Last Resort is the must-see show of the fall season. The premiere - "Captain," as opposed to "Pilot," get it?!? - is smart, suspenseful and exhilarating from start to finish.
When the crew of the U.S.S. Colorado gets orders to fire their nuclear missiles on Pakistan, Captain Marcus Chaplin balks. Why? Because those orders came through a back channel that should only be utilized if Washington D.C. has been blown off the map. Because the sub is still getting a live feed of Hannah Montana instead of viewing a country at war, the orders smell fishy.
But when Chaplin asks for additional authorization, not only is he relieved of command, the unthinkable happens: Another U.S. warship fires upon them, sending the sub on a frantic dive to the bottom of the sea.
And that's just the first 15 minutes of Last Resort.
This show is filled with political intrigue and epic adventure on a cinematic scale. Whether it's the close quarters of the submarine - where the intense pressure of their steep dive sends bolts flying like bullets - or the tropical island with a Nato station and a band of unhappy locals, the visuals are stunning.
Andre Braugher gives us a superior performance as Capt. Marcus Chaplin. He's a man pushed to the edge, whose mission is to protect crew and country, but he's not your standard hero.
Chaplin takes over an island and fires his own missiles on Washington D.C. to prove his point. He needs whomever is in charge to believe he's just crazy enough to do it. The real question: how crazy is he? Is he the brains behind solving this massive conspiracy to start a world war or is he really borderline insane? As he says in this Last Resort quote...
Test us and we will all burn together. You've been warned. | permalink
The rest of the cast also gives us something to look forward to. Scott Speedman as XO Sam Kendall is Chaplin's loyal right hand man, but even he may question how far his Captain is willing to go and whether their end goal is the same.
Autumn Reeser is Kylie Sinclair. Essentially Kylie is our eyes back in Washington. She's got a prototype on the U.S.S. Colorado that blocks the sub's magnetic signature and she doesn't want her chance at a government contract scrapped by this massive military snafu. Although her immediate motives are selfish, she may be the one to uncover the truth behind the conspiracy.
The cast is sprawling and larger than is possible to recap in this review, but everyone... from the island locals unhappy with this new occupying force... to the sub's crew... to the mysterious SEAL team who may know more about how this debacle started than they're willing to say... are all entertaining and certainly piqued my interest.
I'm unsure whether the ultimate question of Last Resort will be who dun-it? as much as what comes next? but I know I want answers to both questions. And how long can Chaplin hold off a military superpower from overthrowing his tiny island domain?
Will Chaplin decide his fight is simply to hold off the powers that be and start a new life rather than find answers and clear his name? Will his crew, many who question his authority already, follow him or try to usurp his tenuous control. Will anyone see or believe that video?
Last Resort is better than any action movie I saw this summer. The pilot has already ratcheted up the tension to a fevered pitch and I will definitely be tuning in to find out what comes next. How about you?
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.