|"This plague...it ain't no accident. "|
Poor Niels! He just keeps getting on the wrong fucking ships right? I mean first he's hanging out with that crazy Russian Ruskov who wanted to take over the world only to be blown to bits by the Nathan James. And now he's stuck on a British sub, the "Achilles" with "The Boss"--Sean Ramsey, a crazy Brit commander who thinks that his immunity to the plague was somehow in the whole design of the universe. He and his brother Ned are out to take over the world.
It's beautiful really, if you think about it---Niels started this whole virus mess and him getting stuck with one crazy sonofabitch after another is quite amusing!
|"What's the alternative?"|
"I'm working on it."
Chandler usually knows what to do so I couldn't help but chuckle when Foster pressed him on what he was going to do and he was like "I have no idea". Okay he didn't exactly say that but you could tell from the look on his face, he was clueless. He was all out of ideas. I kinda like seeing him like this from time to time because let's face it---nobody---not even Chandler---can think of everything!
|"You'd bet on me? Against a sub with spearfish?"|
"Bet on you so far."
|In command. In control.|
Chandler and Slattery are the perfect pairing to command a Navy ship. They have respect and trust. And when they aren't sure about their own actions, the other is there to support and offer advice. Chandler is a seasoned Captain and he's earned it. But Chandler is only human and humans make mistakes, sometimes they show not-so-good judgment. At times when you're under immense stress and it's an intense situation with lives at stake, you need to know you're doing the right thing. In a sense, Slattery is Chandler's conscience. While Chandler is the Captain and ultimately the final decision is his, he relies on Slattery's instinct. When lives are hanging in the balance, you want to go on your gut and Slattery's a gut man, that comes from being an inner city cop. You can't pull one over on him.
The friendship and respect of CO and XO here shows a great balance of power that doesn't overlap or cause any friction. The crew senses it too and it's a great part of what makes the ship's dynamic work.
|Slattery Face #387|
|Hey Juan Carlos? See the way XO cracks his knuckles. |
Let's face it, Slattery's a man who, while he seems to have it together, is hurting. His marriage was on the rocks before the virus hit, his son is dead, and he can't locate his family. The guy's just plain pissed off and he's earned it. Anyone who gets in his way is sooooo screwed!
Remember Betty? Yeah.
Condition: Quiet 2. Ships systems shut down, ship slows to nearly a crawl.
With the noise reduced, the Nathan James disappears from Sonar.
Now take a look at the crew of the Achilles below. They're arguing and there's a lot of conflict among the crew on the bridge. Ramsey is smart but reckless in his sudden decisions and he commands not by respect but by force. His crew fears him. This can't last and I wouldn't be surprised if that causes their eventual demise.
|Bracing for impact.|
|"What was that?"|
"That was our torpedos."
HOLY CRAP MARIE!!!! I was on the edge of my seat yelling at my TV. When they went to Quiet 2 and tiptoed around the ship and Chandler gave the order to turn slowly ever fifteen seconds, in open water, I was holding my breath. It's not just the order he gave but the way he gave it. Soft, whispered, deliberate. The man was focused. Hell, even I was holding my breath out of fear so as not to make a sound!
The moment they realized the British sub went sonar and they went into battle mode, I started tossing out a slew of curse words that would make any sailor blush! Of course we all knew the Nathan James wouldn't be hit, but it the suspense of how it would play out was just too much! Every week I'm like "REALLY STEVEN KANE? DID YOU JUST DO THAT TO US AGAIN?" LOL
|The Achilles sub targeting the labs.|
|The Nathan James attempts to take down the British missiles|
|"That's how they took Europe. Now their mission is destroy the cure |
wherever it is on a nuclear powered sub that never runs out of fuel."
Yep. And now...what's next?
|"Now we take America."|
My first response?
OH HELL NO I DON'T THINK SO!!!!!!!
I guess we know what the mission of the USS Nathan James is now, don't we?
A few notes:
I love how Chandler has such faith in his crew. Mason did a kickass job tracking that sub but blamed himself for not doing a better job. Chandler's encouragement and "we're still here" was a great tribute to Mason's efforts. Chandler is a firm but fair man. You screw up and he calls you on it. You do good and he lets you know it. What he did with Mason once again reaffirms the type of leader he is.
Loved that little one minute father-son interaction between Chandler and his dad. The apple certainly doesn't fall far from the tree, does it?
Tex knows how to make lemonade out of lemons doesn't he? Playing cards in the middle of a crisis and silently joking about it? Loved it.
|Rachel and XO debating the legalities of slicing Juan Carlos open|
I'm a little disappointed Slattery didn't call anyone an asshole in this episode but I'm hopeful. A day without him calling someone an asshole is like a day without sunshine. So uh...to Hank, Steven and the crew...can we work on that? We'd all appreciate it.
Burk: Why are we wasting out time trying to cut it out of him? We should just throw him overboard.
Slattery: That certainly would be the most expedient thing to do.
STOP THE PRESSES! In the middle of the ocean, targeted by a crazy British sub commander who wants to take over the world...and they come up with this greatness! I LOVE IT!!! The snark just flows between these guys. Gimme more!!!
Now, I've read some articles that both praise The Last Ship for its accuracies and chastise it for its flaws. The few flaws that exist are apparent only to those familiar with Navy vessels and Naval combat strategy. For those not familiar, the few flaws don't matter, they're not recognizable and they don't take away from the power of the story. That's what's most important here. Kane, Steinberg and Bender did a great job with The show gets a lot right. That matters.
"Achilles" was another great episode. There's a clear next mission here for the Nathan James: Stop the the crew of the Achilles and others like them from taking over America.
So, how many enemies can the Nathan James run into? Fortunately, chaos and apocalypse breed all kinds of possibilities so the sky's the limit here, or rather the imagination of the writers who come up with this stuff.
We wondered what was left for the Nathan James to do once labs began popping up around the world manufacturing and distributing the vaccine. That and the knowledge there are many others alive out there, it could be assumed that the Nathan James was no longer the last great hope. But now with the takeover of Europe and with all of the US CDC sites decimated and other labs around the world having faced or about to face the same fate, the tide has turned again. The Nathan James and the USNS Solace are the only two facilities with labs and as we recall, the Solace is headed back to Norfolk with no vaccine-producing capabilities. That leaves the Nathan James as the only other facility capable of producing the vaccine...and the only force who knows the enemy and is able to stop them from taking over the world.
Which means...the USS Nathan James is still The Last Ship.