It’s the end of the road for the audacious ABC series Last Resort. So how do things wrap up?
Let’s bitch it out…
Apparently with a crapload of death! Originally this wasn’t meant to be the last episode of the series, but when ABC canceled the show, showrunner Shawn Ryan had an opportunity to wrap things up. As Alan Sepinwall writes at Hitflix, it’s pretty evident when the show makes the shift between a traditional episode and a series finale (ie: things go Mulholland Drive levels of crazy), but on the whole even the opening parts of the episode are pretty ballsy. Last week set the stage for any number of coups, so it’s only natural that the tension level of this final episode would remain high: there are so many lives and fortunes resting on the outcome of these various plots that there had to be some kind of significant fall-out.
And so there is: Brannan (Will Rothhaar), Chaplin’s (Andre Braugher) mole, is shot in the back trying to do the right thing. The man responsible for the uprising, rapist Anders (Michael Mosley) is gunned down by Chaplin in retribution. Grace (Daisy Betts) and Prosser (Robert Patrick) unleash cyanide gas on Hawkes (Michael King) after he gruesomely stabs the COB with a screwdriver. Oh! and Kylie (Autumn Reeser)’s boyfriend Robert (Darri Ingolfsson) makes her kill him, so she kills the President. Oh! and Chaplin is blown up by American fighter jets.
So…yeah. Just in case you didn’t know things were serious, there ya go
In many ways I’m surprised at how much this felt like a series finale, despite the fact that only the final act was altered after the axe fell on the show. The double mutiny scenario was always planned, and, according to Ryan, Kendall (Scott Speedman) and Chaplin were meant to renew their union after the events on the Colorado and the series would have continued on San Marino. Several elements seem strangely rushed in this capacity – we know that last week that Prosser always meant to mutiny, but when did Anders convert Hawkes and the others? And I guess we’re just meant to assume that Julian (Sahr Ngaujah) and Zhen (Chan Han) hammered out an entire plan involving two Chinese warships and the procurement of the island’s resources after a single meeting?
- In many ways the final part of the series demonstrates the strengths and the perils of attempting to wrap things up in a hurry. There’s narrative closure (albeit somewhat unsatisfying), and we also get a taste of where the series would have eventually gone. In Sepinwall’s interview with Ryan the showrunner elaborates further on this and I have to say that many parts of the journey don’t sound particularly enjoyable. I don’t think I’m alone when I say that I wouldn’t have cared to see more of Tani (Dichen Lachman) and explore the island’s mineral rights
- I’m curious to hear what people thought of Kendall’s reunion with Christine (Jessy Schram) as Sophie (Camille De Pazzis) looks on through the island’s giant monitors. Is this the ending you were hoping for, or is it the only possible resolution?
- Watching Kendall and Chaplin yell at each other in the control room = why do mommy and daddy fight?
- Grace (to Hawkes when he threatens Chaplin): “You touch him and you’ll need a turkey baster to have kids”
- Kendall (to guards): “Sounds like you have a little mutiny in your mutiny.”
- Kylie (to Robert): “I’m sick of your fatalistic crap.” Moments later she shoots him!
So that’s the end of Last Resort. While I don’t regret watching the series for a moment and these last few episodes especially have proven really great at balancing an action and a human approach, I do wonder if the show wouldn’t have been better off as a 13 episode miniseries. Many times there were unnecessary storylines or less developed characters that could have been jettisoned to strengthen the rest of the show and although I know the economic model isn’t favourable to this model any longer (American Horror Story notwithstanding), I think it would have tightened up the show.
Your turn: did you enjoy the finale? Were you surprised by any of the developments? Would you have continued watching? And finally, will you recommend to friends to check this out if it ever comes out on DVD?
Last Resort has finished airing. Thanks for reading these last few months!