Tag Archives: the last ship

The Last Ship Season 4

tlcs4cJust when you thought “They can’t possibly force another season out of this,” they do. Case in point: The Last Ship. I’ve actually enjoyed the past three-seasons-worth of exploits from Tom Chandler and his crew, fighting antagonists in a virus-ridden world. The plot was well-written and very precisely planned to have all the different plotlines and stories fall together in the last few episodes. Great action, great acting… Just great overall. Season four: not as much.

Having defeated the virus in season 3, the crew of the USS Nathan James now faces a new threat. The virus has mutated and now attacks all plantlife. Crops succumb to the so-called Red Rust, and worldwide famine comes knocking. The intrepid seamen have to save the world once more, this time by saving a container of jurassic seeds, which should be immune to Red Rust. Problem is: they’re not the only ones after the seeds, and Captain Chandler is AWOL.

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I eagerly popped in disc one of the three disc set, and was thrust in the action almost immediately. The crew is already in talks with a thief about getting the seeds, when they are ambushed. Various new crewmembers pop up and help save the day.
Seeds? What seeds? Why is Chandler in Greece? And why is he posing as a fisherman? I glanced over to mrs. NxG, and was relieved to see her looking almost as bewildered as me.
Clearly, we must have skipped over an episode!
I checked.
Thus was not the case.
The season really starts off this confusing. To be fair, the first episode is called “In Medias Res”, but this seems a bit much. Seems more like shoddy writing, really. I can imagine the head writer going: “Prologue? Don’t feel like writing one. Just start off with the action, call it in medias res and be done with it. No, no need to explain where the newcomers are from either. And put Tom Chandler in Greece. With his kids, yeah. And a new girlfriend. Then have him leave them on a whim somewhere in episode 2.”
Honestly, it all feels a bit rushed.

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Same goes for editing and pacing. I get you’d want some fast-paced editing for action sequences, but don’t overdo it. Action sequences are intercut with non-action sequences from Chandler’s superfluous subplot (He’s a gladiator now. Don’t ask.) It just feels messy.

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I’m still watching, though. I’ve invested some sweet time in the first three seasons and things haven’t gotten to a point where I don’t care about these characters anymore.
Yet.
Plus there’s guest star Peter Weller who makes everything enjoyable. So season 4 gets a pass, even though it’s not as good as the three previous seasons. Not even close.
Let’s just hope season 5 picks up again.
Because yes: they can force yet another season out of this.

Jan

The Last Ship

tlscoverAnd the summer review marathon lumbers on.  Like an unstoppable giant Japanese lizard whose name I won’t mention to prevent possible copyright issues.  Let’s just call him..  erm… “Giant Lizard Monster”.

Yes, that’ll do.

Anyway, while all of you were sweating from the heat, I was sweating from suspense.  I’ve been watching The Last Ship you see, and the series cleverly employs a technique known as a cliffhanger.  The way it works is like this: the writers keep throwing the characters from one suspenseful situation into another, escalating the tension all the way up to the last minute of the episode, only to leave the viewer hanging.  The suspenseful moment is then resolved in the next episode, only to start anew with another (equally suspenseful) plot point.

Devious!

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Luckily for me, I got a box set of the entire first season.  So no waiting a week in between episodes, I could fire up the next one right away.  And I did.  I wasted no time in viewing all 10 episodes almost back to back.  The story just took a hold of me and did not let go.  For those of you unacquainted with the series, it revolves around a deadly virus that has nearly killed all of the world’s population.  Among the survivors are the crew of the USS Nathan James, who happen to carry the world’s leading virologist and a possible cure for the virus.  Hijinks and setbacks ensue and frequent skirmishes with Russian antagonists are fought.  It all makes for a very entertaining first season, partly thanks to leading man Eric Dane who portrays dashing captain Tom Chandler.

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As mostly always, I enjoyed the crap out of this!  I burned through the 10 episodes in no-time, and as a result, I’m now stuck, waiting for season two to start.  Because, you guessed it, series one ended with a cliffhanger.

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Damn you writers and your suspense-prolonging techniques!  Damn you all to hell!

(But not before you finish this awesome story please.)

Jan