If there were any doubts that “Shooter” wouldn’t bring the action in its Season 1 finale, we’re here to confirm that Tuesday’s (Jan. 17) episode, titled “Primer Contact,” went out with a bang — kind of.
All the enemy had to do, really, was put Bob Lee Swagger’s (Ryan Phillippe) wife in jeopardy and kidnap his kid to make our hero go into full-on rage mode. It’s in this choice that Swagger’s mission for justice took a drastic turn into a realm of murderous vengeance. While this may not have reached “Rambo”-intensity in its carnage, we have to take a moment and recognize the blatantly self-centered — and self-sacrificial — steps Swagger took to take Grigory Krukov (Sean Cameron Michael) and his men down.
Who goes into the woods alone, armed to the teeth, with no backup what-so-ever, with the intention of taking down all the bad guys? Who’s got two thumbs and an itchy trigger finger? This guy.
Seriously, though, aside from John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) — and maybe even Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) or Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) — it feels like Swagger is doing his best to be placed in that action hero category. Yet, seeing him scramble around the mountain, interchanging from one clunky semi-automatic weapon to another, it was hard not to question the sheer possibility that this sort of amble dexterity is possible in combat. Or even, logical.
But, if it’s one thing we’ve learned about Bob Lee Swagger over the course of “Shooter’s” first season, it’s that logic really has no place in his overall modus operandi. Sure, we see animated combat statistics pop up on screen throughout his various operations, but there’s a seeming lack of practicality that goes into it.
Practicality is a major buzzkill, though. Maybe, in this new year, what we really need is a hero to live vicariously through — someone to don silly disguises and dodge bullets. And if the Season 2 renewal has anything to tell us, it’s that “Shooter” has resonated enough with audiences to prove just that. He may not be on the same level of James Bond or even Carrie Mathison, but Bob Lee Swagger has found his heroic place on the small-screen.
Now, if only we could do something to fix that name.
“Shooter” Season 2 will return in late 2017 to USA.