Whenever a new season of a popular show presents itself to be reviewed, I’m always weary. Will the show still be the same as before? Will it have reinvented itself in a positive way? Or will the writers have jumped the shark, Fonz-style? With sweaty palms, I fed disc one of The last Ship’s third season to my designated Bluray player…
Whoever thought that all would be fine after the crew of the Nathan James found the cure for the deadly pandemic, was wrong. Said cure needed to be spread safely, and just when viewers thought dashing captain Tom Chandler had succeeded in this endeavor, the Immune showed up. Shoving sticks into the wheels of Chandler’s society-rebuilding machine. And then, at the end of the second season, when all were cured, society was rebuilt and the Immune were all but gone, the audience breathed a sigh of relief. But not for long though, because season three has a whole new set of hurdles for Captain James to overcome.
As season three begins, we learn that the American government is steadily gaining in confidence and power. Captain Chandler no longer sits at the helm of the Nathan James, but comfortably behind a desk as chief of naval operations (and head of the entire US army). Nathan James is helmed by newly promoted XO Slattery, and spends its time on humanitarian missions, spreading the cure. When the US learn that China’s new president is possibly hoarding the cure, to gain control over other Asian territories, Captain Chandler is sent to parlay. Chandler escapes an assassination attempt and at the same time the entire senior crew of Nathan James is captured by pirates. Believing both events are linked, Chandler retakes the helm of Nathan James, to try and rescue his crew and bring order to the Asian region in the process.
Whew! Who would’ve thought that after two seasons writers would still be able to keep the Last Ship a fun watch? I sure as hell didn’t. I started watching the first episode, half expecting it to be a rehash of the previous two seasons. But this time with Asian baddies instead of Russians. Boy, was I wrong! True, you still get the same structure: stuff goes wrong, Nathan James’ crew steps in, Chandler saves the day and acts a total badass doing so. But the new storyline is actually well thought of, and the addition of new supporting characters doesn’t feel forced. Two things I’ve seen later seasons of other show fail miserably at.
With the plethora of shows available to watch these days, I fear The Last Ship’s third season will be one that gets forgotten. Lost in between the hugely popular and the extremely big budgeted shows. But heed my advice: The Last ship should not be given up on. It grows with each season!