Friday, October 19, 2012

Did Alan Moore write this week's episode of Last Resort?

Probably not. But it is consumed with the sort of questions about legitimate authority that drove V for Vendetta, and ends up with a similarly sticky wicket.

Despite two attempts on the life of Captain Chaplin and a live grenade on the Conn, this episode felt a little slower to me, but it seems to be setting up some major developments for the show. I don't talk much about what's going on back in the U.S., because, well, I think it's boring. But this week, intimations were made that President Bolton (former UN ambassador John? Michael? How dystopic are we going to get in Last Resort universe?) was waltzing towards a military dictatorship. The characters back home are aligning themselves as either resistors (Sam's wife, the chick who designed the Colorado's cloaking device) and collaborators (chick's dad).

And the question of alliance also surfaces, both literally and figuratively, back on the island itself. Due to what could politely be called dissent, Chaplin puts up a "Stay/Go" list. Crewmembers can publicly declare whether they are for the Captain or against him. Because, you know, they can't so much "go" anywhere. Stepping into that vacuum is the brand-new Secretary of Defense, who surreptitiously sends orders to several sailors to take Chaplin out. Which brings us to the fallout from last week.

I'm surprised, pleasantly I think, that Cortez isn't being shunned because of her sexual bribery of Serrat. But her fellow captive, Brannan, is a hot mess after sacrificing Red to save them both. After submitting to Serrat's torture, he in turn submits to the secretary's order, storming the Conn with the aforementioned grenade and attempting to commandeer the ship. In a masterful display of down talking, Chaplin reminds Brannan that he swore an oath not to him (Chaplin), nor to the president, but rather to the Constitution of the United States. Sometimes it is necessary to defy the orders of men (or kings, presumably) in order to uphold principles like justice and liberty. Brannan allows himself to be disarmed, because it really was a damn fine speech.

So as Last Resort continues, I'm very curious to see what will happen to America--will it descend into a military dictatorship, possibly by using the crew of the Colorado as a handy scapegoat? And also to Chaplin himself. I haven't forgotten his speech in the pilot when he rather creepily seemed to cast the island as an unfallen Eden over which he could rule.

Oh, and there's also some sort of valuable mineral on the island. If it's unobtainium, I swear to you right now I will set fire to my television set.

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