it.
It's frustrating, overall.
While I'm not minimizing some of the valid concerns she has, this walking trope she has become and this ultimatum does nothing for me. Their discussion felt like they were talking in circles. Then, after all those promises and sweet nothings real life came banging at the door, and now she's upset again.
Hey, we're okay. The war in Afghanistan is over for you. You had to bury friends and family, and you've now solved your father's murder. It's time to come home. Stop trying to save the world. Save your family instead.Julie
Julie throwing this gauntlet down in the middle of a crisis and getting too into her feelings when Bob Lee doesn't drop all of it to paint white picket fences and drive Mary to school every day is preposterous.
Can you imagine her and Bob Lee cuddled up in bed watching the news and seeing that a school bus exploded in DC killing a Justice and others?
\Maybe she wants to acknowledge tragic events with a brief moment of silence before making waffles and carrying on with the rest of her day knowing someone else can deal with it.
Bob Lee's investigation into his father's death dovetailed into all of this Atlas business, so he did have a bit of an obligation to see it through. When you consider the fact that no matter how much grunt work and heavy lifting the rest of the Swagger squad have been doing all of this time, Bob Lee is who people want.
The president made that clear when he arranged for the Secret Service to haul Nadine and Harris in. His first draft pick would have been Bob Lee, and for whatever reason, Isaac wasn't on his radar. He had to settle for Nadine and Harris based on their areas of expertise and connection to Bob Lee.
The president knew about Atlas, and he helped them to a certain degree with their plan. He's vehemently opposed to the organization though.
Atlas' last-ditch effort is to kill a judge to get the outcome that they want. That is where the legendary Rhea Pearlman came in. She shined in her brief appearance at the end. Don't you adore her?
All of the action for this hour came in the form of Bob Lee and Isaac tracking down Eli Martin at the church. The guy came ready with explosives including the school bus explosion.
Bob Lee and Isaac's partnership and friendship have evolved a great deal, but most of the growth happened this season. They work so well together and put their lives and trust in one another, and it showed when they were tracking down Eli or trying to disarm the bomb.
Isaac and Nadine's partnership, however, has stood out the most. It's hard to believe that there was a time where Isaac would have called Nadine and she wouldn't have answered.
She was genuinely concerned about him when he went off the grid, and while she was annoyed that he didn't seek out a doctor, she had no problem stitching him up when he needed it.
Not only do they work well together, but the care they have for one another runs deep. It's unexpected and not the least bit romantic (I'm still rooting for Nadine and Harris!), but it's there. The way he tended to Nadine after she was hit by shrapnel was crushing.
The finale is upon us, and it will be interesting to see how the series will come to a close. Bob Lee will probably choose his family after this mission and retire his heroism.
Harris: No offense, I need a break from you two. I'm gonna go see my buddy, Van Tassel. With Brooks gone, maybe he knows who the next nominee is -- see how far down Atlas goes on this.
Nadine: Well, don't use your credit cards.
Bob Lee: And don't go home.
Harris: Yeah, no, I'm good. I'll be fine. I'll get some more of that pink pepper spray, right?
Bob Lee: It's powerful shit.
Assuming the mission goes well and Nadine doesn't die, the president implied he needed someone (Nadine) to fight the evil forces that lurk in the shadows. Couldn't you envision Nadine and Isaac working together in some form of black-ops on a more permanent basis?
Our beloved Harris could very well become the Chief of Staff as he pitched to POTUS. We have seen how gifted he is at what he does, and he successfully got him and Bob Lee out of FBI custody.
In the ideal world, all of our faves will make it out alive. Yes, that includes Isaac.
Which partnership was your favorite this season? What are your predictions for the finale? Hit the comments below!
If you need to catch up before the final episode of the series, you can watch Shooter online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.