Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Last Ship, Season Three, Episode Eleven: Legacy

Roberta is keeping busy having her goons give Tex a beating because he stole sensitive information from her.  Tex however simply calls her, "crazy as hell."  Roberta demands to know where his men went with her, "shit".  Once again, Tex is unresponsive so Roberta reveals that she went by his place to see what information she could get out of his daughter Kathleen, only to find that Tex still has an answering machine and it has a message from Kara, saying that she is on her way. Roberta is all smug as she plays the tape and Tex responds by charging her and grabbing at her necklace. Roberta's goons step in and pull Tex away and lock him in his cell.  Tex however is laughing because now of course he has the tools to escape.

It's Michener flashback time.  The president is in his private residence having a drink when he is approached by secret service agents. One man takes the drink out of Michener's hand and then Michener is attacked from behind and murdered.

Oliver walks into his office to find a power hungry Allison waiting for him.  Allison it seems is not impressed that Oliver chose to wear the brown suit rather than the grey one. Oliver however sees his suit choice as his last bit of power. Allison wants to talk about his speech and Oliver expresses concern that it effectively kills America. Allison believes that the virus killed America and that their actions are saving what's left.  Allison promises that if Oliver complies there will be a place for him in the new world and again tells him to wear the grey suit.

respect obey

Takehaya and the crew make plans to engage with  Peng in Tokyo Japan.  Peng it seems is headed to the Japanese national archives and Takehaya is certain that Peng wants to erase Japanese culture.

Jacob and Kara's car is stalled on the side of the road when they hear the news announcing Oliver's impending speech.  Kara is certain that this means that Jacob must go on the air because someone must counter Oliver setting up the stage for the regional leaders. Jacob however isn't so certain and accuses Price of playing him because he was tearing down Michener while they were plotting Michener's murder.  Kara manages to get the car started and so they get back on the road.

One of the goons goes to feed Tex to find him long gone.  He reports back to Roberta that Tex now has a gun and a truck.  Roberta however is not ready to panic because having heard Kara on the answering machine, they know exactly where Tex is headed.

Peng has arrived at the Japanese archives and stands in front of a statue of one of the seven Japanese Gods of Luck.  Peng watches as the statue is destroyed and orders his men to take anything valuable and destroy everything else.  A Chinese destroyer waits for Pengs orders.

On board the Nathan James, Chandler is certain that the ship means that Peng is at the archives.  It's time to meet to discuss how they are going to get to Peng.  Big Burke lays out the plans to both teams. Meylan is in on the meeting but doesn't look overly impressed.  Tom makes it clear that if one part of their mission fails it all fails.  Meylan points out to Tom that his people will not understand if he's not involved and requests to help. Tom assigns Meylan to lead things on the Nathan James. Wow, in a blink they've got another submissive POC. What happened to fighting Tom? What happened to questioning Tom's decisions?

rupauls drag race

Kara and Jacob arrive at the meeting spot and she hands him a gun.  A man approaches saying that Tex sent him but he slips up by saying that he is supposed to bring her and the reporter back to home base.  A fight breaks out and it's Tex to the rescue.

Later, at Tex's home base, Tex explains how he learned about Roberta and became involved with her. Tex says that regional leaders are building walls and want them protected.  Jacob has gotten his hands on Oliver's speech and it details suspending the government. Kara however is certain that this doesn't sound like Oliver but is determined that he cannot be allowed to give that speech.  With the future of the government at stake, Tex decides it's time to head back to St.Louis.

On board the Nathan James, it's time to prepare for battle. Slattery approaches Takehaya and the two men share a moment.  Cobra team heads for the Chinese ship while Vulture team heads to the archives.

On land, Peng's men are busy setting everything on fire and destroying priceless artifact.  Cobra team divers are in the water approaching the ship while Vulture team watches Peng's men. Cobra team is now aboard the Chinese ship and takes the ship and bridge easily.  With Cobra team in control, Vulture team begins its assault on Peng's men. Peng's men call out for Henan, the captain of the Chinese ship when they are attacked but he is kept from responding. Inside, Peng is notified that the Americans have arrived. The captain of the second ship is asking why Henan isn't responding. That captain announces that if Henan doesn't respond, he will destroy the ship. Henan affirms that they have been ordered to kill their own if necessary to save Peng. Sasha communicates with the Nathan James and Meylan tries to figure out what to do.  A member of the Chinese crew manages to fire at vulture team before being killed.  The Nathan James fires and takes out the missiles. This however lets the second destroyer learn the location of The Nathan James.  Slattery sends off a missile from the Chinese ship and targets the second destroyer.

On land, Chandler calls for his men to finish this and they cautiously approach the archives, mowing down Peng's men as they go.  Gotta love shows like this when only the supposed good guys are able to shoot. Takeahaya comes across some of the burned artifacts and is clearly deeply troubled.  He falls to his knees in a rage as Tom orders his men to keep moving. Finding himself outnumbered, Peng decides to make a run for it and of course runs into the waiting Takehaya. With a gun pointed to his head, Peng decides to taunt Takehaya which serves as a distraction allowing him to shoot the gun out of Takehaya's hand. A quick thinking Takehaya trips Peng and then skewers him with a sword. Tom shows up in time to ask Peng who he is working with in America.  Peng tells Tom that he was sent here to die and that he is all alone, before pushing the sword further in, thus committing suicide.

Allison enters the officer and tells Oliver that the nation is ready for his speech. Oliver still tries to resit and Allison makes it clear that if he doesn't comply he's a dead man.
 Outside, the regional leaders arrive for the big speech.

Takehaya looks over the wreckage that Peng caused. Tom arrives and lets Takehaya know that Peng's only destroyer now belongs to him; they even found some anti cure missiles on board. Takehaya is now certain that the rest of Asia won't suffer as they did.  Takehaya expresses his desire to remain in Japan and Tom offers him his hand. The two shake hands as equals and friends. Takehaya then limps away into the ruins as Tom, his men, and the pirates watch.

Oliver begins his speech and talks about how the founders could not have predicted something as horrible as the virus.  Kara, Tex and his men and Jacob arrive.  Jacob is wearing his press badge.  Oliver announces that democracy is untenable and that the center cannot hold.  Oliver struggles to get out the words to break apart the country and he is stopped by Jacob, who says that Oliver doesn't have to do this.  Allison orders Jacob removed and the secret service approach him.  Oliver yells that Jacob is right and that for a moment he forgot who he was, as secret service snatches Oliver and escorts him off stage.  Kara and Tex are there to intercept and pull Oliver away from the secret service.  Kara comes face to face with Allison but does not fire. When the gunfire starts, Jacob attempts to escape but he is grabbed by secret service. Kara wants to go back for Jacob but is stopped by Tex.  They manage to get away with Oliver but leave Jacob behind. Kathleen drives as Tex, Kara and Oliver seem lost in their own thoughts.

On board The Nathan James, Jesse packs up to leave. Meylan reports to Tom that cobra team found evidence aboard the Chinese ship that there was collusion with the American government. Tom asserts that there are good people back home and that they should reach out to them. Meylan takes off to handle this task.  With Sasha as her interpreter, Takehaya's wife thanks Tom for what he has done for her family and for Japan. It seems that Kyoko wants to die with her husband on her own soil. Jesse says her goodbyes to Sasha and Tom, then pauses to smile at Wolf on her way out. Jesse plans to deliver the cure to Asia.

Tom reaches out to the Naval Station San Diego but gets no response. He is interrupted by Ganderson, who tells him about a report he needs to see. Allison is on television and she talks about agitators trying to take control. Allison tells the nation that Michener was murdered by agents of the media and people inside the government. Oliver is pronounced as the leader of the rebel group and Allison adds that Oliver did so to take office and create a dictatorship.

Jacob begs for his life and is shot dead. They just had to make sure the audience got the message about the media.

anderson cooper

Allison blames the rebel group for the kidnapping of the crew of The Nathan James and of course, blames Chandler. Tom and Slattery are concerned by the revelation.  Allison wipes a tear and says that they have a plan to move forward and since there is no working government, the regional leaders are suspending the government of the United States until a central authority can be safely established. As Allison keeps talking, the highest ranking military members are being murdered.  Meylan enters the room and tells Tom that he cannot get the generals on the line. Tom calls what's going on a coup. Tom tells his crew that they are all on their own though they haven't lost their country yet. Tom orders a course set for naval base San Diego.

So in this episode, we had American saving Asia from Peng. Look, it was obvious from the get go that The Last Ship was playing with an agenda of presenting America as the world's saviour but this season they took it to extremes.  Peng is just evil for evil sake and they never bothered to explain the impetus behind his actions. Yes, there's a long standing distrust between the Japanese and the Chinese but to turn Peng into a mustache twirling villain is ridiculous at best.  Further the big ending involving the showdown between Peng and Takehaya was well...STUPID. Really? Could it have been anymore contrived? You'll note now that with Asia saved by the Americans how the Asian people are all thankful and off to rebuild.  It's all just a racist hot mess.

From the moment things went south Meylan questioned Tom.  He even fully believed in acting to arrest Tom and take over the Nathan James.  Now he's suddenly willing to take part in assassinating a foreign head of state without direct orders from the president in order not to look like a chum in front of his people?

bullshit accepted lewis black

So Meylan gets left in charge of The Nathan James and it turns out he's completely incompetent. It's Slattery on board the Chinese destroyer who saves the day.  Of course, evidence turns up proving that Tom was right and Meylan becomes even more happy to tow the line.  It turns out that Meylan is going to be just as problematic as every other character of colour on this show.

I've long been critical of the treatment of Jacob on The Last Ship. To be clear, it's a reporters job to question the government to keep it honest. It's not a reporters job to tow the party line.  Now we have Jacob feeling guilty for questioning Michener because Michener was murdered. The message The Last Ship sends regarding the role of the media and politics is deplorable to say the least.  In case we didn't get the moral of this story, Jacob of course had to die.

Finally, we have to talk about the women on this show.  It's been the case that unless a woman falls into the category of love interest, The Last Ship has no use for them. This season we got a break from that narrative but it didn't improve things because they went with the trope of strong woman equals evil. Could it get anymore basic and sexist? Allison and Roberta are portrayed as power hungry, control, evil harpies.  Their characters are completely overwhelmed with the pursuit of power and we have learned absolutely nothing about them beyond this.  Just as Peng is a ridiculous cardboard cut out villain, so are these women.