Monday, July 25, 2016

The Last Ship, Season Three, Episode Seven: In the Dark

Everyone is now safely aboard the Nathan James but the crew cannot contact the White House because they are being tracked by Chinese ships and so must maintain radio silence.  This is not good for Michener, who grows more and more desperate to hear from Tom, as Jacob continues to put pressure on the president.

The former hostages are served a meal and though the purpose of said meal is not to fatten them up for the slaughter, it's too much for them to absorb and Jeter turns down the meal altogether. Green packs away Cruz's things and writes a letter to his sister in which he describes Cruz's death and his belief that Cruz will live forever in the hearts of the men and women he served with.  Tom heads to see Takehaya, promising that he won't be hurt aboard the Nathan James but will be tried to the fullest extent of the law once they reach stateside.  Takehaya is unrepentant believing that he won't make it to America anyway.  Tom asks about the cure and Takehaya is adamant that no tampering occurred and that everyone died.  This throws Tom for a loop.

On the bridge, the crew note that the Chinese ships are searching for them in a grid pattern and that were it not for the darkness, they would already be dead. Slattery makes his first appearance  on the bridge and he and Tom quickly fall into their pattern of working together.  There is no power struggle, Tom clearly takes the lead while Slattery follows.

Stateside, Jacob decides to visit with the immune who killed Doctor Scott.  To get an interview, Jacob pretends to be the immune's lawyer.  Jacob asks specifically about Michener and gets the scoop of a lifetime.  He learns that Michener brought his son into the safe zone and blamed himself for all of the deaths in the safe zone. The immune makes it clear that when they found Michener, he was a big emotional mess.

Jacob then takes the tape to Michener, who is almost speechless about his secrets being revealed. When Jacob questions Michener's mental health, pointing out that it was only eleven days after Tom managed to rescue him that he was addressing the nation, an enraged Michener throws Jacob out of the office.  Allison questions if there is any truth to what Jacob said and Michner simply nods and then looks at the scars on this wrist. Later, Michener addresses the nation and admits what happened with his son and apologises for acting as a father rather than a leader. Jacob continues to press about there being no news from the white house beyond this statement.

On board the Nathan James, the Chinese ships continue to close in as Doc Rios is forced to perform an emergency C Section on Kyoko.  Tom gets Takehaya from the hold in time to witness the birth of son.  Even though Takehaya doesn't believe in the cure, Tom offers it to his son anyway, pointing out that the child will be exposed to Kyoko, who has the virus.  Desperate to save his child, Takehaya agrees and the baby is inoculated, thus saving his life.

The Nathan James is now caught between two Chinese ships and is being asked to identify itself.  Realising that they are running out of time, Tom and Slattery prepare the crew to fight their way out.  Grateful that his son is alive, Takehaya asks to be taken to the bridge, certain that he has a better way to get out of this situation.  Tom and Slattery make eyes at each other but agree to follow Takehaya's lead.  Takehaya sails the ship right into one of his minefields but since they are his, he's confidant in his ability to sail the Nathan James safely through.  Takehaya takes the wheel and guides the Nathan James through the minefield and when the Chinese ships starts to follow, one is immediately blown up, forcing the others to retreat.  With clear sailing ahead, Tom contacts the States to let them know that the mission was successful.

It's Kara who gets the news but when she tries to enter the residence to inform the President, she's told that Michener made it clear that he was not to be disturbed.  Finally, Kara is forced to pull rank pointing out that she is chief of staff and so is allowed into the residence. Once inside, Kara and the secret service find that Michener has hung himself.

Now clear of the Chinese, Tom and Slattery once again sit down with Takehaya. It's clear that Takehaya is humbled now and so thankful that his son has survived.  Takehaya says that he was wrong and wishes that there was some way for him to make up for what he has done.  Tom then asks about the supposed coincidence of his plane being blown up while Slattery and some of his crew members were taken hostage.  Takehaya doesn't admit to working with Peng but does say that he was given information about the location of Slattery and his crew from the same pirate who Tom traded his watch with. Hmmmm. Who is really pulling the strings and why?

I for one am not surprised that Michener ended up killing himself.  He was always just barely holding it together and was completely dependent up Tom.  With information coming out about his mental health and no new information regarding Tom, it's clear that Michener felt painted into a corner and didn't know how to deal with it. This means that the U.S. is going to get a new interim president and I want it to be a woman - hopefully, Kara or even Allison.  I am sick and tired of seeing  straight, cisgender white men run around this dystopian world saving the day. The Last Ship desperately needs a powerful female character who is not being positioned as a love interest.

Now that they have tamed Takehaya, they've moved onto yet another stereotype for Asian males. He's gone from the angry enigmatic Asian man, to weak submissive man, happy to prove his worth through service.  Just ugggh. Despite the fact that The Last Ship has a fair number of characters of colour, none of them have really been developed.  They are like back lighting when they are not actively problematic like Takehaya.  There's no way that this is going to end well at all but then I was sure of that the minute I saw Hiroyuki Sanada.