Monday, August 29, 2016

The Last Ship, Season Three, Episode Ten: Scuttle

Kara gets her mother and son all packed up.  She hands them off to Jed, Chandler's father. Chandler's kids are worried that their father is in trouble but she assures them that she will update them later. Jed tells Kara that he has his SAT phone if she needs to contact them.  Kara then watches as they drive away to safety.

On board the ship, the injured from the two navy vessels are being treated.  Doc Rios struggles because they are short on medical supplies. Meylan observes his troops and its clear that he's troubled. Miller and O'Connor are reunited. Meylan gets word from Cobb that it's time.

It seems that the crew of The Nathan James took what they needed from the other ships and now it's time to destroy them to prevent the enemy from getting any materials or sensitive information. Slattery announces that it's time to proceed and hands Meylan the detonation device but Meylan silently refuses to accept it. Tom does the duties instead.  The men watch as the ship is blown sky high.

The upper echelon meet to discuss their options. Meylan is adamant that they need to head home. Ganderson interrupts the meeting to say that a message has been intercepted and that the cipher is likely on-board the sunken ship. Meylan again expresses a desire to return home, citing that they are running low on food and that their medical supplies are depleted. Chandler is certain that they will find supplies and says that as long as Peng is breathing he's a threat.  Chandler is adamant that unless Peng is stopped he will simply start again. Meylan lays out the facts regarding how out armed they are and his belief that there are other people in the world who could use their help. Slattery and Chandler make eye contact and Chandler says that mission was approved by the commander and chief and he adds that until they have secure communications, they are going to follow the last orders they have.

Oliver is having a press conference and Allison predictably is right by his side. Oliver announces to the press that he will be easing restrictions on rationing, giving more power locally and stopping the property clawback law. Yep, he's going back on all of Michener's policies. This of course comes as a shock to Jacob, who notices right away that Kara is missing.  Jacob questions why Oliver is rolling back Michener's policies and before Oliver can answer, Allison cuts the meeting short.  Allison announces to the press that they will no longer have daily addresses and will have weekly meetings running from her office.

Allison heads inside and is informed there's a call for her. Kara reaches out to Allison to say that she's in trouble and needs help.  Kara tells Allison about the shooting in the parking garage and then actually gives Allison her location, after Allison promises to come alone.  Kara doesn't know who to trust and thinks it's a good idea to trust Allison? Agents show up at Kara's location to find that she isn't there.  Allison was smart enough to hide and watch the location discretely to see if Allison kept her word.

Slattery goes to see Takehaya about the Chinese destroyer because the team was unable to find the cipher.  Slattery asks Takehaya to reach out to the pirates that he knows in the hopes that it will help them find Peng.

Meylan once again lets his displeasure be known to Tom.  He's not pleased that they are going to deal with pirates and talks about bad interactions he and his crew had with them.  Tom points out that they don't always get to choose their allies and his determination to finish the job. Meylan admits the damage Peng has done and suggests that this is personal for Tom and that there might be other people on the Nathan James who feel the same way.  Tom however is not convinced and points out that sometimes the captain has to make the unpopular decision.

Allison gets word that the agents missed Kara at the diner. Allison meets with Roberta Price from the Texas territory to explain her actions. Roberta reminds Allison that if Chandler makes it home things get more difficult. Allison tries to pull rank by suggesting that no one would have a seat at the table were it not for her. Roberta does concede this fact but counters that the territories are paying for the food at the meal before walking out.

The pirates board the ship as the crew points weapons at them. Sasha acts as the translator after Takehaya greets the leader.  It seems that the pirates want more money for the cipher and Takehaya intercedes and the pirates agree to the deal at the original price.  Tom shakes hands with the pirates and Meylan watches shaking his head in judgement.

Allison enters Oliver's office with paper work for an arrest warrant. Oliver is adamant that no one in their right mind would sign this and once again, Allison lets him know who is in charge. Oliver reminds Allison that he is the president and that he doesn't care if he's killed.  Allison however counters that they can kill his family. Allison explains that there are forces at work bigger than her and Oliver.  Oliver brings up the genocide and Allison says that they had no idea what Peng was planning to do and that they needed his help to take care of Chandler. Allison says once again that nothing can be done to stop the changing landscape of the country. Oliver gives a speech about stopping things but Allison simply tells him to sign the paperwork.

Melylan and the crew watch as some of the seaman help load up the supplies for the pirates. Jeter and Tom talk about the mood of the crew and Meylan's disapproval. Jeter assures Tom that Meylan will get on board and so will the rest of the crew.  When Tom asks if Jeter believes this is personal for him, Jeter says that it's personal for all of them.  Ganderson interrupts to say that that the cipher works and that Peng is on a destroyer outside of Tokyo.

Kara heads to see Jacob and after making sure he is alone, orders him to shut the door.  Kara tells him about the deaths and how Alex and Beatty were gunned down by the secret service. Kara wants to know what the men were up to and points out that Jacob's credentials give him access to the white house.  Jacob is shocked and Kara goes on to say that Michener was probably murdered and that Allison is in on what's going on and double dealing with Peng.

On board ship, a double encrypted message arrives from command. Meylan is at the bedside of his man who is suffering when he gets a message from central command from Garnett.  Meylan steps aside to decrypt it.  When we see Meylan again, he marches onto the bridge to notify Chandler that he's received a message ordering him to: place Chandler under arrest, relieve Slattery of duty, take control of the ship and return home. Tom reads off the charges and Slattery is quick to call it bullshit. Chandler is quick to realise that the White House has been compromised; however, Meylan feels that POTUS has lost faith in Chandler's command.  Chandler says that they aren't going to make it home alive and that the person who sent those orders, blew up Meylan's ship.  Meylan however is only to happy to order Chandler arrested.  Slattery moves to stand in front of Chandler and Tom orders him to stand down and keep the peace right now.  Tom walks off the the bridge.  Meylan than orders Ganderson and another sailor to be relieved of duty. They are replaced with Meylan's people as he orders the XO to arrest the pirates.  Meylan then warns Slattery that Green, Burke, and Taylor, have already been sequestered.  Meylan then moves to inform the crew and Slattery suggests that this not a good idea and instead sends them message himself that Tom has been relieved of duty.

Sasha heads to see Tom after being granted ten minutes by Meylan.  Tom tells Sasha to ask for a court marshal, adding that Meylan will have to impanel a court because Meylan cannot sit in judgement over a superior officer.  Tom hands in his commission and Sasha is certain that Tom won't win and could be put in front of a firing squad. See how they managed to sneak in a love interest moment there to remind us of who Sasha is relative to Tom. Tom however is certain if they go home they will all be killed and that he needs to take command of the ship. Tom warns Sasha that it involves re-taking the ship.

Jacob arrives at the White House and has to show his credentials to enter. Once inside, he heads to the senator's office to find secret service cleaning it out. Jacob is informed that the senator is out of town this week.

Kara notes the shot gun Jacob's home as well as a picture of him with a pregnant woman.  When Jacob returns, he informs Kara that secret service are already clearing out the office. Kara grabs the phone and says there's one person at the White house she can call. Kara calls Dennis and tells him that Shaw is the leak and that she needs him to do something.

Meylan comes across Diaz, Slattery and Miller talking.  They use emptying the vending machine as a cover and Slattery says that they are adding what they can to the ration pile. Diaz and Miller leave and a suspicious Meylan asks Slattery for a word. Meylan says that he and his team have looked over things and that Tom needs to reconsider because he cannot mount a defense. Slattery however argues that Tom's instincts are good and that the circumstances don't add up. Meylan however is adamant that exoneration is impossible. Slattery tells Meylan that he has to give Tom his day in court.

There's a knock on Jacob's door and it's Dennis, who says that cannot confirm whether or not Oliver is in on it. It seems that Dennis found a file containing a map covered in red dots.  Dennis moves to leave and Kara asks him to be careful.

Back on board the ship, O'Connor and Miller stage a fight which spreads to some of the crew. Meylan and Slattery run to the mess hall and break up the fight. O'Connor sees the opportunity and manages to steal some keys and pass it on to Slattery.  It's all so obvious that they shouldn't have been able to get away with it.

Jacob and Kara look over the warehouses and note that they contain lots of food. It's Kara who realies that the dots actually represent prisons; 46 maximum prisons spread out in the territories.  Jacob realises that Beatty must have been getting cold feet.  Secret service burst in and Jacob is shot in the arm.  Kara makes her way into the kitchen and manages to kill the agent with the shot gun Jacob keeps in his kitchen.

Slattery takes a gun from the safe, as Sasha approaches soldiers claiming that she needs to depose witnesses.  Slattery arrives and disarms the soldiers and frees Green, Wolf and Burk. Slattery gives the order that if the men are to involve themselves that it's dry fire only.

Sasha and Tom arrive for his court marshal.  Meylan tells Tom that he may begin with his opening statement.  Tom talks about his service and how he worked his way through the pipeline and that the Nathan James was his first command.  As Tom talks, his crew begin gathering bulletproof vests and guns.  Tom stands and says that the navy taught him to adapt.  The men ensure that all the guns they grab have no bullets in them. The first thing they do is to free the pirates and Takehaya. Chandler's men take over the engine room and the bridge before finally breaking into Tom's trial.  Tom tells Meylan that his hand was forced.  Meylan stands and tells Tom that he had his doubts earlier and thanks Tom for removing them for him. Tom tells Meylan that if he's wrong he will face justice from a higher authority. Melan and his men are sequestered and Tom orders the ship to set a course to Japan.

Kara and Jacob are driving when they hear on the news that there's a warrant out for their arrest for the two murders in the parking garage.  As they drive, military vehicles pass them on the road.  Kara is forced to slow down as they come across a wall which is being built to make the regional borders permanent. Somehow I think Donald Trump would approve.

The Last Ship has always been a little difficult to take seriously and this week makes it absolutely impossible.  If anything, the plot to this week read like a cheap version of Crimson Tide. With Meylan and Chandler fighting for control of the ship based on supposed orders from the White House it was a damn near rip off of the 1995 movie, naturally with worse acting. Eric Dane is no Gene Hackman and Emerson Brooks is no Denzel Washington. If I were the screenwriter for Crimson Tide, I would be asking the writers of this episode for some money.

What irks me about this situation is that Tom is of course going to be proven right though he broke military law.  We all know damn well that he's not going to receive any punishment for his actions. This is what makes The Last Ship so unbelievable to me. There should be consequences but there won't be because Tom is going to save the day.

I was initially irked when Kara immediately called Allison to let her know that there was something going on.  It didn't seem to be a smart decision for her to make but it was redeemed when she wasn't waiting in the diner like a lamb to the slaughter. It made sense to me that she would turn to Jacob. It's funny how she never bothered tp apologise for the absolute shite way she treated the man for doing his damn job.  It did however prove a point: reporters need to hold government accountable to the people. With no one asking questions, Allison and the rest of her crew will be able to get away with murder.

Then we have Roberta Price.  That woman is stone cold and clearly power hungry. Yeah, I know, she's from Texas.  It's worth noting that Allison and Roberta are the strongest female characters not cramped into the role of love interest this season. I really dislike that they are in the role of antagonist.  It irks me that strong has to equal evil.  Sure there's Kara, but we need to see her do more before she can be a counter to Roberta and Allison.

The racial dynamics this week were also horrible.  Takehaya has become more and more submissive each week that it has become sickening to watch.  Then we had Meylan who of course had the nerve to questions The Last Ship's great White, straight, male saviour Tom. If that were not enough, we have Oliver, who has no choice but to obey Allison. All of the characters of colour are in extremely servile positions despite one of them being the damn President of the United States. Last Ship needs to do better.