Warning: Recap contains spoilers for Shooter 204, “The Dark End of The Street”
In more flashbacks to Afghanistan, we learn what Unit 8113 did to end up in Solotov’s crosshairs. And back in Texas, Bob Lee Swagger (Ryan Philippe) finds himself there again. While he and Isaac Johnson (Omar Epps) form a reluctant partnership, Julie Swagger (Shantel VanSanten) seems to be unraveling. Nadine Memphis (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) continues digging and comes up with a beyond-the-grave connection and information that gives Swagger the best idea yet of just what’s coming for him.
Riding With the Enemy
In a flashback to Afghanistan flashback, the Marines have been ordered to accompany a UN escort to transport the mullah’s wife, Gabina, off base. They’re joined by a man introduced as Dr. Wydra with the UN -- it’s Solotov. They drive through the desert without incident until they reach a suspicious truck stopped in the road and what appears to be an injured man. Solotov stays in the car with Gabina with his finger covertly on a detonator while Johnson gets out to inspect. Johnson realizes it’s an ambush seconds before Solotov detonates the blast.
An Unwelcome Guest
At the Swagger ranch, Julie is anxious. She sends Mary off to school, concerned for her safety. On his security feed, Swagger sees that Johnson is outside. He lies to Julie and sneaks out to the barn to talk to him. When Julie comes to check on him moments later, she is livid to see who he’s with and that her husband lied to her.
Murder in the Midst of Mayhem
In Afghanistan, the convoy comes under heavy fire and is surrounded by men coming down from the hills to attack. Solotov hunkers down with Gabina in the transport, pretending to protect her, then he quickly stabs her in the neck. He opens the door, claiming she was shot, and pulls her to the ground, where he makes a show of helping her as he surreptitiously squeezes the life out of her gaping wound. After the fire fight, Donnie is suspicious of Solotov and doesn’t buy his story that Gabina was hit by bullet, saying there was no incoming fire at the time. He grabs Solotov’s UN badge with his picture on it and won’t give it back. Everyone is frustrated, and Kirk Zehnder (Jerry Ferrara) complains that they never should have burned the heroin.
Back in Texas, Solotov is hiding comfortably in a mobile home, while he whips up a pressure cooker bomb. At her house, Julie goes through the guns in Bob Lee’s safe and Estella the nanny worries about her. She thinks Julie might be suffering from PTSD and suggests she talk to someone. Julie insists she’s fine, but she, too, looks ready to explode. When she gets buzzed by a delivery driver she asks them to leave the package at the door. We can’t help but wonder if the package is Solotov’s bomb.
Deep Throat Redux
Memphis goes to meet with the reporter Jeffrey Denning in a parking garage. She confirms that rogue CIA agent Hugh Meachum was running a heroin ring in Afghanistan, and asks Denning to keep Swagger’s name out of the story in return for the info. Denning insists the story is bigger than Meachum, and the operation is still running, even a year after Meachum’s death. Denning tells her about a rare earth mining company called Gravity Metals and shows her pictures of Waheed Zakeer, who exploded in Frankfurt last week after a visit from Solotov. Denning suggests it’s odd that he was transferred there by his company from the desert of Afghanistan two months ago. She suggests Memphis find out why.
Following Leads into Cartel Town
Reluctant partners Johnson and Swagger stop by the sheriff’s station looking into Dobbs’ murder. The Sheriff Brown isn’t inclined to pursue it himself, but sends them to the cartel that runs the area. Johnson and Swagger pull up to the cartel house in a neighborhood. Swagger sets up on overwatch while Johnson goes in to talk, asking where the cartel stashes assassins when they come to town. Despite Swagger’s directive not to pull his gun and the fact he’s outnumbered, Johnson gets impatient and draws his weapon. From afar, Swagger can see the situation is about to go sideways. He shoots a gun out of one man’s hand and shoots another in the hand. The gangsters tell him about the man they brought across the border who killed their people. Johnson gets directions to the trailer park.
Memphis Visits Gravity Metals
Memphis heads to Gravity Metals where an office punk named Toby gives her a lot of attitude and no information. Suffice to say, it does not seem like Gravity Metals is really in the mining business. When Memphis returns later with Denning and a warrant, the place is completely cleaned out. Denning seems to believe Memphis is trying to help and shows her a picture of his source. Memphis is stunned and suggests Denning lay low for awhile while she talks to someone.
Trailer Park Takedown
Johnson and Swagger set up on a hill over Solotov’s trailer in the mobile home park. Swagger wants to take their time and plan an approach before rushing arguably the best shooter in the world, but Johnson has no such patience. He runs up to the trailer firing, with no regard for his own safety. He blasts away, standing out in the open with only vengeance on his mind.
At home, Julie brings the box that was delivered inside. In the park, Solotov sneaks out a hole in the floor of the trailer and crawls away. Julie opens the box -- but it’s just full of paper towels. Swagger yells at Johnson to get away from the trailer right before it explodes. Swagger checks on Johnson then runs into the trailer, and right into Solotov. The two men fight and Swagger breaks Solotov’s wrist, but he manages to get away to his car and drive off wildly through the trailer park. Suffering from the effects of being knocked out by the explosion and filled with rage, Johnson stumbles after the car firing wildly, ignoring Swagger’s shouts to cease fire. Finally, worried about the civilians around them, Swagger shoots Johnson in the chest.
Dr. Solotov Slips Away
In Afghanistan flashback, over a late night drink, Johnson admits to Swagger that he believes Donnie was right that Solotov killed the mullah’s wife. And Solotov the “UN doctor” has now disappeared. Johnson is struggling with how to write up his report, knowing it’s political dynamite. But Swagger sees things more clearly, believing the truth matters.
Dealing with the Aftershocks
Julie stops by the church late at night, where the priest tries to get her to open up. She admits she feels on edge all the time and is struggling. Meanwhile, Johnson wakes up in the back of Swagger’s car, aching from where Swagger shot him in his chest plate. Swagger accuses him of being completely out of control.
Solotov races away from the trailer park, nearly blinded by pain from what Swagger did to his wrist. He stops at a seedy motel. In his room, he goes about fixing his wrist by slamming it in a dresser drawer to get the bones back into place, taking swigs of vodka to numb the pain. He makes a call to someone, saying he’ll be staying a little longer.
Denning’s Source From Beyond the Grave
Swagger brings Johnson home with him and finds Julie sitting down with Memphis in his living room. Memphis catches them up to speed, telling them that Denning’s source is Kirk Zehnder -- who supposedly dead. They know that Zehnder had mental health issues but his initial information to Denning seemed to check out. He supposedly sent Denning corroboration in a file by courier, but the courier never showed. A week later, Zehnder committed suicide. Memphis tells Johnson and Swagger about the man she found going through Swagger’s hotel room. She shows them a sketch. Johnson recognizes him as the UN doctor and Swagger recognizes him as the man who attacked him in the trailer: Solotov. Memphis learned Zehnder has a storage facility under a false name and wants to look into it. Swagger suggests Alexi Prosovich, the Russian mafioso who protected him in prison, might have info. They wonder how much Patricia Gregson (Beverly D’Angelo) is involved, but for the moment, seem to think someone else is calling the shots.