TV Review: Shooter 01×02 “Exfil”

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Even the best of them aren’t perfect. In the pilot episode Bob Lee Swagger (Ryan Phillippe), the sniper machine, was suspected of shooting the president, that’s after he was brought on to prevent the presidents assassination. Clearly, Swagger f’d up. Episode two starts with Swagger being rushed to the hospital, where he is quickly questioned about the hit on the president. The bow tie wearing lawyer arrives to give Swagger a breakdown of what is known. What I know is that is one goofy looking lawyer that I wouldn’t have much faith in. Swagger is screwed. Just like that he’s in jail. Swagger doesn’t last all of five minutes before he takes out half the room of inmates. A Russian convict fellow named Alex befriends Swagger. Shady.

Speaking of shade, a dark side of Isaac Johnson (Omar Epps) emerges when he has a gun range chat with a guy about getting the job done and pulling off the assassination attempt. So news comes out that the man Swagger is accused of killing was the Ukrainian president and not the US one. Alex assures that Swagger has many Russian friends now. Aha, a little political theme going on here.

A friendly face visits him in jail. Johnson has a heart to heart with Swagger who is aware that Johnson is behind the presidential shooting that framed him. Swagger begs Johnson to leave his family out of it, he gets denied, so he offers to admit to the murder in order to protect his family. Meanwhile Tom Sizemore’s character is in cahoots with Johnson and is going around promising Swagger will be dead. These are some bold “Eastern Promises”.

Overly ambitious Agent Memphis (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) is figuring out that something isn’t adding up with the assassination. Clearly she’s telling the wrong guy about this since Johnson tells her to keep her emotions out of it. Swaggie isn’t messing around, he takes out even more people in an attempt to try to get answers. He dresses up as a guard and somehow manages to find a way out of the jail.

This episode is starting to heat up, but it’s close to ending. Instead of going home, he goes visits a woman and tells her he served with her son. She collapses in the arms. We find out the woman he went to visit is the mother of a friend he served with that died in battle, due to Swagger’s mistake. Memphis is at Swagger’s home urging his wife to reveal info on his potential whereabouts. Johnson is a clever man, considering he just figured out where Swagger is hiding and pays a visit to the older lady’s home. By the time Johnson makes it to the garage, Swagger is gone. His calls his wife from the bushes outside his house. He tells his wife that he’s “going to hunt.”

The episode had some action, but still felt fairly dull throughout. More plotlines were revealed, yet it didn’t feel important enough. This show is feeling too slow-paced for me. I get that happening in the pilot, but I expected things to be moving along by now. The preview of next week’s episode looks more promising, but at this point, I’m beginning to feel skeptical.

RATING: 5/10

Jim Alexander is one of the co-founders of the Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle (CIFCC). He has been a staff writer at TheMovieBlog.com since 2014. He helped develop and host the “Correct Opinion Podcast.” Jim has written for Screenrant.com and contributed to the Australian movie site Cinemazzi.com. He is the United States Film and Entertainment Reporter for BBC’s 5 Live radio show. In addition to his interest in film, he also hosts the “Bachelor Universe” blog and podcast, centered on the ABC show The Bachelor. Jim graduated with a MA in Journalism from DePaul University. He is a die-hard Chicago Bulls and Bears fan. Born in Chicago, but raised in Poland, he grew up playing soccer and remains an avid fan of the sport. He is passionate about film and strives to incorporate new and innovative ways to present film criticism. He currently resides in a suburb outside of Chicago, IL.