Review: ‘Last Resort’ – ‘Blue on Blue’

Senior Television Writer
10.04.12 72 Comments

A review of tonight’s “Last Resort” coming up just as soon as I call off the Cold War for an hour…

I’m very glad that ABC made three episodes of “Last Resort” available for advance review, because “Blue on Blue” is kind of a mess, whereas I found next week’s more reassuring that the creative team can make this ambitious concept and these disparate parts all work together.

In “Blue on Blue,” the pieces not only don’t work together, most of them don’t work individually. The shootout with the Spetnatz team is staged very lackadaisically (after the characters have already taken what seems a very leisurely amount of time to go out there), and that entire story hangs too much on Grace, and I don’t think Daisy Betts is up to the level of many of her co-stars at the moment. The stuff with Tawny the bartender and James the guilt-ridden SEAL feels like it falls down on the wrong side of the line between making the island culture feel special and fetishizing it. And on the mainland, the material involving Sam’s wife didn’t click at all; at no point did it feel like any tactic the interrogators tried had a prayer of convincing her to turn Sam against Marcus.

There were some nice moments towards the end, particularly after the Cob (short for Chief of the Boat; the character’s name is Joe Prosser) informs the rest of the crew about the death of Marcus’s son and the role it might have played in their current shenanigans. I know that Sam tells Marcus that he believes in him, but one of the best moments in the pilot was when Marcus says, “Maybe this is home now,” and there’s a suggestion that he’s really gone off the deep end and isn’t just playing crazy, Reagan-style. I think the show works much better – and probably has longer legs – if Marcus isn’t just the persecuted good guy, but someone who seizes absolute power in an attempt to do the right thing, then starts getting absolutely corrupted by it.

What did everybody else think? Reactions were all over the map last week. Are people more concerned after this one? Did anyone find “Blue on Blue” to be an improvement over the pilot?

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