“Family Fire” gives all of Team Swagger fun and exciting things to do as Shooter races towards its third season finale.
Rivalry is afoot in “Family Fire”, this week’s episode of Shooter, as Red Bama (Gerald McRaney) and Ray Brooks (Michael O’Neill) compete over which moustachioed older gentlemen is the most important to the upper echelons of Atlas. Turns out it’s probably Red Bama, as Brooks, like a true patriot, has – spoiler alert! – shot himself by the end of the episode.
It took a while to get there, but now that Bob Lee Swagger (Ryan Phillippe) has avenged his father’s death, that just leaves the slightly pressing matters of Atlas’s planned terrorist attack and his recent arrest by the FBI to deal with.
Being Bob Lee isn’t much fun, but being married to him is even worse. Julie (Shantel VanSanten) was forced to relocate yet again in “Family Fire”, after their new location was immediately compromised by her obvious snitch sister. It hasn’t been properly confirmed yet, but come on. I’m not an idiot.
Neither, for that matter, is Julie, who is handling herself remarkably well at this point; whisking Mary (Lexy Kolker) to one motel after another while reciting Marine mantras and generally keeping up appearances. She swerved an armed gunman without much fuss and had the good sense to dump her burner phone. We could all use a woman like that in our lives, even if the ever-present threat of the in-laws is seemingly unavoidable.
Now that I think about it, being one of Bob Lee’s mates is a nightmare too. Harris (Jesse Bradford) was dragged along with Swagger’s short-sighted revenge schemes and found himself joining him in cuffs by the end of “Family Fire”, but at least he got time for plenty of amusing fish-out-of-water moments before that. He’s so over all this **** that he seems the only voice of reason in the entire show, although Nadine’s (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) constant by-the-book attempts to rein Swagger in were pretty entertaining too.
Isaac (Omar Epps), meanwhile, once again pursued a lead on his own – the location of Atlas’s explosives – and, once again, found himself in the ****; fiery ****, this time. Luckily he survived intact, which is useful, because at this point he represents the starkest contrast to Bob Lee’s on-going characterisation as a self-interested madman rather than, like Nadine and Isaac, an actual patriot trying to prevent a terrorist attack on the nation. “Family Fire” did a good job of highlighting how dopey and off-the-rails Bob Lee is at this point, even though his eventual realisation that his buddies were right all along landed with a bit of a dumb thud as a result.
We’re almost at the end, folks. I’ll see you next week with the latest in high-octane Texan sharpshooting.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.