TV Review - Last Resort

Scott Speedman (left) and
Andre Braugher in "Last Resort"

Even with Robert Patrick screaming and yelling, I was still bored with this TV series. Even with the war-like shootout scene in the second episode, I was still barely interested in this show's high-stakes game. Even with Andre Braugher giving a great performance as he always does, I was still not connecting with his or any of the other characters. By the end of the first episode, I found the whole thing ludicrous, more ludicrous than the happenings on Once Upon a Time, and, by the end of the second, it was all that I could do to keep from yawning.

Andre Braugher stars as Captain Marcus Chaplin, the military leader of the USS Colorado, a U.S. Navy submarine that is touted as the biggest and most powerful nuclear weapon ever made. Chaplin is given an order to fire a nuclear missile at Pakistan. The order comes electronically and under suspicious circumstances, so Chaplin chooses to ignore it. A disagreement breaks out. Chief Joseph Prosser, played by Robert Patrick, leads the opposition. Chaplin is relieved of his command and Sam Kendal, the submarine's executive officer or XO, played by Scott Speedman, is made acting captain.

The USS Colorado is attacked. It's nearly sunk to the bottom of the ocean, a scenario that was similar to the one in this summer's Political Animals. That show dealt with things from the perspective of the politicians in Washington, DC. I was hoping that Last Resort might be a reflection of things from the perspective of the men in the submarine. With Tony Scott's recent death, I had thoughts of his film Crimson Tide (1995). Therefore, I thought this might be a weekly version of that movie, and this show starts off as that to some extent. Yet, it goes off the rails very fast and instead becomes a crazy paranoid conspiracy with way too much testosterone being thrown around.

Chaplin takes back command of the USS Colorado and uses it to preside over an island with a NATO station, while threatening to nuke anyone who comes within 200 miles of the area. Chaplin says he's going to stay there until proof emerges that he was setup and that the U.S. government tried to sink its own submarine. It's basically a standoff, but it gives the crew a chance to hang out on a tropical island. If the island looks like the island on Lost, that's because this show films in Hawaii at the same locations as Lost. At the end of the first episode, Chaplin wants to stay on the island and Kendal wants to leave, setting up the same dynamic as Jack and Locke on Lost.

I watched a mini-series that was about a standoff that played out over multiple episodes. The standoff was a bank robbery. After a few episodes, I grew tired of it. It didn't necessarily lose steam, but when a show confines and chains its characters in such a way, there's only so much that can be done. A TV series that limits itself like that after a while suffocates on its premise, spins its wheels or else takes many pointless tangents.

The problem is creators Karl Gajdusek and Shawn Ryan started on too high a note, so now they have nothing to which to build. Really, the only place to go is down. The insanity perpetrated in the first two episodes feel like the end to a story and not the beginning. As such, I can't seem to engage. Maybe if a smoke monster appears or space aliens invade, I might be persuaded to revisit the show, but I don't think I'm interested in seeing this show go nowhere for seven or eight months.

Two Stars out of Five.
Rated TV-PG-LV.
Running Time: 1 hr.
Airs Thursdays at 8PM on ABC.


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