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.
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