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The Last Ship - Long Day's Journey - Review

This season of The Last Ship has been a string of epic hits and horrible misses. The show's quality has been quite inconsistent from week to week. The last episode was certainly indicative of this. Despite last week's failures, however, the episode did succeed in setting up the conflict featured in this week's strong outing.

What Happened:

After their disastrous encounter with the Ramsey brothers and the Achilles crew, the men and women of the Nathan James find themselves licking their wounds and making every effort to get back on their feet. With over two dozen labs now destroyed as a result of the missile attack initiated in the last episode, any hope the crew had of distributing the cure is dashed.

Compounding the stress under which the crew finds itself is the fact that everyone seems to have a different opinion on where they should go from here. Rachel argues that they need to stay on course, focus on their original mission and try to salvage whatever they can from the destroyed labs so that the cure may be distributed. Chandler, however, believes the crew's focus should be on finding the submarine and getting justice. Needless to say, this causes quite a bit of tension between the scientist and the officer/gentleman.

It is only after Alisha comes across a transmission from Dr. Hunter (Rachel's colleague) that Chandler backs down and agrees to do as Rachel suggests. The transmission clues Rachel into the fact that the good doctor was trying to create a powdered version of the cure to achieve mass inoculation. Realizing the importance of this work, Chandler brings a small team to the lab in Florida, where Rachel is able to recover cultures from which she can continue Hunter's work.

After finding the samples, Rachel goes back to the lab to work on the cure, while Chandler and the rest of the recovery team head out to track the Achilles crew. Eventually, they come across a safe zone, where it appears the mercenaries from the USS Solace attack are loading people on to a bus. Going undercover in civilian garb, the team members ingratiate themselves into the crowd. Eventually, they are brought to a hotel, where Sean Ramsey is pontificating to his new followers about taking America back.

Ramsey introduces a man named Jeffrey Michener to the crowd. As the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Michener is number 12 in the order of presidential succession. With everyone else on this list dead, Michener is next in line for the presidency. The episode comes to a close with Ramsey proclaiming his plan to install Michener as the new leader of the free world. The crowd erupts with patriotic pride as Chandler looks on with disdain. Things sure aren't looking good here, folks...

What Worked/What Didn't Work:

Although by no means perfect, this episode was one of this show's stronger installments. After last week's outing, in which the crew sat around in silence for much of the episode, it was refreshing to see Chandler and his people be proactive in the search for the Achilles crew. Also welcome was the introduction of Rachel and Chandler's dueling ideologies regarding what to do in the aftermath of last week's missile strike. Rhona Mitra and Eric Dane make great sparring partners. This show made the right choice in deciding not to cast these two as the show's will they/won't they couple. Mitra and Dane are much better suited as unlikely allies who often butt heads, but ultimately respect each other. This week's episode is exemplary of this undeniable truth.

Speaking of Rhona Mitra, it was nice to see the show's writers give her something to do this week. The past few episodes have seen her character on the sidelines. Mitra is undoubtedly one of the stronger performers in this ensemble, so any extra material given to her is always welcome. The scene in which Rachel and the crew go to Dr. Hunter's lab saw Mitra give a standout performance. The emotional delivery with which she expressed her sadness over Hunter's death at the hands of the mercenaries was particularly riveting.

Although watching the Ramsey brothers' plans unfold has been quite enjoyable, this episode did see these villains delve into cartoonish buffoonery. With their constant shouting and ever-present need to show force at every turn, these characters are easily becoming caricatures of truly menacing figures. All I'm saying is that just because the scenery is there, doesn't mean it has to be chewed to bits.

Random Thoughts:

*Jeffrey Michener was played by Mark Moses, who you may know best as Mary Alice's skeevy husband on Desperate Housewives. Does any else feel like this guy is in just about every TV show? It was only a matter of time before he showed up on The Last Ship.

*Best quote of the episode goes to Jeter, who said the following to Chandler in reference to the submarine: "Don't let this become your white whale." Gotta love a good Moby Dick allusion.

*While trying to create a powdered version of the cure, Rachel ends up teaming up with the ship's cook. Did anyone know before this episode that this guy's name was Bacon? Also, do you think Bacon's sous chef is named Eggs?

Overall Episode Grade: 8 Anchors Out of 10

The introduction of Jeffrey Michener at the end of this week's episode proved to be an interesting development. Next week's episode should prove to be just as interesting. Previews suggest Chandler and his crew will attempt to rescue Michener from the Ramsey brothers' grasp. Buckle up, people!

About the Author - Liam Dacko
Liam Dacko is a student at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts. He is majoring in mediated communication and minoring in journalism. In addition to writing for SpoilerTV, Liam also serves as editor-in-chief of Stonehill's biweekly student-run publication, The Summit. He is a lover of all things related to television. Some of his favorite shows include Arrow, The Flash, Criminal Minds, Scandal, The Middle, Homeland, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. He continues to have many sleepless nights over the cancellation of TNT's Dallas reboot.
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