I just watched the premiere. Brilliant. Out of the five new series premieres so far this season, Last Resort is hands-down the best. The story, acting, cinematography, and pace are all spot-on. There’s nothing like it on television right now – not since The Unit and 24 went off air.
Much like Revolution, Last Resort started really quickly. It was just another day in the Navy, until a nuclear launch order came in over a secondary channel. The order was just far enough outside protocol to send up some red flags. For a civilian like myself, any nuclear launch order would give me pause. They way the crew handled it almost makes me think nuclear launch commands are standard fare aboard a nuclear sub. Then again, I suspect nuclear launch drills happen often enough that going through the motions during the “real deal” would be a matter of muscle memory. But the Captain and his XO are sharp enough to notice the oddities in the order (specifically, the way it was delivered). Suddenly, they’re questioning orders, fighting a small mutiny, getting shot at, and taking over an island nation.
Andre Braugher did a great job of being the Captain that the crew needed. Someone who could kick back to La Bamba, launch a nuke, handle insubordinate crew members, not launch a nuke, break away from his own government, take over an island, and post an awesomely intense Youtube video explaining the situation (not necessarily in that order). Of course, that sucks for the guy playing the XO, since he was overshadowed at every turn. It was Sam Kendal, played by Scott Speedman – because you forgot already.
I didn’t know women could serve on submarines, but I guess they can. It makes for an interesting plot device (plus, nobody would watch a show with a 100% male cast). So far, it’s only added another dimension to the mutiny storyline. The big payout could be that Lieutenant Shepard (Daisy Betts) has an Admiral for a father, and he seems to be involved in the big arc.
The filming locations – specifically that island – are reminiscent of LOST. In fact, the island scenes were on Oahu, not far from the LOST set. I’m pretty sure I drove past that NATO early warning post every day back in high school. Of course it had no satellite dishes or radome (the big golf ball) on the roof.
As of the end of episode 1, I count up to seven different arcs. It’s a lot, but I like how they’re handling them. Note that only six are really touched on. There’s a seventh that I’m speculating at. It’s probably something we’ll see come up as we end the first season.
Some other thoughts:
– Max Adler (Glee‘s Karofsky) was there.
– I saw Robert Patrick there, and expected him to die in the first episode. Atlantis flashbacks. He survived somehow.
– Autumn Reeser is the best. Her pillow talk may end up getting someone killed though. i.e. Loose lips sink ships. Literally.
– Jessy Schram got more screentime as a picture than in person. Loved her in Falling Skies.
– Storing a body next to fresh fruit and milk? Seems like a bad idea.
– David Rees Snell was the wounded SEAL. You may know him as Ronnie Gardocki from The Shield.
I really like where this show is going. There’s enough going on to keep me intrigued for the full forty. Some may find the number of arcs excessive, but I enjoy rolling through several during any given episode. The important part is that none of the arcs are remotely boring. I’m in for the full season.