Isn’t it great to be living in an age where a television show can garner the same wonderment and awe that were only exclusive to feature films? Gone are the days when we had to worry about budget constraints in creating a high concept TV show that could potentially blow the viewers mind. The only thing we worry about is if an idea is too high a concept for audiences to grab. Which quite frankly, is a better problem to have for a show than budget problems.
Created by Shawn Ryan (The Shield and The Unit) and Karl Gajdusek (Dead Like Me), and directed by Martin Campbell (Casino Royale and GoldenEye), The Last Resort tells the story of Captain Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher), a US nuclear sub commander, who refuses to obey an order to fire nukes on Pakistan because of the suspicious nature of which the order was given. The show begins with glimpses of what SUB life is like on the USS Colorado. Lt. Grace Shepard (Daisy Betts), who is the ship’s navigator is struggling to get the respect from her sub-mates. Her lack of respect may come off because of her gender, but on further investigation it turns out that she is the daughter of Admiral Arthur Shepard (Bruce Davidson). Attempting to get Grace to understand the crew is COB Joseph Prosser (Robert Patrick). His attempt fails when he himself show disregard for her rank by addressing her by her first name. The Colorado pics up a seals team who have escaped an unknown skirmish with one injured party. They remain secretive on the mission they were on, but there is a slight chance that it will have something to do with the events that will lives of the Navy Team on the Colorado.
Sharing Chaplin’s skepticism is his second in command Lt. Commander Sam Kendal (Scott Speedman). Kendal is a few weeks away from going home to seeing his wife Christine (Jessy Schram), when the call comes in and all hell breaks loose. As a result of Chaplin’s refusal, a tomahawk missile is fired upon the Colorado. The ship luckily escapes with a few minor damages and two casualties. The crew retreats to the fictional island of Sainte Marina where a NATO command center is located. The island however has it’s own sets of problems that will surely be the focus of many episodes to come. One such problem is the presents of a Julian Serrat (Sahr Ngaujah), a local gangster of sorts who is none to please with the military presence now occupying “his” island. Needless to say he resorts to some nasty business by the end of this episodes that will surely get the team riled up.
Also on the island is Tani Tumrenjack (Dichen Lachman), another local who owns a bar. It looks like there is going to be a bond between her and one of the rescued team member. I must say that the scene near the end where she hugs the soldier to console him felt a little to quick given that they had met a couple of scenes before and the meeting was awkward to say the least. But I guess you could chalk that one up to her being a sensitive soul.
Not all of Chaplin’s crew member are happy with his defiance of the US government. A small group led by Prosser attempts to sabotage the Nato center for the higher ups. This leads to a tense moment where Grace steps up to the plate and shows why she deserves to be lieutenant.
Back in the states, Kylie Sinclair (Autum Reeser), an ambitious lobbyist for a weapons manufacturing company is bragging to a potential sex partner and business link about the technology and payload that the Colorado is equipped with. This scene was made clearly to act as exposition so the audience know what Chaplin and crew are working with. It felt a bit clumsy in my opinion and that fact it went on for what seemed like five minutes didn’t help. You know what, I take that back. She was half naked for a portion of the scene so that help plenty. What do want from me? I’m a guy.
The closing speech by Chaplin gave me goose bumps as it solidified that they will be a force to be reckoned with in future episodes, and whichever clandestine group in the government that’s trying to use them as a scape goat to start a war with Pakistan won’t have an easy time doing so.
This was a strong opener to the series and my only concern is how they intend to sustain this level of intensity with a concept like this for future seasons.
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