Last Resort “Blue on Blue” Review

the title screen for ABC's the Last Resort
This review contains spoilers for Last Resort.

Last Resort was by far the strongest premier in the fall line up. I was counting down the days until Thursday rolled around again and I could see the world of insanity that the crew of the USS Colorado had gotten themselves in. They were essentially at war with a faction in the US military, the rest of the world is on edge for the rogue nuclear sub and the criminal element on Sainte Marina has kidnapped two crew members. Captain Chaplin certainly has his hands full.

In the first few minutes of “Blue on Blue” we get to see exactly what the equipment Kylie Sinclair had on the Colorado. The Perseus Stealth System, as it turns out, completely shields the submarine using it from radar. Chaplin tests it out as a response to the eighty American warships that are now on the perimeter he imposed around Sante Marina, and it works perfectly. Back in America, Kylie is scrambling to find out exactly what is going on with her precious system.

Chaplin and Kendal notice a ‘passenger’ plane getting way too close to the island for comfort, figuring that the US sent a delta force unit against them, Kendal and Grace gather a team to meet them with an armed response. We met a little resistance to Chaplin’s actions in the pilot, but it isn’t until now that we see that it isn’t just Robert Patrick who thinks that going rogue from the government was a terrible idea.

I see that the biggest concept Last Resort is constantly asking is if soldiers are simply tools of the government or are they thinking people. When a direct order comes down, do you follow it or do you take the moral high road? Chaplin took the high road, but many under his command see that as a direct contradiction to everything they were taught and stand for. It’s not a new concept, but its one that appears to be handled well here and if that trend continues, it can be a fascinating focal point that will elevate the show even further among the competition.

Spetsnaz Prisoners in ABC's Last Resort
Pictured: Not American soldiers.

This episode in particular also dealt with exactly what it means to kill someone. Far too often in media, people are killed left and right and no one feels anything. There’s a reason why we have things like post traumatic stress disorder. To see someone you know killed right in front of you, to have looked someone in the eyes and then kill them, it weighs down on a person. Most of Chaplin’s crew is not concerned with the fact that they defected, but that when the bullets start flying, they’ll be looking down the barrel at their fellow Americans.

Lucky for Grace, Kendal and the rest of their team, the soldiers dropped in turned out to be Russian Spetsnaz (their special forces), so once they realized this, they could get over the second issue. Kendal’s wife, however, was taken and shown that she doesn’t know all there is about Kendal and that he was taken prisoner in a previous conflict and the men he lost weigh heavily on his soul.

I’ve fallen in love with Last Resort and I know it’s because of the amount of effort the writers are putting in to humanize the characters. Grace is trying to adapt to her situation. Kendal wants to be with his wife and is doubting if they made the right move. Chaplin is dealing with the loss of his son. James King, the Navy SEAL who hangs out at the bar all the time, is trying to accept the situation he finds himself in while dealing with the loss of his fallen friends. Kylie’s actions had someone hospitalized. No main character is without faults or flaws.

“Blue on Blue” did not disappoint. A strong follow up to a strong start was exactly what I wanted. While I was disappointed that we didn’t see the inner workings of the military through Grace’s shocked and enraged father, what we did see was well paced and shows clear signs of a strong season. Shawn Ryan has hit it out of the park again. hopefully this can gain the traction that Terriers and The Chicago Code didn’t.