Category Archives: The Last Ship

The Last Ship: Healing and Loss

Courtesy of TNT
Courtesy of TNT

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Michener: This is President Jeffrey Michener addressing all Americans from the Navy ship the USS Nathan James. Which is now entering the heart of this nation. The Mississippi River. We are survivors of this great plague. Just as you are. We have struggled, just as you have. And we still have great hope in the future, just as you do. I know that you’ve stayed alive this long by telling yourselves and your families, that living in fear, of the virus and of others. Fear of the unknown. There have been people out there who have taken advantage of that. Despicable rumors and misleading videos have been broadcast from this network. Lies designed to manipulate you. To make you believe that this ship and the people on it are your enemy. Nothing could be further from the truth. The men and women on this ship are some of the bravest and noblest that I have ever met. And it is an outrage that their commitment to bring all of us the cure has been undermined by those who thrive on your fear. I can tell you now that we do have the cure for the Red Flu. Attached to this message is video footage so you can see for yourself, our doctor tending to and curing patients sick with the virus. It is our mission now to spread this cure to as many of you as we can. (A list of stops and times along the Mississippi River) It’s time to turn the tide, end the bloodshed, put the pain behind us, and begin to heal this great nation. All of us. Together. Thank you.

XO Slattery begins to debrief those in the room on the new power structure of the Immunes. This brings back the Pastor who appeared to be working for the Ramseys. Slattery is under the assumption that Kevin McDowell (pastor) is the new ringleader. There has been some speculation that McDowell always was the man in charge, but we’ll tie that down later. McDowell still has the ability to broadcast over the ‘Deadman’ network, so there is some concern. Dr. Scott then explains how the contagious cure will work. The cure resides in moisture. Miller and men at large thank TNT for what comes next. Dr. Scott, using Miller, gives a demonstration of some ways to effectively spread the cure. Shaking hands, breathing, mixing of saliva. That last one prompting Tex to suggest kissing, which practically speaking, would work.

There is a concern among some of the crew that broadcasting their location to the country with next to no artillery on board, may be the virtuous way to go but also a risky one.

Michener video conferences with McDowell following his offer to pardon any Immune leaders to cooperate going forward. McDowell seems confident still while Michener’s tone is slightly more defiant. McDowell tries to rile Michener by bringing up Michener’s emotional moment when McDowell found him. McDowell claims he will get out of their ‘hair’ for now, but these two men have unfinished business.

Granderson escorts Jeter to the communications room. A call has come in over an open channel from Jeter’s wife’s family. They want to get permission (essentially) to travel to Vicksburg, the Nathan James’ first publicized stop. Their current situation is safe. He asks for them to stay put and wait for him to come and get them in a couple of weeks.

Tex approaches Dr. Scott on the deck. Centuries have been posted every six feet. This is where Tex chooses to inform her that once they make port, he will go his own way. AGAIN. Tex just needs to wrap his head around the fact that he is a part of the Nathan James and quit trying to find reasons to part ways. He will find his daughter. Eventually. Not trying to be cruel, just selfish. He aims to find her, but it may take more than 8 days. Dr. Scott lets him know that an arrangement for an additional dosage or two is not out of the question.

As the Nathan James approaches Vicksburg, there is next to no one there. 127 by count when they were hoping for closer to 10,000. 127 is not nearly enough to create the chain reaction from the contagious cure as Dr. Scott was hoping for. Tex hears this. Chandler approaches but before he can say anything, Tex offers an extension to his service. Now I’m the jerk for not wanting him to leave the ship.

Tex: If things are going south, I can stick around.
Chandler: Find your girl, Tex.
Tex: Meet me in Saint Louie Louie.

McDowell and his cronies have some kind of plan to execute. At present, they are transporting a number of infected people by way of what looks like a refrigeration truck.

Tex heads out on a good old-fashioned chopper (motorcycle not aircraft). He pulls up to a farm where a man aims a shotgun right at Tex. Problem is Tex has seen too much to be scared off by a shotgun and an old man. States his business, naming his daughter and her mother by name. This changes the man’s tune slightly. The man and Tex identify each other as family. Kat eventually heading towards Memphis to see if the cure thing was real. Claire is a different story. About three months ago, looters came in the night. Claire was the first one down. She took out the looters with one shot. Tex pays his respects to the man dug grave and tells the old man who the news is true about the cure and the ship. Tex shakes his hand and pulls him close before walking away.

Michener and Chandler discuss plans in St. Louis. Up to and including using St. Louis’ still standing infrastructure as a likely site for the new National Capitol. Then Jeter knocks on the door with a confession of sorts. The reaction was stern, palpable, but eventually Chandler thanked him for informing them before dismissing him. Michener is much less quick to absolve Jeter of his wrongdoing.

Tex rolls up on a gas station. He barely dismounts his hog before realizing the dead bodies. There is one man still clinging to life. An infected man who was brought from Tallahassee to be planted to spread the virus again…by the Immunes. Tex gets close. Takes a drink from a water bottle then passes it to the sick man. The Immunes plan is to take these infected people to Memphis. Counter balance the attempts by the Nathan James.

McDowell’s men begin escorting and in some cases wheeling in the sick wearing US Navy uniforms.

Tex beats arrives at the College Of Memphis with a bull horn. He scales a car and starts calling out for Kathleen. She hears her own name is seconds. Overjoyed, they share an embrace. Tex delivers a very real and emotional performance that takes the viewer from completely fine to more than misty in about 12 seconds. This whole thing about finding his daughter (after ensuring she was alright) was about forgiveness for Tex.

The actual ground team finds the Immunes posing in ‘navy’ blue right about the time Tex calls in that he has eyes on McDowell. McDowell and his second wheel a sick man into the bulk of the crowd to claim they are here to deliver the virus. Naturally, instant panic sets in. No one in the crowd noticed that these men were not in military shape, that the uniforms didn’t fit properly or that McDowell’s second saluted lazily and with the wrong hand. The tact team and Tex start picking off impostors. The second runs back to warn McDowell. At that moment Wolf jumps in like a UFC fighter. He is covered by Green and the rest of the team taking out every impostor except for McDowell. Wolf gets right in McDowell’s face as if to convey, “The only reason you’re still breathing is because I allow it.”

The helo is less than three miles away with the aerosol version of the cure when Green calls in to say that a mix of infected and healthy people are trying to break contain. The helo arrives just as Green, Burk and separately Tex convince to mob to stay put. “Just breathe it in”.

Wolf (to McDowell): Breathe it in.
Miller (to McDowell): Yeah, just breathe it in @&%hole. Now we’re all immune.

With McDowell now secured on the loading deck, Michener spells out what will happen next. Despite what McDowell thinks, he is at this point, out manned. This game of infecting people with the virus or the cure is a game his is steadily losing. The deal on the table is to get McDowell to help by getting his men to stand down so they can spread the cure. Then maybe, some day, McDowell will see his own freedom again. Just before the commercial break, McDowell asks about one of those “pardons” that Michener extended others along the way for cooperation.

The Nathan James approaches the port of St. Louis on fumes. The numbers on the port are staggeringly large by comparison to previous stops. At the base of the arch is a sea of people. Young and old, male and female of all backgrounds and types. What follows is a heartwarming montage of various members of the Nathan James (including Val) passing along the cure however they can. Including Miller passing it along to a young lady using the exchange of saliva method. In this moment, the message is to heal America. Not some of it, all of it, regardless of nothing.

Although it was telegraphed slightly, a small surprise of Tex introducing his daughter Kat to Dr. Scott amidst the crowd. If I may interject my own selfish ‘shipping’ angle. Dr. Scott is enthused to meet Kat. So much so that it almost suggests how a would be step mother to be may embrace the new step daughter at their first meeting. Not saying that’s what TNT will do, but it’s what I would do. The emotions don’t stop there. Jeter’s in-laws show up and are escorted by Granderson. Any mention to the in-laws has all been met with some level of trepidation, as if Jeter was never welcomed by them. There is something missing to the equation. Whether I missed it along the way or it was held back intentionally. There is a moment that almost trumps that of Kat and Dr. Scott. These in-laws basically apologize for never reaching out. Jeter claims they never could. They refute that notion by saying they just didn’t. The father-in-law with tears streaming and a long felt embrace would follow.

The next scene is one I think most of us have been waiting for. With an old relic cannon and American flags as the backdrop, President Michener is sworn in. Hand on the bible and in front of thousands of witnesses.

A ballroom of sailors in their dress uniforms is a welcomed but awkward sight. Chandler thanks Michener for the ball, something that is not that unlike similar moments of celebrations put on by more popular and well-known Presidents that came before him. Michener wastes no time getting to the next thing. Attempting to promote CDR Tom Chandler to Chief of Naval Operations. This is the set up for season 3. While it seems the south-east region of the country is on its way to repairing and healing, the same cannot be said for the Northeast and other populated regions of the country.

Michener: We have a nation to build and a world to repair, and there’s no one I trust more.
Chandler: Sounds like an order…
Michener: It is. Tonight, we rest and enjoy our success. Tomorrow, the fight for America and the rest of the world begins.

Green tells a story about a mission involving himself, Frankie and hostile Hungarians to a captive audience of his peers, Lt. Foster among them. The story ends with Frankie coming down the rope dressed as Santa Claus to give gifts to the Hungarians. That was Frankie Benz. One of their men lost in the process. This begins a cascade of toasts to fallen sailors or anyone that helped and was lost along the way.

Dr. Scott intercepts Chandler as he attempts to slip into his room early. She had an envelope she hoped to slip under his door before making a slip of her own. She will be on a plane first thing to begin doing a doctor’s work elsewhere. Recently pardoned by President Michener, there is nothing preventing her from doing so. They play out this game of ‘what if’ citing that he would have stood by his decision, she would’ve fought it. He would’ve given her a sterling character reference as would the other 204 men and women aboard the Nathan James.

If they ended it there, I would have been content. But instead, their conversation leads more in a flirtatious direction. Not flirtatious in the way Tex is with Dr. Scott, this is much more intentional. Dr. Scott advances and Tom Chandler is unwavering. There are a few different times in this short span where words or body language or even tone suggests, that both parties or on board with where this is going. Then predictably, following the Rachel and Ross rule that I despise so much, Dr. Scott hands over the envelope and walks away.

Chandler (as she walks away): Be safe. When you get back….Find me.

Down in the ballroom, the men and women of the Nathan James continue in their celebration. Now more than slightly affected by the alcohol and the old Navy songs they loudly sang together. They get through the first verse, then Burk stands up and takes the reins individualizing the song to fit the Nathan James. All are happy in the moment, but that is about to reach another uptick when Lt. Green nonchalantly opens a ring case, extends it towards Lt. Foster and asks, “Is now a good time?” Clearly, he talks too much.

Dr. Scott is almost to her room when a familiar voice approaches. McDowell’s number 2. He slowly advances and senses something wrong. His story of wanting the cure from her for history sake didn’t help either. He asks how close he needs to be, then she say close enough. He stops, pauses, then pulls out a gun and shoots her. But before pulling the trigger he quotes another mislead agent in our country’s past.

“Sic semper tyrannis!” The same latin shouted by John Wilkes Booth before shooting Abraham Lincoln. “Thus always to tyrants!”

The Last Ship: Let Slip The Dogs Of War

Courtesy of TNT
Courtesy of TNT

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Slattery, Gator, and Foster brainstorm over what is the best course of action pertaining to the pursuit of Ramsey’s sub. These thoughts are tactical in nature, but after what happened last episode (Valkyrie), Tom Chandler is no longer interested in the slow strategic approach.

Chandler: NO. We’re not hiding any longer and we’re not waiting for Ramsey to make the first move. If that sub is waiting for us in the mouth of the river, we go around. Attack her on from the flank. This ends today.

Granderson, makes known in no uncertain terms that she is not exactly thrilled with Valerie’s attitude. Despite Granderson’s direct demands to knowing what side Valerie’s on, Valerie pushes through, attempting to reconnect to the Valkyrie network.

President Michener paces in his oval-like office as Chandler briefs him on the current situation. They will be monitoring everything Val does, but with the understanding that Chandler believes they have won her over to the good guys. They still have no sonar, but the Engineering team is working to fix that, even if it’s only temporary. When their fix is done, they will be running ten times the current the system was designed for. So, the system could burn out in as early as mere minutes. Michener is not exactly pleased. It should be noted, that I like others, are still somewhat skeptical of Michener. He may have the right intentions, but his body language at times suggests that he might not be all in.

Chandler takes this moment as an opportunity to present the next step of the immediate plan. The biggest factor of this plan is instituting Chandler’s own version of the “Designated Survivor”. Instead of picking someone in the line of succession to be absent from whatever this is, Chandler conveys to Michener that he, along with Slattery, Dr. Scott and a few other key people will be removed from the Nathan James, guarded by the ships most experienced operatives, to ensure that the line of succession (namely President Michener) stays intact.

Granderson and Val brief the leadership on what they’ve found from connecting back into the Valkyrie network. Several phones have been plotted to show a deliberate attempt at a blockade. Based on the chatter they’re hearing, Ramsey has the immunes and civilians working side by side. Burk suggests taking three operatives and some RPG’s and they could single-handedly take out the blockade. Michener interjects that no civilians are to be fired upon under any circumstances. There is a visible desire of retaliation behind Burk’s eyes, but Chandler jumps in to support the President’s comment. Val, of all people in the room, suggests another tactic. She can’t disable the network, but she could very easily, engage in a misinformation campaign to throw the civilians off their scent. With Val’s idea, the risky window of available sonar, this could be their only and best shot.

The team prepares to separate the “Designated Survivors”. Green and Foster meet in a hallway in the ship, seemingly alone. At first they are professional. If my experience with my own wife and multiple pregnancies are any indication, even the strongest of sailors could not possibly handle the rigors of what might be approaching third trimester pregnancy, the loss of friends, the pressure of sinking a sub and the prospect of losing the father of her child. I said out loud to my wife, what’s the probability she says “don’t let me raise this child on my own”? Just as they begin to part ways, cue the passionate retreat. Father at belly height, then a heart-felt kiss later, they depart in different directions successfully this time.

Chandler and Slattery share some parting words. Chandler standing resolute with the mission at hand. Slattery mildly disappointed he won’t be on board when they sink the sub. Then Chandler hands him a folded envelope and says only, “for my family”, on the relatively slim reality that Chandler may not make it out of this scrape alive.

Val sets up on the bridge and begins sending out her messages of misinformation. With Granderson watching her like a hawk. Within seconds, they get reply messages confirming the civilians are on the move to intercept the Nathan James in an area where the Nathan James does not intend to be. Not only are the civilians falling for it, it appears that Ramsey is as well.

With no civilians in sight, Chandler wants to test their new rigged sonar. Meanwhile, Tex tries to put a visibly stressed Dr. Scott at ease. Before there can be a response to this awkwardly accurate sentiment, Burk notices two civilians. One of which seems to be a sick child. Against her better judgment for the mission at hand, Dr. Scott jets out of the tent to help the child. Before she can get there, a father figure jumps out to prevent the help. Eventually, he lowers his rifle. This is the painfully awkward part. The breathing the cure on an infected person is just difficult to witness. The mother seems almost angry at the sight. “I thought you were going to cure her?” Dr. Scott looks up to claim that she has already cured the child, merely by breathing on her.

The family was not without gratitude and to show their appreciation, they offered up some second-hand intel. They heard a couple British people from the sub talking about bringing along a very large weapon to sink the ship. For fear of giving away the Nathan James’ position, the ground team has gone dark. Green suggests they try to take out whatever this is themselves.

Val has been flooding the network with her misinformation campaign. And while it seemed like a smart idea, it was too much too fast. And Sean Ramsey knows it. Garnett fires up the rigged sonar but only for a moment. The sub hears the ping but doesn’t recognize it as sonar. Chandler readies TAO for a firing solution. With no movement and the ship moving dangerously slow, Chandler channels his inner Zen. Chandler orders the ship to steer right at the same time Ramsey believes they are close. Chandler orders another quick sonar sweep. Ramsey orders prop movement. This allows both parties to realize that the Nathan James is literally sitting on top of the sub.

Chandler: We can’t fire with them right below us. COME TO FULL POWER. ALL ENGINES AHEAD FLANK THREE!

Both vessels move ahead full. The Nathan James is turning while the sub attempts to match course. Chandler is gambling on the sub’s inexperience in the hopes they’ll move too fast. As the sub makes for the trench with all haste, Chandler orders the engines in full reverse. Just then, the sonar gives out and Chandler calls for all engines full. The sub dives with fish in the water. Mid dive, it appears at least one of the fish hit something. No time to celebrate though, as the sub had fired its own. The Nathan James takes a hit. They need to seal affected compartments, which could involve locking down Garnett, Jeter and O’Connor.

With only surface weapons, the Nathan James is forced to make this a surface fight. The sub was hit, but the severity is unknown. What is known, is that they are forced to lift to periscope depth.

Slattery, Green and Tex find the big something the Ramsey’s hope to use to sink the Nathan James. What look like to this novice as a four pack of surface to air missiles at the ready. Slattery can see from their vantage point that the Nathan James is leaking black smoke. An indication they’ve already been hit.

Slattery: What’d you do Tommy? Ok, here’s the plan boys. Win.
Tex: Good plan.

Green creates a distraction that brings half of their seven out. In short order they are widdled down to half of their group. Green takes a shot to the middle of his vest, but Tex takes that guy out. It’s now three on three. One of their two hits Slattery in his left shoulder. One of their men circles around to finish off Slattery, who catches him by surprise. The annoying cockney usually on board the sub takes to the controls. A one-armed, limping Slattery takes out his cover. By my math, that leaves 3 on 1, with their one unprotected. My math was wrong. A fourth emerges, but Tex takes him out in close quarters. At that moment, Slattery , with his good arm removes the man at the controls.

The sub surfaces. The sub and the Nathan James will now commence the surface fight. Meanwhile, Slattery is in a fight of his own. The man at the controls fights back, ultimately getting Slattery in a defensive position. Green takes out a guy resurging and Tex snaps the neck of his combatant. With the bad guy’s finger pressing into Slattery’s wound, Slattery finds the focus to pull his knife and penetrate it into his opponent’s torso.

Chandler maneuvers but is unable to find a clear shot. Ramsey puts the sub into position and has a clean shot. Instruments indicate the sub is preparing to fire. Just as it seems like Chandler’s gamble will not pay off. Something big and destructive impacts the sub. How you like ‘dem apples Sean Ramsey? Slattery, injured but not without focus, took the controls of Sean Ramsey’s big secret weapon and pierced him with it. Chaos befalls the sub. Lt. Foster and XO Slattery take turns firing on the sub from their different vantage points. The sub sinks and it falls to pieces. And to that end, XO Mike Slattery gets his well deserved moment.

The Last Ship: Here. I. Am.

Photo Courtesy of TNT
Photo Courtesy of TNT

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The Nathan James and their Cobra team try to pick of the proverbial pieces in the aftermath of Sean Ramsey’s little charade in New Orleans. Cobra team continues to pull bodies out of the water who would prefer to be saved by anyone else. The Nathan James is picking up audio from all around and the overwhelming consensus is the Ramsey ploy has worked…for now.

Shortly thereafter, the Nathan James picks up a broadcast intended for everyone. Sean Ramsey himself spewing more and more deliberate lies in an effort to win the loyalty of the people suffering. Every sentence is a lie. The message is difficult to take and all those on the Nathan James observing it seem to have a difficult time keeping their cool. He does however, reference that the Commander of the Nathan James has ‘stolen’ the President. This prompts President Michener to volunteer to speak to the people about the truth. The truth about the Ramsey’s, Chandler, and the Nathan James. Just as soon as they take over Ramsey’s network that is. Like most of us, I am giving President Michener the benefit of the doubt, even if he’s given numerous small hints to the notion that he might not be completely on-board.

Cobra team continues on the beach tending to the wounded. Tex uses a handheld device to measure the strength of the network’s signal. Flea claims the signal is strongest based on whose phone is closest by. Suggesting that each phone works as a signal extender. Tex finds the signal to get stronger near Flea. Then quickly realizes the signal is 100% off shore behind Flea. Off in the distance is a ling of seagulls sitting in the water in a perfect line. I’d love to think it’s the sub, but that would be too easy.

The Nathan James sends out a UAV to search for the source of the signal. Meanwhile, President Michener begins recording his address to the people. FDR’s Pearl Harbor Address or JFK’s Inaugural it is not, but it is a moving address considering the circumstances.

The UAV reports back that the signal is emitting from an oil rig in the middle of the water. From all appearances, there is no one on the rig. Cobra team descends on the rig quickly and quietly. They find the communication center in short order. However, there is a snag. While plenty is can be sent this way, Granderson has found no existence of the use of Bluetooth. Then a figure pops out of a hatch and tries the run. The truly funny part is that she pulled a handgun on Cobra team. Each member of which could take her out before she even decided to do something with her little handgun. The girl in the red hair is Valkyrie.

With weapons at the ready, Chandler begins to question Valkyrie (or Valerie) about what she thinks she knows. Why is it always the brilliant ones who think they need to spread the ‘truth’? Valkyrie believes that Ramsey is right and that there is a great conspiracy enacted by the U.S. Government. Chandler laughs it off as a ridiculous conspiracy theory by suggesting she left out the part about the aliens from space. Eventually, she listens long enough to hear Chandler ask her to upload the video on the flash drive, where she will hear the truth. This brilliant tool of a wasted mind refuses to assist. So, with the help of Engineer Chang and Lt. Granderson, Chandler gives the order to tear it all down.

Meanwhile on the beach, the transition of the doctored video has been released again. Flea sees it, then notices someone else in the crowd seeing it. He quickly runs over the crowd and points out that the men helping are Navy. This nonsense does exactly what it was intended to. Draws men with guns to turn their attention towards the Viper team and gives Flea an opportunity to escape. The team does what it has to in order to escape, but as Tex put it, he did get “shot in the ***”.

An unidentified civilian boat approaches the rig at some speed. They don’t have much time to react once they’ve discovered a guy in the back with a shoulder mounted RPG. The RPG hits causing a huge explosion with someone engulfed in flames. It then circles the rig. The Nathan James redirects the hero towards the rig. The explosion has even affected the group holding Valkyrie. Granderson looks like she’s in bad shape, Walker appears to be dead and Valkyrie makes a run for it with Chandler on her heels. To make matters worse, there is a natural gas leak that needs to be dealt with. Just as the boat makes its third pass and the man with the RPG reloads for another shot, the helo arrives and takes out the boat with minimal effort. The entire rig is acting like the meteor in Armageddon. Explosions at random all over the rig.

Back on the Nathan James there is chaos as the injuries start coming in. Chang and Ravit on stretchers. Granderson bleeding from her head. Tex shot, but more than happy to get in the back of the line. Granderson and Garnett had a front row seat to watch the lights go out on Lt. Andy Chung. Along the way, Chandler observes all of this under a delusional haze…then he collapses. Chandler took some shrapnel and is bleeding internally.

Sean Ramsey hears the news that some random Americans caught wind that there were Navy personnel on the rig and took it upon themselves to blow it to Kingdom Come. Sean is not angry or even disappointed. In his mind, the message is out and the tide is turning.

Dr. Scott has Chandler stabilized. How long he’ll be out is uncertain. But there are bigger issues of immediate concern. Ravit has some sort of metal shrapnel that’s lodged in her abdomen. The body language alone from those tending to her is not good. Burk hobbles over in time to see it protruding through her back. Regardless of what her intentions for him or his intentions for her may have been, it seems this story of flirtatious resistance might just come to an early end. Burk doesn’t hesitate to attempt to put her frantic concerns at ease. The flirting continues but without the resistance. They all know it’s over, they fight it when her shortness of breath kicks in but eventually the realization washes over everyone. Starting with Ravit. When Dr. Milowsky calls it, the emotions wash over Burk and Wolf.

Dr. Scott tends the Captain’s wounds after he’s come out of his haze. She makes a comment about still possessing the ability to use her skills for good, I rather liked that moment. Then Chandler asks about Ravit. She informs him that he almost became the fifth Sailor lost on this day. His progress from then to now, was a little touch ‘n go. The Captain refuses to go under for surgery for obvious reasons. His stubbornness only opens the door for a human moment between these two. A sentiment that has been missing since the Niels investigation. Chandler thanks her sincerely and she departs.

Everyone able, Chandler and Valkyrie included, attend a ceremony headed by CMC Jeter. In reverence to the fallen Sailors. Jeter puts their memory and their service front and center and finishes each line with the same three words, “and still we answer the call, here I am. Today we grieve, but tomorrow we answer the call. Here I am.”

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Valkyrie stands up and approaches a clearly wounded Captain. He went back for her because they need her. And in some way wanted her to see firsthand who they are. She admits that despite her hubris, there is still a lot she doesn’t know. Chandler formally asks for her help. Fade to black before she can answer.

The Last Ship: Every Soldier Needs Someone To Salute

Courtesy of TNT
Courtesy of TNT

Warning: Spoiler Alert

We begin tonight with newly named ‘President’ voicing his complaints, up to and including accusations of treason.  Dr. Scott has been brought up to speed on Niels’ condition, we assume after her conversation with Tex at the conclusion of last week’s episode.  It also seems clear that not everyone is in the loop on the specifics of the Nathan James’ newest addition.  The ship’s leadership trio discusses the sensitive nature of what happens next.  Will the ‘President’ gladly come over to the cause of the Nathan James?  Continue fighting to get back to the cause of the Immunes?  Or is there something larger at play?

XO Slattery pays the President a visit where he is being held.  Despite his refusal to speak with anyone besides the Captain, Slattery continues.  First playing him a message from the second in the line of succession (formerly Speaker of the House).  This message only states the current status of the government, but it does make it clear that the Nathan James is in a position of authority on some level.  A claim that the Ramsey’s cannot make.

The second message is from the Secretary of the Navy, a familiar friend and colleague to the former head of HUD.  This message further place the Nathan James in a position of authority.  Furthermore, it shows a superior to both Michener and the men serving on the Nathan James giving the Nathan James an order for a mission to be carried out.  Another claim the Ramseys cannot make.

A third message is from Dr. Hunter to Dr. Scott on the subject of how to mass produce the cure.  The above mission was to cure as many as possible to restore the country and by some extension the government.  A mission that was terrorized by Ramsey’s men.  The obvious didn’t need to be pointed out.  The gunman on that message was Ned Ramsey and his men.  All because the Ramsey’s and their “Immunes” believe they are the inheritors of the earth.  Misinterpreting scripture (or whatever) to suit their own ends.

Slattery leaves two flash drives at Michener’s disposal, experiment data and ship’s logs to support Slattery’s claims.  What Michener does with them when left alone should tell the Captain, who has been watching from a video feed the entire time, a great deal.  He paces before sitting at the computer.  Instead of inserting one of the flash drives Slattery left, he insert a flash drive of his own.  This flash drive shows a video of a Sean Ramsey speech.  The composition of the video suggests something nefarious.

Chandler finally joins Michener who abruptly removes his flash drive.  Chandler cannot ask for the flash drive and reveal he’d been spying on Michener, so he closes and removes the laptop instead.  With each and every mention of evidence to the Nathan James’ cause, Michener dismisses them as if they were all fabricated.  Chandler retorts that regardless of what he believes, their orders fall in line with protocols consistent with national interests. Michener believes the Immunes are the best chance for survival.  Instead of pushing back, Chandler quite simply asks Michener to, “Convince him”.

Michener tells his story.  From the directive he was given by the elected President, through the outbreak, and discovery that he was an Immune.  Sean’s ‘vision’ boils down a Hitler-espque master race.  Not exactly the angle you want to take when convincing any level-headed person of anything.  Just before this meeting falls off the rails, Chandler is able to misdirect just enough to convince Michener to spill some of the intel that Slattery believes must be priority one.

The next step is New Orleans.  After Katrina, the government put into place certain fail safes to ensure such a large-scale incident wouldn’t happen again.  New Orleans is to be ground zero for the rebuilding of the country.  Chandler stops this line of questioning to redirect again.  He tries to cast doubt on Michener’s convictions by suggesting that Sean has already begun moving west towards New Orleans without him.  Michener is not willing to consider that he is not as big a piece of Sean’s plan as he’d like to believe, even if it was a bluff on Chandler’s part.  He suggests that he is a prisoner to which Chandler claims he is not.  Then there is a long pause after Michener asks, “then I’m free to go?”

The notion that it was ‘impossible’ that the sub would be on the move was peculiar.  Enough so to sway the Nathan James’ leadership to question if they have sustained enough damage to literally make movement impossible.  Chandler orders Slattery to move the ship outward, but quietly.  While they gained the intel they were looking for, there is a concern that any hope of turning Michener away from the Ramsey’s cause may have been lost.  Gaining his trust now becomes the new direction.

Chandler ventures to Michener’s quarters to take another swing.  This time he begins with honesty about the tactics used to gain the intel as to the sub’s location.  Now it’s time to sweeten the pot by creating a narrative more alluring and heroic than that of the Ramsey’s.  Chandler begins in on his own virus back story.  The loss of this wife, not even getting to hold her hand before she passed. The image of his children watching her die.  Finding his children in an extermination camp. This mission he did not ask for and how all of it creates meaning.  He tries to create empathy.  Right before he turns to leave, Michener admits that he did get to hold his son’s hand as he slipped away toward death.  Michener takes Chandler through each member of his family dying before him.  It feels like Michener is just about turn when there is a knock at the door.  CMC Jeter has something Chandler needs to hear. Michener seems to refocus out of the moment.

The message he needs to hear is a publicly heard message on an FM frequency warning anyone and everyone to avoid contact with the Nathan James.  Suggesting that their ‘cure’ is either a new strain of the virus or an experimental drug.  Bottom line, avoid them or fight them.

The mental images and sounds of the memories shared of Michener’s loss weigh heavily on him.  Chandler runs through Michener’s file and discovers something relating to his family.  His children specifically.  Chandler intends to bring this information to Michener’s attention, but Michener is not in his quarters.  Ultimately, Chandler finds Tex standing watch outside the men’s head.  After no response, Chandler breaks in the door only to find Michener bleeding out from self-inflicted wounds to his wrists.  Chandler applies pressure to those wounds while he awaits medical attention.

Dr. Scott seems to have him stabilized.  Concealing the incident from the crew is a notion not easily accepted considering that was the catalyst of a previous mistake.  Chandler believes the radio message about avoiding the Nathan James makes the President’s safety and his allegiance to the Nathan James’ cause paramount.

When Michener wakes, Chandler doesn’t hesitate to start in on the why.  Before they grabbed Michener last week, Chandler said if he has power he can be manipulated.  Chandler has found his vulnerable spot.  Michener’s emotional attachment.  Chandler suggests that Michener must face what he can’t let go of.  Michener shouts back that there is nothing to let go of, but in this case, Chandler’s holding all of the cards.

Michener preemptively removed his son from Ann Arbor and brought him to the stadium in Tallahassee.  Michener was responsible for more deaths than just his family’s.  Once he accepts that responsibility, it was easy to embrace the story that Sean Ramsey gave him.  Chandler almost begs Michener to share with him what makes it something he can’t understand.  Being responsible for is one thing.  Actually executing the deed first hand is something else entirely.  After his son died, Michener’s wife asked him to put his daughters out of their own misery before it got worse.  So in their sleep, Michener smothered them to death.  One of them even woke up mid act.  His daughter’s last memory was her father killing her.  How does someone live with that?

Chandler tries to match Michener’s story and tone.  Not in a one-upmanship short of way, but in an empathetic “I feel your pain” sort of way.  Eric Dane even manages to squeeze out a tear or two.

Michener:  What do you say about that?  How do I live with that?

Chandler:  I’ve killed people.  More than I can count now.  Some of them were firmly aligned against us with the worst of intentions.  Some of them were just caught up in the madness that all of this has created, just trying to survive.  We’ve all done things that are hard to live with.  So let this be your redemption if it needs to be, because it might be mine.

(Michener gives a subtle head nod)

In the ship’s briefing room Michener begins telling Chandler, Slattery, Jeter, Dr. Scott, and now Garnett what he knows of the sub’s condition, plans and communication capabilities.  Slattery asks for the red flash drive which Michener turns over quickly and willingly.  A clear sign of intention.  Dr. Scott then turns to the teddy bear device.  It didn’t seem needed, but important to show just how misguided Sean’s men are.  Michener had no idea they were intentionally infecting children in order to weed out the immunes.

The group leaves Michener and Chandler to themselves where Chandler makes it very clear that their emotional sharing from earlier will stay between them.  Then a moment that must have come with a great swelling of pride for all involved, Chandler shows Michener to his new quarters.  It’s a much larger room.  The first image of note is a hand painted Presidential seal.  A desk that is as close to the Resolute Desk as one might find on an US Navy Destroyer.  All of the crew in the room stops what they’re doing to address him as “Mr. President”.  Chung informs the President that the room is operational.

The room is decorated with images found in the White House.  Computer printouts, but still the effect is there. Aside from the aesthetic of the room, Chandler has given some of his own clothes and affects to help add the feel of normalcy.  There seems to be a genuine sense of gratitude.  From both men.  Chandler then stands at attention and salutes the new President of the United States.  President Michener returns the gesture.

Courtesy of TNT
Courtesy of TNT

The Last Ship: POTUS Extraction

Courtesy of TNT
Courtesy of TNT

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Chandler circles back without breaking eye contact with the Brits and their new pawn to meet with his undercover crew. Ravit updates him on the count of hostiles on site. Chandler breaks eye contact to suggest that if the guy in the blue shirt (Ned) makes him, they will have problems and in a hurry. Based on the loose information that the previous 11 in the line of succession actually did die in the bunker, this Jeffrey Mitchner actually would be the President. Even if Mitchner is compliant against his will. The newer more immediate mission is the extract their new Commander and Chief out from under the oppressive thumb of Sean and Ned.

Meanwhile, in the back Green and Tex keep up their cover while Wolf watches from a distance via rifle scope. Wolf and Green relay their coordinates to XO Slattery. They find an area large enough to land a helo, which is great news for Slattery. His priority being to keep the Commander alive.

Sean and Ned have another of their lopsided conversations. Sean enthusiastic about the turnout and not worried at all about the sub. Ned freaking out about the sub not caring about the dog and pony show inside. Sean orders Ned to accompany Niels on his next little ‘magic trick’.

Ravit uses her feminine wiles to distract a patrolman on duty. Burk moves inside to get a closer look on the operation inside the loading stations. Green makes his way around the building to discover Niels working on something. The man in charge (I use that term very loosely) of the unloading catches Green spying but with one gesture, Green makes it appear as if he’s relieving himself. Upon a second look, Chandler believes that Mitchner’s body language reveals that he not completely a hostage. He may need some convincing to be removed from his current position.

Chandler: I don’t know how deep in he is, but he has drunk some of the Kool-Aid, that’s for sure.
Burk: We have to do this quietly.
Chandler: If he’s here of his own free will he has power, if he has power, he can be manipulated.

Dr. Scott, with the help of the Engineering department of the crew, has developed a machine that will act like a large inhaler for the mice. Going back to last week, Dr. Scott believes Dr. Hunter had created a way to make the cure airborne. This machine may just accurately test such a feasibility.

The team is positioned inside the next stump speech location. Burk walks in and casually drops a book bag. He then locks the door behind him. Ravit locks the doors on her side. Burk then acts like a concerned citizen to a strange woman next to him. Playing the role of protecting the new President from a bag that appears to be ticking. The woman unwittingly does her part shouting “there’s a bomb in here”. Burk runs the other way demanding Mitchner get him out of there. Chandler then punches Burk to get him off the President. Chandler stands over the President to protect him.

The President brings Chandler into a room. Call it the lion’s den because that’s what it is. Ten feet from Sean Ramsey. Sean offers his hand and they shake. Then Chandler respectfully interjects that “here in the US of A, we guard the President with more than two men”. You could cut the tension with a knife. It takes a moment, but Sean concedes. He adds a third man, but the President wants an American. He wants Chandler. A realistic demotion, but it works for their immediate plans.

Sean asks Chandler for some background. Chandler has the advantage here as he knows who Sean is, but Sean doesn’t know Chandler. Chandler plays right into his soft spot. Calls himself Tommy. A bodyguard for the rich. Was guarding one of those pop stars in Miami when the virus broke.

Chandler: People started dropping like flies, but I’m still standing. Until I met one of your boys and I found out why. I was chosen.

The awkward standoff between men continues. Sean trying desperately to catch “Tommy” of guard or in a lie. Tommy is unflappable. As the Commander of a Naval Destroyer should be. Eventually, Sean hands over a side arm to Tommy and welcomes him as a brother.

Elsewhere, Ravit walks in on Burk in his least manliest moments of the series thus far. Head tilted back pressing a bloody towel over his nose. “He didn’t have to break it”. Ravit mentions that the transition is still on schedule according to her source. Despite, the moment lacking masculine prowess, Burk shows a little jealously about this guard source of hers. She slowly and very seductively walks closer to him eventually standing right on top of him. She slowly leans in and begins kissing him. Effectively. Burk is completely lost in the moment. Then she suddenly snaps his broken nose back into place.

Ravit: Only a job, so…that was just anesthetic.

In the President’s room, Chandler looks for an opening. The President is working on his “Just as Noah in the old testament” speech, Chandler finds that opening. He suggests the group clear the courtyard of people so the President can get some fresh air.

Ned’s caravan comes to a stop. Niels has made a solution that he has stuffed into a teddy bear. The idea being, someone hands the bear to kid in a nearby trailer park, the solution gets soaked into the fur and the child as well as everyone he or she comes in contact with gets infected. With the exception of the ‘chose ones’. Ned won’t do the deed and Niels doing it would be redundant. So Lt. Green volunteers.

The men have cleared the courtyard and Chandler has signaled to Burk and Ravit who are in position. Wolf spots Chandler with the man Wolf doesn’t know to be the President. He relays the confirmation to the Nathan James regardless.

While the caravan waits, it appears Niels recognizes Tex. Tex pulls the ‘you’re creeping me out’ card and it seems to work. Only momentarily. Niels pops from around the corner intending to blackmail Tex. Tex, cool as ice turns the same concept back on Niels. Niels is the man behind the curtain. Niels is responsible for all of this. If Niels is outed, their entire belief structure falls apart and Tex knows it.

Green escorted by a duo of Ned’s men who are about as smart as a box of crayons. They find only one person in the trailer park. Green tries to shrug off his escorts and convinces the girl to run. Instead of chasing after the girl, the goons are focused on Green. Green tries to explain they are helping Ned to infect innocent people to draw out immunes. They make the mistake of pursuing further. Green takes them both out with minimal effort. A shot rings out. Tex strong arms Niels as Niels tries to out Tex to the group.

Tex is in the middle of a caravan wide fire fight. Ned goes down and Niels takes a shot to the abdomen. Tex throws Niels into the back of a van and continues to exchange rounds with others in the caravan. He peels away then comes to an abrupt halt to pick up Green en route.

All the pieces are in place. Chandler plus two of Sean’s men escort the President down the halls towards the courtyard. Green, Tex and Niels are at the rally point. Slattery has eyes on the sub. Ned was hit but not out. Midway to the courtyard an alarm goes off. News of the caravan hit has made its way back. They need to get the President back to the sub. Chandler thinks quick and redirects them back on track, because the President could get mobbed the other way.

Burk and Ravit take the kitchen. This is the drop point. Burk and Ravit take out the first of the President’s detail, Chandler turns on a few others with the President cowering in the middle. Low on ammunition, Burk and Ravit use anything they can get their hands on in the kitchen. Meat tenderizers and carving knives later, they take the kitchen leaving no one but the President vertical. Upon hearing their true identities, the President tries to evade them. He only gets about 3 inches away before meeting the end of Ravit’s sidearm.

Outside, the group moving the President are met with hostiles but mow past that obstacle quickly. They are on their way out (in a truck) before Sean even gets the news about the position of the Nathan James. At that moment, the truck with Chandler, Burk, Ravit, and the President speeds off. Sean yells out to stop them then instructs the sub to ‘blow that ship out of the water’. All the while, Wolf is picking off their pursuers one kill shot at a time.

To recap, the Nathan James is moving (slowly) to a location where they can send the helo to the rally point. Chandler, Burk, Ravit, and the kidnapped President head to the rally point where Wolf will meet them. At the same time, the sub is in a position to fire on the Nathan James, potentially putting a hex on the whole darn thing.

The literal moment that the Nathan James is far enough out for the helo to take off, the sub instantly loses them on radar.

All three elements of the tact team are in position as the helo lands. Problem is, Sean’s reinforcements are on their way. Close enough that they must see the helo. Burk and Wolf cover the helo as the rest of the team are secured on the helo. As efficiently as we would expect, the team gets into the air with no real consequence. Tex tells Chandler they grabbed Niels just in case he and the Dr. might want to have words with him. Tex then gestures to Mitchner.

Tex: Who’s that?
Chandler: Jeffrey Mitchner. Commander-in-Chief.
Tex: Come again boss?
(Silence in a loud helicopter)

With the team safely on the ship and Niels being tended to, Green briefs Slattery. When asked if he destroyed all of the toys, Green says, “Yes sir. All but one”. Tex places that one teddy bear in front of Dr. Scott and strongly suggests she take a seat before he explains what it is.

Sean meanwhile is angrily tearing apart the hotel room. This is the time that Ned decides to poke the bear. For the first time since we were introduced to this pair of brothers, it seems that Sean is more than happy to direct his efforts towards destroying the Nathan James first and foremost.

Chandler and Slattery meet in a quiet spot on the deck of the ship. Chandler knows they have something on Mitchner. Beyond that, he explains that the people are buying what Sean is selling. Then a very angry POTUS is forced passed them by Burk and Ravit yelling the entire way. “You can’t do this to me.”

Slattery: Our Commander In Chief doesn’t seem too pleased to be with us, does he?
Chandler: Well, that’s something we’re going to have to change.
Slattery: Won’t be easy. He really is one of them.
Chandler: This country needs a leader almost as much as it needs the cure. Ramsey was going use the President to win the hearts of America. (Turns to stare down the corridor) Now that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

The Last Ship: Florida Adds Scope To The Sub Problem

Courtesy of TNT
Courtesy of TNT

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Sean and Ned observe some Americans working outside of a large building. Declan does the math on 5% of the American population eager to join the cause. Ned fires back with this skepticism of the “chosen ones” act. Sean asserts that it isn’t an act. To which Ned rolls his eyes. There is a shift within the pairing. Ned wants to go after the Nathan James to ensure there is no outstanding cure. Sean believes it can wait while they tend to their sub. Ned wants to get the job done and enjoy the spoils back in England. He’s very much not a fan of our majestic country. Virus or no virus. Ned also dislikes Niels, but Sean sees him as the divine grim reaper. Used to bring out more immunes.

Dr. Scott as well as XO Slattery show some concerns with pursuing the Chosen sub. It’s a question of resources vs. the mission vs. getting these guys. In a matter of 4 seconds, Chandler goes from welcoming their council to almost angrily asking Dr. Scott what they should do instead. He begins rattling off labs that have been destroyed. He gets through about six before Dr. Scott fires back.

Dr. Scott: Captain, you don’t think I’m aware of this? I’ve spent the last twenty hours trying to figure out why this happened. How this could have happened? But we need to stay on course. Or millions more are going to die.

Chandler: That sub is the mission now. We’ll find the people who did this. And we’ll make them pay.

All over the ship, the crew is beginning to question why the change in priority. Not so much in their words but in their body language. Granderson has found a video message from her mentor (Dr. Hunter). He’s under attack mid message. He has put together a plan using a previous measles project to ‘help’ with the vaccine. The elder doctor is killed before the message concludes. His plan was to create a powdered delivery system for the cure. That could be essentially crop dusted over populated areas and the infected would simply breathe in the cure.

Leaving for the lab in Florida is not an idea Chandler is warming to. The medical part of this equation is not substantial enough for the risk that comes with it. Chandler then refers to the sub mission as “bigger fish to fry”. A comment Dr. Scott was not at all pleased to hear. Insinuating that taking out a sub with a few bad guys is more important than curing millions of infected people. Dr. Scott tries to reiterate the original mission, but even that seems to fall on deaf ears.

The sub’s crew is also exhibiting a little dissension among the ranks. However, their issue almost comes with the territory when a military vessel is crewed by people who are not all military.

Chandler, Wolf and the rest of the tact team (Dr. Scott included) venture inland. Inside Dr. Hunter’s lab, they find pretty much nothing but dead doctors. Dr. Hunter among them. Dr. Scott falls to her knees. “He was a giant”. She collects herself and moves to what they can use. CMC Jeter asks to speak freely. His request is granted and the rest of the team vacate quickly. Jeter also tries to appeal to Chandler about the larger mission at hand. Chandler’s almost reckless focus on the sub is not about the sub itself. Moreover, the extreme damage those men can cause. The belief is that they almost singlehandedly took out Europe. Chandler will not allow them to do the same the United States.

Chandler: We can’t keep looking over our shoulders for that sub. We take them out and Dr. Scott can finish her work. It’s all the same mission.

Jeter: Fair enough sir, but I can see it in your eyes sir. Your desire for vengeance. So I’m asking, as a man who is never more than 509 feet from his Captain, don’t let this sub become your white whale.

After their short conversation, Chandler divides the group. Two will escort Dr. Scott back to the Nathan James and the rest push forward tracking those who attacked this lab. Dr. Scott is taking pictures of what’s left of the lab when she can feel Chandler behind her. She asks only one thing pertaining to the ‘who did this’ portion of their visit. “When you find them…kill them”.

Chandler, Wolf, Tex, Green, Bevis and Burk roll up on another truck. The trial ends with two fan boats. Chandler calls in for a sweep of the area.

Niels returns to Sean and Ned inland almost jolly. He’s mingled with the locals and finds the ‘southern hospitality’ notion to be one founded in truth. This was not a spell of R and R, but part of the plan. Niels mingles with the locals and the locals gets sick. As they die, more immunes should present themselves. Out of the ashes and all. Ned snaps. He breaks his beer bottle against a house by a pier and fires into a rant about how Sean is afraid to lead. Comments that force Sean’s knife blade towards his brother’s face. Ned has a choice. Help without consequence or die. A Beyonce joke later, and it would seem all three are on the same page again.

The sweep finds only one heat signature. Not very large. A decent sized camp ground is the early assumption. The sun begins to set before they reach the target. The target appears to be a genuine pro-American safe zone. A flag waving, men tossing a baseball around, nothing that resembles anything like the men from the sub. Then Chandler hears chatter in a foreign language by men carrying military weaponry. He believes they are speaking to the sub.

Bacon drops in on Dr. Scott to offer her some food. Chicken and mushroom in a scratch rue. He mentions that he prepared it for the President, a nice feather for one’s cap. Then goes into greater detail on the nuance of a good rue. I’m not culinary expert, but I have definitely ruined quite a few rues in my day. As he describes the difference between a good one and a horrible one, the scientific analogy in Dr. Scott’s head gets her wheels turning. Once again it seems that Bacon might be saving their bacon. They need a food source to bind the medicine to.

Tex mingles with the camp. Every person he encountered are American, friendly, and show no signs of being hostiles. The group seems to be departing the area soon. In the hopes of not standing out, Chandler divides the team again. Green, Wolf, and Tex take to the truck while the rest plan to go radio silent in civilian clothes and ride among the campers. Slattery is very much against this plan but Chandler removes his coms before Slattery’s objection can be noted.

Chandler sits down on the bus next to a woman of comparable age. She starts talking about those she’s lost. Chandler, not shedding much of his ‘commander of men’ persona, engages in the conversation which quickly renders important intel about the leader of the chosen ones.

Meanwhile the Nathan James is zeroing in on the communication inland. Despite not knowing what is being said, the signal is strong enough. The bridge is able to create a vector and the accuracy needed for success in this area seems very solid. Upon further analysis, the contact is not a sub. Whatever it is, is on land. They don’t know what is being said, and it’s not the sub. The least Slattery can do is disable whatever it is. One shot (of whatever it was) and the radio communication is dead.

Inside what appears to be a hotel ballroom, Chandler and Burk meet at the coffee stand in the cafeteria. The leader of the what can only be described a cult of the religious variety sounds very familiar to Chandler. He is as certain as he needs to be that this is the voice from Dr. Hunter’s video message. These are the guys they’re looking for. Moments later, Chandler stands at the back of the room staring at Sean who speaks from the podium. Chandler and Burk share a look as Declan adds the tally of their numbers. North of seven thousand.

It’s not until Chandler spots Ned, that all the pieces seem to come together. The men in charge of the sub at the very least are in this room. Sean speaks to the crowd like a preacher. He rallies their response and eventually transitions into turning to a new leader. An American leader. The man in question just so happened to at one point, be the twelfth in the line of Presidential succession. Sean’s assertion is that this man, Jeffrey Mitchner, is in fact their President. Despite this claim, Jeffery Mitchner does not exactly seemed thrilled at the idea. Something is off. Chandler observes the crowd, blissful in their optimism and hope for this new American order, lead by non-Americans. The expression on his face reads only disgust.

The Last Ship: Misdirection

Courtesy of TNT
Courtesy of TNT

Warning: Spoiler Alert

We begin tonight with Niels’ escorted onto the mysterious submarine. Dating back to the cold open of last week’s episode, the brothers in charge were really just the brothers that survived. This was the vessel that showed crew members dying off one by one. Except these two. The revelation being that it wasn’t due to luck, it was by design. They were chosen.

Slattery: Anything?
Chandler: Only one thing I hate more than seeing a submarine on sonar.
Slattery: What’s that?
Chandler: Not seeing one.

The brothers grill Niels about the ship (The Nathan James). They don’t seem to care much for the medical element of the ship, but instead, the military nature of the ship. Niels tries to articulate the type of man Chandler is. Even informs them that he defeated Ruscov, twice. Which this sub’s crew finds to be good news. Even suggesting that a destroyer such as the Nathan James is no match for a sub.

Slattery begins to interrogate their Spanish prisoner taken from the shootout on the Solace last week. The man is relatively forthcoming with what information he does have. There seems to be real fear and concern in his eyes. What happened on the Solace was not what this man signed up for. And joining the crew of the Nathan James would definitely be preferable to returning or dying.

Understaffed and using what Chandler refers to as the ‘second string’ manning sonar, they are less than optimistic of finding this sub. Just then one of the crew hears something. Its vague and far out there, but consistent. If it’s a sub, its small and prepared to not be detected. Around the same time as the Nathan James detects the sub, the sub detects the Nathan James. They’ve armed their torpedoes.

Chandler orders the bridge to make a slight course correction just to see if the sub is paying attention. Moments later, sonar picks up a similar course correction from the sub. They are most certainly paying attention. Foster’s primary concern is that based on what they think they know, the sub is already within torpedo range. The sub, having nothing of value to the Nathan James, opens up the strategic opportunity to strike first. First strike would reveal specific location though.

Ned and Declan argue over why pursue so cautiously. Ned believes Juan Carlos (the Spaniard) has not proven his loyalty. Older brother Declan believes it’s not a question of loyalty. The important detail is that Juan Carlos is a believer. The real question is, which version is the real Juan Carlos. Loyal believer or a good man put into a tough situation spilling whatever intel he has to Slattery. Or is he playing one side or both. Juan Carlos has made an official request. As a sailor he would prefer to not be handcuffed to a bunk below when whatever this is starts happening.

Slattery believes the sub’s motivation is to sink the Nathan James. Chandler describes a tactical scenario that would provide a few moments to navigate the Nathan James out of harm’s way. It’s a nice idea, but Slattery is in Foster’s camp of logic on this one. Bet on the Commander and fire first. Take their changes in a dog fight.

Chandler: Alert all hands. We’re going quiet too.

Jeter gets on the radio to relay the message to the crew. Going quiet. Not kill the engines and hope for the best quiet. But nothing moves, no sound kind of quiet. The maneuver works, the radar loses the Nathan James completely. Predictably Ned loses it in response to a missed opportunity to seek revenge for their fallen men. The sub changes its course to intercept the Nathan James around the far side of an island they aren’t headed for. Declan explains to Niels their plan to sink the Nathan James. With his man on-board, sinking the ship is the best decision. Their man will survive such an attack. Which is the goal. Securing Juan Carlos.

Slattery and Burk have escorted Juan Carlos on deck. He is still restrained and still compliant. Or so we think. They continue to play this game of ‘answers for water’. Eventually, he begins to violently throw up blood. Here comes the elephant in the room regarding being on deck. He has been holding his chest, throwing up blood and requested the deck because he carries with him a homing device of some sort. Going quiet means nothing if Juan Carlos is transmitting.

Inside the loading deck, Dr. Scott meets Slattery, Burk, our dying friend and a few of the medical staff. Slattery tells Dr. Scott they need her to open this man up. She is the only one resistant to the idea. Burk even suggests that if the man is not long for this earth, just tossing him overboard might be the easiest thing to do. Dr. Scott agrees to do the deed.

As the sub gets closer-maybe within 40 miles, the concern is that the beacon could have a range within 30 miles. Chandler orders the helo to get airborne. Chandler also orders the Nathan James to increase speed in almost random increments as they head north into open water.

The sub meanwhile, is experiencing a total breakdown in discipline until Declan yells out. They toss around options. At the risk of being detected, Declan decides to go with active sonar.

Instantly, Chandler jumps into action. Directing the crew for evasive maneuvers. Two fish in the water, now. Now we are engaged in an all out strategic fire fight. Multiple torpedoes from both vessels. The Nathan James is able to position itself to avoid the first three fish, but not by much.

The sub dives to avoid getting hit, but the Nathan James has heard nothing to indicate that it was hit or where it’s headed. They are so low that the sub is actually scraping the ocean floor, quite possibly doing significant damage. Meanwhile, Dr. Scott found the culprit of Juan Carlos’ bleeding. It was not a beacon or tracking device of any kind. It was a flash drive. I assume, the chaos from the assumption of a beacon might buy them time or force a mistake. Nonetheless, Granderson will try to retrieve the data.

While both vessels are safe for the moment, Niels does find something of some significant importance. The location of Dr. Hunter, Dr. Scott’s mentor. Find Dr. Hunter, find the locations of the labs and eventually find the Nathan James.

Granderson was able to decrypt the data on the flash drive. They are coordinates of all of the secure labs. Just as the crew is discovering the locations and deducing that Juan Carlos wanted to be on the deck to deliver the flash drive when the ship when down, is the same time radar identifies almost 20 missiles headed in a number of different directions. They’re firing on the labs. All of the labs.

With few options, Chandler decides to fire intercepts in the hopes of saving as many as possible. They were able to intercept 2. 2 of the 26 missiles fired from the Nathan James hit their desire target. Meaning 24 were wasted, fired when the target was already out of range.

Juan Carlos didn’t make it through post op, which raises more questions. Dr. Scott and XO Slattery are under the impression that perhaps the sub and its men already had the cure. Or at least the primordial strain, which wouldn’t make any sense. Dr. Scott figured it out quite quickly. There are more like Bertrice. Maybe as many as 1-5% of the world’s population could potentially be naturally immune. That’s how they took Europe. That’s why they don’t want anyone else to get the cure. They plan to cleanse the earth with the virus and stand behind the notion that they are the selected. The Chosen Ones.

The Last Ship: An International Band Of Thieves

Courtesy of TNT
Courtesy of TNT

Warning: Spoiler Alert

We begin with a flashback, five months previous. A crewman on a different military ship succumbs to the virus. There appears to only be two healthy men left aboard. One of them is confident they’ll get home. The other healthy man is skeptical.

The crew of the Nathan James are back tending to their respective tasks. Dr. Scott records a video log, with added optimism. The next stops include Savannah and then onto Florida with a number of labs already set up around the world.

The “Solace” (namesake for the episode, I assume referenced in the cold open) is discovered to have left two weeks earlier set up as a mobile lab with only a skeleton crew including a mere 15 doctors. Chandler decides to reach out. This appears to be good news. Dr. Scott explains that a ship of this size with that level of equipment could manufacture tens of thousands of doses a day.

Lt. Green escorts a couple new faces. Introducing “Wolf” and “Ravit”. Burk and Tex speak up and are met with relatively cold responses. Down in hangar 2 a number of the crew work out. Burk can’t seem to keep his focus as it’s primarily on Ravit. Tex informs him that Wolf and Ravit are just friends. More like a brother/sister relationship. Plus the added advice that you never want to mess with the big brother.

The crew has a hard time getting any communication out to the Solace. Chandler quickly decides its in their best interest to go and find the Solace. In the meantime, Jeter hears their beacon as per regulations. The Solace is transmitting, but not moving. The concern is that the crew is already dead. Salvaging the lab becomes the new mission.

Jeter hails the hospital ship as the Nathan James approaches with no response. Chandler’s team boards the Solace. The labs appear to be in pristine condition. During a radio check after 5 minutes, all is well, but the communication is jumbled. Chandler and Green find a laptop streaming a video and a coffee mug that appears to still be warm. Tex finds a body that doesn’t appear to have met its end care of the virus. They find blood tracks leading away from the body. Following further pursuit, Tex’s team finds the bodies they were expecting to find. None of which appear to be infected. Just dead and bloody. As if executed. Chandler’s team finds a few healthy medics attempting to work in the dark.

Gonzalez: They’re still on the ship.

Amidst the communications problems, Slattery is able to hear “hostiles on board” which is enough for him to make a course correction. Officer Gonzalez debriefs Chandler with what he knows. About a dozen hostiles boarded their ship shooting first, in search of the ship under the assumption the Solace had the cure. Chandler mentions that they were after the wrong ship. Gonzalez infers that the Nathan James does have the cure.

Gonzalez: We held out as long as we could. I am so sorry.
Chandler: No sir…I’m sorry.

Slattery moves the Nathan James into position and searches for any nearby ships. Officer Gonzalez who clearly appears to have previous combat experience and a strong familiarity of the ship gladly joins the effort to flush out these hostiles. Foster can’t find any evidence of a ship nearby, she then decides to check beneath. A 360 sonar check.

As Chandler’s team begins to comb the ship they spot a man crossing their view. Chandler forcefully demands he toss out his weapon. From around the corner, the end of a very large weapon can be seen. Then the front end hinges, and shoots around the corner. Think the pharmacy scene from Wanted.

Elsewhere on the ship, Wolf prevents Miller from walking into the line of fire. Then Wolf and Miller (mostly Wolf) take out more than five hostiles.

Cruz orders the medics to cut the lights and not open the door for anyone who isn’t Navy personnel. Tex’s team finds the lab. Tex and Burk get into position. Ravit is not visible. Until she appears in a white lab coat offering to show them the cure. Then she unceremoniously shows them each the end of her sidearm. Burk is very impressed.

The three remaining hostiles, who appear to be British, taught the respective teams from the Nathan James. Insinuating that they can fight better, and a fight is exactly what they promise. As they move, one of the three decides to question the plan. It seems the brother of the loud mouth is the one in charge. Loud mouth decides it’s the best interest of this unit to kill everyone else. Too bad he’s not aware of just how bad of an idea that is.

Wolf and Miller are engaged from behind. Both parties exchange fire which Slattery can see from the bridge. Queue the promo’d line, “get me closer, and find me something to shoot!” Just then, Miller gets down flat and takes out the hostile with a single shot to the head from some distance. Wolf turns around with a grin that says he’s mildly impressed.

Wolf: Nice shooting Mill.
Miller: Thanks Wolfman.
Wolf: Wolfman…? I like it.

Green leads the advance and pulls up short, close fist raised. Green tells Chandler they are in position for an ambush. To which Chandler replies, “they don’t ambush us, we ambush them.” Green agrees. Chandler radios to Slattery who is itching for a target to shoot at. Chandler gives him the relative location on the flight deck where the ambush is waiting. “Light em up”. Chandler and Green advance unloading on the group forcing them to retreat toward the flight deck the Nathan James is locked onto. As they enter the flight deck, Foster picks the first one off from the Nathan James. The other two pull back dropping a smoke bomb (cartridge). She’s lost the other two in the smoke.

Tex, Burk and Ravit pursue, but before they see him a hostile takes a shot at Ravit. Burk sees it before she does and lunges into the path of the bullet. The vest absorbed the shot. After Burk has a moment to dust himself off, Ravit sees a charge set to what I must assume is C4. They plan to blow up the ship. Burk won’t accept that and based on Ravit’s expression, she may have experience with charges like these.

They begin to load the doctors and crew onto tender ships on the starboard side. Dr. Scott is at least pleased with the idea of gaining more doctors. In addition to what won’t be the easiest evacuation, the Nathan James thinks they may have found a sub contact. The signal was brief but it was there. Meanwhile, Burk stands over Ravit while she attempts to diffuse the bomb. After cutting the red wire, she finds that the yellow wire travels all the way to an oxygen take almost the size of one of the tender ships.

Mid evac, there is gunfire from the hostiles from an elevated vantage point. Gonzalez and Wolf appear to be hit, but Chandler gets one of the shooters. Wolf appears to be fine, but Gonzalez his spewing blood from his neck. Despite the lead doctor’s best efforts, Gonzalez dies regrettably but quickly.

Just as all 18 are loaded onto a tender ship Lt. Green takes fire. He eventually gets one of them. While on the Nathan James, Slattery oversees the killing of another from the deck. Chandler pursues Loud Mouth on foot. Ravit urges Tex and Burk to leave. The switch needs to be metal on metal or the bomb with detonate. Tex pushes her out-of-the-way. He has an idea that involved a knife.

Chandler announces himself to Loud Mouth who stops and turns. With his finger pressed against the detonator, he boastfully banters back to Chandler as if he has the upper hand. At the same time, Tex runs towards the side of the ship with his knife blade pressed against the bomb. Just as Loud Mouth reaches his peak of arrogant body language, Tex throws the bomb overboard and it explodes about ten feet away from the edge of the ship.

Loud Mouth jumps overboard. Chandler attempts to shoot him but apparently misses. The man never surfaces. There absolutely was something beneath. Whether it was one very well hidden sub or potentially a number of two-man subs is still unknown.

Dr. Milowsky (they never decide to name new characters Smith or Williams-thank goodness for “Dr. Scott”) observes his crew receiving the vaccine and reflects on what has been lost. He asks what happens next. Chandler and Dr. Scott explain that they would be content allowing them to return to Norfolk with vaccines in hand. Milowsky respectfully requests to stay. He has a specific skill set that would be beneficial to mass producing the cure. Naturally, Captain and Doctor gladly welcome the assistance.

Burk attempts again to engage Ravit in small talk. It’s not exactly effective but it does generate a small response. She chuckles and says, “I like you guys, you’re crazy” and walks away.

The man who Green shot in the last gunfire exchange, was effectively capture and is clinging to life. Jeter explains what before he passed out, the man seemed to be mumbling something that sounded like Spanish. Yet, Loud Mouth is clearly British.

Chandler: An international band of thieves…

Niels, the leader of these “Chosen Ones”, and an associate drive a small boat out into the middle of the water in the middle of the night. There is someone who would like to meet Niels. Especially since it appears that Niels may have set them up. Walked them right into a conflict with a US Navy warship. Niels contends that the warship is where the cure is, not the hospital ship. They ask Niels to stop talking and save his ‘belly-achin’ for the boss.

It was a sub. Maybe not a massive nuclear sub, but a significant in size nonetheless sub that surfaces right before Niels’ very eyes.

The Last Ship: Is CDR Tom Chandler The George Washington Of The New America?

Images Courtesy of TNT and The History Channel
Images Courtesy of TNT and The History Channel

On this great American holiday that signifies the end of the old America and the beginning of the United States of America, I’d like to float a theory. The story of The Last Ship, is clearly one founded in fiction. However, there are some historical truths where we can easily draw comparisons. This is done in good fun and has not in any way been confirmed by anyone associated with the production of The Last Ship. There are some mild spoilers conceptually. If you have not seen all of the episodes to date, you have been warned.

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The first form of this analogy is obviously accomplished military service that parlay into being asked to be the first President and Commander-In-Chief of the new version of the country. As The Last Ship is first and foremost a story about a military ship and its crew trying desperately to save the world, the parallel begins there. In both cases, these respective men were charged in leading their men in a mission that would ultimately save their world. In George Washington’s case, the mission was to lead his army and defeat the British allowing the colonies to break from the oppressive rule of the British. In Chandler’s case, his mission was command the Nathan James in a mission to find a cure for the virus and prevent global extinction.

In some loose connection, both Chandler and Washington were men of Virginia. We know that Washington was a lifelong man of Virginia. The son of a wealthy family, Washington would eventually inherit his family estate in Mt. Vernon, Virginia. Eventually in the late 1750s, he would return home to Mt. Vernon under the assumption that he would live out the remainder of his life as a family man running said estate. What we know of Chandler, he was a resident of Virginia before commanding the Nathan James on the mission he still finds himself on. To my knowledge that could be as much about the Naval base in Norfolk and less about him being a man of Virginia. Either way, I’ll take the parallel.

Another parallel we can draw from is in the enemy itself. In Washington’s case, the enemy was the British. Conceptual or tangible. Everything stems from that. Protecting the people of the colonies from the tyrannical rule of the British. For Chandler, the enemy is any person or group that seeks to steal or destroy the cure. And by some extension preventing the cure from making its way to the people. And by that I mean all of the people. Whether it be the Russians in season 1, Amy Granderson’s plan to advance a chosen few, or this newest threat of the “chosen ones” Chandler fights to preserve the cure and the promise to deliver it to all. Which is not unlike Washington fighting against everything the British hoped to employ to maintain control over the colonies. All of the British legislation that pertained to the collection of taxes being the tip of the sword.

Where the analogy becomes speculative would naturally come either when Tom Chandler is asked to lead the army (loose term) or when the dust settles and the Nathan James has restored order amongst the chaos, asked to preside over this new version of our country as the Commander-In-Chief. In the most recent episode, we were given a tease to the former. The Nathan James arrives in Norfolk to find not only supplies, but military personnel. Pilots, Seals, and police. Before the episode is over, we get a small glimpse of Chandler commanding more than just the Nathan James. Orchestrating missions that sent out planes and personnel in various directions to secure these secret laboratories. In that moment, the seed was planted.

The more attractive theory is one, that at least I hope we are four or five seasons away from seeing materialize. That of course being, President Tom Chandler. It is clear that for the immediate future, Tom Chandler’s mission is ongoing. The finish line of protecting the cure and ensuring that they can save every last person possible is far from over. However, if we are to assume that Chandler and the Nathan James are able to complete that mission at some point and restore order and health to the world at large, the assumption is not that unrealistic. Not unlike George Washington leading armies against the British, essentially founding Guerrilla Warfare, and ensuring the safety of these ‘Americans’.

Insert the second Continental Congress. George Washington may not have been the driving force of the second Continental Congress of the likes of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock or the Adams cousins (John And Samuel.) Which is probably the only way a similar notion could be floated for Tom Chandler. Shortly after the second Congress met, George Washington was appointed to General of the Continental Army. Similarly, I would assume that if the story lines move that far past the initial threat, that Chandler would also prefer to stay in the background until such a time as this new nation needs him to step up beyond his current responsibilities.

Citing the defeat at the Battle of Long Island, we can draw another slight comparison. George Washington was not undefeated. There were bumps in the road. The Battle of Long Island being maybe the most gruesome. While Chandler has not experienced (within the Last Ship series to this point) a defeat of that magnitude, his record is not without blemishes. Men and women under his command have been lost. Most laying down their lives for the mission. Some civilians lost in the crossfire. But clearly the Last Ship mission is not without casualties.

Washington’s failure in Philadelphia in 1777 did two things that may present themselves on the show. First, the defeat prompted Congress to consider removing Washington from Command. While there is no reason to believe currently that this is a story line in the works, I would not be surprised if it presented itself somewhere along the way. Twice now, we’ve seen an episode that at least flirted with the idea of the Nathan James sans Chandler. Losing him is not the prize. Having Chandler triumphant in a return might be.

Secondly, the notion of another nation joining the effort does seem like a real possibility. Following the defeat in Philadelphia, France joined in as allies to the American effort. Now we’ve seen that Russia has some semblance of a functioning army/navy. Yet in the most recent episode we discover that some of these laboratories are located in Europe. Potentially setting up some sort alliance between an established nation or nations (i.e. England, France, Germany, etc). Almost as if it were the inverse or absolute zero effect of the United States’ involvement in World War II. But that’s a reference for another time.

I wish I had a stronger case on this next point. Any discussion about George Washington cannot possibly leave out Valley Forge. In the timeline, Valley Forge is an epic ordeal. In the winter of 1777, it is believed that Washington lost as much as a third of his men to disease. The connection here is not the magnitude but the subject matter. Chandler, almost ironically, has not lost many of his crew to the disease in a literal sense. However, in means of effect, we can go back to the first season when Miller leans over to the female shipmate that died and says, “You were wrong, I’ll remember you” (or something to that effect). The numeric loss was small, but the impact of this crew staring at the lethality of the virus in real context was significant.

In the future there must be a final battle that signifies the end of one major act and the transition into another. The Battle at Yorktown may very well have been that moment for American and George Washington. The insurmountable blow that sends a clear message to the enemy, we have won and you have lost. Thus, marking the move to the next stage. For Washington, that meant eventually heading back to Mt. Vernon, but not permanently.

Going back home is also a nice tie-in although it completely ignores any sense of a timeline. Chandler too goes back home. This we’ve already seen and therefore more or less doesn’t fit. But for about 10 minutes of screen time, Chandler flirts with and makes a decision to stay in Norfolk, resign his commission and be there for his children. Which is also short-lived. Chandler’s father makes it very clear that his duty to the mission and his men takes priority. A notion I’m sure was passed along to Washington and in no small part contributed to Washington’s decision to return.

Now for the elephant in the room. A number of sources cite that the concept of the President as depicted by the Constitutional Convention, was done so with George Washington specifically in mind. Does anyone who follows The Last Ship believe for a second that Tom Chandler is not the image of Commander-In-Chief? Especially as it pertains to what he’s done, what he may plan to do, and what we as Americans would want from the leader of this new United States?

Does anyone think that Tom Chandler could not transition smoothly into that role. Sensitive to issues of national security? Foreign policy whether militarily or otherwise? The economy of a new or rebuilt nation might take some doing, but hopefully along the way, survivors educated and well versed in that department would be found an brought into the fold. Everything that embodies the character of Tom Chandler also embodies the character and virtue most Americans would hope to find in the President of the New United States of America.

While none of this is supported or confirmed by anyone of note, it’s not as far-fetched as it may sound. Whether we are talking about the struggle and conflict to preserve the goal at hand, or the actual events that define the great American remember George Washington to be. Both of these men, one fictional and one very real, seem to be cut from the same cloth. So as we celebrate this Day of Independence and look forward to tomorrows episode, “Solace” sit back and ask yourself:

“Is CDR Tom Chancellor the New America’s George Washington?”

Courtesy of TNT
Courtesy of TNT

The Last Ship: Norfolk Brings Mixed Results

Courtesy of TNT
Courtesy of TNT

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Neil Sorensen (patient zero) makes his reappearance since season 1, washed up on a nearby beach. Not sick and apparently not a threat to these people just trying to stay disease free, but there is a sense he may be hiding something. They have no idea.

Chandler and his team comb through the White House, searching for anything or anyone of value. Meanwhile, Dr. Scott reports via video conference with the CDC as to their progress. A slight but obvious smile creeps in with the plan to mass produce the vaccine and distribute it all along the eastern seaboard.

While the ship attempts to brush itself of and lick its wounds, Chandler knows some adjustments need to be made. Despite Lt. Foster’s pregnant status, standing operating procedure that a pregnant sailor after 20 weeks cannot remain at sea, Chandler offers her a promotion out of necessity. Based solely on her qualifications to do the job. Next he and CMC Jeter confer about the status of Lt. Granderson, following the stress of being shot and losing her dictator mother. She is recovering physically, but is in no position to speak to anyone.

The crew was able to decrypt a file they secured from their ‘field trip’ to the White House. The result was an infection map. A map of the United States that shows levels of infected. Naturally, the coasts are the most concentrated. As Foster zooms into Norfolk, their next stop, 70% infection rate. They also view a video file where they Secretary of the Navy eludes to the notion that there is a ‘new network’ of facilities selected to mass produce the vaccine. Within this video file, are codes that correspond to the secure locations of these new facilities.

What feels like entire Nathan James starts working on nailing down the viability of these facilities. The tone in the room would suggest they’re not having the best luck. Then Dr. Scott’s expression perks up. Not only does it seem like good news, but the person on the other end of the line is specifically familiar.

Back to Sorensen on the beach and the status is dramatically different. As patient zero he is also a carrier. There is death and infection all around.

Tex helps Bacon train with some good old-fashioned heavy bag work. 20 pounds in 20 days. Dr. Scott enters the area just as they wrap up. She strikes up conversation with Tex about being onboard again. He gives a lazy excuse about preferring the ship as his ride when she cuts him off. She asserts that he cares about these people more than he lets on. Dr. Scott’s alluring nature notwithstanding, he locks up. Then admits that his reason for leaving was his daughter. This is clearly a sensitive subject.

Slattery and Jeter debrief the crew about what’s next. They will be landing in Norfolk soon and with that comes a two-fold mission. Search for survivors and hopefully family. There is optimism as they approach. Seals, sailors and pilots. While the presence of military personnel is a positive, the news of survivors and specifically survivors related to the Nathan James crew is less so.

Chandler gives one of his resounding speeches to those military personnel. A motivating moment in where if they execute this particular mission correctly, it could tip the scales in their favor. What follows is footage of the various pilots and crew taking off in various directions. You don’t even need to have any connection to the military to feel a sense of pride and patriotism with a scene like that.

Jeter pays Lt. Granderson a visit. Her depression and hate is palpable. Her frustration on some level is misdirected and Jeter tries to alleviate some of that burden. Whether it helped or not, is yet to be seen.

The teams have broken up to secure the various sectors of the city. Foster and Green are in Foster’s old neck of the woods while Slattery and Tex move on Slattery’s territory with Garnett in hers. Foster finds a note that gives her a next direction. A bowling alley. Or more directly, a safe zone. Inside of a minute, we have a Foster reunion. Mother and daughter embrace.

Sorensen is sleeping in a contaminated sleeping bag in a camp site with other survivors. One of which wakes him and demands to know why he’s not sick. Sorensen retorts with, “I could ask you the same question.”

Back on the Nathan James, Dr. Scott confers with someone of note while the seamen around her give updates as to which aircraft has touched down and at what prospective lab site. Michael, Dr. Scott’s husband, was last seen in headed to China.

Slattery and Tex find a campsite of their own to search through. No sign of any human survivors, but Tex does find something interesting. A Slattery family photo album. Finding their personal effects brings out an emotion not yet seen by him.

Foster’s mother, it seems has cleaned up. At least in the better sense of saving those they can. More importantly than that, Kara is having a hard time articulating certain details. Lt. Green is a ‘friend’ and the otherwise glorious news that she was with child was skipped altogether.

Some of the men have found their families and are requesting to stay. A request, it seems, Chandler is willing to grant. Then he drops in on Garnett, who is needless to say not one of group previously mentioned. What she found was evidence that they left. Going through records, mounds of records, and the wrong names in those records. Garnett, normally a stalwart of composure loses it. Understandably so.

In Port St. Lucie, Sorensen finds what feels like a cult based on virus related coincidence. “The Chosen” survivors. Missionaries of the new world.

What’s left of the Chandler clan return to their home. Chandler’s home is remarkably in order. At least compared to the others we’ve seen. Seeing the evidence of his wife, is a little bit more than he can handle. But like the good Commander he is, he internalized and collects himself. He then gives his kids the rest of the truth talk. All pretty straight forward, up until the bombshell that he is resigning his commission to stay with them. His daughter seriously disagrees with his decision. Especially within the context that her mother, Chandler’s wife never would have signed off on it.

Slattery and Tex make their way to Slattery’s old home. Tex identifies that Slattery wants to stay as well. Slattery cannot bring himself to ask the Captain based on what the Captain has already sacrificed. Inside, Slattery leaves a batch of the vaccine and a note that is addressed to “my dearest Christine”.

After restoring power to the bowling alley, Lt. Foster tells her mother that she has to prepare to leave. They share pleasantries, then Lt. Green walks up and extends his hand and says, “it was a pleasure to meet you ma’am.” Mother Foster without warning grabs him and kisses him on the lips.

Mother Foster: Take care of my girl…and the baby.
(She looks at Kara)
Mother Foster: What? You think I don’t know? I’m your mother.

Chandler’s father walks out of the house while Tom Chandler does yard work. He insinuates that Tom is procrastinating because he doesn’t know how to go back to the ship and tell his crew he’s quitting. The hostile conversation that followed was intense but appropriate. Tom feels he can’t leave without his wife to be there on the off-chance that ‘worst case’ rears its ugly head. His father assumes the blame for his wife. Not all burdens are Tom’s to bear.

Jed Chandler: Whether you like it or not, you’re Noah. And that ship is your ark.

Back on the Nathan James, the crew is restocking supplies when Foster and Green return. Garnett appears to be improving emotionally, but embraces a drawing she found that her daughter. It may be premature, but she may also be embracing the acceptance stage of grief. Dr. Scott is not quite there yet. CDR Tom Chandler has reversed his decision and his family seems to be more than alright with it.

Upon his arrival he makes a b-line Granderson’s location. He is joined by Lt. Foster and CMC Jeter. Granderson immediately stands at attention. CDR Chandler tells her that he told her mother they would not be there without her (Alisha Granderson), and that has not changed. He extends a closed fist and she opens her hand. He drops in her hands Lt. bars. She is being promoted to full Lieutenant.

(Chandler approaches Slattery who keeps his gaze off in the distance)
Slattery: You don’t have to say it.
Chandler: I’m glad you’re still with us Mike.
Slattery: You didn’t think about staying with them?
Chandler: It’s all I thought about.
Slattery: You mean I could’ve had my first command?
(They both share a ****eating grin)

Sorensen eavesdropped on a conversation between the head cult leader and the guy who wanted to know whey Sorensen wasn’t sick. He interjects that the ship with a cure is no rumor. Then asks them what they are prepared do about it.