Last Resort finishes its fall run with a dramatic turn of events that have huge implications. Oh…and Christine (Jessy Schram) is involved in a lurid kidnapping plotline.
Let’s bitch it out…Like many other critics, including The AV Club and Alan Sepinwall over at Hitflix, I was fully engaged with everything that went down on the island of San Marino involving Chaplin (Andre Braugher) and the Chinese envoy, Zheng (Chin Han). There’s some really interesting political implications involved in the decision to align with the Chinese and, as Sepinwall points out, this was clearly set in place to lay the foundation for significant future storylines that will never play out since the show has been canceled by ABC. Regardless of that fact, it’s a fascinating direction for the show – and Chaplin – to take and it immediately muddies the already complicated politics being explored. I particularly enjoyed the conversation between Chaplin and Grace (Daisy Betts) when he asked for her input and she gave it to him straight. I never had an issue with Betts, but I do think Grace has become a stronger, more interesting character over the ten episodes.
The stuff taking place in the Phillipines is more than a bit of a mess. I’ll admit that I was willing to suspend my disbelief about how Kendall (Scott Speedman) and James (Daniel Lissing) got from the sub to the mainland, but when the show essentially turned into Strike Back/24 with Christine’s rescue and subsequent “death”, it was all just a little too much. I read one comment that echoed my sentiments: “This felt like a two-parter that was edited down to one.” While I don’t think I would have liked seeing more of this absurd rescue plot, it did feel rushed and thoughtless.
Christine is an interesting character, but the show doesn’t seem to believe that and, as such, the writers often seem to frantically throw her into danger. Would it have made sense to allow this to play out more? Yes. Would it have made even more sense to simply bring her back to the island instead of have Sam unconvincingly try to rationalize sending her off to Geneva? Absolutely. It’s all in the name of creating more tension and suspense, but in this case it simply didn’t work because Christine’s right back in the same position as she was at the top of the hour. So what’s the point?
- I can maybe buy that Kendall and James took a raft or something to the mainland, but how the hell do they get back to San Marino? The sheer lazy plotting in simply having them show back up so that Kendall can make moony sad eyes at Sophie (Camille de Pazzis) and pull his hoodie over his head like a dejected teenager is incredibly annoying
- Far more rewarding are the issues surrounding the overpopulated brig on the island. There’s been insolence throughout the series, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who wondered what has been happening to these disobedient Navy officers. Well, it turns out that they’re sitting around, eating up the island’s rations and stirring up all kinds of resentment in those who are still working. Can’t say I imagined it would lead to corporal punishment in the form of lashing, though! This is another hard-line that Chaplin has now crossed and, as Zheng suggests, it is likely to escalate
- I do love me some continuity, so I was pleased to see the return of Navy defector Hawkes (Michael King), whom we haven’t seen since 1×02 ‘Blue On Blue’ when he deserted Grace as the Russians invaded
- With that said, it was a little too convenient that Hawkes is then one of the prisoners to draw the short straw for the lashing. More interesting is Josh’s (Will Rothhaar) decision to volunteer. I’ve been a big fan of his character since 1×03 ‘Eight Bells’ so I hope we see/learn more about him in the last few episodes
- Back in DC, Kylie (Autumn Reeser) gets a surprise visit from Hopper (David Rees Snell) in an effectively tense kitchen confrontation (never mind trying to figure out how he got there). Turns out he’s snagged the helmet cam footage from the SEALS mission in Pakistan and will turn it over for a cool $6 mill. Something tells me he may not have the chance though: apparently there’s a coup coming and he and Kylie are marked to be the instigators. That’s…not good
- Finally, after six days (and two episodes), Prosser (Robert Patrick) returns. His feet are still hamburger patty from when Serrat (Sahr Ngaujah) burned them in 1×08 ‘Big Chicken Dinner’ and he’s clearly addicted to drugs now. So basically he looks like sh*t. It’s always aggravating when characters arbitrarily hold onto important information, so I find it annoying that he doesn’t simply tell Chaplin why he went missing. It looks like Grace will be the first to find out, which is a nice development considering how contentious their relationship has been
So that is the last new episode until the show returns on January 13th. With only three episodes remaining, where do you think things are headed? Were you surprised Josh volunteered? Do you think Chaplin is walking a thin line between the corporal punishment and now the deal with the Chinese? Were you annoyed by the ease with which these people can sneak on and off the island (why doesn’t everyone just leave this way and move to Bali or Geneva)? Hit the comments below with your thoughts
Last Resort has finished its fall run and will return in 2013