Solotov is one cold-hearted son of a bitch.
Bob Lee and the 8113 might be out of their league at the moment because Solotov is picking them off one by one, and dammit, it's entertaining to watch.
Shooter Season 2 Episode 5 was quite possibly the best installment of the season so far, and that's saying a lot for a pretty great sophomore season.
Regarding the ongoing plot of the season, now we finally know the "who" and most of the "why." Most of it goes back to Donnie.
While Shooter Season 1 had moments where it didn't connect the dots and left things hanging, season two leaves no string dangling. Everything has a purpose, and it's all connected somehow. That's good, solid writing there.
We now know why Donny was killed during that mission. It wasn't a random shootout between a ghost sniper aiming for Bob Lee. It was calculated and deliberate on Solotov's part, and Donny was the target.
Guys this isn't about the heroin. It's about Solotov's identity. He's killing anyone who seen his face.Bob Lee
Donny saw Solotov and could ID him, and therefore, Donny had to die. Zehnder had the ID card and all the information about the CIA heroin deal, what really happened with Waheed's family in Afghanistan and the CIA's rogue drug operation.
Zehnder had to die too. Of course, for a while, everyone assumed Zehnder was already dead. He took that strategy straight out of the Bob Lee handbook, didn't he?
There is always that person that just keeps digging where they shouldn't, and Zehnder was it. The second Nadine stepped into his hideout, I knew he was going to pop out and attack her. But our girl held her own.
The only thing better than a Shooter fight scene is when Nadine is the one in on the action.
Nadine was on Zehnder duty, tasked with keeping him safe and finding out what he knew about Solotov, and Bob Lee and his 8113 brothers followed up their closest lead to Solotov via Bob Lee's old prison buddy.
Alexi's return was so awesome. He has that old school gangster vibe that elicits respect, despite the fact that he's a criminal. Alexi's a criminal with a moral code.
The best criminals are those who keep in mind that there is honor amongst thieves, so to speak. And hey, if you're going to do wrong, do it right and honorably, I say. It was so like him to take advantage of Bob Lee and the gang being there to take out Peter.
Alexi draws the line at child pornography. That's despicable even for him. So no tears were shed for Peter, and when it was all said and done, Bob Lee got a bag of heroin with an emblem on it, and information about Solotov.
Used to be we had lines, places we wouldn't go even for money.Alexi
Most of it, we already knew. Badass ghost sniper Chechen. However, it turns out Solotov works for a black-ops mercenary organization of sorts called Atlas. Their operatives are a loyal bunch, but more importantly, they're nameless and faceless, operating under anonymity and secrecy.
The moment any of them saw Solotov's face, that put them at the top of his hit list, and he isn't going to stop until everyone who recognizes him, is dead. That puts every last one of them in danger because they all know who he is now.
Anonymity is not a choice for me. It's a requirement.Solotov
Solotov's connection to this organization at least explains why he's such a master at disguise. One of his best scenes of the night was when he was prepping for his latest identity by practicing his accent.
Yay for a southern drawl!
His prep was almost as good as Tom Keen's process for slipping into a new alter ego on The Blacklist. His disguise, however, was dreadful.
It just had to be good enough to throw off Julie, and unfortunately, it did. Maybe Julie should have taken Mary out of town because she dropped the ball on this one.
She's going through a lot and having a difficult time, but it was still irritating to see her give so much information to a man she didn't even know. She knows about Solotov and the fact that he's coming after everyone. She knows that the man is in town.
She should be more cautious and guarded, and she just let all of that slip when Solotov "saved" her from that douchebag at the shooting range. Sure enough, he was able to tap into her microphone on her phone and hear everything going on at the Swagger house.
The moment that happened, it was evident how the rest of the hour was going to play out. Solotov was going to get the jump on the gang at the refinery. Except he sent cartel members to ambush Bob Lee, and he waited for Zehnder to predictably bolt from the scene.
Zehnder with all of his information about Atlas and his conspiracies on corrupt American agencies and cartels didn't stand a chance. The 8113 just got smaller, but honestly, that one was a no brainer. Pardon the pun.
Solotov killing Zehnder was brutal but expected. Is it wrong to say that his death didn't have the same heartbreaking effect? It didn't, but to be fair, Solotov was such a badass in that moment it was a bit distracting.
The phone call between Solotov and Bob Lee was hands down the best exchange of the hour. They're such well-matched adversaries that it's hard not to love them.
Solotov is a villain, but he's such a good villain, that he's actually likable. He has been so fleshed out and well developed. We learn bits and pieces about him with every installment, and he's such a multi layered character, that he's honestly fascinating.
But this is the curse of the hero, is it not? He usually ends up standing on the body of his dead friends.Solotov
I can't help it, guys. I'm a Solotov fan.
Are you loving Solotov? Can Bob Lee take down Atlas? Will Solotov come after an unsuspecting Julie? How do you think the rest of the season will play out? Hit up the comments below and let us know what you think.
There's still time to catch up on the season. You can watch Shooter online right here at TV Fanatic!
Jasmine Blu is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.