tek's rating: ½

Last Resort, on ABC
A.V. Club; IMDb; TV Tropes; TWoP; Wikipedia
streaming sites: Amazon; Google Play; iTunes; Vudu; YouTube

I could have put this review in the "action/adventure" category, since there's quite a bit of action, or the "too something" category, because it didn't get a full season, just 13 episodes. I do wish it had lasted a bit longer... a full season would have been good, but I don't think I would have wanted a second season, even though I thought it was an excellent show. And while they had to rush to conclude the story in the final episode, at least the show did have a reasonably satisfying conclusion, unlike some shows that get cancelled too early. As for action... well, I felt the show was more about drama, so that's where I'm putting the review.

Andre Braugher plays Marcus Chaplin, the captain of the U.S. Navy submarine Colorado. When he unexpectedly receives an order to fire nuclear missiles at Pakistan- an order which came through a secondary channel that should not have been used- he requests confirmation of the order through the proper communications channel. Rather than receiving confirmation, he is relieved of command. So the order passes to his XO, Lt. Commander Sam Kendal. He also refuses to fire without confirmation of the order. The Colorado is then fired upon by another ship, the Illinois, which also fires on Pakistan. However, the Colorado is blamed for firing upon Pakistan. Chaplin resumes command of the sub, and takes it to the island of Sainte Marina, in the Indian Ocean, where the crew takes over a NATO early warning station. Chaplin announces the truth to the world, I guess, but it's unclear if anyone believes his story. He and the crew of the Colorado are deemed terrorists, after firing a nuclear missile toward Washington, D.C., in order to force the ships that the Navy had sent to capture the Colorado to withdraw from the zone Chaplin had declared around the island. (The missile struck a couple hundred miles off the coast, doing minimal damage.)

So, that's basically the premise. The crew will have to deal with their own government trying to take them out, as well as dealing with island locals who aren't happy about having them there. And there are some members of the crew who are opposed to Chaplin and Kendal's refusal to follow orders, and their subsequent actions. The main one of these opponents is Chief of the Boat (Cob) Joseph Prosser (Robert Patrick), who has been placed in a brig on the island. But most of the crew seems to be on Chaplin's side. This includes. Lt. Grace Shepard, who I guess is third in command, though a lot of people in the crew don't seem to respect her authority, because she's an admiral's daughter, which makes them doubt she earned her position. Meanwhile, there's a local bar run by Tani Tumrenjack (Dichen Lachman). And there's a group of Navy SEALs who were picked up by the sub shortly before all this happened. The main one of them is James King, who starts a relationship with Tani. Then there's a local crime lord named Julian Serrat, who resents the Colorado having taken over, and becomes a major antagonist. And there's Sophie Girard, the French woman who runs the NATO station (and for whom Serrat has unrequited feelings). She reluctantly provides help to the crew, but develops feelings for Sam. There are a number of other people on the Colorado's crew who are of some importance to the plot, but the only one I ever really got to feel familiar with was Petty Officer Pilar Cortez. She was one of the few who seemed to definitely be on Chaplin's side, though her loyalties eventually turn out to be... complicated. In fact, everyone's loyalties eventually become complicated, because even the captain's closest allies have to question some of his actions, as circumstances continue to get increasingly, you know, questionable.

Back in the States, the government has been harassing Sam's wife, Christine Kendal, who believes her husband and the crew are innocent. And there's a woman named Kylie Sinclair (Autumn Reeser), who works for her family's company, a weapons manufacturer that had installed some new systems on the Colorado before all this trouble started. (This includes the experimental Perseus system, which makes the sub invisible to sonar, I guess.) She also believes the crew are innocent, and starts investigating the incident. She receives some help from Grace's father, Rear Admiral Arthur Shepard. She also befriends Christine, and the two of them work together, as well. Before long a conspiracy is uncovered, that includes the President of the United States. And there are various other people who work with Kylie and Admiral Shepard to try to put a stop to the conspiracy, but I never really got to feel familiar with any of them.

I guess that's all I want to say about the show's plot. I found the show intriguing, though it would have been nice if we'd gotten more answers about why everything was happening, what the conspiracy's motives actually were. But I suppose the important thing was to eventually have the mere fact of the conspiracy's existence revealed, and Chaplin and his crew vindicated. In the meantime, it was interesting to watch how they all dealt with moral dilemmas and more personal issues. And the action aspects of the show are fairly cool. And... yeah, basically it's just a thought-provoking show with a bit of decent humor, lots of drama, and... stuff.

drama index