Everybody, Let’s Just Slow Down for a Second
Every television show designed to get your adrenaline pumping eventually needs to let the audience catch their breath. Remember, as the producers revealed at San Diego Comic-Con, TNT green-lit seasons 4 + 5 at the same time and so they devised one big story encompassing both seasons. Tonight’s episode, The Last Ship 405 – Allegiance, while an important step in a few of the character’s development, offered up relatively fewer thrills than we’re accustomed to. If you don’t appreciate the break in the action, blame binge-watchers (TV producers now have to consider that audience when plotting seasons). Or maybe blame production costs (action = $). Or maybe the character development stuff was just that important that it couldn’t get obscured by flying bullets. Either way, lots of stuff still happened this week, just on a character level. So, let’s chat about the characters.
This episode saw the Nathan James’ CO go from bed-ridden to back on his feet, albeit while connected to an IV. Nothing Mike did or said this week convinced me he has really recovered from the effects of the Nostos. I really sympathize with the guy. If you recall, he found no trace of his family when the James returned to Norfolk. Among the crew, he alone continues on without any closure. Did they survive? I hope so, but chances decline with every passing day. The Nostos gave him a chance to see and hear his family again and he’s not letting that go. Rationally, he understands: the woman had drugged him. Emotionally though, he doesn’t care. He wants them back. I think we have a couple more episodes at least before Mike can resume as CO, longer if he finds Doc’s stash of Nostos.
Burk kind of lost it this week. Or maybe I’m better off saying he’s very close to losing it. Losing it would have included opening fire on the refugees. He only almost shot a woman holding an infant. See where I’m going here? Danny tries to intervene in a very manly way (by that I mean in front of the entire helo bay full of officers, enlisted, and refugees). As you can imagine, Burk didn’t choose that venue in which to spill out his emotional baggage. The impact his stoicism has upon his effectiveness as an officer will end up jeopardizing lives. We saw it almost come to that with the refugees and I bet we will see some more fraying of his nerves. If we see the refugees playing soccer in the helo bay next week, look out. Burk may lose it completely.
We got a little more definition on Fletcher’s character and a huge story-reason why he’s even here this season. Fletcher, as well as being an agent in British intelligence, also holds the rank of Commander in Her Majesty’s Navy. I began this season wondering why he had joined the crew. I figured they needed another smart-guy to make up for the lack of a Dr. Scott, plus the possible romantic connection between Fletcher and Sasha made things interesting once Chandler showed up. Now we know – they needed a trusted friend to play the part of turncoat, without sacrificing any of the regular cast. Fletcher hasn’t made his move yet, but I believe his betrayal is just a matter of opportunity.
It doesn’t seem like such a long time, but this is halfway through the season before Tom decided to reenlist. In fact, I think the only reason military men grow beards in shows like this is so they can shave them back off, thus symbolizing their return to the fold. Tom struggled with the decision, but the call with his daughter foreshadowed his ultimate decision. One may interpret it a couple ways, but I choose to believe when she told him, “a sailor belongs at sea,” she gave him permission to reenlist. The delay in getting back to his kids may potentially create some drama if Giorgio finds out who they are. You can almost count on that. If that happens, Chandler, who has already gone through the whole children taken as hostages thing, will go nuclear (I know the James doesn’t carry nukes – it’s a metaphor). Fair warning, Giorgio: leave Tom’s kids alone.
Others (Diaz, Kathleen, Jeter)
Kathleen (Tex’s daughter) may say she’s over any possible sleight she may have felt by Chandler, but she’s still pretty consistent with the cold-shoulder treatment. She won’t admit it, but losing her dad to save Chandler’s kids affected her deeply and she holds it against him. She will probably be the last crew member Tom wins back over.
Diaz at first gave Tom plenty of cold-shoulder, but once he swore in, Diaz was like a long lost brother. Tom won Diaz over first among the anti-Chandler crowd. The call back to Tom having given Diaz his CO coin way back when was very poignant.
When designing the characters of this show, the producers must have unanimously decided to make one character a freaking rock. Jeter is that character. Jeter embodies everything you would want in a military man, a chief of the Nathan James, and inspirational confidant. In this episode alone he helped Mike get through his lingering appreciation of the Nostos effect AND helped get Tom to rejoin the Navy. Busy day, Chief.
Where Do We Go From Here?
The powers that be have elected to follow Chandler’s recommendation to go after Vellek, completely unaware that the UK is about to turn their back on their alliance. I fully believe Fletcher will both carry out his mission AND feel remorse and confess. I look forward to the engagement sure to come with the Greek warship, but I bet the James will come away limping. Something about this season and next season having been drawn up at the same time makes me think this season will put the crew in a pretty awful hole…
Dr. Vellek’s mystery son from the lab is named Christos.
Dr. Vellek was an advocate of manipulating human genetics to overcome the limitations of natural evolution.
Although I get access to screeners, I only get this week’s episode about 3 days before you see it. I have no idea what’s going to happen next, but I love talking about it with you!
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