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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Last Resort: “Damn The Torpedoes”

Illustration for article titled Last Resort: “Damn The Torpedoes”
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Poor Last Resort. Cancelled months ago, disappearing for weeks at a time, it still turns up to haunt the airwaves like the revenant of a TV show that never really lived but can’t quite seem to die. And the saddest part is, it’s still turning out thrilling, richly entertaining episodes that would be the envy of almost any other network series. Something is seriously wrong with this picture, but we must take what we can get and soldier on.

When last we saw the crew of the Colorado, back when Santa was still making his list and checking it twice, Marcus had made a tentative alliance with the Chinese in order to get access to crucial supplies to keep his crew and the islanders alive. Christine had been blown up in a van, although none of us believed that really happened. Still, Sam believed it, which explains his appearance at the beginning of the episode, drinking pantsless on the beach, wearing the beard of mourning. Little does he realize that everything is about to go to shit in a flat hat (to use the technical Navy terminology). A Chinese supply ship is on the way, but so is a U.S. destroyer to sink in, but so is a monsoon that could wipe them all out. Meanwhile, the crew is plotting mutiny again, and the COB may be in on it.

The Washington storyline, which has been a drag on some previous episodes, is revving up in a big hurry as a roomful of Very Important Men (and Kylie) gather to plot the overthrow of the President. Yes, this all seems to have happened very suddenly, and I don’t remember when Ernie Hudson was elected Speaker of the House either, but it’s not like the show has a lot of time for incremental plot advancement at this point. (The presence of Bruce Davison’s Admiral Shepard, who only shot and killed a high-ranking cabinet official, is explained with an offhand line about having “friends in low places.”) Still, sudden though this may be, it’s still pretty exciting to watch this Bane-style plan to seal off Washington DC and unseat the President unfold.

In fact, “Damn The Torpedoes” is one of the few Last Resort episodes without at least one gratuitously eye-rolling subplot, as long as we all agree to pretend the scene with Sophie having dinner with Serrat never happened. (Well, there’s also the matter of the “precious earth metals,” which still sounds like something left over from a discarded Lost plotline.)  Nearly all the major characters were integral to the episode in some way, from Grace and James figuring out how to defuse the standoff between the Colorado and the destroyer in the least destructive way (by removing 80% of the payload from the torpedo) to the COB and Sam having a genuine philosophical heart-to-heart about the Marcus problem, to Cortez choosing the Navy (and Marcus) over her CIA mission, which she’d only taken for the extra paycheck anyway.

“Damn The Torpedoes” certainly wasn’t perfect. The CGI during the standoff between the destroyer, the sub, and the supply ship made your typical SyFy movie-of-the-week look like a Peter Jackson production, and the resolution was a little unsatisfying. (We don’t even really see the effect of the weakened torpedo on the destroyer, and there was no real closure between Marcus and the destroyer captain who was so sure he was right because he saw Marcus give a speech that one time.)
Still, the pieces seem to be moving into place for some sort of endgame, truncated and rushed though it may be. In the end, Sam is playing both sides, telling Marcus he wants back in, but telling the COB he’ll play ball as long as Marcus isn’t killed. I’m sure we all have a pretty good guess as to where his ultimate loyalty will lie, but that will be determined soon enough. The coup attempt back on the home front looks to go down soon, although it’s hard to believe it will go smoothly. With only a couple of episodes left, we won’t have long to wait, but we can only hope Shawn Ryan and company have had enough time to pull it all together.

Stray observations:

  • No sign of Christine this week, but I’m guessing we find out she’s still alive right after Sam and Sophie explore the friends-with-benefits package.
  • “I’m just a bachelorette looking for Mr. Right Way Out Of This Suckhole.” The COB always delivers.