Warning: Recap Contains Spoilers
In an episode that begins with Bob Lee Swagger (Ryan Phillippe) waking up on a hillside, then immediately having to fight for his life, he gets critical help in his search for the real shooter. Agent Nadine Memphis (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) and general bad dude Jack Payne (Eddie McClintock) continue their dance as she tries to get at the truth. Isaac Johnson (Omar Epps) also starts to question his role in the conspiracy.
Break from Reality
Swagger stops running and spends a quiet afternoon in the country with his wife Julie (Shantel VanSanten) and daughter Mary. As wonderful as it is for Swagger to see Mary for the first time since the assassination, when Julie tells him Donnie Fenn’s mom is missing, Swagger realizes he can’t chance meeting up with them again. Julie brings him a stack of guns and ammo magazines. Swagger is hoping the bullet-maker might be selling his wares in them.
Jack in the Box
Following Payne’s dramatic appearance at FBI headquarters, Memphis sits down with him in interrogation. She lays out all of the collateral damage from the conspiracy, including Dimitri Voydian, Voydian’s contacts at the restaurant, supposed hero cop Kyle Timmons and Susan Fenn. She shows him the IV bag he was going to use to stage her suicide and warns him they’re closing in. She toys with him, getting in his face and under his skin, until he blurts out: “Annex B.”
She keeps on him, but getting through to him is a challenge (given that he’s basically a sociopath). But ultimately, he gives her Hugh Meachum’s name.
Swagger goes to Idaho to track down Sgt. Major Rathford O’Brien (William Fichtner). His property is booby-trapped and remote. Swagger is conducting recon when O’Brien sneaks up on him. O’Brien is gruff and not happy for the company. He denies the sniper’s bullet is his, saying his are designed to splinter on impact so they’re untraceable. Eventually, O’Brien admits he remembers teaching Swagger how to shoot in the Corps and starts to help him.
Out in the Cold
Johnson and Meachum (Tom Sizemore) aren’t happy to hear Payne is in custody and talking. Johnson is even less pleased that he doesn’t know what Annex B is -- and Meachum won’t tell him. Johnson visits an old army friend, Justin Singer, to get access to top-level clearance info. He finds that Annex B is a program using private military contractors to handle off-book black ops, which is unconstitutional. He sees the name Anhur Dynamics linked to Meachum -- the same men he saw with Meachum earlier. As he and Singer are looking at the file online, their clearance is revoked. Someone knows they were looking at it, which can’t be good.
O’Brien demonstrates how his heavy bullet flies differently than other bullets by setting Swagger up to miss -- which is no small feat. Then he explains that there are only four guns in the world strong enough to fire his bullet: Black Kings. O’Brien has the King of Spades. O’Brien suggests Swagger track the gun, not the bullet. But that’s all he can offer. O’Brien doesn’t know anyone besides himself or Swagger who is skilled enough to make the shot that killed the Ukrainian president.
Julie goes to an ATM and is surprised to find her bank account is empty. A man sticks a camera in her face and says ugly things about Swagger. Another man intervenes and tells Julie he’s writing a book about Swagger and claims he believes he’s innocent. He gives Julie his card in the hopes she’ll talk to him.
After his demonstration, O’Brien tells Swagger about losing sight of why he was killing in war and starting to like it too much. It cost him his wife and son. As they’re talking, O’Brien gets a CB call from his friend at a diner down the road who sees black SUVs heading in their direction. O’Brien and Swagger re-rig the booby traps and get ready to take on the private contractors heading their way.
Memphis discusses her interrogation of Payne with her boss, Agent John Renlow. They had looked up Meachum and found him listed under Department of Defense, which they figure means he’s CIA. They’re talking about him when Meachum himself strolls into Renlow’s office. Meachum calls Payne “deranged” and says they found him unfit for duty. Memphis doesn’t buy it for a minute and mentions Annex B and the assassination. Meachum dismisses her as “the girl stupid enough to get caught in a press conference,” but Renlow defends her.
The mercenaries make their way onto O’Brien’s property, but aren’t smart enough to avoid his many booby traps. O’Brien and Swagger pick off the ones that make it through, firing from far away and changing positions when they can. As O’Brien is running to his next shot, he takes a hit in the leg, and falls. He puts on a tourniquet but is exposed and out in the open. Swagger provides cover for O’Brien until someone lobs a grenade in his direction and he has to bail.
The grenade blast temporarily knocks Swagger out and we pick up from the opening scene of the episode. Swagger wakes up with two mercs charging him, but he takes them both out. Then he picks off another merc closing in on O’Brien and runs to help his former teacher. Swagger helps O’Brien to his feet. “You couldn’t have gotten them before I got shot?” O’Brien asks. Later at his cabin, O’Brien is back on his feet with the “bug bite” bandaged up. Swagger tries to help, but O’Brien brushes him off. He insists Swagger take his Black King and gives him the remaining bullets, urging him to go find the real shooter. Then retire.
Take the Payne away
At FBI headquarters, Memphis is angry when she sees army MPs escorting Payne away, on orders from the Secretary of the Army. Renlow hits the phones but all they can find out is that it was official military orders, someone other than Meachum. Renlow grudgingly admits he believes Memphis is right about the conspiracy.
What War is this?
Johnson and Meachum meet up, neither of them knows where Payne has been taken. But they know Swagger took out ten mercenaries sent after him. Johnson feels he’s gotten dragged into something other than what he signed up for. He thought he was helping prevent a war, but now he’s wondering if they’re just covering up one Meachum already started.