The Last Ship – “Phase Six” Review.
Season 1, Episode 1
Air Date: Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 9/8c on TNT
“The CDC and the W.H.O. wanted to sample the virus from the victims to create a vaccine but nothing worked. It was my belief that we needed to find the primordial strain here in the Arctic.” —Dr. Rachel Scott
The Last Ship is one of the best action dramas I’ve seen in a long while. This is going to be a big summer hit for TNT! “Phase Six” is exciting, intense, and action packed! If you are looking for some serious kick-ass action this summer, look no further. The Last Ship is a perfect segue into TNT’s returning drama Falling Skies, for two heart pounding hours of intensity.
“Phase Six” draws you in and leaves you breathless as the USS Nathan James sets sail for the Arctic under false orders. It carries on board two scientists from the CDC, and when Commanding Officer (CO) Captain Tom Chandler (Eric Dane) learns what his true mission is, it’s a race to survive and help Dr. Rachel Scott (Rhona Mitra) find a cure for a global pandemic.
When I first heard about The Last Ship, I was a bit skeptical. A naval battleship as the last hope for humanity against a global disease that’s already killed 80 percent of the world’s population? Yeah, right. But as “Phase Six” progresses, everything falls into place and begins to make sense. The ship and her crew are far from infection, or so they think. Even in the glacial waters near the Arctic, there are people who know why the U.S. Navy is there, and they want Dr. Scott and her research at all costs. There is a traitor among them; there is also an enemy approaching, prepared to go nuclear to get what they want.
“Phase Six” sets up the season by diving into the reasons behind the U.S. government’s insistence on the USS Nathan James being completely radio silent during their four month mission. We also learn why Rachel needs to be in the Arctic researching a certain type of bird. There is so much information being thrust upon you but you don’t feel overwhelmed at all. The writers have done an excellent job of pacing the information and introducing characters without making you feel like you’re missing something.
The fact that the cast and crew actually filmed aboard a U.S. naval ship adds to the authenticity and realism of the characters’ actions. The way they move on board the ship, the way they carry themselves, all of it lends realism to this series. Dane is a perfect choice for leading the charge. He wears the uniform like a boss, and has a commanding presence, something that is vital to playing this role. Every commander needs a second and Adam Baldwin, as Executive Officer (XO) Mike Slattery, is a great choice. I’ve loved Baldwin in so many things, most notably NBC’s Chuck and Joss Whedon’s Firefly and Serenity. As scientists go, Dr. Rachel Scott is smart, beautiful, and quite bossy. Mitra does a fantastic job of becoming the devoted virologist from the CDC, desperately trying to make a vaccine. Mitra lets her hair down, in a sense, and gets dirty, or in this case, snowy. She’s not afraid to look sweaty or let her hair look knotty. I will say the fake ice on some of the actors’ faces while filming the Arctic scenes doesn’t look realistic to me but then again, I’ve never been to the Arctic.
Captain Chandler must inform his crew about the virus and the possibility that many of the crews’ families, including his own, may not have survived. As the crew faces the unknown, they must also face the hard facts – they are low on fuel and food. Before “Phase Six” is over, lives will be lost. Don’t miss The Last Ship.
What did you think of “Phase Six?” I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment here or tweet me @judybopp.
Tune in to The Last Ship, Sundays at 9/8c only on TNT.