Bob Lee Swagger (Ryan Philippe) is wracked with guilt for unintentionally following his father’s example and neglecting to focus on his family. Before he can rejoin them, he wants to finish things with Ray Brooks — and he does — just not in the way he was expecting. But is it too late for Swagger to rejoin his old life?
Swagger runs offense and defense at the same time
Swagger approaches Red Bama Sr. (Gerald McRaney), who urges him not put his family at risk. Bama follows the veiled threat with the news that Swagger’s family is in Albuquerque, cautioning him to stand down. Swagger races to call Julie (Shantel Van Santen) and is disturbed to learn that Bama was telling the truth. He warns Julie that Atlas is tracking her. He knows she’s on her own until he can get to her.
The predictable Atlas true believer yields information
Back at cubicle HQ, Nadine Memphis (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) and Isaac Johnson (Omar Epps) have limited intel following the explosion of the Atlas campus, so they make a pitch to the three Atlas operatives they captured. Two demand payouts to switch sides, one, Parada, just wants his freedom. After Margo with DOJ tells them the smoldering compound isn’t proof of the planned attack — she wants a body and a smoking gun — they go back to the recruits and let Parada go, betting he’s a true believer because he couldn’t be bought and will run straight to Atlas.
Swagger grabs Brooks, but then what?
Swagger drags Harris Downey (Jesse Bradford) to Brooks’ hotel where Harris chats up the staff to learn that Brooks has been holed up in the presidential suite for three days. Swagger swipes a keycard to gain access and takes out Brooks’ security guy. With no clear plan, Swagger grabs Brooks and drives out into the woods. Harris is alarmed when Swagger takes a shovel out of the car. He calls Nadine, who warns him Atlas is likely tracking Brooks.
Julie stays a step ahead of Atlas — barely
In Albuquerque, Julie, her sister Anne, and Mary head to the pool to try to pretend everything is normal. When Mary forgets her towel Julie heads back to the room to get it, interrupting the Atlas agent who’s rifling through their things. He hides in the closet but she sees him and fakes a call to Bob Lee as she grabs her gun and backs out the door. She collects Anne and Mary at the pool and hustles them into the car.
There’s a bear in the woods…
Trailing Parada, Memphis peels off to go help Swagger while Johnson follows him to Bama Sr. They’re discussing the fact Team Swagger knows about the bomb when they’re interrupted by news about Brooks. Bama sends Parada after him. Out in the woods, Swagger confronts Brooks, who claims Earl Swagger was no better than he was and was running black ops before he ever came along. But Bob Lee realizes the real difference between them, and the reason Brooks is alive and Earl Swagger isn’t: Brooks is a murder. Earl wasn’t. And neither is Bob Lee. Harris finds them and they head for higher ground as Parada and the kill squad arrive and close in, with Swagger using Brooks as a shield. Swagger is low on ammunition, so Harris gets a bolt of bravery and draws fire as Swagger tries to pick off the attackers. But Parada finds Harris and trains his gun on him. Swagger walks out with his weapon at Brooks’ head, as Brooks yells at Parada to take the shot. Swagger is outgunned with no options, but is saved when Memphis and Margo appear with an FBI team and order Parada to stand down. He does at first, but then goes for his weapon, and earns a hail of bullets that take him to the ground. Swagger turns his gun over to Memphis, telling Brooks the FBI will soon be connecting Parada’s gun to him. Brooks grabs a gun off an FBI agent and put it to his chin, proclaiming: “This is how a patriot dies!” Then he shoots himself.
Johnson gets too close to comfort to Atlas’ plans
Johnson follows Bama Sr. after his meet with Parada and sees him get into an SUV and Jack Long get out the other side. Johnson decides to follow Long and ends up at the warehouse. He send Memphis a message with the location then breaks in. He’s snooping around when Long finds him and knocks him out. He douses Johnson in gasoline and lights it, walking away as the building burns with Isaac in it. Red Bama Sr. breaks protocol to call Long and tell him Brooks is dead and check in on their operation. Johnson wakes up and manages to stagger out of the warehouse before the fire reaches him, but he doesn’t leave empty-handed: he lifted a medallion off Long.
Swagger lays his vengeance to rest, but it’s not over yet
Out in the woods, Swagger is feeling relieved he didn’t kill Brooks and is ready to rejoin and protect his family. But his relief doesn’t last long as the FBI takes him and Harris into custody, over the objections of Margo and Memphis. With Brooks out of the picture, Atlas’ decades-long plot is thrown into chaos, but they aren’t ready to give up yet.