Last Resort Series Premiere: Sublime or Subpar?


by Haylee Fisher (@haylee_fisher)

From ubiquitous producer Shawn Ryan (The Shield, Terriers) comes a new ABC drama called Last Resort. ABC’s press release describes Last Resort as follows:

“500 feet beneath the ocean’s surface, the U.S. ballistic missile submarine Colorado receives their orders. Over a radio channel, designed to be used only if their homeland has been wiped out, they’re told to fire nuclear weapons at Pakistan. Captain Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher, Men of a Certain Age) demands confirmation of the orders only to be unceremoniously relieved of duty by the White House. Executive Officer Sam Kendal (Scott Speedman, Felicity) finds himself suddenly in charge of the submarine and facing the same difficult decision. When he also refuses to fire without confirmation of the orders, the Colorado is targeted, fired upon, and hit. The submarine and its crew find themselves crippled on the ocean floor, declared rogue enemies of their own country. Now, with nowhere left to turn, Chaplin and Kendal take the sub on the run and bring the men and women of the Colorado to an exotic island. Here they will find refuge, romance, and a chance at a new life, even as they try to clear their names and get home.”

With an action-packed pilot that rivals that of Lost, Last Resort may be fall’s best drama for many reasons. It’s compelling and original premise allows for a break in the, pardon my pun, sea of procedurals. It’s a tale of morality – what would you do if you felt you couldn’t trust your government’s orders anymore? Would you still obey them or question their decisions and risk the lives of your crew?

Even the pilot alone plays as an edge-of-your-seat movie. There are many stories intertwined here – that of the submarine crew, the U.S. government, the crew the Colorado took aboard to help a wounded member, and the citizens of the island the whole crew takes refuge on – and the whole time, as a viewer, you don’t know who to trust. Chaplin is the obvious protagonist, but his speech threatening his own country with nuclear annihilation is chill-worthy.  It’s also worth noting they came to the island as a hostile takeover. It is a NATO base, so the inhabitants probably won’t take to their new visitors without a fight.

As mentioned above, there are many storylines in play here. Personally, I hope that is toned down in the future, just so viewers can figure out what the heck is going on. That being said, it’s one of the best pilots I’ve seen thus far and looks as if it may fill the Lost-shaped void in my heart. Like Lost, though, I don’t know where it’s going. Will Chaplin face punishment from the U.S. government? Will these actions trigger WWIII? And what is up with the islanders? I don’t know, but I can’t wait to find out.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    One Comment

  1. nerdybird80October 2nd, 2012 at 4:22 am

    I am the same… I simply cannot wait to find out how this story will unfold! I thought this was one of the best new shows this season! I was on the edge of my seat for most of the pilot episode wondering what would happen next. And the show really does pose very interesting questions and makes you think…

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