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Shooter - The Importance of Service/A Call to Arms/Lines Crossed - Triple Review

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Hello, friends! It's been a while. I honestly couldn't remember where we left off at first when I finally found time to take in the episodes. Don't worry, though. I am back, and I come complete with another empty promise that I won't leave so much time about reviews. That last one lasted a whole week, so if I can at least beat that I'll call it a win. Before we discuss the episodes and refresh for tonight's new one, let's take a moment to remember where we were when I last abandoned you all.

Character Catch-Up

Bob Lee and Harris: Bob Lee was tasked with protecting Harris and decided bringing him along on the dangerous mission to further investigate Earl Swagger's death was the best way to do that. It wasn't. But, hey, Harris did manage to learn a bit about guns and even proved he could hold his own in a fight. They didn't come away empty handed, either. Turns out Earl Swagger was a founding member of the organization that would eventually become Atlas.

Julie: She was criminally given next to no time to shine, other than briefly showing some unhappiness/support for Bob Lee's mission.

Isaac and Nadine: They sought out Carlita Cruise, only to discover she wants to take down Atlas as well. They agreed to work together, but Carlita quickly abandoned them to pursue an Atlas take-down on her own. She did manage to leave them with a nifty sat phone password generation key they can use, though, so I guess it's not all bad!


The importance of Service
We start off with Isaac and Nadine being rudely awoken by the sat phone receiving a new target Atlas wants taken out. Before Nadine can really say anything about it, Isaac signs them up to take on one of the two locations so they can kidnap the target and take down whatever operative signed up for the second location. Once at the location, Nadine spots the target and tackles him, then scans the fleeing crowd, shoots the Atlas operative, and flees with the target. The operative is not killed, however, which means they can't use that sat phone trick again, and they probably don't have too much time with their hostage. Nadine is then forced to leave Isaac to question the man alone as she is supposed to pick up Harris from the bus station. Harris, you see, has decided he's had enough and is getting out of town so he can be safe. He foolishly refused a ride from Bob Lee (which Bob Lee didn't put up much of a fight about for some reason) and is armed only with some pink pepper spray because Bob Lee didn't want to give him a gun (foolish). Another flub in the Harris situation is that Nadine arrives a little late, leaving Harris wide open for attack. She tries to keep him calm on the phone, but he gets spooked by a homeless man and ends up using that trusty pepper spray. I guess maybe it was best he didn't have a gun. This of course causes a commotion, which provides the perfect distraction for Harris to be kidnapped. Literally every ball was dropped on this Harris situation and I'm so mad at all of them. Also dropped is the man Isaac was interrogating. After holding him over the balcony of a hotel room, the man reveals that he's sent explosives for Atlas to a location called Five Mile, and Isaac then decides it's just easier to let the man go rather than pull him back in. Also, he found out the man was indirectly responsible for some school bombings in Syria, so that probably had something to do with it as well.

NUP_181515_1363After a morning chat with Red Bama and sending Harris on his way, Bob Lee heads out to continue learning about his father's death. When Julie tells him about Sam's claim that the second shooter was probably another Poole, he rushes to Sam to ask what that meant, and to ask about the rumor regarding Earl Swagger and Edie Poole. Sam confirms the rumor by getting worked up over the fact that Bob Lee could think that was true, inspiring Bob Lee to show up at the Poole residence to try and track down Edie. He is met with hostility, as per usual with the Poole family, and is knocked out and tied to a chair so he can be questioned about his knowledge of their opioid operation. This is the first Bob Lee is hearing of said operation. He manages to escape thanks to some help from young Suzy Poole and leans that there was certainly not another Poole present the night Earl died. He then puts a damper on the opioid operation and violently warns them to take better care of Suzy before returning to his car to find a note revealing Edie's location. He recalls a time when he was present for a meeting between Earl and Edie and returns to Julie to give her the information. He's unable to really do anything at about it, though because it's time for a Harris rescue mission, much to Julie's disapproval.

While Team Swagger successfully manages to save Harris (who had to deal with Red Bama attempting to turn him before deciding that killing him was the only option when Harris couldn't produce the "God Box" they later determined was in Gregson's possession) Julie went on her own mission. She goes to visit Edie on her own to get the information for Bob Lee because she's really just the best person there is. Edie immediately admits to the affair, saying she swore to herself she'd be honest about everything if Earl's son ever asked about it. She swears the Jimmy didn't know about it because she'd be dead otherwise, then sends Julie off with some letters she claims will help Bob Lee understand the man his father was. Bob Lee returns home later, lucky to be alive, and ready to go to bed without talking to Julie about what happened. Before heading to bed, Julie tells him she saw Edie and knows that even though he's similar to his father in a lot of ways, there's plenty of ways he isn't. She hands him Edie's letters documenting the affair and heads to bed, leaving Bob Lee to read the letters alone and realize he's got a beautiful family that he shouldn't ruin.

A Call to Arms
As Bob Lee begins his morning shooting guns to blow off steam before trying to track down a Corporal Gutierrez, Red Bama gets momentarily kidnapped and is ordered to bring in the decryption key, while Julie gets some good news from Sam. Turns out the man whose ear Julie blew out attempted to sell Earl Swagger's gun (which she gave him in a failed apology attempt) across borders, which is a federal crime. Sam happened to be the one to catch him and said he'd be happy to ignore the incident in exchange for dropping the charges against Julie, leaving her home free, with the added bonus of getting Earl's gun back. Bob Lee manages to get an address for Gutierrez, but after a few minutes with the man, it's clear this man has never met Earl Swagger and this is a trap. After handling the situation, Bob Lee gets a D.C. address for where "Faux"-tierrez got his missions from and heads out to book his flight. Julie tries to talk to him about his crusade and he tries to tell her it isn't her problem, but she quickly reminds him that it is because he's her wife. She then encourages to start thinking more about his living family before leaving the room. *snaps vigorously*

When Bob Lee arrives in D.C., his calls in Isaac for backup to break into the building and makes it very clear that calling him for help by no means makes them ok. For some reason, Isaac doesn't understand why he's being like that, which really is part of the problem. When they break in, they discover the building has already been cleansed of any useful information, and some light digging reveals that this is, of course, and Atlas building. Luckily, this means Bob Lee is totally free to help Isaac, Nadine, and Harris with their latest plan to expose Atlas. He's hesitant when he finds out the plan involves Gregson negotiating to hand over the God Box to Atlas, but Isaac manages to talk him into it. Our two boys escort Gregson to the super secure site where she's keeping the God Box and the trio is unsurprisingly met with lots of violence once she actually has it in her possession. They manage to make it out in one piece and are then ready for the second phase of their plan: Gregson's meeting with Bama. Before they continue, Bob Lee gives Julie a call and they have a nice short conversation about how she will always be there to look out for him when he needs it. These crazy kids just might make it after all! The meeting is set to take place at a memorial party for Hayes, so they have Harris escort her inside while Bob Lee, Isaac, and Nadine take some lookout posts which all turn into fights, one of which (Nadine's) is aided by none other than Carlita Cruise. Welcome back!

Once Gregson heads to the meeting on her own, Bob Lee and Isaac scurry to find which room the meeting will take place in. They're given a big clue thanks to the sound of some silenced gunshot sounds, but it's too late by then. Gregson has been murdered and the card is gone. They all regroup (including Carlita) to figure out their next move and quickly discover that Gregson has slipped the key into Harris's jacket pocket before they parted ways. They finally caught a break! Gregson didn't catch a break though. She caught some bullets. After a quick talk with Isaac about getting his reasons for going on this mission together, Bob Lee remembers a conversation he had with his dad regarding the proper ways to treat people especially your wife. Inspired, he leaves Julie a voicemail promising not to shut her out anymore, then gathers his things to head back home. On his way out, however, he gets a call from Gutierrez who claims he heard from Gregson that Bob Lee wanted to reach him. What an inconvenient time for this!

Lines Crossed
Bob Lee and Isaac go together to meet up with Gutierrez and are given specific instructions about taking a specific bus to a certain stop and blah blah, very cloak and dagger type stuff. When Bob Lee notices the bus they're on isn't heading in the proper direction, he attempts to have a word with the driver but is instead met with drawn guns by everybody on the bus--including Gutierrez (played by the always enjoyable Tony Plana, from...literally pick something and probably)! They're brought to a very secret location and given new clothes to avoid potential surveillance. Once everything is secure, Gutierrez insists that Earl Swagger knew exactly what he was doing the entire time and confirms that he indeed had a dark side. He then tells them the details of a mission they went on that resulted in them murdering an innocent woman. He later reveals that his self-inflicted gunshot wound wasn't due to carelessness, but was intentional so that he wouldn't have to remain in these pre-Atlas covert missions. Earl even encouraged and supported this tactic because he respected Gutierrez's resolve. Years later, Earl called and commended his bravery before revealing he was looking to take down Atlas. A few weeks later, Earl was killed.

On their way back, they call Carlita and Harris looking for Nadine and discover that Nadine is in need of some assistance. She's infiltrated an Atlas building so she could use the God Box to get some important information off one of their computers. She's been inside a while, and there's no way to contact her on the inside because they block all external communications. They do the best they can to rescue her, and while she does manage to make it out of the building, unfortunately it is in handcuffs. Nadine has been arrested and we leave off with her being loaded into a transfer vehicle to an unknown location.

Julie has been getting herself into a little hot water this episode as well. After reading a letter asking Bob Lee to testify in the missing person's case of the guard Red Bama recently murdered, Julie decides to do some investigating of her own. She makes her way to the Bama household, where she is greeted by an unnecessarily rude Red Bama Jr. When Bama Sr. dismisses him, Julie asks about the missing guard since his company is putting a lot of money into the case. She then spends some time in the Swagger safe room trying to put some clues together and talking to her sister, who I'm getting a super suspicious vibe from all of a sudden. Could be the 3 hours of sleep I'm currently riding on, but we'll go with sketchy for the time being. Later, she brings what information she's gathered to Sam who tells her it's not much to go on, but it's something she can work with if she's willing to take it all the way. She is. Unfortunately, she is now on the Bama radar, which is made clear when Jr. and Sr. make a stop to speak with her at Sam's office. Surely this won't go well in the future.

Boy, that was a lot. First, let's talk about Julie. My last criticism of the show was that Julie had been severely under-utilized in the previous episode. Clearly they read that and took action, because these three episodes that were filmed months before I even started my review of the season fully addressed that concern. Julie is no longer content to just sit around and be mad at Bob Lee for leaving on his long missions. Not that she was ever really content, but now she's doing something about. She's taking the initiative to work on parts of this whole thing by herself and actually manages a pretty good job of it; she even manages the family tradition of making quick enemies with Red Bama. Now all I need is for Bob Lee to deliver on his promise to let her in so she can use her brains to help with all this Atlas drama! My only concern about the two of them fighting crime together would be Mary. Assuming Julie's sister isn't secretly evil, she's a good option to look after Mary while they're gone, but there's still the risk of losing both of her parents at the same time. We'll cross that bridge if we get there, though.

Now, let's talk quickly about Julie's sister. I can't put my finger on it, but there was something I really didn't like about her conversation with Julie in the Swagger panic room. It felt very off/ominous to me. I'm probably giving this show more credit than it merits in terms of a plot twist like that, but also, she did show up right when Bob Lee was starting this investigation into his dad's death. The last person I suspected of being fishy ended up very dead (RIP Denning) so my track record with this already isn't phenomenal. However, I just want to put it out there in case I'm right so I can unlock official bragging rights to all my friends aren't watching this show and will never take the time to do so.

Let's see, what else to talk about...oh yeah, NADINE WAS CAUGHT! This is not going to be a fun time for her. I had some slight hope that they'd just have to find a creative way to get her out of jail, but that all vanished with the violent way she was loaded up to be "transferred" to another facility. I'm very excited to see the journey they'll have to take to get her back, as well as what Atlas is going to put her through in the meantime. It's sure to be a fun ride.

How have you been? Are you loving all the Julie time we've been getting? Does anyone else get a strange feeling about Julie's sister for some reason? Sound off in the comments below!

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