Bob Lee Swagger (Ryan Phillippe) continues following the Atlas trail, this time to Washington, D.C., just in time to join up with the old gang as they approach Atlas head on. Back home, Julie (Shantel VanSanten) is suffering from being shut out by Bob Lee, but at least Sam Vincent has good news for her that he’s handled the Bo Winnick case. While Atlas proves elusive, an old frenemy finally takes one for the team.
Bama learns he’s on a short Atlas leash
Red Bama Sr. (Gerald McRaney) gets in his car outside his house, but instead of his driver behind the wheel he finds Atlas operative Jack Long, who is impatient over the delay in the return of the decryption card. Long lets Bama know he’s on the clock.
Swagger continues chasing Phoenix ghosts — right into Atlas
Still looking for Phoenix/Atlas answers, Swagger remembers his dad mentioning a man in his squad named Ramon Gutierrez. Swagger tracks him down through the VA and pays him a visit at a rundown apartment building. Gutierrez remembers Earl Swagger as the nicest man he ever met, which doesn’t sound like the Earl that Bob Lee knew. And when Gutierrez tells the wrong story about how he hurt his leg – Earl told Bob Lee the real Gutierrez accidentally shot himself – Bob Lee knows it’s a set up. Another operative busts in and tries to take on Swagger but it doesn’t go well. Swagger throws them both around the apartment.
Memphis and Johnson go after the decryption card
Nadine Memphis (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) and Isaac Johnson (Omar Epps) decide the way to get to Red Bama Sr., and Atlas, is to get the thing he wants. They grab Patricia Gregson (Beverly D’Angelo) from her office and explain they want to draw out the other Atlas members by dangling the decryption card, and she’s going to get it for them. Later, Gregson approaches Bama with an offer: the card — and Memphis and Johnson on a platter — in exchange for a seat at the Atlas table.
Mr. Swagger goes to Washington
Armed with an address in D.C. that he got from interrogating the fake Gutierrez, Swagger goes home and packs a bag. Julie struggles to understand his fixation on his father’s death all these years later and asks him to think about the family he has now. Swagger remembers his dad shut him out the same way he’s shutting out Julie now.
Team Swagger reunites with a common enemy and different motivations
In D.C., after the Atlas front Gutierrez gave Swagger proves to be a bust, Memphis makes a pitch that they, along with Harris Downey (Jesse Bradford), work together. Even if their reasons are different, they all want Atlas. They know not to trust Gregson, but Swagger and Johnson meet her at a high-tech storage facility. She leads them through many layers of security and retrieves the card where she hid it after swiping it from Hayes’ safe. Then the guns come. Swagger shoves Gregson to temporary safety inside the bulletproof double doors on the way out and takes out one gunman, while Johnson dispatches another. A third man comes at Gregson from outside and she’s trapped inside the doors, unarmed. Finally, both doors open at the same time and Swagger shoots through to save Gregson.
Gregson confronts Bama as Team Swagger takes on Atlas
Unfazed by the Atlas attempt on her life, Gregson calls Bama to keep the meet at Hayes’ memorial. At a university the next day, Harris and Gregson go inside to meet Bama with Swagger, Memphis and Johnson staking out the outside. The place is lousy with security. Gregson approaches Bama inside and once she shows him the decryption card, he tells her he’ll round up the other Atlas members and meet her in a room. Swagger spots Jack Long brushing into Bama and follows him into the basement, but is cut off by another operative in the kitchen. They grapple back and forth amid pots and pans and Swagger takes him out, then gets just a second to catch his breath before another man comes at him.
Atlas is everywhere, but where did Gregson go?
Outside the ballroom on the ground floor, Memphis prepares to take on two approaching Atlas operatives, but she doesn’t have to. Carlita Cruise jumps out and takes out both men, saying she still hasn’t managed to get clear of Atlas. They find Harris, who tells them Gregson went to meet with Atlas. Johnson goes to the room, but it’s empty. Meanwhile, Gregson goes down a dark hallway, utterly exposed. Jack Long finds her. “Tell Red he has me to thank when he realizes how screwed Atlas is,” she says. Long shoots her then looks for the card. It’s not there.
Team Swagger regroups after losing Gregson
The group finds Gregson’s body and can see they’re too late. They regroup at the bunker. Since Harris was the last to see her alive, he tries to recreate their interaction and remembers her straightening his jacket. He finds the decryption card in his pocket. Gregson figured out how to sacrifice for something bigger than herself after all.
Later, as Swagger prepares to head home, Johnson tells him he understands if he never forgives him, but he still needs to work out whatever he’s fixated on now so it doesn’t eat him alive. Bob Lee calls Julie and leaves her a message, promising to stop shutting her out. Swagger is on his way out of D.C. when his phone rings. It’s the real Ramon Gutierrez. “Patricia Gregson said you wanted to talk to me,” he says.