Review: ‘Last Resort’ – ‘Nuke It Out’

A review of tonight’s “Last Resort” coming up just as soon as I compare you to Kurt Cobain…

“Nuke It Out” was another episode of “Last Resort” where some parts worked better than others, and that left me wishing the show would try to do less so it can focus more both on what it’s best at and what needs the most attention, story-wise.

The big snoozer this week was the Grace/James/Tani love triangle, which doesn’t work because the show has given us no reason to care about Tani (other than whatever pre-existing affection a handful of viewers may have for Dichen Lachman from her “Dollhouse” days) and because Tani feels more far removed from the series than Christine and Kylie, even though she’s on the island and they’re way back in Washington, D.C.(*)

(*) I actually found myself enjoying, and not just tolerating, the D.C. stuff this week, as Christine took so readily to the spy game.

But I also think that a lot of the action on the island this week didn’t entirely click. Because we’re jumping between so many different storylines, there wasn’t enough time to properly handle Sam and Booth’s attempt to play each other, or to deal with whether or not Booth is starting to sway Sam on the subject of Marcus. And the show continues to do a poor job of justifying Serrat’s continued existence as a freestanding alive person. When he boasts that the people of the island love him because he’s done nothing, Marcus doesn’t bother to point out that Serrat participated in a chemical attack on the entire population. This is leverage they could have used against a guy who murdered one of their own, but Sam stupidly let him go last week, leaving Julian free to keep abducting sailors and doing things like getting the COB to fall off the wagon. He’s a means of generating tension and plot, but not one that feels in any way plausible at this point. And the revelation that Cortez was the CIA mole with the missile key was telegraphed by the earlier scene where she goes to Marcus to swear that she’s with him to the end. The earlier campfire scene would have been enough to remind us that Cortez mattered without underlining her importance until it became clear that she had to be the mole.

On the plus side, I quite liked Sam pumping up the crew with corny old Navy jokes and an old football game, Andre Braugher threatening people is always excellent (even if Marcus needs to start carrying out some of those threats against people like Julian), and the bomb defusal scene was one of those old tropes, like any of the show’s submarine chase sequences, that pretty much always works if you do it even vaguely right.

But there’s still a lot of work to be done here. A bunch of people who work on the show said on Twitter this week that the ratings for tonight’s episode will help decide whether the show gets a full-season order or goes away after 13 episodes. There remains enough good raw material here that I want “Last Resort” to stay around long enough for Shawn Ryan and company to figure out how to fit it all together. But “Nuke It Out” was a reminder that the show isn’t there just yet.

What did everybody else think?