The Last Ship


I liked that it wasn’t an entirely happy ending. One daughter dies, that huge crowd of people are left on their own, and the mayor is left with the job of presumably killing his own people, the ones who try to come to the camp for help. The bad guys were bad, but they were doing the dirty work that needed doing also, a nice bit of moral grey area. In some ways it’s a victory for the crew, but an empty one, a ‘win’ symbolically but not in any real sense of the word.


A part of me is starting to really like the guard from Guantanamo bay, and he might even have a shot with the hot doctor. :)

Is it just me, or do the villains of the week on this show feel like “evil cartoon villains” in some way?

I shall take your daughters , oh yes…


So far the only ambivalence is coming from the good side, the evil side is pure evil for evil’s sake. I’d like to see them pull into a port where someone has set up a very nice new civilization that takes advantage of modern concepts of equality and freedom. How does the commander convince all his crew to walk away from what might be their one chance to live normally again? Especially if the vaccine mission is set back so that it looks like a long shot to succeed, that’s a tough sell.


No question about it, the villains have been cartoons so far. They could have made the Russian admiral into someone who just felt he had to have control of the vaccine for his men’s sake, just like Commander Chandler. They torpedoed that by having him shoot one of his own officers just to show off.


“These are the voyages of the USS Nathan James. Its five year mission…”


This last episode was very good. Lots of tension, problems piling up, and for summer entertainment it surprised me how they didn’t resort to cheating on the story to generate a happy ending. I might be biased though because I’ve always believed that in unusual and possibly dangerous situations you need to share information. Shows like Lost always piss me off when certain characters decide to hold onto information because only they can handle it. In this episode we see them try that and we see realistically why that kind of approach is stupid and counterproductive.


I agree, I think episodes that actually have stayed on the ship are the best.


Eh, I didn’t care for it, since CDC woman was so preposterously ineffective at explaining how research works. Even she was saying she made “mistakes” in the vaccine testing, as if she were assembling an engine, rather than exploring avenues where you expect the early test subjects to die.

I agree that it’s good that they’re getting away from the stupid “keep things secret for morale” meme that’s popular on such shows.


Me neither. The Captain of the boat is written as a moron for no other reason than to drive plot of the week.

Firstly, the sailors on this boat live their enlisted careers in a need to know world. The brass holding back information is par for the course. The chain of command offers them the info they need to do their job and little more. That said, this is a brave new world they are living in and are essentially out on their own, I can see the need and desire for the captain to want to be transparent in their mission.

Yet in this episode we are faced with the completely manufactured drama of keeping last week’s away mission and the progress of vaccine testing a secret. Such contrived stupidity is basically the only thing driving tension in the episode.

There was nothing at all about last week’s away mission that demanded secrecy once back onboard. Zero. Bunch of sick locals we were unable to help and had to leave on the shore. Who would have thunk it after the world just got wiped out by a deadly disease. Dictator/drug baron/criminal uses force to take over remaining healthy populace in local region and sets up mini empire in a post-apocalyptic world. News at fucking eleven. This is the kind of thing they should be [I]expecting[/I] when going ashore, yet it is judged too much for the crew to handle and they must be protected from such knowledge.

Similarly, there was nothing about the vaccine testing process that demanded secrecy. A 10 second lecture on scientific method would explain to anybody that monkeys are going to die in the process - a lecture CDC lady still fails miserably in giving when asked to. Instead, secret overboard monkeys.

They could have easily written the whole episode around the ‘lockdown’ and associated fear of the virus getting loose onboard - in fact the episode was titled ‘Lockdown’, yet that story beat seemed incidental. It could have easily been used as the driving wedge for evil scientist to use and in turn the reason some crew wanted off the boat, yet the ‘secrets’ angle was much more heavily played.

The secrets angle should have been kept for a scenario that makes sense - like an away mission coming across an island utopia, free from disease, with many of the mod-cons of home. Something that may actually entice mass desertion from crew members that conveniently became ‘un-enlisted’ a couple of weeks earlier (as if that would be something that even matters now). That may be something the captain would actually want to keep quiet.

Honestly, who writes this drivel?


I think the captain had been operating under a few assumptions when making the decision to keep most stuff secret. One, how bad is it really? The crew does not know, they can guess but they don’t know. Considering they all have family to worry about and no way to communicate with them, I can understand why ‘no news is good news’ might seem tempting. Two, the crew wanting to leave the ship is a constant threat. You need X sailors to operate that ship, and operating that ship is the only chance they have at a vaccine, so anything that forestalls people wanting to leave is good. Cluing them into how desperate the survivors are is risky, since it might trigger an exodus as people want to get home ASAP. Lastly, those people in Nicaragua can be seen as stand ins for the crew’s families. The away team went in, grabbed some monkeys and killed some people, then left the healthy survivors to their fate stranded there in the middle of nowhere. How long after telling them that do you think it would take before they realized their own families were probably in just as drastic a situation?

I disagree with the keeping of secrets like this, because it costs you credibility you might need later. And also all adults have a right to weigh all the information and make their own decisions, which they can’t do unless you share info. But I understand why he tried it that way.


Lots of science fail in the 8/3 episode. There’s no way that the Norwegian guy would not think “oh, I might still be infectious” if he’s skillful enough to create a vaccine. They treated the immune girl off the Octopus boat as if she were no hazard at all once she was off the boat. Frankly, they all deserve to be infected and dying at this point.

I don’t remember why it is that what’s-his-name is pariah. Not the British guy, the sailor everyone was snubbing.

The “Captain goes on away missions” thing is getting bit more obviously silly. That didn’t bother me when I watched the original Star Trek, but I was 10.

The Klingons continue to think that if they absolutely want someone alive, the way to do that is to fire heavy caliber machine guns at them. This works because none of the Klingons can actually hit anything. Of course the Americans don’t have that problem.

Kirk really should have used the “hours would seem like days” gag again with XO Worf. Khan’s dead, so he won’t have told the Klingons about it.

The Klingon Admiral sees the sentimentality of the humans as an obvious weakness. The entire bridge crew was going into the Agonizer Booth if they didn’t capture enough humans. Good thing for them they got Kirk.


Yes, this last episode was pretty bad on the beliveability front, even for this show. It is becoming patently ridiculous that the XO and the rest of the crew continue to allow the captain to go on dangerous missions when they have a whole ship full of qualified people. The whole point of having Seal Team Alpha and their kid commander is that THEY do the heavy lifting, yet instead we constantly see the captain, the XO, the master chief and even enlisted scrubs sent on missions while presumably the seal team and marines are on KP duty.

The enlisted scrub that everyone is shunning was part of the group that was going to leave the ship a couple of episodes back. They all had enlistment terms that had ended (because the show can’t do outright mutiny since it’s the US Navy) and they wanted off the ship when they thought the doctor was dumping diseased monkeys over the side and possibly infecting them all. Ironically, this episode the supposed expert on infectious diseases is fine with them bringing the [I]possibly[/I] immune girl in board with no protective protocols whatsoever despite the fact that immunity to a disease DOES NOT mean that you cannot still be a vector for the spread of said disease, especially having just come from a ship full of dead people.

I think the worst parts of this show are when they try to show technology as part of the plotline. In this episode they had drones, helicopters and zodiacs all over the place, and yet they wanted us to believe that neither ship could locate any of these objects with their multiple sensory arrays available onboard. Even more entertaining was the Russian commander’s instructions to his bridge crew to “keep us out of radar range” so that they would not be discovered. The Russian ship had no idea where the American ship was, so how exactly are they supposed to stay out of range of an object they do not know the location of in hundreds of square miles of ocean?

The Last Ship is entertaining action fluff, but it’s nowhere near as serious as it wants itself to be, and that creates some jarring moments you just have to power through. It’s not “A-Team” levels of ridiculous, but then again that old show never took it self seriously either.


The weird thing is that the Bearded Norwegian is an immune disease carrier, so obviously the writers are familiar with the subject. Yet half an hour after pointing out that Bearded Norwegian infected his girlfriend, they write a scene in which no one cares that the Jamaican girl could be a carrier.


All the dumb stuff is alright with me as long as there’s some dramatic tension, but this last episode just felt flat to me. I think the underlying concept of this episode undermined the drama. We know that the vaccine is THE most important thing, everyone on that ship can die a painful death as long as their mission to develop the vaccine is a success and it will still be a win. So when it looks like a couple of people might die, that’s drama. When it comes after they’ve acquired the immune girl, that’s a ‘meh, they got the girl, that’s all that matters’ mission accomplished satisfied feeling. I would have switched the girl for the commander, so that it was a race between the US ship and the Russian ship to find her.


From the moment the chopper didn’t find them the first time, I said to myself the Russians are gonna find them now.

Anyways overall it was a sorta meh episode. How long is the 2 crew members relationship going to keep being brought up? This is like 4 episodes I think now… I DON’T CARE!


Now that would have been interesting!

Either way though, I’m still pissed that the show won’t be wrapped-up by e-10.

I know I’m old, but I can’t be the only one on here who has limited time for TV. Between family, career, and home chores, I gotta be selective about what I watch.

A full season of “will we find a cure”…nah, I gotta’ bail now.


8/10 episode: apparently no one has explained to writers how immunity works, since the explanation the “doctor” gave to the immune girl was ridiculous. They also apparently think vaccines are magical potions that go to work the moment you’re injected. I don’t think they know what “vaccine” means.

When they talking about screwing the suppressor on the .45, it was absolutely clear that at a future date CDC doctor would need to screw on the suppressor and fumble it. What’s not clear is why no one in the brain trust thought to screw on the suppressor before putting it in the case. Since there was clearly enough room.

That the Klingon admiral’s plan was to kill everyone once he had the vaccine should not have surprised anyone. However, the smart play is for Kirk to play along with the Admiral to gain time. Kirk is not smart. Of course, he’s got a PMC in the cage with him who is dumb enough to fall for it if he did play along, so perhaps that’s for the best.

Bearded Norwegian is apparently a complete incompetent, and dead-set against anyone else solving anything. Since he’s out and about, the D7 Battlecruiser is a plague ship now.

Klingon marksmanship continues to be abysmal. Something the humans have clearly become accustomed to, since they were so surprised the red shirt demolitions guy actually caught a bullet.


Gus, I am enjoying your summaries so much more than the actual show.


At least he rocked it. Like, really rocked it.

I think the suppressor/gun thing pissed me off the most in this episode. Talk about a completely contrived and unnecessary tension builder in a an episode that theoretically required no additional tension builders - they were already infiltrating the Russian boat with an away team to rescue Kirk. There was plenty of room in that box for the suppressor to be attached before the mission. There was virtually no scenario where an unsuppressed pistol would be preferred for her mission role. Of course she was going to fuck up trying to attach it. And then it did not matter anyway as the unsupressed pistol drew no additional attention and the next person through the lab door was a friendly. Completely dumb writing.

And how the fuck is this Russian Bond villain still in control of the ship? He has no leverage whatsoever to maintain control over a crew he sacrifices at a whim - bullet to the brain one week, lab bunny the next. No crew in this new world would stand for being treated like such disposable resources. Mutiny would be inevitable. Heck one of the other senior staff would just put a bullet in him and take over while all the others breathed sighs of relief.

And how is carrier bubble man just able to leave his quarantine? The dude can kill the entire ship and he can just waltz off anytime he chooses?

Ugh, so much stupid.

Maybe a more serious question I was unsure about (for this and previous episodes) - would these Zodiacs and Helos actually have greater operating range than the radar range of these boats (passive or active)? They seem to be leaning heavily on sending out small boats to conduct clandestine operations and keep the ships out of radar range of each other, which does not really strike me as feasible.


Radar direct line-of-sight range is dozens and dozens of miles, depending how high the mast is. A zodiac carrying a lot of fuel could probably make that distance, though it’d take awhile I imagine. Helos certainly could, but can also be detected MUCH further out (though perhaps not if flying really, really low). Passive detection operations are a bit different, but I doubt you could passively detect a zodiac coming at you unless you had eyeballs looking for it.

I’d just note that the Klingons did indeed hit someone this time around.

— Alan