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Shooter - The Hunting Party - Review: "Another Day, Another Shooter"



Bob Lee Swagger is back, and is still going by that name. Season two presents us with another shooter that Bob Lee must identify, but with twist: somebody is hunting down and killing members of his old Marine unit. Similar to the first season, we begin with a fairly slow first episode which picks up around the middle of the episode, but there appears to be a promising season ahead of us. Before getting into any of that, though, let's figure out what our friends have been up to!

Character Catch-Up

The Swagger Family:
A year after the traumatic events in Seattle, the Swaggers now live in a ranch in West Texas. We are introduced to Estella, who is going to be watching their daughter, Mary, while they head to Germany for a few days to attend a deadly an award ceremony for a friend of theirs. Hopefully this means Mary will be spared from any of the drama this season, though that is unlikely. The poor girl is going to need quite a bit of therapy.

FBI Agent Nadine Memphis:
She's been happier. After the roller coaster events of the previous year, Nadine was shipped off to D.C. and forced into a painfully unsatisfying desk job. Though she has a new man in her life now, she clearly is unhappy with her new position and longs for the days when her work actually mattered. She may get her wish, though, as National Security Adviser Gregson has a special job offer for her.

Isaac Johnson:
He wasn't a huge fan of being used last year. After the truth of the events came to light and his job was done, he opted out of another mission. That probably won't stick, but in the meantime, he and his girlfriend are off living a life of their own in secret in Bangkok. He just wants to stay out of any dangerous developments, but that won't be as easy as he hopes, and he's got the sneaking suspicion that someone is watching him.

Debriefing

The season begins by showing us the snapshot version of a scene we will see more of towards the end of the episode. Bob Lee's friend, Kevin, is being awarded a Silver star when men burst into the room and start firing. There's a bunch of running and shooting, all leading up to Bob Lee attempting to warn Kevin about the dead guy on the floor just before the dead guy explodes and kills Kevin. Sad day. Cue title sequence!

As we learn where our characters are in life, we are introduced to our villain (played by Josh Stewart) as he wins over his target at a bar and the two return to her room. Though currently a mystery man, judging from the sheer number of times they said "Solotov" in the recap, I think it's safe to assume that this is Solotov. The night before the ceremony, Bob Lee and Julie meet up with "the boys" for some fun, drinks, and Marine stories. They have their fun while our "mystery man" takes pictures of them, and is almost seen by Bob Lee when the night is wrapping up.

The following day, we watch our opening scene unfold again, though this time we watch as Solotov shows the shooters a picture of the targets (Bob Lee and his friends) and preps the room from his hook-up to be a sniper's nest. During his prep, the woman from the night before walks in, ready to ask what's going on before he shoots her with barely even a thought. As we make it back to where we left off, we see that Bob Lee saw the sniper and tried to warn Kevin just before the sniper shot Kevin in the head and then shot the vest on the dead body to cover it up. Billed as a terrorist attack, the shooting makes headlines which prompts Issac to have his girlfriend get ready to flee because he believes "They're cleaning up."

Though commercial air traffic is shut down in Germany following the attacks, Julie is determined to return home. Bob Lee tells her to find a way to get home, but that he can't leave the country until Kevin's body is released. She thankfully understands and turns to Nadine Memphis for some assistance. Nadine's boss is furious about her attempt to bring her friends home from Germany, and makes it very clear that she would fire Nadine in a heartbeat if it were up to her. Gregson, however, is here to save the day. She summons Nadine to meeting where she assures her that there will be plane to pick up Julie Swagger and a few other survivors of the attack, so long as Nadine agrees to help out. She must have agreed, as we later see Julie and company boarding a plane while Nadine empties out her office at the FBI.

While Isaac and his girlfriend are attacked in Bangkok, resulting in the girlfriend's injury, Bob Lee and a friend launch their own investigation and discover where the sniper shot from. Of course, nobody wants to believe them when they say this wasn't just a simple terrorist attack, and they will surely come to regret that soon. One of the members of the old unit who was injured in the attack is due to be moved to a different hospital, but the move takes a turn for the worse when the driver turns out to be our mystery man and makes quick work of finishing off Bob Lee's friend. This new development, coupled with a picture of the old Marine unit at the bar found on one of the attackers, all signs clearly point to Bob Lee's final observation of the episode: "We're being hunted."

Outcome

Though mostly expository in nature, Shooter delivered a solid season opener. It was engaging enough to keep my attention throughout the episode, though I certainly wouldn't consider it enthralling. They made a good call showing us the tragic ceremony from the beginning before delving into the events prior. Thirty minutes of watching what our characters have been up to without the promise of a big gun fight to look forward to could have been very tiresome. Judging from the season preview, the show certainly could have benefited from a double episode premiere, but the episode ably did its job to set up the arc of the season. We've got a core group of characters to be hunted during the season, a girlfriend who has already been caught in the crossfire, a wife unsure if she's ready to go through all of this again, and a man who will we stop at nothing to put an end to all of it. There's also been promise of more hand-to-hand combat this season, which also has me more excited for what' to come. If this episode was the equivalent of the first 10-20 minutes of an action movie sequel, I'm completely ready for higher stakes, larger scopes, and more intense fight scenes that are apt to follow. Shooter has strapped me in tight for their second season, and as I'm sitting at the top of the chain-lift, I eagerly await the ride I'm about to experience.

What were some of your favorite moments this week? Do you think two episodes would have been better than one? Is anyone other than me actually watching this fun show? I sure hope so! Sound off in the comments below!

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