Monday, July 18, 2016

The Last Ship, Season Three, Episode Five: Minefield

The Nathan James is up shit's creek having sailed right into a minefield that Takehaya set as a trap.  Stateside, Michener gives a press conference stating that he is withdrawing all American ships from Asian waters and is about to begin negotiating for the release of the hostages.  Jacob questions how the people know that Michener is telling them the truth, given the fact that he hasn't exactly been honest with them in the past.  A stunned Kara looks on.  I'm really getting irked with the idea presented by The Last Ship that the media has no right to hold the government accountable.  The background agenda running through this season is dangerous.  How quickly the writers of this show forget that it's precisely because the media didn't ask the tough questions that Bush was able to lie the Americans into an illegal war. I know that in many ways, The Last Ship is barely veiled American Propaganda but come on already.

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Takehaya has Mike and the crew unloading crates as he is given news that The Nathan James is close. Takehaya takes time out to taunt Mike about hunting The Nathan James.  On board the Nathan James, crew members line up to try and disarm the bombs. Wolf takes time out to get a little flirty with Jesse. Wow he sure got over the death of his previous girlfriend awfully quickly.

Stateside, people have gathered in front of President's residence in a candlelight vigil.  Michener worries about what they are going to tell people if the Nathan James doesn't get out of the minefield. Alex argues that this is a national security issue plain and simple. Allison enters the room and informs Michener and Alex that the Regional Leadership Committee is demanding a meeting.  Allison suggests telling them everything because half of them are already in town.  Alex backs her up by saying that their support is crucial and that they speak for millions of people in their individual territories.

The effort continues to disarm the bombs.  The seaman quickly realise that the bombs aren't standard issue and in fact something probably rigged by Takehaya.  Tom warns everyone to slowly move each group out of the way. Wolfe radios in that something is off with the third mine but one seaman doesn't hear the order to delay and continues to work. The mine starts to vibrate and of course explodes. Tom orders everyone out of the water.

Doc Rios continues to check in on the health of the captives giving aid where he can.  Takehaya bursts in and orders Mike and Doc Rios to follow him. They are lead to a hut where a pregnant woman lies on a pallet with a high fever and jaundice. Takehaya declares that the woman has red flu and adds that the cure is not working.  Doc Rios agrees that the woman has the flu but says that she also has malaria and that is what is causing her to be so sick. Takehaya hands over a medical kit but it's got nothing useful. Doc Rios needs antibiotics and so Takehaya sends someone to find something. Mike has been watching closely this whole time and asserts that the woman in danger must be Takehaya's wife. Really? No shit Sherlock. Thank you Mike for stating the obvious.

Michener meets with the Regional Leadership Council, as on board The Nathan James, the seamen try to make sense of the mines.  Sonar picks up something which seems to be coming from all around them. They realise that the third mine has an engine which is bringing the mines closer to the ship. Stateside, Michener tells the Regional Leadership Council the truth about everything that is going on, only to be told that the events in Asia are coming at a bad time.  Really can a hostage situation ever come at a good time? Apparently, some people are on the brink of rioting. The Council demands that Michener withdraw all of his domestic policy, leveraging the crises against him.  Michener, who has learned how to be presidential, is just not willing to stand for any shit. Michener even brings up that Manual is living in a mansion and questions if he knows who the mansion belongs to.  The council suggests that Michener cannot solve Asia and therefore he should give the people what they want. Manual even threats to cut off the food supply.  Michener reminds the Council of their agreement to keep the Presidency in St.Louis and that the Council would retain control over the regions.  Michener reminds them that they have elections coming up for Congress next month and that until then, he orders them to get a handle on their people. Michener even threatens to use the armed forces to maintain order. Michener thanks them for coming and walks out. Look who gained a backbone.

Doc Rios says that malaria is a funny disease and Mike warns that they cannot lose her.  Doc Rios makes it clear that if they cannot get the fever under control, things don't look good for the baby.

Jacob is doing a report outside of Michener's office about the fact that he has learned that Tom is no longer in China and is in fact on the Nathan James, when who should come along but Kara.  Kara is stunned and orders the camera turned off.  Kara orders the camera man removed and figures out that one of the Regional Leaders is Jacob's source. Kara suggests that Jacob is being manipulated and threatens to freeze his credentials to which Jacob questions if they still have a free press. Kara then begins to plead for Jacob not to run the story and sensing that he has the upper hand, Jacob requests a sit down with the president within 12 hours.

Ganderson and Sasha talk about the mines which are about 45 minutes from crashing into The Nathan James.  Sasha suggests evacuating the ship and Ganderson makes it clear that after canvassing the crew, no one is willing to leave.

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In consultation,  the crew discuss sending a helicopter with a torpedo attached to blow up the mines and the ship following when the way is clear.  Green doesn't think that there's enough time and suggests using a speed boat to get the closest mines away from the ship. Tom agrees with this suggestion but when Green leaves the room, Wolfe and Cruz say that since they don't have wives and kids at home, Green doesn't have to be part of the mission.

Alone, Tom sends a message to Kara informing her that Danny will be assigned off the ship and asks her to forward a message to his children.  Tom tells his kids that he is proud of them and that they are never to forget that.  Tom asks his kids to be brave, kind to each other and to help each other whenever they can.  Tom tells his kids to listen to their grandfather adding that he wishes he could have been there more.

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I know that I was supposed to be touched by Tom sending a message to his family but honestly, since the first season, he's barely brought them up.  Also, Eric Dane isn't going to win any acting awards for this scene. The acting has never been great on The Last Ship, but this scene is easily one of the worst to date.

Tom sends Sasha on the helicopter so that she will remain safe and tasks her with getting to the president and talking him into sending in the other ships if they fail. Green is pulled out of the skip and Wolfe and Cruz take over.

Kara informs Allison, Alex and Michener about the leak to the press. Michener says that it could be the leaders stoking the fear in people.  Alex and Allison suggests that Michener should bend a bit but Michener is adamant that the Council will be given nothing, even if they cannot depend on the James making it out of the minefield.

Operation disarm the mines has begun.  The helicopter releases the dixie and the Nathan James follows closely on its heels.  The mines are beginning to explode, clearing a path for the Nathan James. The Nathan James runs into further trouble when a torpedo is launched at them and since the helicopter has not cleared all of the mines, the ship cannot overtake them.  Wolfe and Cruz decide to head towards the torpedo to intercept it before it can hit the Nathan James.  Sasha points out that if Wolf and Cruz don't intercept far enough out, the shock wave will set off the minefield anyway. Cruz and Wolf start moving faster through the water.  Cruz and Wolfe intercept the torpedo and the crew of The Nathan James braces for the shockwave the explosion creates but fortunately they are clear.  No one can get a hold of Wolfe or Cruz, so Tom orders a search party prepared.

Kyoko awakes and asks if her baby is okay. Kyoko doesn't believe they can raise their child there but Takehaya assures her that he has a plan and that everything will be okay. Clearly, he's just putting on a brave front for his wife. Proving to be unkillable, Wolfe and Cruz are spotted floating in the water and the crew celebrates.  Kara bursts into the office to report that the Nathan James is out of the minefield and closing in on Takehaya.  Michener takes a drink declaring that they live to fight another day.

Tom walks into his cabin to find Sasha waiting for him.  Sasha calls Tom out on his soft spot for Green and Tom claims that since Green is the best, he wanted Sasha protected if shit hit the fan.  Suddenly Sasha is empathizing with Tom about the responsibility he carries and the grace at which he does it.  Wait, does the woman have amnesia? How did she suddenly forget that he just recently marched into an Asian market with his recognizable race and threatened people? Yeah, he handles it all with such grace. Sasha then kisses Tom, saying that she is glad that she didn't lose him today. When she leaves, Tom looks at a picture of him and Mike together, promising that he will get there.