Review: ‘Last Resort’ – ‘Eight Bells’

Senior Television Writer
10.11.12 34 Comments

A review of tonight’s “Last Resort” coming up just as soon as I bring the invader to dinner…

“Last Resort” is still a work in progress in many ways. The Tani/James scenes feel like a completely different show from everything else. (The Washington story feels more connected, and it takes place on the other side of the planet.) The writers are still servicing so many characters and spheres of influence that there’s been scant opportunity to establish them all properly at this point; I had no idea who the guy was that Sophie was preparing to leave the island with, for instance, and assumed he was her husband, those were their kids running around in the background, and she was being a really irresponsible wife and mother to stick around on behalf of those submarine idiots. And I’m not sure if I totally buy that Prosser would agree to be the COB again for the time being, but we’ll see how that plays out.

But several parts of “Eight Bells” clicked very well, and suggest a way for the future.

First of all, there’s the utter messiness of the Colorado’s interactions with Julian the crimelord, which includes the sub having to transport his drugs (or whatever the contraband was), Cortez having to use her body to buy her and her fellow captives some time, and, especially, the fact that a crewmember was still killed, and in an ugly fashion with one sailor turning on another. This business on the island should not be neat and clean. It should have consequences. It should force the characters to question who they are and what they’re willing to do when the structures of America and the Navy are slowly taken away. A more nervous show would have had Marcus complete the mission just in the nick of time; not here.

Second, the action on the sub was cliché, but it’s one of those clichés that keeps being trotted out because it always works. The crew waiting out the opposition inside the sub was much tenser than the shootout with the Russians last week.

Third, the introduction of Michael Gaston — who played a similar nefarious millionaire type for Shawn Ryan on “Terriers” — as Kylie’s father instantly gooses my level of interest in the conspiracy going in Washington, as does the first on-camera appearance by Jay Karnes as the Secretary of Defense.

We’ll see if Ryan and Gajdusek can make this work long-term (and the ratings have been decent enough so far — especially when you factor in DVR use — that it seems a good bet to get a full-season order), but after last week’s misstep, this was much more promising.

What did everybody else think?

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