Episode Title: "Another Fine Navy Day"
Writer: Ron Fitzgerald
Director: Christopher Misiano
Previously on "Last Resort":
If there was ever going to be an episode of “Last Resort” that I hated off the bat, I figured it would be “Another Fine Navy Day.” The promos for this episode played up the old TV trope of the crew forgetting themselves and their purpose that we’ve seen so many times before. And it’s an idea better suited for something like “Star Trek” than a relatively grounded thriller like “Last Resort.”
However, “Another Fine Navy Day” managed to pull it off and delivered an entertaining episode while adding an intriguing cliffhanger in the form of a traitor. And I think I know who the traitor is...
Full spoilers ahead! Don’t say you weren’t warned!
Starting the action in the middle of the story is an old trick, but it almost always works because the sense of disorientation can place the audience directly in the shoes of the main character or characters. In this case, Lt. Commander Sam Kendal (Scott Speedman) is our primary POV character for the unusual siege of the island.
When the action picks up eight hours after an apparent chemical attack, the majority of the island’s inhabitants and several crew members from the Colorado are passed out. We eventually flashback to the outbreak of the incident, as one of the NATO techs, Nigel (Omid Abtahi) flips out and damages some equipment as an expression of his frustration with the Colorado’s crew ordering him around.
But as Joseph Prosser (Robert Patrick) — aka the COB — points out, nearly everyone on the island is having their own freak out. So, as Captain Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher) heads out with a small crew to secure the sub, Kendal gets the thankless task of getting the island under control again.
In a way, this is Chaplin’s fault. During negotiations with Secretary of Defense William Curry (Jay Karnes), Chaplin implied that the Navy Seals picked up by the Colorado — James King (Daniel Lissing), Hopper (David Rees Snell) and a few others — shared some details about what really happened in Pakistan before the nukes came down. But when Chaplin and Kendal tried to get some real answers out of them, the Seals closed ranks.
The thing is that the U.S. government doesn’t know that. So they (or another player) made a deal with local crime lord, Julian Serrat (Sahr Ngaujah). In return for dosing the island’s water supply with BZ and aiding a paramilitary unit’s covert invasion, Serrat was supposed to regain control of the island from Chaplin’s forces.
Instead, it’s a freakin’ disaster for Serrat, both as a character and a dramatic device. The invaders humiliate and emasculate Serrat when he protests their plans to change the deal or murder, Sophie Girard (Camille De Pazzis).
This isn’t a Lando situation. There’s no redemption in the cards for Serrat and he’s already killed a member of Chaplin’s crew. After allowing an outside force to invade the island, there is no reason why Serrat should survive his latest mistake. He is a clear threat to the crew and the island itself and it will strain all credibility if the show has to bend over backwards next week to explain why Serrat gets to live.
Another problem for Serrat is that it’s difficult for the audience to take a villain seriously again once we’ve seen them humiliated as he was. When you’re laughing at someone, you’re no longer afraid of them. So the closest thing to an adversary on the island has just been turned into a joke. A dangerous joke... but still a joke.
One of the smarter choices in this episode was to leave the Washington D.C. plotline alone for a week. But we still see Christine Kendal (Jessy Schram) as a hallucination that haunts her husband and sometimes guides him through his drug trip. That was a good way to keep Schram involved for the week and the words that Kendal’s subconscious puts in his wife’s mouth were quite interesting. She accuses Kendal of planning to keep the desk job he was offered a secret from her so he could keep on sailing in the sub. And because she is only an avatar created by his mind, Kendal can’t successfully lie to this version of Christine.
“Another Fine Navy Day” also found a way to make James more entertaining than simply going through his “No, I won’t help you! Oh wait... the hot bartender girl changed my mind again.” routine. Teaming up James and Kendal seemed to freshen up the entire dynamic and they were fun to watch. James is also being set up as the lone heroic Seal, as the attack on the island was apparently designed to take them out and hide whatever they knew. But only Hooper seems to know the truth, with the other members now dead.
I would normally point out that the invaders made a huge mistake by leaving the drugged members of the Colorado crew alive. Because the invasion worked and they could have retaken the island, if not the sub. But my theory is that the invasion was never meant to defeat Chaplin, just remove his access to the Seals... and one other thing.
The sub storyline wasn’t quite as interesting this week, except at the very end when Chaplin staggers to save the ship and gets distracted by a vision of his dead son. Some time later, Chaplin wakes up with a shot of adrenaline in his chest and the ship saved. But someone stole his firing key, effectively rendering the Colorado unable to fire its nukes or defend the island. That also means that someone on the crew is a traitor.
Now let me share my crazy theory about who the traitor is. And there are some subtle clues in this episode. First off, saving Chaplin’s life was an act of compassion and those were some very light sounding footsteps we heard running away from him. Those two facts lead me to believe that the traitor is a woman.
The writers of this show may be hoping that we’ll suspect Lt. Grace Shepard (Daisy Betts), because the government is now potentially using her imprisoned father to gain leverage on her. But I have someone else in mind: Petty Officer First Class Pilar Cortez (Jessica Camacho).
Yes, we see Cortez on the ship seemingly passed out after Chaplin wakes up. But the camera lingered on her in that scene and I don’t think it’s a coincidence. Cortez has already been kidnapped and raped on the island. She is strong, but that’s a great motivation to get the hell out of there by any means necessary. And if she was someone who hated Chaplin, she could have just let him die.
Back on the island, I have to ask: what is it about Sophie? She’s a beautiful woman, to be sure. However, I’m counting at least two unrequited crushes on her from Nigel and Serrat in addition to some very overt romantic tension between Sophie and Kendal. During Kendal’s drug induced visions, he made out with his wife. In reality, he was kissing Sophie... and she doesn’t seem to be all that upset about it as she replays the video of the kiss hours later. In fact, Sophie seems a little too happy about sharing that kiss with a married man.
Sophie doesn’t strike me as someone who would intentionally steal another woman’s husband and she clearly has no romantic feelings for Serrat or Nigal. But she looks at Kendal like he’s one of the last men alive.
I’m a little disturbed to see that “Last Resort” is shedding viewers every week. This is my favorite new show of the fall and it deserves more of an audience than it has right now. If you want “Last Resort” to get a full season pickup, start telling your friends about it now. Otherwise there will be no tomorrow for the crew of the Colorado.