No stirring speeches underscored by swelling music tonight, just a good old-fashioned showdown.
After shipping President Michener and Dr. Rachel Scott off to shore, Chandler spends The Last Ship Season 2 Episode 12 focused on taking Sean Ramsey down once and for all. But the Brit wasn't going to go without a fight, and had quite the trick up his sleeve.
Preparing for the skirmish was about more than battle strategy. The theme of family was prominent as the the civilians and the Special Ops team left for shore. The child that the team encountered may help them to turn back the tide of public opinion currently running against them.
The fast paced drama and high-stakes tension of tonight's episode highlighted what originally attracted me to this show. The writers carefully plotted each side's moves against one another, providing the audience with a meticulously crafted battle that still delivered what fans of a Michael Bay production expect: explosions.
There may not have been as many flames as when an oil rig blew up in The Last Ship Season 2 Episode 11, but watching Ramsey's secret weapon turned against him was more than enough in terms of compensation. "Cry Havoc" complicated the battle scenes by not only showing the two ship's commanders, but inserting a fairly badass fight scene/plot device by way of Slattery, Green, and Tex's assault on the warhead arsenal.
Scenes like the final fight – filled with technical jargon, frantically shaky camera work, and lots of shouting – usually leave me with the vaguest understanding of what exactly went down. It's how I imagine Val felt when the ship took that first hard turn and she fell to the ground. I'll admit to having to zip back a few times to make sure I caught everything.
Figures the one time you don't go with the land team, all the actions gonna be on the ship.XO Slattery
While the crew was kicking ass out at sea (ok, so, it was an estuary or something, but that doesn't have the same ring), Dr. Scott and the President were taken to safety on shore. The teenagers went as well, and may I humbly suggest a web series focusing on them as part of the promo for season 3?
The mission was also to protect the cure, which causes me to wonder why they haven't left multiple samples of the cure in discreet locations. Or since they're going onto shore, why not just inject all those teenagers, and turn them loose. They're not in the same danger as the crew, and no one is as good as spreading germs through close contact as adolescents.
I'm still not sold on Rachel's contagious cure, and Tex's comment to her about injecting the kid anyway felt ominous. There's every possibility that the strength of the cure has weakened and the family could relapse. I want to believe, but there won't be much of a show if the cure works, is rapidly spread, and suddenly everyone is healthy again. There's no conflict in that.
It's only brilliant if it works.LCDR Andrea Garett
While, as I said, there were no rousing speeches, or impassioned soliloquies on honor, there were several quietly touching moments shared between crew members as they prepared for the unknown. Tex giving Rachel a gun was just so in character, and the look she shared with Chandler was wrenching. He and Slattery stopped just short of the ultimate expression of masculine friendship, the bro-hug (thank god for military stoicism).
I found Green and Foster's goodbye to be the most touching, but honestly, they would have won no matter what simply because of their situation. The baby means that they default win every contest for most emotional.
There were some nice call backs to Bivas (RIP) and the others who died last week, with Miller and Wolf reminding us that in this mixed up world, the crew is family. This was more pessimistically mirrored by Cruz and Burk's conversation about Cruz's family (Burk's comment's also being a neat little piece of foreshadowing for the finale).
The hardest thing about goodbye is...all the stuff you didn't say.Tex
While Burk was rightly concerned about public sentiment, the family that Rachel and the other's encountered could cause a sea change for the crew. If they can get word of the cure out on Deadman, there's hope people will stop taking up arms. But there may be a risk that Rachel will be viewed as a new messiah – her "treatment" of the girl was eerily similar to laying on hands.
Declan's back on The Last Ship Season 2 Episode 13. Remember him? It's okay if you don't, he basically disappeared once Ramsey entered the picture. Apparently, he's going to try to continue the Immunes. Look, Ramsey was interesting, but the idea of basically all the survivors buying into his delusion seems...implausible. I'm pretty over this storyline.
My best guess is that this is a way to setup at least the first half of season 3, in much the same way as the arrival in Baltimore on The Last Ship Season 1 Episode 10 was. I'm just not a fan of using the finale as a "backdoor pilot" for the next season.
But this apparently is something that we can continue to expect from the show. It's not so much that I mind the writers trying to shake things up and try something new or different, but that it's super predictable and makes for choppy storytelling. With Bay's background in movies, I'd prefer looking at each season as one really long movie instead.
Watch The Last Ship online and share your thoughts (and finale predictions) in the comments section!
Elizabeth Harlow is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.