The Last Ship Review: Let the Journey Begin

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Happy Father's Day to all, and I hope you enjoyed your gift from TNT!

They kicked off the new season of their post-apocalyptic dad-show with a double header, offering The Last Ship Season 2 Episode 1 and The Last Ship Season 2 Episode 2 back to back. 

It was a busy two hours. The USS Nathan James was lost to Amy Granderson's Avocet forces, before being retaken by the crew when their CO planned a strike on her headquarters. There was peril along the way, but in the end, everyone ended up safe back on the ship. 

Underground Resistance - The Last Ship
Rachel Helps the Sick - The Last Ship

There was nothing terrible about the beginning of The Last Ship Season 2, but with everything wrapped up at the end of "Fight the Ship," it felt like these two episodes were originally intended as a possible series finale for The Last Ship Season 1

Neither hour did a lot to open up new storylines for the rest of the season other than a vague line at the end. There's a formula for post-apocalyptic dramas, and, for the most part, The Last Ship is staying on course.

We lost quite a few characters in the premiere, so let's start with a post-mortem.

I was surprised when both Amy Granderson and Thorwold died in "Fight the Ship." Alfre Woodard and Titus Welliver are both excellent actors who brought some cache to the show. Thorwold was more surprising since his character could have been set up as either an ally or an adversarial foil for Chandler. 

Granderson may have been destined to die after her actions, but it still seemed a little soon. There hasn't even been a hint of a new big bad to replace her, and it was too easy of an out after what she'd done. At least her death put an end to the Olympia genocide, which was too close to historical events for my tastes.

Quincy Tophet's death redeemed him at last. I can't say I'm sorry to see him go, as he was an obnoxious elitist with a warped moral compass, but he did the honorable thing in the end. I'm curious if his wife and daughter will stay aboard the Nathan James or if they'll be politely asked to leave. 

Quincy Tophet: Okay, please. I hid it. I know where it is.
Trooper: I'll kill her, you know I will.
Quincy Tophet: Okay. Okay. Okay. Forgive me. I'm so sorry.
Trooper: Where is it?
Quincy Tophet: You'll never find it. [removes bandages]

For my money, the most satisfying death scene was XO Mike Slattery finally ending his brawl with the over-compensating Maryland State Trooper by burying a fire ax in his chest. The guy was a twerp who we all wanted to off, and Adam Baldwin made his growly face. A+ scene.

I was cheering when Lt. Foster stabbed Dr. Hamada with that syringe, but I'm a little worried he might not have died. The plunger was down, so she didn't inject an air embolus. Tex should have shot him to make sure he was gone.

In between all the gunfire and death, Dr. Scott and Lt. Foster were both kidnapped and recovered, Alisha escaped her mother and was shot, and the Chandler kids made it back to the ship. Okay, I guess those all involved gunfire, too. 

The K&R plots didn't work for me, mainly because if everyone ends up back home without anything happening along the way, what was the point? Sure, Lt. Foster stabbed Hamada, and Rachel gave out some of the cure to the sick, but I don't see how that furthered the stories of either character. 

Alisha, however, was obviously affected by her time with her mother. Her attempt to refuse to return to the ship tells us that she's got a lot of internal turmoil to reconcile. I hope her story doesn't get pushed to the side now that her mother is dead. 

Grandpa Chandler and the kids needed to get to the ship for a whole host of plot reasons. I think this cough Sammy's battling isn't just some cold. Be it a new strain of the virus, or a rejection of the vaccine, it's a good thing that Rachel made it back to the ship and that Slattery got her the primordial strain.

With the Avocat and Olympia crises wrapped up, it's time to look to the future.

Ashley Chandler: And then what?
CDR Tom Chandler: We'll sort things out here in Baltimore. And then we head back home to Norfolk, so the crew can look for their families. And from there, we'll figure things out.

The stated goal is to get to Norfolk, but how long will it take to get there? Based on other shows in this genre, and on how heavily the one resistance fighter was featured, I don't think the Nathan James will get there soon. There's lots of ground to cover between there and Baltimore.

What obstacles do you think the crew and their Captain will have to overcome? Watch The Last Ship online and let us know what you think in the comments.

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Elizabeth Harlow was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She left the organization in October 2018.

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The Last Ship Season 2 Episode 1 Quotes

I don't know you. At this point, I don't trust anyone I meet in this town. But I know Granderson fears and hates you, so I'm operating on the premise that my enemy's enemy can be my friend. If that's the case, we can help each other.

Cpt Chandler

Quincy Tophet: Okay, please. I hid it. I know where it is.
Trooper: I'll kill her, you know I will.
Quincy Tophet: Okay. Okay. Okay. Forgive me. I'm so sorry.
Trooper: Where is it?
Quincy Tophet: You'll never find it. [removes bandages]