Meaning of 'They call every shots this country takes'

From the series Prison Break Season 4 Episode 12 ‘Selfless’, there’s a scene that Lincoln had a flashback memory of what his father told him about ‘The Company’:

I took a position with a group of multinationals we call ‘The Company’.

They call every shot this country takes.

I’m not sure about what his father meant, is it

  1. Every ‘assassination attempt’ this country makes is called by ‘The Company’, or

  2. Every ‘assassination attempt’ that happened in this country is called by ‘The Company’

By the way, ‘call the shot’ means ‘make the decision’, right?

To call the shots means to say “in a dictatorship way” what will be, what will happen, how things are, what will be done …etc

If you “call the shots” you are basically in command, in control or in management.

In the Gangland theme … the people calling the shots are the ones that say what you, or indeed what everyone must do and if you/they don’t do it, then …bye bye world, hello heaven or hell!!!

Which reminds me of a joke… but maybe not for this forum (smile)


“Call the shots” means to give the orders.

It comes from the old style of warfare, centuries ago, where the soldiers lined up and shot when their commander told them to.

Many thanks to both HamburgEnglish and Jamie (K)

I have a better understanding of ‘call the shots’ now. It’s not about ‘shooting someone’ as I presumed.

However, I’m still trying to imagine, in the context of this movie, how powerful ‘The Company’ could be. Does it means that they can give every orders that this country (USA) must take, in every matters?

Besides, if ‘call the shots’ means to give the orders, then ‘take the shots’ means to receive the orders, right? :?:

Hollywood movies and TV shows are full of paranoid conspiracy scenarios in which some corporation is the “real” power behind the US government and gives orders to everyone in it, from the president on down.

Of course, the whole idea is rather ridiculous, but is a very common theme in Hollywood, where corporations are usually shown in films and on TV as having no other purpose than to do evil to people. Ironically, the producers of these stories are huge corporations themselves.

“Take the shots” doesn’t mean to take orders. It means actually to take bullets in one’s body, or to be the subject of brutal criticism. “Shots” can also mean criticism, but not in the expression “call the shots”.

Thank you very much Jamie (K) for coming back to explain it clearer.

This sentence, They call every shot this country takes. , is really confusing for me!!

To call the shot that other takes. ??

How can we put the above sentence in other way, then?

“Call” in that sentence means “order” or “command”. In English it’s possible to “take a shot”, in other words to shoot a gun at someone or something.

Another way of saying it would be, “They give the command for every move this country makes.”

Still another way would be, “They control everything this country does.”

Thanks Jamie (K)

Cleared as crystal!

I can put that sentence to bed now! Ha ha. :smiley:

I think “take a shot at” means to “to make an attempt to do something”. In this context, the sentence “They call every shot this country takes.” makes a lot of sense.

That’s true also.