Red on Red
S1 episode 8 Aired on January 3, 2017

Warning: Recap Contains Spoilers

In an episode filled with double- and triple-crosses, everyone is after the Annex B files and each other. Bob Lee Swagger (Ryan Phillippe) makes moves that he thinks will protect him and get him closer to clearing his name, but while he’s busy playing offense he forgets to play defense and leaves a critical vulnerable spot exposed.

Plan A, everybody dies

Swagger sets up surveillance outside Lon Scott’s house to learn his security schedule. Agent Nadine Memphis (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) meets him there, following GPS coordinates. She tells Swagger about the thumb drive Jack Payne (Eddie McClintock) has that could exonerate Swagger and suggests he doesn’t need to kill everyone, as he’s apparently planning. He agrees to try it her way, but if it fails, he says, they’re back to Plan A.

Tete-a-tete on the Tarmac

Agent John Renlow tells Memphis that an Anhur Dynamics private jet flew to Virginia from near Seattle shortly after Payne was taken away. Also, diplomatic clearance was recently issued for flight out of Russia to an Anhur private airfield 30 minutes away from Scott’s house. Memphis and Swagger follow Scott to the airfield. A private jet lands and Hugh Meachum (Tom Sizemore) gets out and shakes hands with Grigory Krukov, the FSB officer. Swagger gets close enough to eavesdrop and hears them discussing what to do about Payne, who is still demanding $10 million in diamonds for the files. Scott tells Krukov to pay Payne what he’s asking.


Everyone starts scheming. Swagger plans to turn the conspirators against each other like he did in Afghanistan, red-on-red. Isaac Johnson (Omar Epps) finds Meachum at a restaurant and asks for money to disappear. Meachum agrees, if Johnson finds Payne and the Annex B thumb drive. Later, Johnson tracks down Payne to his old Leavenworth cellmate, and holds a gun on him, demanding the thumb drive. But Johnson’s threats are empty; Payne’s no good to him dead.


At Krukov’s hotel, Memphis and Swagger bust into his room and take out three guards -- one gets a fork in the chest from the room service tray -- but miss one, who holds a gun on Memphis. Swagger puts his gun down and offers to clean up Krukov’s entire operation by killing Payne, Meachum and Lon Scott. Memphis promises she’s suspended and isn’t wearing a wire, they empty their pockets. Krukov tells Memphis to call her boss and ask for his file. If she gets it, Krukov’ll know they’re lying to him. When she calls, Renlow can tell something is off and rejects her request, reminding her she’s suspended. Krukov is satisfied. Swagger asks for Payne’s $10 million. Krukov agrees, in exchange for his co-conspirators’ heads and the file. Swagger tells him to set up a meet at the airport, where he can get clear shots. He reminds Krukov that if he doesn’t leave the money, Krukov is dead, too.

Target Practice

Swagger puts Memphis through target practice because his plan requires her to make a shot from 600 yards. Thanks to a good teacher, she’s ready to go when they set up outside Scott’s house at night. Swagger rigs the guardhouse’s fuses to dim, leading to a chain reaction that gives him a window to strike. Memphis lines up to take her shot at a propane tank, like she practiced, and nails it. It goes up in a giant fireball. She watches through her scope as the lights flicker in the house and the guards scramble. Inside, Swagger sneaks up on Scott in the dark. Then he puts his gun away and plays Scott a recording of Krukov agreeing to pay Swagger for killing Scott. (Memphis wasn’t wearing a wire, the recorder was in a key chain.) Scott is unimpressed and egotistical, bragging to Swagger that he’s the better shooter. Swagger explains the difference between shooting in a warzone. “I’m the sniper; you’re just a marksman. You shoot pumpkins. Come to the meet and watch a real sniper work. You’ll see the difference,” Swagger says.


After getting a call from her husband saying it’s almost over, Julie (Shantel VanSanten) packs up with Mary and leaves to meet Swagger at the remote ranger station. For her own safety, she doesn’t tell her sister Anne where she’s going. The reporter Simon Porter snoops around and sees a ladder over the wall in back. He calls Lon Scott to report that Julie is gone. At Scott’s direction, Porter returns later with a man claiming to be an attorney with an offer for a book deal for Julie. Anne lets them in and they clone her phone.

Replaceable Russians

Scott tells Meachum about Swagger’s visit and his plan to shoot the Russians at the meet. He knows it might be a set up, but Scott is too eager for the chance to take Swagger out himself. Meachum is worried that killing the Russians means their deal would fall apart, but Scott figures they can just make a new deal. Meanwhile, Krukov meets secretly with Johnson, and asks him to kill Swagger after Swagger kills the others. Johnson agrees in exchange for the diamonds.

Waiting for the Shooting to Start

At the airfield, everyone shows up expecting Swagger to shoot -- but they all think he has different targets. Memphis sets up from a distance to provide cover. Swagger reminds her to keep Payne alive until they get the thumb drive. Swagger sets up with the Black King as Krukov, Meachum, Scott and Payne meet. Someone gives Payne his bag of diamonds. Then Swagger notices Johnson set up on a long gun from in the back seat of a car. Swagger has to move locations. Memphis starts shooting. Scott pulls out his Black King but can’t find Swagger, so he hops in his car. Payne drives off, followed by Scott and Meachum in another car. Krukov is left standing on the tarmac, wondering what happened. Johnson demands the tracker on the diamonds and leaves. All of the major players are unscathed, but some of Scott’s men are down.

Swagger Gets the Intel

Payne goes back to his cellmate and picks up the thumb drive he was holding for him. But Swagger climbs out from Payne’s trunk and accosts him. He stomps Payne a few times, crushes the tracker, and takes the diamonds and thumb drive. Meachum and Johnson show up a short time later and are not pleased with Payne, but what else is new?

‘It was always plan A’

Swagger meets up with Memphis later. She realizes he had planned to kill everyone but stopped when he saw Johnson. She’s angry that Swagger lied to her about his intensions and put her in the position of having to kill people at the airfield.


At the ranger cabin, Julie hears a noise and tells Mary to hide under the bed. Julie grabs a gun and goes to investigate. Mary hears shots and sees strange men come in. We hear screams. Swagger calls and is concerned when he can’t reach his family. He finally has what he needs to clear his name, but has he lost the upper hand?