Sabre On TV

My take on TV

‘Last Resort’ Review: Captain

When the trailers for the new TV shows were released in May, Last Resort was one of a small handful that I was immediately excited to see. There have been many shows where a show hasn’t lived up to the trailer. With Last Resort, it exceeded my expectations and it doesn’t fail to disappoint. After only watching one episode, I’m already hooked.

Photo courtesy of ABC

Photo courtesy of ABC

The show follows the submarine crew of the Colorado. They are given the order to fire missiles at a foreign country, on a channel that is meant to be used when the US is under attack. Querying the order by asking for confirmation, Captain Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher) finds himself relived of his duties and XO Sam Kendal (Scott Speedman) is put in charge to make the decision to fire. After also asking for confirmation of the order, the Colorado is hit by a missile and is forced to seek refuge on an exotic island. Not only, do the crew, have to find a way to clear their names but on the island, they have to deal with Julian Serrat (Sahr Ngaujah) who doesn’t take too well the influx of Americans.

The first episode had me hooked from start to finish. It does enough to leave you with some questions to keep you coming back for more. Questions like who gave the command and why? How far up chain does this go? What really happened before to set off the chain of events?

Braugher is excellent as the lead. I can’t remember if he’s ever been below average in a role. There’s a command that he brings to Chaplin and his delivery of the lines. You only have to look at Chaplin’s speech at the end as proof. There is also an impressive cast put together with Speedman, Daisy Betts, Dichen Lachman, Robert Patrick and Autumn Reeser. It will be interesting to see how everyone is utilized and how their characters will play out.

I hope Last Resort doesn’t have the same fate as Shawn Ryan’s last two shows, Terriers and The Chicago Code and get cancelled after only one season. It has a tricky timeslot but that isn’t the only thing that could count against them. With any show, that has a running story-arc, it’s always a challenge to make each episode engaging as the previous without letting the quality of the show suffer and to be able to get the pacing of the story-telling right. I’m not saying this is a bad thing for the show, as I like shows that have a story-arc running throughout the season. It makes me feel more invested about a show and gives me the feeling of not wanting to miss an episode. What will be interesting to see develop is the whole conspiracy element. There have been too many shows of late that have tried this particular type of story-telling and have failed to keep the audience engaged. Without naming any specific shows, some have gotten lost within their own story and created problems for themselves that they couldn’t get out of in time before they were cancelled.

I have confidence that Last Resort won’t suffer with the quality of the storytelling purely based on Ryan’s previous work. If the show can maintain the high bar that the first episode has set, then this can easily be one of my favorite shows this fall.

Originally written for The Voice of TV

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