Sunday, August 24, 2014

REVIEW: 'The Last Ship' - The Nathan James Docks in Baltimore & They See the New World Order in 'No Place Like Home'

TNT's The Last Ship - Episode 1.10 "No Place Like Home"

Chandler and his crew finally return home, where a former D.C. power player is fending off a dangerous warlord who threatens everyone's hopes of restoring law and order in society. Now with a location and a means to finalize their mission, Chandler sets out to find his family, only to discover something absolutely terrifying about this brave new world.

Captain Chandler and his crew have been working valiantly all season long to develop a cure to the "red flu" and then distribute it worldwide so that all can live. They've been isolated on their ship. They haven't had much contact with what the world is like in disease-ridden areas. So, their return home was bound to be a much shake-up for the series. And boy, does the finale not disappoint in that fact. Sure, the ending twist is perhaps a bit too dire for nearly every major character - except Tex who'll likely come roaring back to save the day at the start of next season.

There's just something interesting about the differing of opinions when it comes to who receives the cure. The virus has destroyed the entire world. Governments have fallen. It would take years before any kind of structure could be reestablished. The world will never be what it once was. So does that mean not everyone in the world deserves to be immune? The big twist in "No Place Like Home" is pretty awesome - Mrs. Granderson (a delightful and surprise guest star Alfre Woodard), the woman who supported the ship's landing in Baltimore and offered the facility to mass produce the cure, only wants to give it to the select few. She's the real big bad since she's also giving the people "a cure" that actually will kill them in minutes. Her officers take over the ship and Dr. Scott's work. The hour closes with Chandler free with his family - minus his wife who succumbed to the disease - crying out for the ship. It's an exciting ending.

I appreciate that Chandler risking everything to go out searching for his family was such a small part of the finale too. I had concerns about that direction from last week's episode. But his main concern for the first half of the hour is to mass produce the cure and distribute it throughout the community. And then, it became that - but is was only a small crew that aided him. And now, they have each other once again which I guess is a good thing.

But now, I'm left wondering what the direction for the second season will be. I presume everyone will largely make it out of their predicaments fairly okay. But then what? Will they try to go somewhere else in the country to release the cure? Will they take out Granderson to use her facility? And how will Titus Welliver's warlord factor into all of this now that it appears he's not a big bad guy like he was initially seen as? I'm sure the new season will answer all these questions adequately. Nevertheless, "No Place Like Home" is an exciting conclusion to a show that gradually found itself over its first season.

Some more thoughts:
  • "No Place Like Home" was written by Steven Kane and directed by Brad Turner.
  • I just didn't buy into the grand Rachel-Tex moment at all. It was manipulative. He was so taken by her and then he just decides to leave? Why? We're not exactly given a good reason but hey it got them to finally kiss! And that's what the season has been building towards! Not.
  • Quincy's wife doesn't trust him after learning what he did. Oh no! That means he tries doing something heroic and rightfully gets shot.
  • Nothing is more effectively creepy than seeing a child with a gas mask on.
  • But how in the world will Alfre Woodard and Titus Welliver have time to return to The Last Ship for Season 2 since they'll be busy filming State of Affairs and Bosch respectively? Bill Smitrovich can stick around for awhile since he's not attached to any other series. But those conflicts give me the impression that those two characters won't exactly be sticking around that long next summer.