Shooter Season 3 Episode 1 Review: Backroads

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Parting is such sweet sorrow. 

Death was the name of the game on Shooter Season 3 Episode 1, as the series took out a few players and gave us a flashback to the loss of Bob Lee's father. 

I'm not going to lie; I already miss Solotov. 

Julie Attempts a Rescue - Shooter

That's right. The series ended a chapter and are heading into some new and exciting territory that proves this series has longevity and can still have us hooked. 

Unfortunately for this unapologetic Solotov fangirl, that included ridding the series of one of the best villains I have seen in quite some time. Solotov's demise was inevitable. There was no way they would have the badass veteran save himself, not to mention continue with the Atlas storyline without killing Solotov off. 

He was determined to get to that money and screw over Atlas, and he had every intention of killing Bob Lee when it was all over. Death was the only option.

Solotov Kidnaps Bob Lee - Shooter Season 3 Episode 1

It's too bad. In another timeline, Solotov could have been happily getting his Chef Ramsay on in a mansion and watching the World Cup. 

It sucks to see him go, but Solotov had an incredible arc on the series and Josh Stewart was exceptional in this role. The knock down drag out fight between Bob Lee and Solotov was well worth the wait. Seriously, that fight scene was insane

I was not a fan of some of the camera shot choices in various parts of the hour. The first scene with Nadine and Harrison talking on a busy sidewalk is one of them, but the entire fight sequence between Bob Lee and Solotov was fantastic. 

Fighting for Their Lives - Shooter Season 3 Episode 1

It's good to know Ryan Phillippe can jump back into the thick of things and knock those stunts out of the park after his injury. Bob Lee and Solotov felt evenly matched, so their fight was satisfying and intense. 

It's clever how the series closed Solotov's chapter but used him to usher in season three's storyline. Bob Lee thought Solotov was screwing with his head when he brought up Earl, but Solotov didn't have any reason to toy with Bob Lee. It has to be niggling away in the back of Bob Lee's mind that Solotov had all of this information about a pivotal moment in  Bob Lee's life.

Related: Shooter Season 3 Promo: Swagger VS Solotov-- The Showdown 

I know it's eating away at me. How did Solotov know such privileged information? Is it related to the current sheriff possibly being part of Atlas? That reveal wasn't nearly as shocking because something always felt "off" about the sheriff.

Atlas and the Swaggers have been interlinked since the beginning.

Solotov

Am I the only one who found the flashbacks confusing? I didn't care for them outside of the final one So, Earl was obsessed with a case, and the man whom Earl was trying to capture was set up. Is it safe to say Atlas set him up and was attempting to take him out?

We're supposed to be grappling with this idea that Earl could have been part of Atlas, but I'm willing to bet that was a strategic misdirect. There's no way Earl was part of Atlas. The current sheriff is a possibility though. 

Is it wrong that I kind of dig the fact that Solotov died but still got to toy with Bob Lee from beyond the grave with the Earl bombshell? That Chechen little shit! Up until that point, Bob Lee was willing to drop everything Atlas related as long as his family was left alone. 

Earl Swagger - Shooter Season 3 Episode 1

Speaking of Atlas, Hayes had the journalist Jeffery killed. That was another unfortunate death; Jeffery was the only reporter willing to expose Atlas.

I had forgotten all about him until Nadine and Harrison found his body. Nothing about that looked like your run of the mill suicide, so Hayes or one of his men did a piss poor job at being convincing. 

Related: Shooter Season 2 Episode 8 Review: That'll Be the Day

The back and forth between Hayes and Nadine was delightful. Nadine annoyed me showing so many of her cards in the first conversation between the pair, but by the time she was telling Hayes that he was broke, I was in "badass girl-power" heaven. 

Hayes started off playing innocent and acting as if he didn't know anything about Atlas, but when Nadine brought up the money and how he wouldn't see a dime of it anymore, Hayes couldn't remain composed. 

Isaac: This is who I am now. You sure you want to go down this road?
Nadine: I used to believe in the rule of law. Atlas, some shadowy organization, law isn't going to stop them. I resigned from the FBI this morning. Time to start my new job.

The final moment with Nadine being there to watch Hayes die was titillating. I particularly enjoyed how she used his own words against him while he was dying. 

Nadine's new dark side is just what her character needed. Nadine was the one most at risk of falling flat, and much of that had to do with her confinement to the FBI. I like this rogue new Nadine who has recognized that the law isn't foolproof nor the only way to take Atlas down. 

Sometimes the law is too restrictive, and a person has to sink down to the level of the bad guys in order to take them down. The partnership between Isaac and Nadine is already exciting, and I can't wait to see the two of them in action. 

Partners in Crime - Shooter Season 3 Episode 1

It's preferable to Isaac's temporary partnership with Julie. It's awesome how they worked together to find Bob Lee, but there is still something bugging me about Julie. 

For one, I thought she had a decent shot, too. Why was it coming across like she was a sloppy shooter who could barely handle a gun? Julie has been on the decline for me, and I wonder if the show struggles with what to do for her character. 

Related: Get Shudder via Prime Video Channels for Spine-Tingling & Provocative Films, TV Series, & Originals!  

Isaac has gone from loathsome, to intriguing. It's difficult to pinpoint where he stands most of the time. I wasn't sure if he was genuinely working with Hayes or playing a long con.

Isaac is shrouded in this captivating ambiguity, and as Omar Epps described him, he's this broken Samurai. He needs a purpose. This makes him one of the most fascinating characters to watch. 

Isaac Has A Plan - Shooter Season 3 Episode 1

It's absurd that Nadine thinks Atlas is done and over because she cut the head off of the snake. Doesn't she know everything is much bigger than what's on the surface? This Atlas storyline is only getting started. 

I like the tone of season three so far, and I cannot wait to see how it plays out from here. 

Shooter Fanatics, what did you think of the premiere? Are you bummed about Solotov's death? Was Earl Swagger part of Atlas? Hit the comments below. 

Don't forget, you can watch Shooter online here via TV Fanatic!

Backroads Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
  • 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (29 Votes)

Jasmine Blu is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Shooter Season 3 Episode 1 Quotes

I want you to remember this. If it ain't loaded, it ain't lethal.

Earl

You do not get to die until I get my money!

Solotov