Warning: Spoiler Alert
Well we start out today in Oslo, Norway. A device I would have made a staple on this show. Start every episode with a flashback, but that’s me. Curious that the young (hippie looking) scientist, I believe is the same guy who was present on the Russian ship. We want to keep this in the back of our mind, because Tophet referred to a guy earlier in the series and this could prove to be valuable to the story at some point.
Apparently this young scientist gave himself the virus intentionally in order to conduct an experimental treatment. A treatment that seems to be working. Just then as the older more senior scientist storms off a young woman arrives. This woman is clearing the scruffy scientist’s girlfriend. And she just mentioned she ‘might be coming down with something’. Curious.
Before we rejoin the Nathan James two things present themselves. One, the hippy scientist from moments ago in Oslo is indeed the same guy from the Russian ship. Two, the Russian ship is repaired and ready to move. So clearly, we are finished with the pleasant mannered, hospitable Admiral Konstantin Ruskov.
In the sense of brevity, I’m going to throw out some bullet points.
-Dr. Scott has discovered a human gene within one of the strains of the virus making things that much more complicated.
-Cosetti, one of the original crew that tried to garner support for leaving the ship and who has since recommitted to the cause, is getting the cold shoulder from just about everyone.
-Slattery finds Green working out by himself, after this recovery from the last episode. Slattery, in a very military officer manner, informs Green that he and Foster are being punished for their fraternization.
In the ‘looking for survivors’ room, Granderson and another crew member discover a lone Jamaican woman on a fishing boat in need of help. The catch is that everyone on her fishing boat (50 at one point in time) are all dead. If she is naturally immune, it could be a huge leap forward in the fight against the virus. There is also the possibility that it is a trap.
Disguising at least his intentions, Chandler describes himself as representing a fishing boat and gets the gps coordinates from the Jamaican girls (Patrice). The risk of this call is that anyone listening will have the Nathan James’ position. And naturally, Ruskov’s ship was listening. They immediately see right through the charade.
As the team prepares to set out and find Patrice, Cossetti is called down. As if all the air in the room instantly became more humid by Cossetti’s presence. Green turns and addresses Cossetti directly and in front of others. The address is a little bit much. This is, in all fairness, what happens when you have a young leader trying to affect the scales of the groups reaction. His word choice is typical. The delivery reveals his inexperience. But, it goes with the role. In the end, Green and Chandler set Cossetti up to repair his reputation at the conclusion of this small mission.
“Remember, the Nathan James does not transmit under any circumstance”. – XO Slattery
Famous last words. Even if I had not seen this episodes promo, I would still say, famous last words. The team boards the ‘Octopus’ (the fishing boat) and in my head I hear creepy Hitchcock music playing as Patrice is not visible as of yet. One thing is visible, Russians approaching.
Patrice is found under a blanket. Which makes perfect sense actually. You’d see two boats racing at your fishing boat, you’d probably hide too. Patrice and one team race away. Chandler and Tex take off with Tex trying to pick off the Russians in pursuit. The small boat gets hit a few times but not before Tex takes out one of the Russians. In a lovely maneuver, Tex move to the 50 caliber mounted gun (I know, a little crazy for a glorified raft). Chandler turns hard starboard giving Tex a window to clean out the rest of the Russian boat. Which he does.
The victory is short-lived as the boat is taking on water. Without the second boat whose already head back to the Nathan James, the boat will sink before anyone is aware of the issue. Chandler and Tex abandon the small boat.
Back on the Nathan James, Slattery sends for Dr. Tophet. Tophet not looking exactly thrilled to leave his stateroom, asks “why am I here?” For his ability to speak Russian, naturally. Then after hearing his instructions, Tophet starts that thing he does where he agrees to do _______ if they do something for him. As in the chess thing from a few weeks ago. This time his condition is rather acceptable in the eyes of this viewer. “When this is all over, just make sure Ruskov dies”.
Right now the Russians are a secondary concern. Earlier, when the two teams departed, Green noticed from the bridge that no one had trackers. The idea being that they wanted to limit the ability for someone else (ie the Russians) to connect the two teams to the location of the Nathan James. As team 2 gets close, they transmit that they do not know the location or situation pertaining to the other team or “Cobra 1”. What they don’t know and we do is that Chandler and Tex are floating in the water as their boat sinks.
After informing Tex of the strategy behind no trackers, Tex suggests he radio the Nathan James as a ‘risk worth taking’. Chandler pauses for a second. Which is a lovely tell signifying that he intends to do something a little or a lot different from what has been suggested.
“Nathan James, this is Cobra 1. Cease and desist all rescue operations, I say again. Cease and desist all rescue operations. That’s a direct order…This will be my final transmission.”
What follows is a nice back and forth between Chandler and Tex. Chandler maintaining that a rescue from the Nathan James is just too risky. Tex arguing, basically that he’d prefer not to die. In the end they decide to swim towards a reef.
Green may be a promising young leader, but he’s still a bit of a hot head who has a tendency to internalize and react emotionally. He comes storming through a corridor that just so happens to have Cossetti in it. He grills Cossetti about the circumstances, direction the captain took, the direction the Russians came from. Cossetti affected by emotion on his own end can’t come up with any helpful details.
On the Russian ship we see Ruskov having dinner with a woman and her daughter. I am still operating on the premise that the woman and her daughter are wife and daughter to Dr. Tophet. Then an officer comes in to inform Ruskov of the transmission to cease and desist all rescue efforts, identifying the voice and Chandler. The one ‘yeah but’ about that is that the woman’s eyes lit up when she heard the name Chandler.
Ruskov sends out a drone to get pictures of who exactly is refusing a rescue. As the drone approaches, Chandler can hear it coming amidst the swimming. Chandler and Tex stop moving as the drone approached. Soon another sound can be heard. That of the inbound missile courtesy of the Nathan James that takes out the drone. Hopefully before it transmitted anything of importance. And of course Chandler is not thrilled they fired on the drone.
Now the game or at least strategy has changed. Ruskov now sees how far they are willing to go in order to save him. Or at least that’s what he’s thinking.
Meanwhile, Chandler and Tex have been swimming in a general direction hoping to find a reef that one of the crew was “60%” sure was out there. They stop to rest (tread for a while) and Tex asks a question that may be the best single line in the show to date.
“Are you really this damn heroic? Ordering off your own rescue?”
With the G.I. Joe moment out-of-the-way, they commence to small talk. The only reason Tex even came out was to impress Dr. Scott. Which Chandler finds hilarious. What I find interesting is that Tex admits this only after he clearly allowed a period of time to pass while he waits for Chandler to make a move. Thus avoiding any sort of violation of a bro code.
Dr. Scott has an opportunity to engage in small talk with Patrice while she collects a specimen to test. Patrice goes on to describe the events of the last few weeks. Leaving Jamaica with 51 people and watching them all die off one at a time. And asking why. “Why didn’t I die?” Dr. Scott turns to her and with emotion in her eyes says, “you’re immune”. And like a typical cliché in my own living room I yell out loud at the TV, “because you’re going to save the world Missy!” Which at least garners a smile from Patrice.
One big problem with making television shows to compete is the compulsion to make something that appeals to everyone. I do enjoy this show on multiple levels. And to be honest one of them is male-centric. There is an area in the brain (I can only assume) that is reserved for explosions, military heroism, and other like man stuff. I would love this show even more if that’s all it was. The world is dying and only one ship can save. Armed with a small arsenal, a hot doctor, and the will of a champion this small part of what once was the US Navy soldiers on to save the world. That would be good enough for me.
In the real world though, that idea is limiting. I say all of this to say, there’s a little more sappiness to this episode than most. Chandler opening up about his fears to Tex. Specifically about the proposition of never seeing his family again. And now Green confiding in Cossetti about the way Cossetti is punishing himself.
In a clever and deceptive manner, the show runner of The Last Ship take us on a short run to find Chandler and Tex. One aboard the chopper sees a reflection in the water they think is the two men in question. They see the aircraft approaching and Tex signals repeatedly. Chandler looks a little ticked. Tex defers and insists the Captain go up first. He reluctantly does. And just as the Captain hits the deck, it hit me. That isn’t their chopper. And sure enough, Capt Chandler is greeted at gunpoint.
Needless to say, next episode will definitely be worth tuning in for. If not, you know NJATVS will have it covered.