Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Last Ship, Season Two, Episode One: Unreal City

When last we left the Last Ship, the Nathan Lane had been taken over by Amy Granderson's people. The crew finds themselves surrounded by armed people.  Garnett assures the crew that there will be a time for them to fight back but warns that they are to wait, otherwise they will be mowed down by a hail of bullets. Garnett tells the Quincy's family to lie about how they came to be on the ship because they have been captured by people who want to steal the cure.

On the bridge, Quicy is bleeding out. Slattery warns that Quincy is the insurance policy in case something happens to Dr. Scott and demands that the ships doctor report to the bridge immediately.  On deck, the seamen continue to talk about what they are going to do.  O'Connor suggests that they rally at a particular locker and manages to jump overboard.

Tom is escorting his family to safety with the help of Russ.  The two men manage to steal a van and Chandler's family hop in. 

In her office, Granderson gives the order that nothing is to slow down at Olympia and snarks about Tom's men being easy to find because they are wearing navy uniforms.

The Doc Rios arrives to take a look at Quincy and says that he needs to be taken to medical bay right now.  Rios is informed that this is not possible and starts to work on Quincy's wounds.  It's Slattery who notices that the doctor is the one who has the cure hidden in his medical supplies.

Tom discusses with his men what they're next action is going to be and he decides to go after Scott.  Tom then goes to see his family and says that Russ is going to stay with them while he gets a few things done.  Even in the navy, it seems that the Black guy gets the role of baby sitter.

Ganderson informs Dr. Scott that her team has successfully taken down the Nathan James and that with Scott's research, Dr. Hamada will learn to make the cure.  Ganderson suggests that Scott join her efforts but Scott is unwilling to only save a selective few. Ganderson lists all of the horrors that she has seen, adding that the apocalypse is here. In concession, Ganderson agrees to adjust some of her sensibilities, if Dr. Scott will help. Dr. Scott decides to test Ganderson's resolve and asks to save people who are already sick because right now, the cure is being given to healthy people.  Ganderson finds Dr. Scott's suggestion ridiculous and indulgent given the state of the world but agrees to her proposal.

Russ leads the Chandlers to a house and after ensuring that the home is indeed abandoned, the Chandler's rush in.

O'Connor has snuck back onto the ship and turns up the heat to let his people know he is there.

Ganderson's people are freaking out because they have yet to find the primordial that Scott used to create the cure.

An armed Tex walks on the street only to be shot at by a young kid.  Tex is questioned about being sick and says that he just needed a place to crash.  Tex tries to offer food but is rejected.  The kid refuses to deal with Tex, secure in the belief that Tex is with Ganderson's people. The kid is shocked to learn that Tex doesn't know anything about what Ganderson has been up to.

Alisha Ganderson is being escorted to nicer quarters on the order of her mother. On the way, they pass a room where school is being taught.  Ganderson wonders if all of the people know what her mother has doing and is told that people are grateful and all chip in.

Back on the ship, Ganderson's people are still upset about the missing Primordial.  Quincy is warned not to move otherwise he will bleed out in minutes. The doctor is ordered to give Quincy a shot of adrenalin to perk Quincy up and so informs Ganderson's people that adrenalin would kill Quincy.

Bodies are being placed on a conveyor belt to be burnt for energy.  Tom lies amongst the bodies, pretending to be dead and his men are dressed in the uniform of the facility. Unfortunately for Tom's men, it quickly becomes apparent that they have not been seen before.  A gun fight breaks out between Gunderson's people and  Tom's men.  It doesn't take long for Tom's men to corral Ganderson's.

Scott pulls up to a street corner where she finds someone selling fake cures.  Scott rushes forward and tells the people that she has the real cure.  Neustader tells Scott that he had no idea what Ganderson was doing and thought he was helping.  Scott replies that Neustader can redeem himself when Tom comes for her.

Tom and his men continue to make their way through the facility, shooting and killing anyone they run into.  Tom then runs into a man who claims to be a rebel and offers to take Tom to their leader.

Ashley looks out the window in a panic because her father has not returned.  The kids are given some soup to distract them while Jed worries about the fact that he may have let Tom down.  Naturally, Russ assures Jed that he is a hero for surviving as long as he is.  Sam puts down his bowl of soup, saying that he doesn't feel so good.

On the Nathan James, the people are still being held captive. Cruz is the first to stand and ask what is going on, adding that his people need a break.  A few other service men stand and begin pushing back against Gunderson's people.  Garnett stands and argues that the engine is over heating because no one is down there to correct it.  Garnett argues that her engineer can fix the engine in exchange for the crew being moved to the mess deck for food and water.  When Garnett is informed that she is not in a position to bargain, she turns, staring pointedly at the other captives and says that she may not be able to control her people.

The engineer has been taken to fix the engine. In the meantime, the crew is being escorted through the ship.  Garnett stops to ask if the zip ties are really necessary, questioning how they are supposed to use the bathroom. Garnett is informed that she was promised that her people would be moved, not that they would be comfortable.

Russ puts a wet rag to Sam's head.  Russ assures the Chandlers that the cure works and that Sam is probably having a bad reaction. Russ suggests that the Chandlers run Sam a cold bath while he heads out to find a pharmacy.

Scott kneels down next to a mother and child and realises that she only has dose left of the cure. Scott promises the mother that her child will live, as the mother cries and kisses the boy.  Scott gives the child the last shot as the mother watches.

Tex gets in line at Avocet for work. Tex says that his qualification is security.

Tom and his soldiers arrive at the rebel base.  Tom introduces himself and Burke and informs Thorwald that though they have control of the facility, they have not cut off the electricity.  Tom makes it clear that he doesn't trust anyone but will operate on the premise that my enemy's enemy can be my friend.  Thorwald confirms that the helicopters around the Nathan James are not there for the navy's protection. The men lower their weapons and Thorwald confirms that Tom has the cure.  Tom reveals that Scott is being kept at Avocet, along with what she needs to make more samples of the cure. Tom is adamant that Scott and the lab must survive.  Tom and Thorwald agree to work together.

Doc Rios is starting to become extremely concerned and suggests that they have to find a way to get Quincy to the medical bay. Doc sets up Quincy with an adrenalin drip but he keeps suspiciously making eye contact with Slattery, causing one of Ganderson's men to decide to check Doc's medical bag. Instead of finding the cure, Ganderson's man finds icy hots.

Back on the ship, O'Connor releases two of his shipmates and they all decide to head to the Amory.

Unfortunately, Ganderson's men have found a picture of Quincy and his family.  Kelly and Eva are ordered to follow Ganderson's men but this results in an immediate rejection by Cowley.  Garnett stands and points out how agitated her men are. Kelly stands up and offers to go, as long as Eva is left with the soldiers.

Quincy has a gun aimed at him and is asked where the primordial is. Slattery tells Quincy not to worry because he is needed in case something happens to Scott.  Kelly is brought in and upon seeing Quincy, attempts to rush to his side, screaming that he is to give their captors whatever they want.  Slattery tries to attack but is quickly stopped. Quincy is informed that unless he gives up the primordial, Kelly will be killed. Quincy apologizes to his wife and then rips offs the bandages before bleeding out. 

Tom and his men travel through an underground tunnel with Thorwald.  It seems that tunnel is where the people end up after being rejected from Avocet.  Thorwald believes that Ganderson is securing the surface before coming after the people underground. Thorwald confirms that there are many who work for Ganderson who know exactly what she is up to and he admits that he was offered a job by her. 

Ganderson talks with her daughter Alisha about what she is doing.  Ganderson informs Alisha that Quincy took his life in order to deny them access to the primordial. Ganderson asks for her daughter's help but Alisha informs her mother that this will end when she gives up and as a LT. in the navy, Alisha is qualified to accept her mother's surrender.  Ganderson however has no intention of surrendering.

Leaving the pharmacy, Russ stops to place a blanket on a dead body before taking off.  What he does not realise is that he is being watched by a young woman. 

Dr. Hamada is certain he can replicate Scott's work as long as he has the primordial.  As he goes through the files, he comes across Foster's and learns that she is pregnant.  

Quincy's body has been tossed overboard and Slattery is ordered to be locked away. Foster is then dragged away by Granderson's man.

Scott is dragged into an elevator and told that she is going to Ganderson.  Tex enters the elevator and as the doors close, he pulls out a weapon.  When the elevator stops, Neustader offers to take care of the injured soldier and suggest that Tex and Scott go ahead.

Sam is chilled with fever and Ashley picks up the phone to call her father; however, Jed stops her, saying that Tom is too busy to be disturbed.  Jed assures Ashley that Russ will be back and Ashley replies that she won't let Sam die and is giving Russ twenty more minutes. Jed argues that Russ went on foot and that if there's medicine to be found, Russ will find it.  Jed promises that if someone goes, it will be him. Ashely repeats her twenty minute countdown.

Slattery has managed to escape and is making his way across the Nathan James.

Scott and Tex are talking about their exit plan when they see Kara being dragged into Avoceet.  Scott realises that Ganderson must have found out about Kara's pregnancy and wants to use the unborn child's stem cells to recreate the vaccine.  Tex tells Scott to take the ladder from the roof and he will go and free Kara and Alisha.  Scott refuses to be left behind.

Kara is lifted bodily to a medical bed and she struggles against them screaming, as medical officials try to strip her. Hammada asks Kara if she would like to save her baby and when Kara nods yes, he informs her that he has not done surgery since medical school.  Hammada advises that Kara calm down if she wants herself and the baby to survive. Kara immediately stops moving as Hammada continues with his preparations.

As I watched this episode, I couldn't help but wonder why Alisha isn't the least bit conflicted about taking down her mother.  Yes, it's clear that Amy Ganderson is a homophobe and so she may not have a close relationship to begin with but still, Alisha should at least consider what a surrender might mean for her mother.  It makes it clear that a lot of the time, The Last Ship is so fixated on having action scenes that it neglects potential character development.

Is anyone else wondering how it is that everyone on the ship is do damn capable.  We're taking the general navy and not the navy seals, yet these people seem highly capable.  I guess that this is a stretch for the show.

Russ played the wise negro quite a bit last season and this season he starts off in the role of babysitter.  Yeah, I know it's supposedly an honour to protect Tom's family but what it does is put Russ on the sidelines while majority of the characters in the action are white.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend.  That line really gave me pause.  Did the writers even think about the image they were creating.  Having Tom and Thorwald partner up makes great strategic sense however it gives us an image of two straight, able bodied hyper masculine men teaming up to defeat the evil black lady.  What it does once again affirm that in a dystopian setting if people want to survive, they need to place their hopes in straight, cisgender White men.  I am used to this kind of plot from shows of this nature but it always gets irritating.  Then when I add in the fact that Alfre Woodard is a kickass actress and being totally underused in this role it gets hard to keep watching.

This episode ended on a cliffhanger but to me, there's never any doubt that the navy will end up controlling the Nathan James again and that Tom will absolutely be victorious over Ganderson. It really isn't much of a cliffhanger because after all, if Ganderson wins, then the show is over.

I was further irked with Scott's attestation that Tom would come for her. Yes, he has no choice because she is the only one who is able to make the cure but I would be much happier to see her plotting her escape on her own.  I was somewhat mollified when Scott decided not to escape when Tex suggested she does so and instead stayed to be part of rescue mission.