The Last Ship is a show produced by Michael Bay, and seems to follow a post apocalyptic world, where CO Chandler is in charge of what appears to be the last remaining US military presence after a virus wipes out the majority of the population. Dr. Rachel Scott has been tasked with finding a cure to save the rest of humanity. So how was the first episode? Josh provides a recap, and both Josh and Violet share their thoughts on the episode following the recap!
Episode Recap of The Last Ship, Season 1 Episode 1: Phase Six
The Last Ship Sets Sail
The first episode of The Last Ship begins in Egypt. Dr. Scott, and virologist is landing in a helicopter right by the Great Pyramids. In full haz-mat suits, Dr. Scott is investigating a contagion, which has infected 6,000 people already. It kills its infected in two days. Dr. Scott takes some blood for testing, but seems unable to provide any further assistance, and leaves on her chopper as quickly as it landed.
Aboard the USS Nathan James, the ship is making ready for departure. Tom Chandler greets Dr. Scott, they exchange pleasantries. Scott explains they are tracking birds for testing, and makes their mission seem rather mundane. It probably will not be so mundane.
The episode jumps four months later, and the ship is in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. XO Slattery is complaining how cold it is. Meanwhile, Dr. Scott and her assistant are taking samples on a glacier while CO Chandler runs a missile test. The missile test seems to be a success, and they are planning to head back to home. Chandler then tells Dr. Scott via radio that they need to head back to the ship.
Mission Complete…But Extended?
Rachel continues to work, but some men come and demand their return to the ship. Arriving back at the ship, Dr. Scott chews Chandler out. Chandler lets her know they will be heading back. Scott isn’t happy to hear that.
In the mess hall, we meet a few of the men of the ship. We also run into Lt. Danny and Lt. Kara, who seem to be having some sort of relationship.
In the lab, Dr. Scott is attempting to contact people to continue the mission. At the same time, Chandler is given orders to continue radio silence and continue their mission.
Dr. Scott continues her mission on the glacier, and Dr. Scott seems excited to find something. Back at the ship, the ship picks up some aircraft entering their airspace. The soldiers accompanying Dr. Scott realize they are Russian helicopters. Scott frantically packs her samples, and the soldiers begin fighting the helicopters. The men on the ground are able to take out some of the choppers, and the battleship begins arming up. Some choppers move in, attacking the ship, and Chandler orders firing on the enemy aircraft. All enemies are eliminated. Chandler questions the one Russian soldier that was taken alive, but he dies quickly. He did manage to utter one phrase. He wants the “cure”.
So During Radio Silence, The World’s Population Died…
Chandler orders Slattery to contact anyone they can. Chandler then heads to Scott, and demands answers. Scott tells him about the virus. Scott tells Chandler that they need to find the origin of the virus, which she thinks they have found. Scott the reveals she has her own SAT phone to keep in contact with the labs she is working with. Scott reveals that 80% of the world’s population is infected now.
Chandler meets with the president, who is what was the Speaker of the House. The President and Vice President have died. Chandler is given a lab on the coast of South Carolina for testing. The President explains that Russia has fallen from the virus.
Chandler and Slattery review news footage and see the ravaging effects of the virus. Chandler tells Slattery to make course for a fuel station off the coast of France. Chandler also decides to tell his crew the truth about what is happening. The crew is assembled and he informs everyone what he knows.
The ship attempts to make contact with both government and family members of the crew but most are unable to be reached. The crew is unable to make contact with the French refueling station. Slattery was able to make contact. His wife survived so far, but his son is dead.
No Fuel Means No Home
Suddenly the crew is given orders to fire on an enemy ship, but they are unable to verify the orders. The ship then detects a nuclear launch, and we see its trajectory—the U.K. The ship isn’t hit, but the EMP has knocked out the ships power. Chandler orders the ship’s engines repairs. Meanwhile Dr. Scott frantically tries to salvage samples since they have lost refrigeration.
Power is restored, but the ship is severely low on fuel. On the radar, the ship locates another ship–an Italian ship. Chandler attempts to make contact, but is unable to make any contact. Chandler and his crew board the ship, which is vacant. They move into search for provisions and supplies. Dr. Scott warns that the virus is airborne, and could be aboard the ship. The crew also begins siphoning fuel for their ship. One crew member opens a freezer–which contains dozens of dead bodies, like a morgue. Chandler also comes across a quarantine area which is full of dead bodies, with one man still alive, but just barely. Scott takes some blood and gives the dying man some morphine.
One of the crew members falls down, and loses his helmet. The potentially infected man realizes his fate and commits suicide, despite Chandler ordering him to put his gun down.
Back aboard the ship, a funeral is held for the crewmember who sacrificed his life. Dr. Scott continues her research in the meantime.
After the funeral, Scott and Chandler talk. Scott is able to determine why the virus spread so fast, and Scott reveals humans modified the original virus. Scott thinks it will be easier to develop a cure now that the virus has mutated to a stable strain, and she has the primordial virus.
Chandler is given new orders once the communications came back up, but it is revealed that the lab they were heading to was no longer safe, and they are given a new destination in Florida. Another message also comes through, and it is Chandler’s wife. She and his family are alive still. Chandler is clearly broken up by the video as his wife and children talk to him through the recorded video.
Chandler is the Man with the Plan
The shipped has arrived to US waters. Chandler visits with Scott, and asks her if the cure can be developed on the ship. She isn’t sure, but looks like it could be plausible. Meanwhile, Slattery briefs men to go ashore. Chandler however tells Slattery that no one is leaving, but Slattery protests. Chandler pulls the “I am the Captain” card, and tells Slattery to fall in line. Chandler orders the ship out to the ocean, to the surprise of the crew.
Chandler then pulls a radio, and addresses the ship. He explains that his duty is to save the world. Chandler then indicates their next destination–Guantanamo Bay for refueling. The crew stares at Chandler blankly, but so far the men and women of the crew seem amicable to the orders given.
Back in the lab, we see Scott’s lab assistant on the phone–speaking Russian–warning whoever is on the other end of the phone that the ship is pulling away from America.
Josh’s Thoughts: The Last Ship Season 1 Episode 1: Phase Six
So I was really interested in seeing this show when I first heard about it, post-apocalyptic shows are right in my wheelhouse. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this first episode as well. I think the show cast its main characters really well. Chandler is a very believable, altruistic-feeling leader, while his XO seems to be a bit more on the gray side. The action scenes in the episode were well done as well, especially for a TV show, where the budgets are a bit tighter.
My worry for the show is that there might be a bit of scenery exhaustion, especially if 90% of the show is going to take place on the boat. Next episode mentions Gitmo, so perhaps we will see some land there. I feel the Russian enemies is a bit cliche, but I guess there has to be some other villains other than the virus itself.
So far, I am really not sure what to expect for the show. Obviously Dr. Scott will proceed with trying to work on a cure. Obviously the ship will continue searching for supplies, in order to stay afloat and alive. But what else is there? Will the story begin following crew members, and their search for loved ones? We know some of them still have family alive, so that could be a possibility.
I am also curious to see if we will see an mutinies. Since the government has seemingly collapsed, the only thing keeping Chandler in charge is the crew’s belief in him. If that belief begins to wane, we could certainly see a coup develop. I have a feeling we might see more bumping of heads of crew members, namely Slattery and Chandler, which should be interesting to see.
Again, overall I am very impressed with the show. Hopefully it can keep on an interesting path, and hopefully the already budding relationship between Scott and Chandler doesn’t get in the way of the show. We know Chandler’s wife is still alive, but I have a feeling that may change in the future. But still, I have liked what I have seen so far, and have to assume it will continue on course!
Violet’s Thoughts on Season 1 Episode 1 of The Last Ship: Phase Six
Ah yes, the “virus wipes out the majority of the world’s population” premise – my favorite subgenre! So right off the bat I’m interested in this show because of that. On the other hand, this show has a different twist: it takes place entirely on a Navy ship because it’s a lone Navy crew that has survived the spread of the virus. In that regard, it reminds me of a cross between ABC’s Last Resort, which took place mostly on a Navy submarine, and the movie Battleship (2012). We actually liked Last Resort and ended up watching the entire season, but at the same time, it felt like it had overstayed its welcome, and didn’t require an entire season to tell its story – which is probably why it was canceled.
Some part of this episode felt a little cheesy, like when the Russians attacked Dr. Scott and the soldiers on the glacier, and there was tons of gunfire and explosions, but the Russians never hit anyone. Are they really that bad of shots that they missed that many times? Of course, with Michael Bay as an Executive Producer on this show, there are going to be gratuitous explosions. That whole scene was just very eye roll-worthy. The same with the guy’s helmet coming off so easily and becoming exposed to the virus in the other ship. You’d think there’d be something securing it on better, especially if they don’t want anything getting in.
Will we ever get to see the crew try to venture ashore to U.S. soil? Or are we just going to be on the ship the whole time? If so, that in combination with it being very Navy-heavy could cause me to lose interest. Usually I am just not very interested in war and military-based type shows and movies. However, it’s entirely possible that this show and the virus aspect could surprise me and win me over. We’ll see though.