Rhona Mitra as Dr. Rachel Scott in "The Last Ship:

THE LAST SHIP ‘Friendly Fire’ Recap: Are You Team Dr. Scott or Team Capt. Chandler?

It’s never a good thing for the kids when mom and dad fight and in “Friendly Fire” THE LAST SHIP made us choose between Dr. Scott and Cmdr. Tom Chandler.

Chandler who fights for truth, justice and the American way ordered Dr. Rachel Scott confined to her quarters except for performing her duties as the miracle worker in residence on the USS Nathan James. He vowed to have her punished when they hit land.

It might have been the fact that she didn’t just admit killing Niels, she was unapologetic.

“I didn’t need to kill him to make the breakthrough. I could have gotten everything I needed and spare his life. But, as I looked at what that virus did to him…..all I could think of was that he died too quickly.”

You can’t say that to a man like Tom Chandler, who is as straight an arrow as you’ll find. He is in a chaotic world without order, where survival is paramount, tasked with leading a ship’s crew on a mission to re-boot the world’s population by spreading the cure for the virus that wiped out billions of people.

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He won’t cross the line to “By any means necessary”, although you can peek back to season one when Tom and a small team of men returned to kill a ruthless leader who kept his people enslaved, including young girls who he took for his own pleasure.

He’s a chain-of-command guy who fiercely protects the only pocket of civilization he can control. On his ship, it might as well be pre-apocalype time, other than of course, that crew members, including him have lost family, homes and life as they knew it.

If you’re Team Dr. Scott you might look at Chandler and chastise him for not cheering the fact that the wicked witch is dead, because the greater good, has been served.

He spit fire at her, “You don’t get to decide what’s right,” as he lectured her in how he’s able to keep his crew from doubting the mission.

Niels died so others could live and as long as he existed on the face of the planet, he was a danger to the crew and the rest of the population.

“I looked into the eyes of the monster that stole everything that I held dear to me. I thought I would take the lungs of the man who nearly destroyed the human race and use his lungs to save it.”

Speaking of others living, Rachel Scott tested the technique on herself, as you’d expect and it worked.

She created a substance that she injected into her body, then as you can see from the photo posted above, breathed in a poor little lab rat’s face. If it lived she was now the anti-Niels, someone who could just touch someone, or breathe on them and cure them. The cure was now airborne.

Yep, it worked and the next step was to inoculate the crew so that the moment they touched land the cure would be spread, just as the virus had. Even that didn’t mitigate the circumstances for Chandler. She’s put him in a tough spot, because lawlessness of any kind, even in the attempt to vanquish all that is evil is a compromise he can’t accept.

It’s about order on the ship and the military code which doesn’t allow for shades of grey. Not in Tom Chandler’s world.

THE LAST SHIP has been very light on major characters’ back stories but we got a glimpse of Rachel Scott’s childhood. As a young girl she watched her mother die because her father didn’t believe that science, in the form of medication should interfere with the natural order of death.

Thus, we are led to believe she dedicated her life to science, curing one disease at a time. A man like Niels was despicable to her. He played around with the makings of a vaccine, not following protocol and caused a pandemic that wiped out the world as we know it.

Sides are being drawn on the ship, and yet there are mixed feelings. Even the XO , who sided with Chandler told his boss the obvious. Without Dr. Scott there’d be no cure. She is the cure.

Tex wandered down to the lab and gave her a pep talk, being as straight as he’s ever been about how he sees her. It was classic Tex; a bit of charm with a lot of truth.

“Oh you’re ruthless, baby. That’s why we’re alive today”

In the meantime, President Michener, who we still have a difficult time trusting, made progress with the three men captured with cell phones that allowed them to communicate with Ramsey. In cracking the code, Lt. Granderson found that a video game was set up to work off a bluetooth connection since no cell service was available.

Yeah, that was a cute piece of business.  One other was the seduction of Burk by Lt. Ravit Bavis, who decided it was time for sex. She barged into the men’s shower area and tried to get Burk to get it on with her in the shower. He’s a Capt. Chandler kind of guy and held fast to the rule that there was no fraternizing on board.

She went so far as to hop up on the sink, facing him and pulled his face close. Are you kidding me? This is THE moment he’s waited for, but there are those pesky codes that Chandler speaks of. Ravit did not expect the rejection, and promptly told him to mosey on out of there as she stepped into the shower and deposited her clothes outside the curtain. Shore leave anyone?

Michener informed the captain that there was a civilian fleet of ships off the coast of New Orleans that he had outfitted with supplies, food and power to house up to 10,000 people for about six months. It was the disaster plan he drew up while with the Ramseys. That was where Chandler wanted to get before the sub carrying Ramsey did.

The president also spent time with the one captive identified as being the “smart one”, which doesn’t say much for the other two. In exchange for a full pardon, the guy supposedly agreed to take Tex and Danny along in the small boat, to get close enough for the bluetooth to set up a communication between him and Ramsey.

But, Ramsey knew they were approaching and set off explosions along the coast that sent fireballs into the sky, destroying land and presumably the supply fleet along with the population estimated to be in the thousands.

Then, one or more of the subs began to launch torpedoes at the Nathan James and it was make or break for Capt. Chandler as the president watched.

The ship escaped major damage but it fell into another Ramsey trap. Someone at his end has sophisticated video editing skills and took footage of the destruction of the Louisiana coast, spliced it with the scene of the ship firing its weapons at Ramsey, to create the appearance that the Nathan James was responsible.

They broadcast it via their neat little bluetooth method as the Ramseys continue to poison the populace with Navy-hate by insisting that Chandler and crew are lying about a cure, as well as trying to snuff out all opposition to them by mass murder or any means necessary.

Ok, where the heck do we go from here?

TNT airs new episodes of THE LAST SHIP Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT.   Image credit: TNT, used with permission

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14 thoughts on “THE LAST SHIP ‘Friendly Fire’ Recap: Are You Team Dr. Scott or Team Capt. Chandler?

  1. Yes, where the hell do we go from here is the question. I felt very defeated after this episode with what Ramsey did. And what happened between Rachel and Chandler made everything so much worse. My philosophy is, when there is division among the family at home, it is almost impossible to conquer the enemy outside by your doors. Chandler and Rachel better forgive and makeup quickly or I am afraid things will get even worse for Nathan James.

  2. It was indeed a moral dilemma….one that is still difficult to stomach. Did Neils need to die? Maybe not to get what Rachel needed, but at the same time, why should he live? He killed millions of people – went after children – and did not apologize for it. What were they going to do with him on the Nathan James? In addition to the disease he created and spread, he’s proven himself to be a liar.

    I understand Chandler is trying to keep order in a chaotic world. I understand the code he lives by. I believe we saw Chandler the soldier in these scenes making a very difficult decision. I don’t believe that Chandler the man feels the same.

    I appreciated Tex’s comments to Rachel and I’m not a huge Tex fan. But he was sincere and honest and spoke the way I felt.

    Niels is responsible for the chaos the world is in. Rachel worked her tail off to stop the madness he created.

    And tell me….how is it that the President admitted to murdering his daughter because he did not want to see her suffer and nothing happened to him. But Rachel kills the man who orchestrated all of this in order to create a cure / vaccine and is punished?

    I hope that in the end…we learn that something else killed Niels and that Rachel is next in line. Perhaps the President isn’t all that trustworthy…..

  3. I’m a team DrScott like another reply on here. Let me say that I believe POTUS is still working for the ramsey’s He may have been hypotnised to believe he isn’t, but he is. This is classic Art of War 101 stuff. To destroy your enemy you join with your enemy and destroy it from within. Did Neils have to die? Yes. He, like POTUS is/are/was a threat to the ship and all of Rachel’s Work. He made no apologies for trying to infect children with the dodgy teddy bears, or when he landed on the coast in the rubber dingy with the russian writing on it, didnt tell anyone that he was infected, killing anyone who was not immune, children, women, men. Neils then rejoyced at wiping out of of the labs, and led the ramseys to Dr Hunter, Rachel’s mentor from yale. Agreed that Rachel has put chandler is a difficult position, but, with most of the crew giving candy bars to the 2 soldiers that were guarding neils , one of them saying to betrise “I hope he does something stupid so that I have to shoot him”, eventually it will have to come out that rachel did the deed. Chandler has killed, on and off mission, so it will be interesting to see how he handles it from now on in..
    Just my 2 cents worth.

  4. I am 100% Team Dr. Scott!

    Lets examine the facts: the possible savior of humanity killed it’s would-be destroyer, a murderer very likely responsible for more deaths than all the wars combined in the entire history of the human race. How is that not poetic justice … especially when the world is in chaos after a near extinction level event?

    Chandler sanctimoniously blathered on about regulations and rituals implying that he was some sort of strict by-the-book officer when in fact he proved to be a total hypocrite not to mention a probable felon.

    Chandler was present when President Michener confessed to murdering his two daughters and took no action against a man who could very well prove to be a duplicitous traitor in league with Ramsey and the Immunes. To make matters worse, in an extreme example of poor judgement, he goes full steam ahead after Dr. Scott, a heroine par excellence.

    Why would he turn a blind eye to a man who confessed to a double filicide and then go after the single most important person on the planet for killing a pariah in order to save more people?
    If that is not the actions of a despicable hypocrite as opposed to a man of principle and moral resolve, I don’t know what is!

    Sure Dr. Scott didn’t need to kill Niels, but she did so because it was expedient and time was of the essence. When countless people are dying ever second then every second counts! The vengeance thing was just an added bonus.

    Some apologists may claim that what Michener did was mercy killing, but as far as I know that is still considered criminal homicide in every state in this country. I believe Oregon still allows physician-assisted suicide, but that is not the same thing. Bottom line, Michener confessed to committing two felonies which would automatically disqualify him from being president and necessarily result in criminal prosecution.

    When Chandler and POTUS agreed to keep that conversation and confession secret, Chandler essentially allowed himself to become an accessory to murder.

    One can only hope that Michener has truly allied himself with the crew of USS Nathan James and doesn’t turn out duplicitous snake.

    Should that be the case, then hopefully he will issue a Presidential pardon to Dr. Scott.

    FWIW, I like Chandler, but his behavior during this episode was extraordinarily disappointing.

  5. One quick follow-up. I forgot to mention that Chandler committed another felony by kidnapping Michener.

    Kidnapping an acting President not to mention the Commander-in-Chief of the military because you disagree with his choices is not something a Naval officer who is committed to following the chain of command (or anybody else for that matter) is permitted to do.

    Granted, he broke the law in the service of what he believed was the greater good, but for somebody who is strictly by-the-book, that is simply not his call to make unless he had proof that Michener had violated his oath of office, committed actions worthy of impeachment or otherwise violated the law.

    That was apparently not the case however as it was clear Chandler had an agenda to turn Michener and employ him in his fight against the Immunes when he kidnapped him.

    And that begs the question, what would Chandler have done if Michener refused to change sides?

    Would he still recognize his presidential authority and support his decision to promote a master race while allowing the non-immunes to die out or would he detain him for double murder subject to later prosecution?

    Bottom line: Chandler seems to think it’s okay to break the law when it suits him, but not okay for Dr. Scott, who also acted in accordance with what she believed was the greater good.

    At any rate, even if Dr. Scott is eventually turned over to civilian authorities for prosecution, I don’t believe there would be a jury of her peers anywhere in the country that would convict her (unless it was a kangaroo court comprised of a majority of Immunes) whereas if Michener and Chandler were prosecuted for their crimes, it is likely both would be convicted of felonies although I’m sure that considering the mitigating circumstances neither would receive more than a light sentence.

    Nonetheless, Chandler would most certainly lose his command, and Michener would be deposed as president.

  6. Ridiculous. As pointed out, Chandler was comfortable with taking the law into his hands with the jungle despot. Dr. Scott saved humanity, after Niels nearly destroyed the human race. And to make matters worse, the bastard engineered teddy bears to kill children. The whole episode sucked. Love this series, but very disappointed in the “last” episode.

  7. Chandler going after dr. Scott after she found a vaccine that she gave to the whole crew and then a cure that can be spread through contact for killing a mass murderer is asinine and insults my intelligence. I think that’s the end of the show for me. Dumb dumb dumb.

  8. So POTUS admits to murdering his children while they begged for their lives then promptly joins a cult/terrorist group and chandler weeps and forgives him and makes him commander in chief. But the woman who saved his life,his kids lives, his crews lives and the ENTIRE WORLD in a moment of passion kills the greatest mass murderer since adolf hitler and chandler treats her with sneering contempt and threats on prosecution.

    The writers need to fix this or they have lost me

  9. I knew that what she did was going to throw a monkey wrench in the Chandler/Scott dynamic. He is a straight arrow by the book military man. Nonetheless I am TEAM DR.SCOTT! She tried to appeal to Neil but he didnt give a darn so its not like she was dead set on killing him. I’m assuming Chandler will be giving Scott the cold shoulder:-(

  10. I feel that some betrayals are too difficult to ever forgive – and Chandlers reaction to Dr. Scotts killing of Neils is one of them. She saved his life, the life of the crew, and, down the road, the human race – and he turns on her.

    My whole attitude about the captain changed for the worse. Up to that point I enjoyed his over-the-top Captain America thing (always putting himself in the line of fire which a real captain would NEVER do) and bending the rules that suited him, but his reaction to Neils death killed whatever affection I had for his character.

    I watched the last episode hoping that my distaste would be less, but it seems the mood that was set before did not dissipate. Where once it was “we have each others back”, it’s now “watch your back”.

    Poor decision on the writers part.

    And as an aside, I’ve just noticed that there seems to be a lot of fans that want a Chandler-Dr Scott thing. I always found that a bit strange – so much like a brother/sister dynamic. Sort of an icky thought….

    If anyone needs a soft-place-to-land it’s our Dr Scott and
    Chandler sure ain’t it!! Tex seems like the only one with a heart.

    Just my two cents…….

  11. Dr. Scott basically murdered Niels. I’m with the captain, she isn’t above the law and even if he deserved to die like that, it’s not her place to decide.

  12. Chandler is a self-righteous bureucrat that hinds behind rules and platitudes when somebody goes off book in extraordinary circumstances. He is intolerant of anyone who breaks the rules even when the values protected by the rules are not threatened and there is no danger of skidding into a slippery slope. Like all such self-important rule followers, he is a colossil hypocrite and careful to hide his hypocrisy. Recall his secret agreement to hide Michener’s killing of his children because he needed Michener to keep the mission on track. Yet, Dr.Scott poetically kills a sleazy, slinking cockroach-Neil’s–and Chandler goes all out law and order nuts. Bite me Chandler.

    Plainly, it is all Team Scott.

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