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The Last Ship - Tropic of Cancer - Review - "An Honor to Be There"

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Crazy Kelsey, we hardly knew you! Just kidding. We smelled a rat the moment we met. That ending was deeply upsetting, and not just because it was the soapiest thing the show has done since season 1. This show is better than what it did here, having Alisha meet a brutal end because she got all squished up in her emotions and decided to sneak off to confront her girlfriend. It is a bit offensive. And it's a shock value death.

That distasteful business aside, this episode radically shifted the course of the season. The Nathan James was all set for victory, facing Tavo's remaining ships, with their new allies Mexico and Cuba at their side. They were hit hard once. That slowed them down. Another hit was much more damaging, shutting down their propulsion; but Slattery worked with Diaz and the rest of the crew to find a way to reroute fuel from the impacted section. Back at headquarters, Jeter matter-of-factly states to Generals Kincaid and DuFine that when it comes to N<i>athan James, "There's no such things as odds." Like Chandler, the ship is considered an unbeatable force.

And for Tavo, beating Chandler is quickly becoming his obsession. We saw last week that his wife Conchita (not Maria...IMDB corrected her listing) pours oil on this fire, and we see this week that Martinez couldn't care less about Chandler. In fact, he seems annoyed by Tavo's desire to best him, as if it's an unnecessary distraction. This suggests that Conchita and Martinez are not secret allies or anything else, but rather opposing forces trying to pull Tavo in different directions. The episode starts with Tavo throwing a hissy fit like a spoiled child over Tom Chandler destroying "my planes". Martinez's own demeanor never yields to show frustration, but I'd wager that he will make Tavo a martyr if the scene repeats itself. He soothes Tavo, though, by saying he has a gift and asking permission to use that to bring other countries to their side. Who's really running this show?

Delta Team's mission is now to get home with the book of encoded information they found. Their way out is Pablo's friends' plane, but they have a very short time to reach it. And then they run into the soldiers and a mine field. WOLF GETS BLOWN UP. Technically, only his leg gets shredded, but it's still awful. It's also absolutely thrilling, because Danny runs across the minefield to save him, picking him up with a combination somersault fireman hold that is truly astonishing. (And quite possibly very painful for Wolf). A courageous doctor stitches him up, though, and they are able to escape the country.

As Jeter talked about earlier, we have seen the Nathan James perform the impossible in battle over and over again. That doesn't happen this time. The Cuban president/representative Fuentes was dropping hints his country felt like a third wheel in the new alliance, and they never showed up to do their part in the fight. Chandler realized something was wrong when the surviving Colombian ship avoided the mines they had planted in the ocean. Then the Mexicans were attacked. And the Cuban ship didn't respond to the radio. The Nathan James is badly injured. There are casualties, and there is a bit of panic. Chandler wants to pursue the (much less) damaged Colombian ship.

Kara doesn't let that happen. This is one time that reckless bravado wouldn't have been in their favor, and she has to tell Tom Chandler, the world hero and military genius, that he is wrong and that she will not let him make this decision. Marissa Neitling has always been an asset to this show. But this scene is so damn good. Neitling burns it all down. Commander Kara Green will protect this ship, and she will do nothing less. Slattery supports her decision, but that's an afterthought really. The only two people here are Chandler and Green staring each other down. Both are brilliant and determined leaders. Only one of them is right. And so Chandler yields.

It's a somber note to end the episode on. The Nathan James in retreat, a jagged hole in her bow, having failed her mission. Alisha dead with a knife buried into her by her cackling girlfriend. And all hope of a quick resolution to this conflict gone. (That does make things more exciting for us, though.)

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