Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Last Ship, Season Four, Episode Three: Bread and Circuses

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There are times when watching The Last Ship that I believe that the writers are straight up trolling the viewers. It's reached the point where it's so ridiculous that I often find myself laughing out loud when I know the writers are expecting me to be all rah rah rah U.S.A. Even for american propaganda, The Last Ship is ridiculous. 

Despite being shot at, the Nathan James is approaching Oran Algeria. It's not long before Sasha, Kandie and a crew land and start their search for Mahmond's family.  Despite showing pictures of Mahmoud's body, and the danger that his family faces, no one is willing to help Sasha or Kandie.  Fortunately for the team, Omar is spotted inside of the home of Mahmoud's mother.  He's easy to spot because his helicopter is close by.  Why didn't Mahmoud just put a flashing light on the door, to save the crew time looking for him, if he was just going to leave his helicopter sitting around. The home is quickly surrounded and Danny Green gets Omar in his sights.

Tom took one for the team and had sex with Lucia.  Tom awakens first and slips the necklace containing the key from Lucia before slipping downstairs.  Before Tom can enter the secret room, he runs into Giorgio, who cannot stop himself from telling Tom about the big day that he has planned for him. When Giorgio heads back to bed, Tom slips into the locked room and starts rifling through paperwork looking to find the head of this particular snake. Tom comes across some laboratory testing but at this point has no idea what it all means. Once his snooping is done, Tom slips back into bed with Lucia and puts the necklace back around her neck. Lucia must actually sleep like the dead.

Omar is questioning Mahmoud's mother but she plays dumb, pretending that her son didn't actually give her anything of value. In frustration, Mahmoud knocks over the table and the seeds fall out of the leg. Realising that she's in trouble, Mahmoud's mother stabs Omar with a small knife and he retaliates by slashing her throat.  Finally, in possession of the seeds, Omar leaves the home, making his way to his helicopter, flanked by his men and a group of children. Fortunately, Sasha is able to put a tracker on his helicopter. 

It's now officially time for Lucia, and Giorgio to meet with Omar.  Giorgio orders everyone out of the room except Tom.  This is just some plain sloppy shit. The only reason to have Tom in the room is for him to have knowledge about what Giorgio is attempting to buy and where the product will be located.  It makes absolutely no sense for Giorgio to want Tom in the room given that he has no real reason to trust Tom and this meeting should be well above Tom's position in the criminal organisation. Giorgio goes all machismo and starts off the exchange in way that clearly doesn't impress Omar.  Giorgio has the agreed upon ten million brought into the room to exchange that money for seeds. Omar rejects the money stating that Giorgio didn't reveal when they made the deal that there would be other interested parties. Now that the British Secret Service and the American military is interested, Giorgio wants 200 million for the seeds.  Things quickly become tense. Lucia intervenes and Omar is quick to shut her down by calling her a whore. As Lucia negotiates with Omar, Tom advises Giogrio that he authenticate the seeds that Omar is selling.  Lucia and Omar manage to come to an agreement and so Giogrio invites Omar to watch a boxing fight.

Having witnessed the exchange, Tom is sent to get ready to fight to the death. If Tom was important enough to be on the exchange with Omar, why is he now expendable to fight purely for Giogrio's entertainment now? I know, I should just stop asking questions.  Tom has a conversation with the guy taping his hands in preparation for the fight and so impresses the tape man with his highschool level of philosophy, the tape man puts a drug on Tom's knuckles which allow him to take out his opponent with a punch to the eye. 

Tom steps into the ring and the announcer queries the crowd regarding which one of them is brave enough to enter the ring with him.  As luck would have it, Slattery, who is leading the team to find Omar sees Tom in the ring.  We all knew that Tom was going to end up back with the Nathan James but I didn't expect the reunion to happen so soon.  So of course, Slattery gets into the ring as Tom's challenger. As the two exchange shots and wrestle, they talk about how Tom ended up here and where the seeds are. After making a plan to meet up in the basement, Tom uses the powder the good Doctor conveniently put on his knuckles and knocks out Slattery.

Tom heads into the basement and meets up with the team. During a shootout, they meet up with Lucia and retrieve the seeds. Sasha is cornered, so Tom decides to go with Fletcher to act as back up for Sasha, leaving Lucia in the custody of Slattery.  Tom isn't gone a New York minute before Lucia ends up slashing Slattery in the abdomen with a knife and taking off.  Even though he's injured, Slattery holds onto the seeds and tries to escape on his own. Tom and Fletcher join Sasha in a gun battle and after clearing away some men, Tom agrees to stay behind to lead Giogrio's  men away.  Giogrio runs into Omar and both men accuse each other of theft. Tom's cover is blown when Lucia reaches out to Giogrio over the radio.  Aware that Lucia is going to reveal that he's U.S. Navy, Tom slips away quietly before Giogrio can stop him.

Tom meets up with the rest of the crew only to find that Slattery has not shown up at the rendezvous or contacted anyone.  Slattery is struggling to get away because of his injury and he's even lost his gun but at least he still has the seeds. 

I'm convinced that the only reason that the crew of the Nathan James are still alive is because of plot armor. They make the most ridiculous decisions and are given positions of trust they have not earned.  There's no reason for Giogrio to trust Tom given that he killed the father of the woman that Tom is in love with in retribution.  If were not enough Giogrio is apparently suspicious enough about who Tom is to pull him close but not concerned about having Tom there for the seed negotiation?

Slattery being taken out was really convenient because we all know that the fate of the world always rests on Tom being in the captain's chair of The Nathan James. Slattery is effectively nothing but Tom's seat warmer.  The whole thing is just so contrived that it's beyond ridiculous.

Now that Tom has a world to save again I wonder if he's going to give a thought to his children which he left on a Greek island. Is he seriously just going to pawn those kids off with his lover?  I guess we will just have to wait to see how the writers want to deal with it.

Despite the fact that The Last Ship has a large cast filled with POC and at least two LGBT people, the story always seems to center around Tom, making them all side characters at best.  The marginalised characters all function as cover for the Last Ship's overarching narrative: when shit hits the fan, only straight, able bodied white men can save us.