Friday, July 18, 2014

The Last Ship, Season 1, Episode 4: We'll Get There

Flashback of Captain Tom and his family, angsting over the bracelet his daughter gave him and the present where he listens to all the many many distress calls he just can’t do anything about. Mike drops by to say his marriage is on the rocks anyway and his dead son before wandering off

They lose a basketball. This is sad

They’re heading to Costa Rica for monkeys to test on. And engineer Chung (in charge of engineering while chief engineer heals) is unhappy about the state of the boat. Danny gives Tex a tour of the boat and he and Kara are still on the outs. Tex focusing on Kara (Danny uses fraternisation rules to play jealous – the same rules he broke and his now all manpainy about) so then Tex looks to Rebecca since she’s a civilian

Rebecca does her science stuff (she has her partner as a screen saver, just to remind us she’s lost too) and goes to Tom because she needs Quincy. She insists that she needs help for the next step. Quincy isn’t a fan of hers though especially since he blames her for loving the whole top secret, not sharing information since it let her be the world’s saviour. He throws in that because she has no family or friends (she calls his partner a “guy who drops in for a twice monthly screw”) she could turn this whole thing into an ego trip without risking anything. She throws back, accurately, that his pain is no more special than anyone else’s. She storms out and tells Tom he needs to do the diplomacy thing while she sulks in her lab

Which is when the power goes off. Bad ship! Bad! And there is fire! VERY BAD SHIP! They ring a bell (really? A bell? How quaint). They put the fire off but all but one generator is dead and the engine isn’t being cooled; priority for power has to be Rebecca’s lab. The ship goes into conservation mode – no excessive water or power use. On a very very hot day. Chief Engineer makes an appearance to give Chung a HOORAH speech.

Mike decides to go intimidate Quincy some more. He gets to be the bad one so Tom can be the good honourable one. Quincy relents for sunlight and chess

Chung delivers his report to the captain – they have a week before they can make more fresh water or fix the engine (leaving them virtually unable to move) and they don’t have a lot of water supplies either.

That means Costa Rica is off the table – instead they head to an island with fresh water. It will take them 6 days to get there – and they only have water for 4. Water conservation time – setting up stills, draining fruit juice from cans and removing the alcohol from beer (tragic – but it’s American beer so it’s not far off anyway). They sail as long as they can before the engines get too hot then have to cool them down.

Everyone reminds us it’s hot, Tom has more angst and Rebecca and Quincy have a breakthrough. This calls for tea (water rations? Excuse you, British they will be drinking tea, if they have to use salt water, damn it. Though not that concoction Rebecca has) Breakthrough is good!

So the last generator breaks. This is bad as the cooling systems will stop working. (This ship is held together by chewing gum and wishful thinking). To prevent Rebecca’s samples over hearting they put them in a steel box (tough enough to withstand pressure) and drop it overboard into very very deep water. It is now cool – except now they can’t move the ship at all.

Mike makes his objections known. Because he’s Mike, having objections is all he does.

The next day it’s all about harnessing wind power – on a completely still day. Captain Tom is not happy with this unpredictable weather. While debating this Jeter decides to tell Captain Tom that he killed his wife and children in a car accident that was his fault which left him in intensive care.

Well, that’s a completely random nonsequiter, apparently telling us that he’s had a huge religious moment – in which he declares their purpose is to implement Tom’s holy vision.

That’s just nauseating. That was AWFUL even by the Last Ship’s standard. That was comically awful. I may take off an entire fang just for this one terrible scene.

Oh gods now Tom’s going to look nobly into the distance while the camera pans on his jawline? I need a drink

Jeter goes on to lead a group of the sailors in prayer which is implied to be responsible for the wind picking up.

This gives them the electricity they need to get the samples back in the lab.

But they’re still out of water – and end up going without for 2 days. People start to become bed ridden and ill. Rebecca helps care for the ill and we get to spend some time pretending to care about Danny and Kara’s relationship.

Until Alisha spots seagulls – LAAAAND (she also uses ridiculous naval speech to identify them). Beech holiday for everyone (they recover from dehydration awfully fast) except Chung who gets pineapple and praise for fixing everything. Tex is annoying and Danny angsts because another man is talking to Kara! Alisha sings for the montage.

Quincey gets a very very reluctant chess partner in Bacon. Tom continues to angst and has a moment with Rebecca.

I’m not a fan of Tom’s angst. Yes his family is in unknown circumstances but he got a message from them. Yes, it’s out of date, but he got a message confirming his family were safe and somewhere at least fairly isolated relatively recently. Does he still have reason to worry? Certainly – but he’s also had more reassurance of his family’s safety than any other person on that boat.

Why did they decide to make this all top secret anyway? A world wide plague, surely everyone working on every aspect of curing it, sharing information would have been far better? How can we not infer some nefarious motive in keeping the research for the cure so secret? Why is this brushed off as some kind of unfair accusation?

So we have either random evil stereotypical America’s enemy providing conflict, or the boat falling apart (come on, in 4 episodes they’ve have to refuel twice and now fix the ship, it’s not the best boat in the world). And they only have 6 days of water – they didn’t take water while in Guantanamo in case it was infected? They can’t test for that? They don’t purify their water? Because I don’t think you should be taking water from anywhere without purifying it

Chung being around means we have some backing off of white people talk with POC in the background. Then  Jeter shared his past – I thought it an odd nonsequiter. Then he went on about religious vision – and how Tom was the chosen one? Seriously, Jeter barely opens his mouth but the most memorable speeches from this man are the ridiculous “badass” dialogue in the pilot – and now this? Why doesn’t he change his rank to “Captain Fanboi”.