The Last Ship Season 5 Episode 1 Review: Casus Belli

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Well, that certainly started off with a bang.

It was a new twist on an old concept on The Last Ship Season 5 Episode 1.

An actual virus, the Red Flu, plagued mankind back on The Last Ship Season 1.

Now a computer virus hindered the U.S. military on the first episode of the series' final season.

This certainly resonates in a country still reeling from the effects of Russian hacking that influenced our electoral system.

We're all far too dependent on technology in our daily lives. A cyber-attack set off in Panama brought that message home to the U.S. military, sowing chaos in the midst of a celebration of the Navy's renaissance.

Related: The Last Ship Review: The Battle to Save Humanity

It was a wise move jumping the series ahead three years. After the nonstop intensity of the first four seasons dealing with the fallout from the Red Flu, everyone was settling back into a sense of normalcy, a calm before the storm.

Tom Chandler needed a break. And what a perfect choice to be shaping young minds at the Naval Academy!

Still, he was having trouble adjusting to civilian life. He retired to be with his kids again, but they were now living elsewhere. He and Sasha were involved in a long-distance relationship, as she was off on a mission with Vulture Team. 

As he stood looking at a cardboard cutout of himself, Tom couldn't help but feel a little irrelevant. Especially after the tourist couple had him take a photo of them with that cutout.

Antsy Tom is a man of action, not of academia. Fortunately, he's also a trouble magnet, so he's never on the sidelines for long.

The most enjoyable part of the episode was watching all the Nathan James alumni enjoying life during peacetime.

It appeared that most everybody got an increase in rank. It only makes sense that when you have one ship, the top officers are going to be drawn from that ship.

Related: Watch The Last Ship Online: Season 4 Episode 9 and 10

It was a nice touch to have some of the new ships named after KIA Nathan James crew members (for as long as those ships lasted).

The Nathan James reunion was touching. It illustrated the awkwardness endemic to reunions, with people once close who have moved on in their lives, for better or worse.

The scuttling of technology by the cyber-attack allowed the Pearl Harbor-style attack to happen. It seemed like a handful of planes created a disproportionate amount of damage. But everyone was so disoriented by the dual attacks that the impact was magnified. All the civilians underfoot didn't help matters.

I feel worst for Slattery. He seemed to be blaming himself for the loss of the fleet when the Navy's anti-virus program was really at fault. A Panamanian teen hacker shouldn't be able to cripple such a system.

Also, Slattery seemed to be taking the death of the female commander especially hard, so I wonder if something more was going on between them.

It did have the net effect of getting much of the crew together back on the Nathan James, for its one last mission.

The Last Ship's Bridget Regan Q & A

At least Vulture Team was still on the job. They all cleaned up well for the birthday gala. (I guess they couldn't find a big-and-tall formalwear shop for Wolf.)

It was pretty obvious that the prideful Panamanian president would be dead soon, and that the gringos would get blamed for it.

Now Danny, Sasha, Wolf, and Adima will be as "the point of the spear," waging a guerrilla war against Tavo's forces.

Let's give the powers that be points for not making Tavo into a garden-variety drug lord. He appeared to be a man of the people rebelling against imperialistic forces from the U.S.

Tavo directed both the assassination and the sneak attack. He's attempting to get all of Latin America to unite against the U.S., tapping into long-festering resentment against the ugly Americans.

Related: Enjoy unlimited access to thousands of movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video. Watch anywhere. Cancel anytime! 

The first question is whether Tavo is actually in charge, or if some shadowy figure is behind the scenes funding his rebellion. Those planes and weapons don't come cheap. Is this being fueled by drug money after all?

An interesting battle has been set up. On one side are all the angry population of Latin America. On the other is the U.S. military, having to operate with no technology, like it's World War II again. It's good the U.S. has military historian Tom on its side.

To view again for hidden clues, watch The Last Ship online.

What is Tavo's goal? Who is going to end up in command of the Nathan James? What can Vulture Team do to help the war effort? 

Comment below.

Casus Belli Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (12 Votes)

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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The Last Ship Season 5 Episode 1 Quotes

Mr. Swain, how is it my brightest student is always the last one to turn in his assignments?

Tom [to Swain]

We have to think different because we are different. We are warriors.

Tom [to midshipmen]