It’s tense evening of well-paced conflict on Last Resort as a hostage situation returns us to the events that initiated the pilot.
Let’s bitch it out…Although Alan Sepinwall considers the episode a “mixed bag”, I think that the majority of the episode works. He’s right in appreciating the return of the events in Pakistan (which you’ll remember has been bombed) since that element hasn’t really been addressed. It’s complicated becauseLast Resort doesn’t aspire to be a “global events” series; it’s primarily interested in exploring the lives of the individuals who are stuck on the island of San Marino and caught in the middle of the firestorm, even though it’s obviously navigating these larger political stories.
In that regard, the focus on the hostage situation aboard the “family cruise” bringing loved ones to the island is a good one. Sure, we have no investment in anyone beyond Jessy Schram’s Christine (and maybe Jay Hernandez’s Paul, depending on how much you like smarmy). There’s still drama to be milked from Chaplin’s (Andre Braugher) paralysis, however, as he’s intimated into firing on India without the ability to launch his missiles. This is a nice pay-off to the continuing “stolen launch key” storyline (I particularly liked watching Jessica Camacho’s Cortez sweat it out among her fellow crew members, knowing that she was partially responsible for Chaplin’s inaction).
Perhaps it’s the confluence of storylines that I appreciate most about ‘Cinderella Liberty.’ It feels like there’s very little wasted space: between Cortez, Chaplin and Kendall (Scott Speedman) and James’ (Daniel Lissing) SEAL mission, the episode feels taunt, brisk and even a little revelatory in the Pakistan flashbacks. It’s a little frustrating that we still don’t have a stronger sense of what exactly was going down before the SEALs mission went to hell, but I’m glad that the show is finally coming back around to it. Even at it’s most conventionally obvious (did anyone really think Christine would die?), Last Resort succeeds with its mixture of complex adult storylines and fantastic acting. I’m still frustrated that the show never found an audience, but I don’t regret tagging along for the journey.
- I love how the launch key is returned. Naturally Chaplin would suspect Grace (Daisy Betts), but more importantly I think the fact that Cortez returns it helps to humanize her (though I’m still eager to see her pay for turning traitor these last few weeks). Without really doing much with her character, Cortez has slowly become an interesting and complex character. This turn of events helps to remind us that while she may be against Kendall and Chaplin, she’s not some stock two-dimensional villain. It should make it all the more interesting when Grace discovers Cortez’s role in the deception, now that Grace has been charged by Chaplin to find the mole
- No Tani (Dichen Lachman) means that we get the return of “useful” James this week. I’m not sure I find him as engaging as the show does, but he’s tied to what instigated the whole mess, so as long as he’s being useful (ie: digging up the faked helmet footage), he can keep showing up…and taking off his top
- The DC storyline with Kylie (Autumn Reeser) is the show’s more polarizing piece. Admittedly it hasn’t bothered me much…until tonight. ‘Cinderella Liberty’ is one of the first times that I have really been frustrated by the DC piece because it feels intrusive – like it ‘s eating up time that could have been spent on the other storylines. Admittedly I did come around when Kylie and her father, Barton (Michael Gaston) have a nice father/daughter moment (centering around how he gave inappropriate fatherly advice when she was younger). Plus Kylie’s older brother is played by Ringer‘s Justin Bruening! Aww, I’ve missed small head, big body!
- That’s a fun look on Sophie (Camille De Pazzis) when she learns Sam’s wife is on the family boat. Drama!
- Oh yeah, Paul gets killed and Christine gets kidnapped. Do we care?
- Finally, did anyone else find it strange when Lt. Cahill (Daniel Bess) reports that all of the Pakistani “terrorists” have been killed? As far as I know that that term has never been used to describe Chaplin and the crew of the Colorado, so it makes me uncomfortable that it suddenly gets tossed around with Pakistan in the picture. There’s some Islamophobia going on there…
And just like that we’re only four episodes away from the series finale. Where do you think this is all heading? Why has Christine been kidnapped? How long before Cortez is discovered (because she obviously will be)? When will someone figure out that Prosser (Robert Patrick, mentioned but not seen) has been gravely injured? Comment away below!
Last Resort airs Thursdays at 8pm EST on ABC