Friday, October 5, 2012

Last Resort Recap: Who Are You?

Episode 2 of Last Resort isn't as balls-to-the-wall as the pilot, but I'm still willing to go out again next week, mainly because the show now seems to be revealing one of its central concerns: Identity, and how it shapes the characters' decisions in this extreme situation. Spoilers aplenty follow!

The central drama of the episode, titled "Blue on Blue," is the probable landing of a Delta Force on the island to take out our merry band of mutineers. XO Kendal (dude from Felicity) takes a team into the uninhabited part of the island in order to take them out, which includes perpetually disrespected Lt. Grace Shepherd (um, the girl), and the soldier who Master Chief Prosser (guy from T2) has Lady Macbeth-ed into trying to kill her as payback for killing a fellow soldier who had Kendal and the chick from NATO at gunpoint last week. There is much internal strife and discussion about the decision and willingness to kill fellow Americans to protect themselves, as there should be, but once the Lasties encounter the special ops force . . .  they turn out to be The Others! Just kidding. They turn out to be Russians trying to steal the nuclear sub. Since it's okay and not a moral conundrum to kill Russians, they do so. In this case, identity was mistaken. In the other threads of the episode, identities are concealed or suppressed.

Back at the homefront, we find out Kendal's wife Christine has been essentially kidnapped by government interrogators who are trying to get her to convince Sam to throw Captain Chaplin under the bus. To try to sew some seeds of mistrust about her husband, they show her a debriefing video where Sam describes being held prisoner for 17 days in North Korea--a little element of the mission he didn't share with his new bride. A flashback also has Christine numbering at 127 the days they've spent together out of the three years of their relationship, and playfully asking, "Who are you, Sam Kendal?" However, once they get him on the phone with her, she breaks character and tells Sam not to trust them, or anything she says on their behalf. Go Christine! Then the feds bring in a ringer--a friend of Sam's, a lawyer, who tricks Christine into thinking he's there to save her. She falls for it. Damn, Christine!

Meanwhile, back on the island, upon returning from the firefight in the jungle, a soldier breaks rank and threatens to murder the POWs the group has brought back. Chaplin talks him down by saying "It's time to remember who you are"--the gist of which is Americans who don't execute prisoners of war. A nice sentiment. But then another big reveal comes when Prosser, from his cell, continues to stir the pot by telling the Lasties that Chaplin's son was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan three weeks prior to the start of the show, um, to the missile order, thereby putting all his "I'm not doing stuff the government tells me to" motives into question. Kendal meets up with Chaplin on the ship, tells a touching story about his son, grabs his captain's hand, and tells him "I know who you are. I trust you." This is rhymed with Shepherd's "If I die on this mission" video to her father, where she admits to being scared, but also knows "I won't run from this. That's who I am."

Oh, and also? The chick from Dollhouse, the bartender who keeps the Navy Seal drunk and conflicted about his allegiances, shares that the island might not be as safe as it appears either: It's a gd volcano. Of course it is!

The episode concludes with a shot of the American flag that has just been raised over the NATO base commandeered by the sailors, but who best represents that country? The government back home or the mutineers on the island? Is Kendal's trust in Chaplin well placed? How messed up is he from those days as a POW? And who is this show? A military action adventure? A political critique? An investigation into power and how it ultimately corrupts? So far, I'm interested in finding out.

1 comment:

  1. I like the potential plot twists for “Last Resort” this may be the thing that makes this show a success and viewers glued to the TV. Unfortunately, I missed the past episode of “Last Resort” because of my work schedule at DISH. I’m wondering if the rest of season they will stay on the island or move it elsewhere because I’m sure they don’t want to have that “Lost” feel to the show. My Hopper automatically recorded the past episode of “Last Resort” with the Prime Time Anytime feature. It automatically records the shows from the big four networks, and it doesn’t use any DVR space. I think this show is a keeper, and it will be interesting to see how Chaplin’s character plays out.