It irritates me that The Last Ship doesn’t get the kind of buzz that other shows get. This is an underrated and clever series that came out the gate with a solid pilot last summer, and followed it up with a consistent and confident debut season. Thankfully, the show has already been renewed for a much-deserved third season, and if this finale is anything to go by, I have no doubt that Ship will continue to soar to greater heights.
In fact, right from the season two premiere, this season did a terrific job of sustaining just enough momentum all the way through the finale. The introduction of the immunes and the infamous sub added a nice dose of urgency to the proceedings as the Nathan James struggled to battle a host of foes, not to mention some anti-Navy propaganda. A case could be made that everything was resolved in the penultimate episode and that this finale was a bit light on action, but that’s okay with me when the emotional gut punch is THIS effective. There was a real sense of dread permeating throughout the hour’s final ten minutes as the crew celebrated the spread of the cure and enjoyed their fancy gala leading to…
That mind-blowing cliffhanger with the shooting of Rachel Scott! Although I seriously doubt the show would dare kill off such a pivotal character, I have to commend the series for pulling off such an expected stunner in those final moments. And the fact that the shooter uttered the iconic line Sic Semper Tyrannis? Icing on the cake in an already harrowing sequence.
Now let’s take a moment and discuss the utterly magnificent chemistry between Eric Dane and Rhona Mitra. Although part of me loves the dynamic between Rachel and Tex, there’s no doubt that Rachel and our Commander will end up being the show’s endgame couple. The scene between the two in formal wear at the end was absolutely electrifying in every way. I can’t remember the last time I watched a show that so deftly handled sexual tension with such nuance and elegance. Props to both Dane and Mitra for giving us such a marvelous scene that has you just aching for the characters to get together already.
Finally, I must commend season two for really expanding the cast with the introduction of a handful of intriguing characters. Bren Foster is a wild and fericoius presence as Wolf (here’s hoping he gets some added screen-time in season three), Tania Raymonde has a whole lot of potential as our hacker Valerie, and Mark Moses has proved to be a charismatic President with a whole lot of layers that have yet to be unravelled. I genuinely can’t wait to see what all these characters will bring to the table.
– How adorable did Dr. Scott look in those glasses?
– So Tex’s real name is Ken? Didn’t expect that!
– Surprisingly, Tex finding his wife’s grave wasn’t as depressing as it could have been. And I did like the introduction of his daughter. Hopefully she’ll add a compelling dynamic to season three. John Pyper-Ferguson has truly morphed into an integral part of the cast.
– The immunes carrying the infected in the truck and disguising themselves as Navy was pretty twisted (and brilliant) wasn’t it?
– For the first time in two seasons: the CGI (with the helicopter spreading the cure) wasn’t up to par. Thankfully this is a show that prefers to rely on practical effects.
– Loved the slow motion sequence with the crew spreading the cure. Beautiful showcase of humanity. Also, Miller got a kiss!
– Who knew the Master Chief could make mistakes? Still, it was touching to see him get reunited with his wife’s parents.
– Can Travis Van Winkle (who plays Danny) please get his own subplot next season? Not only is he a badass (he feels like Hollywood’s next big action star), but he’s great at the emotional beats with Kara. Also, is no one else curious about the hilarious dynamics the baby could bring to the Nathan James?
– I want to say I was touched with the crew naming all the members that had fallen, but the show didn’t do as great a job with getting us attached to them. I honestly couldn’t remember half their names and I’ve watched every episode!
– How gorgeous did Rhona Mitra look in that dress? But yes, she definitely could have pulled it off with a pair of jeans.
– Rachel only got shot in the shoulder right? RIGHT?
Quotes & Cures
Miller: (to Rachel) I’m sorry for the onions.
President: Seeing as the James is in dry dock for months, well, I’m gonna need you here… As chief of naval operations.
Chandler: That’s a pretty big jump, sir.
President: Don’t forget… I was number 12.
Chandler: Great dress, by the way.
Rachel: The judge’s daughter loaned it to me. She insisted that I couldn’t really go to an inaugural ball dressed in jeans.
Chandler: Mm. You could have pulled it off.
Rachel: I’ll see you when I see you. Be safe.
Chandler: When you get back… Find me.
A More Perfect Union might not have been as action-packed as last year’s finale (one of the best hours of television in a long time), but the emotion and surprises were on point for a first-rate season finale. This wait’s not going to be easy.