Monday, June 20, 2016

The Last Ship, Season Three, Episode Two: Rising Run

After witnessing Valerie's plane get shot down, Chandler, Wolf and Sasha figure out pretty quickly that they need to get moving after being shot at.  Now that it has been confirmed that Peng is absolutely out to get them, they need to get out of the country quickly.  Sasha suggests that they meet up with her helicopter pilot friend Jesse. When Chandler, Wolf and Sasha arrive, they find Jesse passed out on her couch and when Sasha manages to wake her, Jesse punches Sasha for her trouble. Jesse believes that Sasha sold her out to Peng, forcing Tom in to intervene and state that his job is to distribute the cure and since Jesse's identity has already been compromised, Jesse might as well help out.

Back in St. Louis Michener is starting to feel the pressure and decides that his best course of action is to wait for Tom to get back.  Ostensibly, Michener feels that when Tom arrives back, he will be able to give them a better understanding of the situation on the ground, in reality, when time's get tough, Michener lets Tom do the leading and decision making. Unfortunately for Michener, the problems with the Nathan James are not his only concerns.  As to be expected with an undertaking of this size, there's a problem with the rationing.  Some areas of the country have excess and others simply don't have enough.  If that were not enough, what little government exists outside of St. Louis clearly resent the fact that Michener is now president. Members of Michener's own staff start rumbling about the need for an election and point out that while Michener was the last cabinet member alive, he doesn't have the cache of Tom or the now dead Rachel and is seen as the guy who was along for the ride.  Michener's immune status also works against him given that the immunes actively tried to kill off those who weren't.

On the Nathan James, Cameron Burk is in charge and is quick to admit that Ganderson was correct and that they should have notified Slattery sooner.  They have a very interesting dynamic because while Burk clearly outranks Ganderson, he turns to her for her thoughts even if doesn't seem to want to employ her suggestions.  Burk decides that though they were told to head into international waters that doesn't mean that they cannot track the ships they saw earlier.  Ganderson points out that this will put them out of the set up for redezvous position but Burk decides to go ahead anyway.

The captives from the Nathan James are led into a holding cell.  One of their group is injured and so they ask repeatedly for help but their requests fall on deaf ears.  The crew gathers together to try to figure where they are going based on the pitch of the ship, speed and direction.  Finally, they realise that they are sailing in a circle to purposefully confuse them.  The captors enter the cell and quickly remove the injured man.

After shooting their way through a checkpoint, Wolf, Chandler, Jesse and Sasha arrive at a nuclear power station to pick up the helicopter.  Naturally, nothing can run smoothly and they are forced to boost the helicopter even as Peng's troops arrive intent on murder.  Once again, Wolf, Jesse, Chandler and Sasha shoot their way out but have to deal with the fact that they have very limited fuel.

Back in St. Louis, Michener learns that Chandler's plane has failed to check in.  This is a big deal for Michener, who was waiting on Chandler to make a decision on how to proceed.  Michener doesn't get to commemorate Chandler for long because he gets a call from Cheng, who claims that Chandler's plane had mechanical trouble and crashed.  Cheng offers to send a recording of the pilots to prove the veracity of his claim and adds that Asia isn't very secure at this point.  Once Michener has the voices verified, he declares that Cheng is telling the truth though his advisers clearly don't agree with him.  In China, a pissed off Cheng demands that Chandler be found immediately stating that if Chandler manages to get in touch with American forces, his actions will set off a war between China and America.

Burke and Green are making their way to a rendezvous point with the Nathan James when they are shot at.  Burke is shot but they manage to take out 7 attackers.  Green tries to interrogate the one attacker they kept alive but he refuses to answer.  Their captive notices that Burke is bleeding and comments, "he won't like that" before promptly dying.  Burke and Green take a boat and speed toward the location they believe the Nathan James to be. They shoot off flares to alert the ship of their location.

Though they are flying in a Chinese helicopter, Sasha, Jesse, Wolf and Chandler make their way towards the Nathan James.  With fuel running out, Chandler contacts the ship and uses his date of birth as a way of notifying the crew who is flying towards them.  When Chandler looks down, he sees Green and Burke in a small ship and they are being pursued.  Chandler orders Jesse to fly lower and Wolf shoots the ship pursing Burke and Green out of the water.  They all arrive at The Nathan James at the same time.  You knew that they were going to find a way to put Tom back in charge of The Nathan James again.

Things don't look good for Slattery and crew.  The injured man that was removed from the cage is slowly being bled to death.

Every time Michener is on the screen it's hard not to giggle. He's absolutely going to face some challenges to his leadership this season and from what I can see, they're very much warranted. Yes, he is the last cabinet member alive but he's been in power for over three months now and has yet to hold an election or even talk about holding an election.  So far his leadership seems to be about waiting to talk to Tom to find out what Tom thinks he should do.

With Tom back in control of the Nathan James, I very much doubt we will see much of Ganderson and Burke in positions of power.  This is particularly problematic given that not only is Ganderson a black woman, she's also the only LGBT character on the show.  Once again, we are going to be treated to another round of Tom saving the world.

Clearly Peng is up to something but we have to be given a reason for his supposed refusal to spread the cure or why he is so willing to take on the Americans.  At this point, he reads like a mustache twirling villain. He is the archetype of the evil East Asian that we've seen far too many times in American media.

On the bright side, we were introduced to Jesse this episode who seems tough and capable.  It's too early to say how large of a role she is going to have on The Last Ship going forward; however, the  Last Ship really needs strong and prominent female characters.  Sasha seems to be quite more capable than I originally thought she would be.  Sasha absolutely held her own in the shoot out but naturally was the only one effected by the radiation.  I'm still looking at her character with a lot of side eye at this point given The Last Ship's track record when it comes to women.

Okay, the stage has been set and Chandler is back on his ship.  It won't be long before the Nathan James, which unsurprisingly is the only ship in the area, is back in battle shape taking down the bad guys. The face of the enemy may have changed but the circumstances remain the same FUBAR.