A chemical attack on the island wreaks havoc on the crew, particularly Kendall (Scott Speedman) who is tormented by hallucinations of his wife Christine (Jessy Schram).
Let’s bitch it out…
‘Another Fine Navy Day’ (I dislike the title immensely btw) marks the first time that Last Resort has employed a non-linear narrative structure in such a dramatic way. This isn’t simply a case of the show beginning in media res and then jumping back to demonstrate how the characters find themselves in such a situation (a technique favoured by many spy shows). This is a full-blown time jumping experiment, but it works because it emulates the disoriented nature of the crew (or Kendall, more specifically) following the attack.
Whether you enjoy the experience or not is more of a personal choice. For me, the time jumps serve their purpose well enough and pay off in two ways: 1) they reveal the presence of a mole (the individual who steals the epi pens on the sub, as well as Andre Braugher’s Chaplin’s firing key) and 2) they advance the doomed romance between Kendall and Sophie (Camille De Pazzis), with whom he’s had strong sexual chemistry with since the series began.
If this episode is about anything, though, it’s the show’s psychology-lite attempt to delve into Kendall and Chaplin’s pyche. As Alan Sepinwall suggests, Sam’s hallucinations of Christine and Chaplin’s visions of his son don’t revealing anything we didn’t already know. But they are a welcome step in the right direction: Last Resort needs to expand beyond its island conflicts and flesh these people out, especially now that they’re not leaving the island any time soon (this was made clear in 1×05 ‘Skeleton Crew’). Admittedly I would have liked to explore other characters since we’ve spent the most time with Kendall and Chaplin thus far (if ABC picks up the show for the back nine you can bet we’ll get to know a lot more about Daisy Betts’ Grace, Daniel Lissing’ James and Robert Patrick’s Prosser). For now, however, there’s a strong balance between the threat of the week and the character development, plus an added dose of mythology as it becomes clear that the targets are the NAVY seals who are implicated in the conflict in Pakistan.
- I may not be enthused with the misuse of Dichen Lachman on the show so far (like at all), but I will admit to a jaw drop and a muted cry when Tani nearly plunges off the cliff under the influence of the BZ drug
- Similarly when Sam stumbles across a hundred bodies near the river, I was both aghast and cautiously excited at the narrative risk-taking involved in depicting a mass execution. It feels a bit like a cop-out that these people are simply unconscious, though I suppose the show doesn’t want to get that dark and grim so early in its run
- Among the secrets Sam has kept from Christine: he was offered a desk job after he was tortured and he refused it, hoping that she would never find out. He’s also clearly distrustful of her faithfulness, though this is tied into the goading by NATO employee Nigel (Omid Abtahi) who rubs the paparazzi picture of Christine and Paul the lawyer (Jay Hernandez) in Sam’s face early on
- ‘Another Fine Navy Day’ marks the first appearance of Sahr Ngaujah’s Julian Serrat since he brutally murdered Red in 1×03 ‘Eight Bells’. While I’m not entirely surprised that Sophie sticks up for the island criminal, I do wish that Sam or James had pulled the trigger and put him down. Alas he lives to screw with them (and us) for another day
- No Washington storyline this week. Did you miss Kylie (Autumn Reeser)?
What are your thoughts on the chemical attack? Did you see the “mistaken person” kiss coming (it seemed pretty obvious to me, but I’ve been reading a lot into the chemistry of real-life couple Speedman and De Pazzis). Did you like Braugher’s bedtime hallucination with his son, or did it come off as hokey? And who do you think stole the firing key and why didn’t they kill Chaplin? The obvious money is on Prosser, who’s had his eyes firmly on mutiny since the pilot, but are there any other possible offenders?
Last Resort airs Thursdays at 8pm EST on ABC