“The Last Ship” premiered its fourth season Sunday night August 20 on TNT, with a two-episode blockbuster. You barely had time to settle into your chair when you were plunged into a two-front story. Tom Chandler and his kids were in a Greek fishing village, while the Nathan James was docked near Morocco. Neither of them knew where the other was. We learned one thing quickly, there is no Dr. Scott this season and one is needed.
The latest plague to decimate the world’s population called the Red Rust affects the food supply. Crops were first to get hit and when the action picks up, even fish are disappearing from the earth’s bodies of water. The James is alone again in its ability to help the world survive and was close to finding a key to regaining control over the spread of the food supply killer.
It’s sixteen months since Tom Chandler saluted Captain Slattery for the final time. It’s unsure why he chose the Greek islands, but he has settled in with a family that owns a seaside restaurant and catches its own fish to feed villagers and themselves. There is a patriarch, Alex his wife and daughter, a woman named Cali that we’re told is Chandler’s new love.
The plague has reached them and things are made worse by a man named Giorgio who plays the role of a local thug/warlord like we saw in the states during seasons one and two. Like an organized crime boss he has his henchmen and they expect to get a portion of everyone’s daily catch. For non-merchants there’s a fight club that can get them and their families more food, if only a male representative can defeat someone from Giorgio’s pack of trained muscle guys.
No one knows who Chandler is, but Alex guesses correctly. He is sworn to secrecy, and frankly, Tom Chandler’s look is so different you might not recognize him yourself. Hair all long, curly and less silver than in years past, (who thought that was a good idea?), he would blend in but for the fact that he doesn’t look even remotely Greek.
When Alex and Chandler steal back the fish Giorgio took from them Alex pays with his life and the destruction of his fishing boat. Chandler had sixteen months of rage built up, and decides to take it out on Giorgio’s top fighter. He got more than food for the family. He’s asked to join the stable of fighters. The real fight club is a Roman Coliseum-type of set up and Giorgio even gives the thumbs up or down signal for losers to be thrown from a cliff to their death.
Giorgio adopts Chandler, whose name he does not know and dubs “Nobody”. Tom chooses to go, whether fearing retribution to his children and Alex’s family or because he’s acting in all ways that are antithetical to his Chief of Naval Operations job he walked from. Without so much as a word to his kids and Alex’s daughter or wife, he gets on a boat with Giorgio and his fighters. They land on an island where the thug king has a lavish home including a sister who catches Chandler’s eye.
This is when it gets a bit crazy in a plot sense, because Tom looks at this gorgeous creature like he’s ready to devour her. The lust in his eyes is palpable, which gets acted upon. But, only after Giorgio’s “Nobody” takes out the best fighter of another thug on that island. To the victor go the spoils. People are dealing with hunger and the fear of being wiped out by getting high, some looking as comatose as heroin addicts in a den. When the temptress offers of the herbs, mixed in a tea to Chandler prior to their lovemaking he turns away from it. He’d rather be conscious, hungry and angry.
The Nathan James mission is to focus its attention in the Mediterranean region, and the crew is searching for a bunch of stolen seeds that contain the DNA to look for a cure for the Red Rust. Like the warlords in Greece, there are others who took control of areas of countries that in a formal sense no longer exist. Unlike the U.S., which is still hanging on for dear life to the little organized government it has, most of the local countries in that region are just ruled by territorial thugs.
The fact that the James and Chandler are within the same region means that we’re going to get a reunion at some point this season, but for now, they are unaware of each other. It doesn’t mean Chandler’s crew doesn’t think of him and speak of him. The gang is back with a few extra folks in key roles. Slattery, Green, Kara, Wolf, Sasha, the two Burks, Miller, Granderson, Master Chief Jeter and a more mature Diaz are hanging tight.
Sasha’s romantic interest is a British intelligence officer Fletcher. Azima, an African military officer is exchanging soulful looks with Wolf, but looks like she made a play for Granderson as well. Now that’s an interesting plot point. Two major occurrences provide some of the most bloody battles we’ve seen on “The Last Ship”.
Sasha is soooo close to getting the man connected to the seeds to sell them and locate Omar, the North African warlord who controls them for that region, she can taste it. Unfortunately he got shot just as he was considering a price.
The wounded man is hustled back to the base where the James is docked, but his enemies come for him. Using modern terrorist methods including a young suicide bomber they mount a successful all-out assault that slays many at the base. Burk’s older brother is severely wounded in the blast and air lifted to Germany where they fear he won’t reach in time to save his leg.
The James picks up anchor and goes off in search of where the seeds may have been taken, using one word uttered by the man in Morocco that matched his tattoos. They’re off through the Straits of Gibraltar towards Algeria, where the boat loses its electrical power and becomes a sitting duck for rocket launchers hidden in caves in the mountains surrounding the body of water.
Vulture team is sent out, to find who is launching shells, one of which hit the ship but caused no significant damage to life or infrastructure. Rather than some monstrously large force, it is only one launcher that is mobile enough to be dragged around the caves. In another spectacular battle scene, some of the newbies on the James help jerry-rig a small engine to jumpstart the destroyer’s engine. It’s MacGyver like and luckily it works. With all electrical systems in order, the James shells the cave with Vulture team jumping off the cliff into the water.
As we said, spectacular. Meanwhile on land in Algeria, the seeds in a plain old are taken and put in a pack on a camel that is led off into the sunset by a woman who walks the camel away.
Why didn’t we hear or see Chandler bid farewell to his son and daughter? We got a shot of his daughter looking at him, knowing something was amiss.
Were we wrong to think that Tom was in love with Alex’s daughter?
Will we see any action back in the U.S. or will it only be something discussed by the crew who will hear about how President Oliver is under fire again for starvation conditions in the territories?
Who thought it was a good idea to color Eric Dane’s hair? Come on now!
“The Last Ship” airs Sundays on TNT, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/PT Image/video credit: Turner Broadcasting, used with permission