Thursday, January 24, 2013

'Last Resort' Finale Review - 1.13 Controlled Flight Into Terrain

        On the series finale of ABC's Last Resort, a violent battle for control erupts on the submarine, which leaves the Colorado vulnerable to capture by a third party - one with an exploitative plan.

"What will happen to Marcus and Sam?"

        Over the past few episodes, Last Resort truly has found a strong creative voice as it figured which facets of this story were worth sharing - the mutinies and the geopolitical exploits and strategizing - and the ones wroth avoiding - Tani and Christine. When ABC canceled the show in December, the creative team had enough time to craft the finale as a proper series finale with closure to this finale. Simply because of that fact, I went into this final episode with caution as I was certain that wrapping up the entire story and getting each character into a finite resolution would detract from the entertainment and the quality of the program. To my surprise, this episode kept that creative standard high - perhaps even higher - while still ending on a conclusion that I felt was very real and resolute and honest to what we have come to know about these characters and the world surrounding them.
        The plots that did get very truncated and were noticeably done so were the stuff happening outside of the island. But that was very much to be expected. I'm sure the show had a reason for having the Jason Beghe character kidnapping Christine and the coup in Washington obviously was far from being finished. But these cutting corners in the plot didn't really detract from the hour. They did lead to some great and moving moments in that final sequence. We got Christine and Kylie back together; the reunion of Sam and Christine; and Kylie shooting the President (who seriously has some lax security detail). The stuff involving James and Tani felt too separated from what the rest of the finale was doing. Neither have been my favorite characters but they have been integrated well amongst the main drama better in previous episodes - mostly James. So I am a bit disappointed at how "forgotten" they were here.
        The mutiny aspect of these last string of episodes was the most ambitious and rewarding material this show had put out there in its short run. It allowed for great conflicts amongst the core cast and their differing mentalities on all of the issues surrounding them. That all came to a head in this episode with Anders mutining the mutiny and the war that ensued. It was a great piece of conversation between Sam and Marcus and proved that at the core of this show was the relationship between these two people. They can argue and they can laugh and they can work together for the best interest of everyone who they command. That facet was gorgeously portrayed throughout this final hour. The decision to have Marcus stay on the ship was visibly because it was the unexpected series finale but I was captured by Andre Braugher and his conviction with this character that I believed everything that happened afterwards. 

So what did everyone think of the finale? Were you satisfied with the conclusion? Did you buy Marcus' self-sacrifice simply because it was Andre Braugher? Did this show deserve to last longer? Share your thoughts in the comments.