Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Last Ship, Season Four, Episode Seven: Feast

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We're in the last stretch of white able bodied Americans save the world (yes, I know it's longer than simply saying The Last Ship; however, it's a shit ton more accurate).

The seeds are now in Velleck's possession thanks to Fletcher's betrayal of the Americans.  The episode begins with a somber memorial to all of the people lost in Fletcher's theft of the seeds.  Master Chief is clearly injured and not doing well but gives Doc Rios a look when Doc asks about it. It's clear that Master Chief is ignoring his health in favour of hunting down the seeds.  I hope that this doesn't mean that Jeter's character is going to be killed off, we've already lost too many characters of colour this season. 

Velleck is pleased to have the seeds but recognises that because Fletcher's cover has been blown, this means that Tom will be hunting him down.  For her part, Lucia plays up the role of spurned woman to the hilt and vows to take care of Chandler himself. Has this woman never heard of a one night stand? Tom didn't promise her ever lasting love. Velleck orders Lucia to take Fletcher to his room but warns her not to get to friendly with him. Yes, you can and should read that as lowkey slut shaming. Velleck however is less pleased with Giorgio, who he sees as a continual fuck up and has no problems comparing him to his brother.  Unsurprisingly, Giorgio does not take his father's criticism well and decides to rush back to his home and throw a party. Giorgio is nothing if not predictable. 

As with every other episode, the characters all have to confirm that whatever plan of action Tom comes up with is perfect. This week, the task falls to Meylan, who admits that Tom was right about using Giorgio as a conduit to Vellek. It wouldn't be The Last Ship without a moment of Tom worship. Tom wants to kidnap Giorgio to steal his key to get into the room he snuck into earlier. Fortunately for Tom, Giorgio's place is located next to a 2,000 year old landmark and so they the crew of the Nathan James has no problem locating it.

Vellek, Lucia, Fletcher and Christos sit down for dinner.  Christos is not at all pleased by the fact that Vellek made a deal with the U.K. for the seeds and points out that Vellek wouldn't have made it this far without the help of the Greek navy. Vellek tries to argue that Greece now has a powerful ally in the British but Christos is only interested in getting food for the nation state of Athens. Yes, the world has regressed so far that Greece has returned to having nation states. It's left to Lucia to soothe the tension in the room, greasing the way with an obvious display for feminine wiles, as Fletcher watches without comment. Lucia and Vellek then encourage Christos to eat some bread and drink.  To anyone paying attention, it's obvious something is wrong with the bread. 

As the team prepares to storm Giorgio's, Tom take a moment to comfort Sasha, suggesting that she did nothing wrong. Sasha however feels that Fletcher's actions prove that she has terrible taste in men. The away team lands on the island, only to discover Giorgio's party in full swing. This means a direct confrontation is off the cards, because to do so would mean risking innocent civilians. Hmmmm what to do? Why have a female character just strip down to a bikini that she just happens to be wearing under her wet suit. Yes, Azima is a gorgeous woman but is it necessary to sexualise her in this fashion?

Azima sashays into the party and predictably gets Giorgio's attention. Giorgio leads Azima back to his bedroom where she plays nice until the team arrives, allowing her to end the ruse.  Giorgio's only comment is that Tom could have allowed him to finish, as if he actually had a legit shot with Azima. I seriously screamed at the television, "dude she is so out of your league". Sasha takes the key from Giorgio and gets to work transferring data to the Nathan James.  Even though he's clearly in a tight spot, Giorgio begins throwing weight around by invoking his father and reminding Tom that Lucia wants revenge for what he did to her.  Tom however will not be goaded into responding, even if Giorgio just blasted out his business to the crew. It's only when Giorgio brings up Fletcher's betrayal that he gets a response.  Sasha forces Giorgio's head against a desk and puts a gun next to his ear.  Giorgio loses a bit of his bravdo and calls out reminding Tom that they still need him and therefore cannot afford to kill him. It's clear that Tom sees Giorgio as the equivalent of a gnat but he does concede that for now at least, they still need Giorgio and so Tom calls Sasha off for now.

The mission is going okay until Omar and his men decide to show up, anxious to deal with Giorgio's betrayal and to get the money he was promised. Giorgio is shocked to learn that Omar is alive, causing Tom to snark about how Giorgio's day just keeps getting better and better. Instead of taking Omar out immediately, Tom's men listen in as Omar tells Giorgio's guests about how at the first opportunity Giorgio gets, he will sell them down the river.  The away team watches as Omar strangles a civilian to death, determined to find out just where Giorgio is hiding. Ummm in the house dude, the house you haven't bothered to search yet. When Giorgio's guests all point in different directions as to Giorgio's location, Omar finally decides to send his men to search the house. 

With Giorgio's men entering the house, it's finally time for the away team to engage. A nervous Giorgio even gives up his cache of weapons, begging Tom to save him after Sasha warns that Omar will skin Giorgio alive.  The forces all regroup in the hideaway room, with Burke setting a charge for an explosion. The team slips out and at the first opportunity, Giorgio sneaks away. Omar enters the room surprised by the bomb and it promptly explodes, killing him.  Back on board the Nathan James, the crew gets to work decoding the information taken from Giorgio's place. As for Giorgio himself, there's no sign of him and so they assume he died in the explosion.

Giorgio actually managed to get away safe because apparently, it takes more than an explosion to kill a cockroach.  Vellek is not pleased that his son compromised the lab, even though Giorgio explains that he almost died. At this point, Vellek is far past having any interest in listening to Giorgio's excuses for his latest fuck up. Vellek is concerned that this means that his precious lab has been exposed.

Some of Vellek's information has become available and so the team watches a fight between Tom and Ares.  Of course, we know that Tom won that fight by thinking, instead of using straight up aggression but in the scene they view, Tom is clearly not doing well.  We learn that Giorgio having people fight wasn't simply for fun and games. It turns out that Giorgio was actually collecting men with high levels of aggression so that Vellek could then later give them a serum which would make them docile. Vellek believes that the best way to save humanity is to make us into a bunch of sheep that can be easily led. 

As I suspected, Christos was indeed poisoned at that little dinner.  As Christos meets with Vellek, Christos realises that he doesn't feel like himself and that something has been done to him.  Vellek orders Christos to take off his medals and Christos complies without complaint, even when Vellek informs him that he will no longer be in charge of the Greek navy. Now that Christos has taken Vellek's concoction, he is docile and in no position to put up any kind of resistance. It's clear that Vellek is setting himself up to be some kind of God.

On board the Nathan James, after deciphering more information, the crew learns that Vellek's lab is mobile. That's right,  Vellek's lab is on a ship. Prepare for a sea battle y'all.

I don't think anything really came out of this episode.  It really felt like filler on the mission to save the world but we did learn to key things: Vellek is on a ship and he plans to make people docile. I don't agree with Vellek's plan but I can see why he believes that aggression is a problem on this planet. We've had countless wars and other examples of violence since humanity crawled out of the muck.

I'm not pleased by the way that women were sexualised on this episode. Between Lucia talking down Christos and Azima parading around in a bikini, it reaffirmed that no matter what power women are given, their bodies and sexuality are what sell.  Even Sasha, for as smart and capable as she is, is often in a situation where her characterisation revolves around her awkward relationship with Tom, or Fletcher's betrayal.  It's telling that none of the male actors are employed in this fashion. 

It's clear that The Last Ship is just going to ignore Tom's children and his girlfriend. This week, finding out that Tom will be coming for them, it would have made sense for Vellek, or even Giorgio, to go after Tom's kids and girlfriend. They would have been perfect leverage. In, fact the absence of Tom's kids was conspicuous. The fact that Tom's kids didn't even enter his mind when he knows that Giorgio is aware of their existence reveals exactly where Tom's priorities lie. How could Tom spend almost a season looking for his family, only to abandon the kids on a Greek island when they became inconvenient? We're all supposed to pretend they don't exist now?

I'm kinda of sad to see Omar go because I think he would have made an interesting antagonist moving forward, even if he was in many ways a racist caricature. Omar at least was grounded in some kind of reality whereas; Vellek and his magic potion to emasculate the world really doesn't work for me. Omar's death makes me feel that while The Last Ship has no problem creating villains of colour, they don't know what to do with them when they have them. Remember what happened to Takehaya. I'm not really expecting miracles from The Last Ship but really, they should try to do better. 

The build up to the season finale feels anticlimactic to me but that's because we all know that Tom Chandler is going to save the world and make it safe for straight able bodied white men again.  What I am more interested in is how long the writers and producers can keep this shtick up? First, it was looking for the cure, then it was fighting off immunes and now it's food. Wouldn't it be easier to just blow the whole thing up and say fuck it, we're all doomed? I think that The Last Ship has run its course but given that its already been renewed for at least one more season, I suppose we all just have to suffer along until it can finally rasp out its last breath.