Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon The Last Ship - Fog of War and El Puente - Review - "The Fight Starts Here"

SpoilerTV - TV Spoilers

Subscribe for show updates
Receive news and updates about The Last Ship - Fog of War and El Puente - Review - "The Fight Starts Here" whenever something new comes out.

The Last Ship - Fog of War and El Puente - Review - "The Fight Starts Here"

Their spirits penetrate through the thick haze of the future, 
and descry what shoals and what rocks must be shunned.-Herman Melville

“Fog of War”

Sometimes when going to war, a TV show might spend an entire season showing its characters preparing. The Last Ship is not one of those shows. Within hours of the deadly attack, Chandler and his fellow men and women in uniform begin searching for allies and for advantages. Their foe Gustavos Barros takes a different approach.

The episode opens in the chaos of the command center, with Alisha’s girlfriend panicking on the phone to her. President Joshua Reiss (Steven Culp) announces that he is asking Congress to declare war. Watching the news showing the Mayport attack, Chandler says the footage doesn’t do the tragedy justice. He acts quickly and decisively, bringing Midshipman Clayton Swain in to handle the cyber-attack. (Swain has one word to say upon being told what has happened: “WHOA”. We also find out that he is an orphan, because of the plague.) He says they should move their troops south, which gets some pushback from the other commanding officers. They can’t communicate with any of their troops around the country at this point. In this show’s universe, it feels unrealistic that almost everyone is quick to dismiss Chandler’s ideas as not feasible. He’s saved the world multiple times by relentlessly offering up every ounce of his own spirit, blood, and sweat. But people be people, and self-preservation is always the default.
"We’ve got nothing.”

“Not true. We’ve got Nathan James.”

Aboard Nathan James, it falls to Kara as captain to motivate her crew. Though Slattery is aboard, he never tries to bypass Kara’s command but rather just supports her decisions. It’s quite thrilling to see Kara in this position, because viewers have been there with her every step of the way, as she’s climbed through the ranks and fought her way out of danger over and over. She tells the crew that this attack won’t change who they are. Marissa Neitling has never gotten to give the rallying cry speech before, and she owns every second of it. As the crew listen to her, it’s as if she transfuses courage into their veins.

“This will once again bring out the best of us.”

Some of the best, meanwhile, are wandering the jungles of Panama, persevering in their new mission despite constant reports of the destruction back home. Their guide Marcos has helped them evade capture so far. They cling to hope though, meaning the idea that the Nathan James is still out there. Marcos is taking them to meet some rebels who might be willing to fight against Barros. Elsewhere, Barros himself is working on the Mexican ambassador, trying to convince him to join in the fight against the United States. The ambassador doesn’t seem to be moved by Barros’s arguments. Nearby the man who addressed Sasha at the birthday party, General Hector Martinez, sits silently watching. He watches the conversation intently but says not one word. Then something in the night sky draws their attention.

It’s satellites plummeting to the Earth. Kara talks to Burk and Slattery about their next moves. They can’t communicate with command, because there isn’t a secure line. Their advantage though is that no one else knows they are alive. If there’s one thing about war, though, it’s that the playing field can change rapidly.

Marcos takes Sasha and the others to the rebels. They are not excited to see the Americans, aware that Barros has a manhunt with bounty going on.

“You have brought trouble to my jungle.”

There’s a surprise though. A man comes up, speaking English, and he knows Danny. They are friends from before. This man, Pablo, is a DEA agent, and a friend to the rebels. Danny smiles more than he has in the last two seasons combined. And, confronted with his friend, he just can’t keep that icy demeanor. He tells Pablo his wife is in the line of danger. It’s a brief statement, a few seconds at most, but it says something that Danny had to get it out there. Danny holds that in front of Sasha and Wolf and Azima he needs to be all business, focused on just the job. But clearly, he needed to be able to vent some fears. Fans worried about a Danny/Kara breakup can exhale.

No one else need exhale, though, because the Nathan James and Delta Team are under attack. The Nathan James finds the remains of a container ship, and a missile comes whooshing towards them. There’s a warship out there, targeting them without knowing who they are.

“The fight starts here.”

The rebels share their plan with Delta Team. They are going to stop Barros by keeping him from marching northward by blowing up a bridge. (How delightfully old school is that!) Unfortunately, Marcos is captured by Barros’s men and tortured into giving up their location. Danny and Pablo are captured along with several rebels, and everyone but Danny is point blank executed. He is not okay to the point that Wolf and Sasha (Azima is unconscious slung over Wolf’s shoulder. #WolfStrong ) can’t hide their worry. But they are absolutely still heading for that bridge.

Onboard the Nathan James, they go back and forth until they create a smart plan to trick the warship into revealing their location. They will create the impression there are more vessels. (Another classic maneuver.) They accomplish this by dropping an underwater search probe that gives off tricky sonar patterns, with the goal being to lure the warship into the sight line of the small boat which Burk, Miller, and Diaz took out. They will then be able to radio in the warship’s location, so Nathan James can say hello with its own missile.

Mission accomplished Slattery reaches out to Chandler. The line isn’t secure, but he has a plan, involving Chandler’s favorite book. The call comes just in time, as Chandler was having no success persuading the other military heads to come onboard with marching south. The message he gives, straght from the pages of Moby Dick: FIT FOR A FIGHT.

Barros is not putting classic literature to good use. He has the Mexican ambassador killed in his hotel room, with Martinez supervising. He says his first line of dialogue in the episode.

“You should have made the deal.” 

Something is up with this Martinez. Barros, though is handing out food and soccer balls and money to the people, offering words of encouragement. His wife/girlfriend is at his side, and she exchanges a Very Interesting Look with Martinez. It is quite possible that Martinez isn’t the good little soldier boy that Barros seems to see him as. The man who greeted Sasha at that party wasn’t a man who took orders from other people. He was someone very much in charge of a situation. I even thought he was a completely different person, because with Barros he so meekly hangs out in the background. What game is he playing?

Episode 3, “El Puente”, gives us a little more insight into Barros and his people. He asks Martinez why he didn’t tell him about the rebel attack, and Martinez says it was handled. If he’s referring to the events of last episode, it most certainly is not handled. There’s also the way that Martinez acts around Barros. He’s almost like a sullen passive aggressive child, but not quite. And at the end of the episode we find out that Barros’s wife Maria literally has some card tricks up her sleeve. Namely emotional manipulation, but she’s not the docile holder of the charity fruit basket that she was presented as in the previous episode. She’s perceptive and ambitious.

Back in the United States, Chandler departs to return to his crew and broker an arrangement with Cuba and Mexico. He hasn’t been gone long when the command center gets two visitors. First, Alisha’s girlfriend. Something is not right with this woman. She could just be one of many people who haven’t been able to psychologically recover from the horrors of the past several years. The pessimist in me though wonders if her near breakdown is just a sly way to get Alisha to spill even the vaguest hints of top secret information. She pointedly asks if Alisha has “heard from anyone”, mentioning Kara by name. And though Alisha doesn’t really tell her anything, there’s other hints. Clayton finds that there were two viruses, and that something inside the command center may have hosted one. This conversation he’s having with Alisha is interrupted by her girlfriend’s arrival. But sharp-eyed viewers have already called out how she texted Alisha a picture that morning when she came to work, and the camera lingered on Alisha’s cellphone as she put it away. Is this just a theory anymore? I don’t think so.

Chandler is flown out to the Nathan James in a helicopter. This is one of a couple humorous moments in the episode, as the gunner Maddie comments on what a miracle it is this copter was left untouched in a field in Pensacola for 15 years. Chandler gives her a long look of concern. He exits swiftly when they land. The Cuban and Mexican officials are eager to not meet each other. During the plague and famine, things got ugly between their countries, with many civilian deaths on both sides. And they’re not about to break bread together, though they and their men do try to break one another in the cafeteria, causing a brawl that Maddie helps break up. She scolds them as if they are naughty children. (Like a boss.) Thankfully, Barros himself helps their cause by announcing over the radio his intent for world domination. Chandler has some words of wisdom for their potential allies.

“I know dictators. I’ve dealt with my fair share. There’s one thing they all have in common. 
Whatever they have, it’s never enough.”

The second visitor to the command center back home is the President. He’s skeptical and slightly miffed (in the frank way only Steven Culp can be) at being left out of the war room. But later he confides in Jeter that a bigger concern is Chandler. Not only could his loss be considered a major drop in morale, but maybe he’s running out of steam. He mentions they even asked Chandler to be President. Though there’s no way Chandler would have taken that job, he is unmistakably the country’s most valuable leader, and the world’s. His relentless dedication to creating peace out of chaos for everyone paired with his strategic critical thinking and time-tested wisdom make him unique, a unicorn in a sea of tigers and lions who just want to hunt for themselves and their own. Is Tom Chandler the glue holding the post-plague world together? What will happen if he’s not there to save it? Who is going to preserve humanity in his place? These are questions that the show has been asking for a long time, and this final chapter will likely answer them.

The Nathan James is attacked from the air, and they have little defense against the small, speedy planes. They deploy their only aircraft: the helicopter. This thrilling sequence also gives us a chance to see Kara commanding under fire. Again, neither Chandler nor Slattery try to step in. They don’t need to, because she handles the situation. She never pauses to let doubts sink in. She’s a relentless force. Kara is someone who holds the world together like Tom Chandler. It’s interesting to note that she’s one of the few people this show has followed through thick and thin, through quiet moments and brutal struggles. She’s like the helicopter darting back and forth in the sky, the single force protecting the ship from destruction, in that this isn’t what Kara was meant for before the plague. But adversity brought out the best in her and allowed her to uncover might that could otherwise have lain dormant. The chopper does succeed, though Maddie sustains a slight injury.

The chopper/plane battle is intercut with another one unfolding at El Puente/The Bridge. Delta Team discovers the bridge is a bit bigger and well-constructed than they expected. They set their eyes on the colonel overseeing the area, the same man who murdered Pablo and the others in the previous episode. Danny probably would have gone after him anyway, so it’s just as well he was a good target for the team. They abduct him. He is naturally uncooperative with giving orders to his men to retreat from the bridge to “pursue some rebels”. Danny skewers the man’s hand so fast even Sasha jumps, and his tone changes.

Wolf and Azima go to attach explosives to a fuel truck which they will they then drive onto the bridge, abandon, and detonate. (#DeltaTeamCoupleGoals) Their timeline has to speed up though when the colonel escapes at a checkpoint gone wrong. He clearly never skipped cardio days, because he makes it all the way to the bridge. But his men don’t recognize him out of uniform at a distance. They shoot him, just as the truck scuttles across the bridge. Almost 2/3 of this episode was action and battles and tense countdown, and it’s only episode 3.

Chandler goes on the radio to make a speech of his own, in response to Barros’s braggadocio warning from earlier. He announces to the world that they have taken out Barros’s warship and planes, they are united with Cuba and Mexico, and that they are now coming for him.

“Come at us again. I dare you.”

He doesn’t include that he has been having premonitions of a sort, hinting at a destructive conflict. The bridge is out. Barros has been stopped from pushing northward, but have the true threats even been revealed yet?

That’s an ominous note to end this review on, so I’ll back up to some good news. Delta Team hears the radio message. They and the rebels are overcome with joy, and Danny even has to step away to process the information alone. The good guys won. This time.


SpoilerTV Community
Latest News