Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Last Ship: Alone and Unafraid

Hey Ramsey Brothers!

The Boy Scouts called...

There was so much ass-kicking in this episode I was beside myself shouting "YES! YES! YES!"  Does that make me a bad person?

Aaaand here we go...

Sean and Ned. 
These two AGAIN?

Frankly, I just want to see one kill the other off. Ned is so obstinate and the way he kowtows to his brother's whims is aggravating. Every time they're in each other's faces I just yell NED STAND UP TO THE ASSHOLE WILL YA? But...nothing. Sean is the more charismatic of the two and Ned is obviously intimidated by that.  The thing is that everybody has their breaking point so look for Ned reaching his. Don't be surprised if there's no more Sean and that leaves Ned in charge. And Ned in charge may be much worse because he's not as organized and calculating as his older brother. He'll have hubris though, and that much like Ruskov, will be his downfall.


"Shut it! You yellow bellied shiny wankers!"
These guys served with the Royal Navy, right? LOL

"Don't get your hopes up, that was just an anesthetic."
Ravi is just one badass bitch! I don't see a relationship between her and Burk though but more of a friendship and mutual respect.  I like Ravi but I don't know how long she'll last. I just envision them getting closer and then something happens and well....and I'm not going to like that one bit. Because I like Burk, who doesn't?

Hashtag already prepared: #YOUMADEBURKCRY!

Niels. Niels, Niels, and more fucking Niels...

"I thought we smoked that mofo on the Vrenya."
 Not hardly dudes. Sadly Niels isn't going anywhere.

"So remember, the gel, it soaks the fur so as long as the bear is wet, it's contagious.
So really encourage the child to squeeze the bear."
WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT? What kind of crazed psychopathic fuckery is this?  It was the way he gave those instructions, his voice so nonchalant, matter-of-fact. What's terrifying is that Niels thinks his "gift" is some kind of calling. His character is one of the most disturbing I've encountered on Television in a long time. I don't quite get what his motivation is though he certainly has a God complex. I don't know if he was like this before the virus, if it made him this way or what.  IMO Niels may very well be the most dangerous enemy the Nathan James has encountered so far.

"I think Ned and his brother would be very interested to find out who you really are."

 "Does he know who you are? Ned and his people won’t be very happy to find out that their whole belief system was just a sham. That they ain't chosen and you’re just a lab rat that started all this."

"They need me."

"More than they need to believe their own story?"
Niels is narcissistic evil bastard who thinks the world owes him something.Of course it would be kinda funny if the fucker caught a cold and just dropped dead. But I may like the idea of Rachel killing him. It would be fitting. Then Slattery orders the body tossed overboard amidst a swarm of sharks!

BTW can we just say that Tex using Niels as a human shield was EVERYTHING!?!?!?!


We interrupt this recap with a message from Marissa Neitling's "Cake Batter Cookie Dough"!
Ohhh isn't fair if you don't share! 


You've seen Julia Child's kitchen right?

Nice isn't it?

Well, forget everything you knew about kitchens!  They serve a whole NEW purpose now!


Let it be known that there are none. Why? Because that kitchen fight scene was so action packed, so quick, I couldn't get more than a blur!!!!

Lesson #454 of The Last Ship:  Don't mess with Tex!

Tex masters the art of how to win friends and influence people...
"Help! I'm bleeding."
"Apply pressure, dipshit."
Seriously you can't make this shit up. That was the best line of the entire episode. 


This scene had me on the edge of my seat. When the Nathan James locates the sub on sonar, Slattery orders the crew to run silent. Just minutes away from the mouth of the St. John's River, they must wait till they reach it to release the helo so as not to be detected. Sean orders the Achilles to fire on the Nathan James but just as they prepared to do so...


What'll it be Sean?
This is a man running out of options. And it doesn't help that his brother has challenged him. Either he gives up his quest to rule the world and goes back to England or he goes after the Nathan James. Now of course you know what he's going to do. There's too much invested for him to just say "Tally ho, set sail for England!" No, he's going after them.With everything he has, that is until his brother kills him...

"This country needs a leader almost as much as it needs the cure. Ramsey was gonna use the President to win the hearts and minds of America. And that's exactly what we're gonna do."

Poor Slattery. He takes command like a boss but damn...every time Chandler decides to go on one of these renegade missions, Slattery gets another gray hair.

And can we discuss how much bigger Slattery is compared to Chandler in this pic? XO could eat three of CO for breakfast and not even belch!

So....about the POTUS...

Well, Jeffrey Michener is a legit successor but he's either a puppet or a willing participant in the plan to eradicate the non-immune.

"You are special young man, you were chosen. Like all of us."
 What a great profile pic of Mark Moses, don't you think?  Speaking of Mark, check this out...

25 years ago. Yes, twenty-five! Who didn't get their start on The Golden Girls? I know I did!

Okay back...

Looks like a lot of that red stuff has been consumed lately. How in the hell are they going to turn Michener into POTUS material?  He's good looking enough to snag a female intern or two but with little confidence, no charisma, shitty public speaking skills (with the exception of occasional appearances on Meet the Press) he's totally unprepared for the job he's been thrown into. I mean really do you think 12th in line for the Presidency ever thinks...

"Someday this.... gonna be me!"

I'd like to believe Michener is a good guy but let's face it, the virus was a game changer. It was a catastrophe of biblical proportions and there are no more rules, at least there weren't until the Nathan James showed up. There's a new normal now and Michener is still shell-shocked and reeling from it all. He doesn't appear to be a take-charge kind of guy so he's not sure what to do next. One day he was HUD secretary dong whatever HUD secretaries do and the next he's the President of the United States....and the apparent head of a cult of crazy ass lunatics who think they are God's chosen.

Michener is a bit naive and very likely has no idea what the Ramsey brothers are up to. I like Mark Moses so I want to see his character turn out to be a likable one, someone who can rally the people, change things for the better, and be a real President. It's great what the Nathan James is doing...out saving the world but right now America doesn't have a leader and it's going to hell because of it. I'd love to see the crew working under the direction of the President, a new and improved Jeffrey Michener and in order for that to happen, they've got to figure out a way to fix this guy and fast before the Achilles and the Ramsey brothers find them again.

The mission has now been changed: protect and reprogram the POTUS.

Given this is a Michael Bay production there was no shortage of gunfire and explosions which is completely okay with me. The action scenes were awesome. I can't rave enough about that kitchen fight scene. I mean Ravi, Burk and Chandler each taking on a fight, simultaneously was so perfectly orchestrated. The camera work moving from one to the other and back again, the raw intensity of the fights, the nonstop action, it was...flawless. 

And then there's those few heart stopping moments when the Nathan James was heading toward the mouth of the St. John's river hoping to get out of the reach of the Achilles, who was all but ready to fire! We all knew they'd make it but the moments leading up to it had me on the edge of my seat. I was yelling at my TV in some misguided attempt to lure the Nathan James into moving faster. I couldn't help it I was like "GO GO GO!!!"

See the monster that's been created?

Yeah and I love every minute of it!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Last Ship: Long Day's Journey

First things first...


Who knew?


Meet British brothers Sean and Ned. Delightful fellows, obviously the apples of their mother's eye. They're sailors by day, traipsing about the world looking for adventure without a care in the world. In their free time they like to crochet, read to the blind and deliver meals on wheels.

"It's a shit plan."
Shit plan. Ya think? You two morons are going to take over the world and excuse me but're relying on NIELS FUCKING SORENSON TO DO IT???? What kind of badass supervillains are you?  YOU CAN'T EVEN AGREE ON WHAT COLOR THE SKY IS FOR CRISSAKES!!! Not to mention you stink from being cooped up on that sub for so long.

On a lighter note, Nick Court is just great as Ned. He really is. I actually like Ned. I know, he tried to kill my boys but okay...I like him mostly because he hates Sorenson. And I hate Sorenson.

Yeah, that's about right.

"We don't need him hangin' around now, creepin' people out. He's like the grim reaper."

"That's all part of the plan. Niels special talents is the thing we've been looking for. That reaper's gonna help us find more immunes."

Finally! Niels Sorenson is good for something!

By the way that scene where Ned called out to Niels with, "Thank you very much!" had me laughing so hard. See, Ned's a son of a bitch but he's got a sense of humor. You really gotta love the guy.

Snap out of it!

"Have you forgot what we're doing here? Find a cure. Save the world. Remember?"
What the everloving hell is going on with Chandler? What the hell kind of nonsense is this...basing his decisions on emotion instead of reason? That's so unlike him. Sure, things have changed in a post-apocalyptic world. You can't go through what these guys have been through and not come out different. Through all his stress, Chandler has managed to control himself...until now. He's one pissed off dude. All he wants right now is to just finish the mission, go home and hang out with dad and the kids and maybe mow the lawn, do a little gardening, wash the truck. But no...he can't because at every turn some whackjob is running loose fucking everything up.

Oh yeah, he's pissed.

Did you see the looks exchanged between Rachel and Slattery? You got the idea here that even Slattery is unnerved by Chandler's behavior. It was one thing to be hell bent on revenge but now the Captain of the Nathan James and two of his crew have gone radio silent and boarded buses in civilian clothes, without weapons and going who knows where. Slattery gets the anger but he's used to Chandler being the rational one in control.  What do you do when the one guy who must rule by logic and reason and keep his emotions in check, starts acting like everyone else?

"Don't let this sub become your white whale."
If God had a conscience, it'd be Jeter. When Chandler doesn't listen to CMC you know there's a problem.Perhaps Chandler needs this to help deal with his anger?

If you're asking, "Dammit Jess is Betty going to make it into every damn Season 2 recap?" then the answer would be a resounding, "WTF do I know? I make this shit up as I go along!"

Embraceable you

 Can we just call this what it is? A beautiful moment between two brothers. Until...
Way to go Ned, probably not the best time to call your psycho bro out on his leadership skills.

A Man For All Seasons

Tex got his hands on some clothes. Did anyone notice how well the clothes fit everyone? Tex should be commended.

One Tex fits all. Is there anything he can't do?

Simple math



"Is there anybody there?"

Forty minutes into the episode, the Nathan James blew up some shit. Much too long a wait. We need to work on that. 
Make a note!

That's what I like about the South

Throwing in a few rednecks makes the Florida swamp thing so much more authentic.
"What I'm from Connecticut?"

"I lost my wife."
"And you found us. In my case they found me, I was wandering..."
Okay then....the world is nearly wiped out by a deadly virus, you're still alive and looking for reasons why. Then a nice guy in a button up comes along and whisks you off your feet with fancy stories of destiny and you being one of the chosen few, etc etc. 

Did anyone else's skin crawl?



That "I really really need this guy to get his" moment


"At the safe zone in the mall, I found three hundred and twenty immune to my disease.
That's bloody good yeah?"
Anyone else think Ned just wants to punch Niel in the face and tell him to fuck off and die?

Mankind's newer hipper saviour

Someone needs to tell our Delightful Cult Leader that tan and
buttoned to the neck is out this season.


Whoa! HUD just got some street cred



"When we get to New Orleans, we will install him in his rightful office where he can create a cabinet, take control of the military and show the world that America is back!"
WTF is this "America is back!" thing? We never really went away. And why is a Brit promoting America? Everyone knows we're lazy selfish sonsabitches who eat too much food, drink too much beer and watch way too much reality TV. It seems that Sean's plan may be to handpick world leaders and instill puppet governments. If I was giving advice to Sean I'd say he probably should layoff the game of world domination and start trying to get that rowdy sub crew of his under control first (I get the feeling they'll be part of his demise if he doesn't!).

Now...let's talk about the POTUS.

HUD Secretary? 12th in line? I would've loved to have been in the writers room when they mulled that one over. "Secretary of Agriculture? Nah...too Cool. Secretary of Health and Human Services? Not cool enough. Hey how about Secretary of Energy? Nah nobody knows who that guy is..."

Wouldn't it really suck if just a few weeks after #12 took the oath, #11 showed up and said "Oh wait, here I am! Sorry, I was in the bathroom when they called!" LOL

In all seriousness though, it's the devil you don't know that you have to look out for. And if anyone thinks this guy is going to be someone's puppet I have a feeling that this is going to be one of those "things are not always what they seem" situations.  We're either going to love this guy or hate his guts. I for one and looking forward to Mark Moses in this role because he does a really great good guy and a really great scheming son of a bitch.

All in all, it was a good episode. A bit slow moving (for good reason) with a little suspense and humor. No worries about the lack of action, the necessary background has been established and it's sure to pick up next week as it always does! 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Last Ship: Achilles


"This 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."
Remember way back Season 1 when there seemed to be some strife between Chandler and Slattery? When some of us wondered if Slattery would defy his CO? When we thought there might be a mutiny? And then Slattery came through, the loyal Chicago cop that he is and reaffirmed his commitment to Chandler, the crew and the mission and we all breathed a sigh of relief.

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.
That intentional focus on Slattery cracking his knuckles. What a great scene. He just wanted beat the everloving shit out of Juan Carlos. But Juan Carlos was being so nice and easy to talk to, as if they'd been friends all their lives. Touching wasn't it? Not. Come on, did anyone really think that Slattery was going to cave and give the guy a hug and then they'd be singing "Kumbaya" together? He was on to him from the start.

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.
Never forget.

Condition: Quiet 2. Ships systems shut down, ship slows to nearly a crawl.
With the noise reduced, the Nathan James disappears from Sonar.
Before going on, I'm going to interject something here. For a moment, let's compare the crews of the two vessels. Above we have the Nathan James crew which is calm, cool and collected.  Their leadership is clearly focused and in control and the crew reacts in much the same way. Together they maneuver this crisis perfectly. Chandler and his officers are greatly respected by the crew and because of that, this team works together quite smoothly.

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."

Close Call

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 targets.

The Achilles sub targeting the labs.

The Nathan James attempts to take down the British missiles
It was heartbreaking to watch the Achilles end those missiles go out. Though the crew tried to contact the labs you knew it was too late. All those people, all those vaccines, gone in minutes. 

"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?


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.

Slattery and Rachel debating the legalities of slicing open Juan Carlos and then later Slattery being the Universal donor for the perp. It was just too good. I love the interaction between these two because I remember how much they hated each other in the beginning.

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 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!!!

In conclusion...

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.