This had to be one of the most distressing hours of scripted network television I’ve ever watched. I can’t give it a rating because, by some standards it was a taut, emotional, well-acted episode. But it was hard to get past the shock of innocent lives lost. I’ll give the Last Resort creators credit, they aren’t afraid to push envelop.
The episode begins with the SEAL team in Pakistan, 72 hours before their rendezvous with the USS Colorado (in the series premiere). King and Hopper are preparing to extract a nuclear scientist whose report proves there are no nuclear weapons in Pakistan.
In the present, family members of the Colorado crew are sailing towards Sainte Marina on a commercial vessel. The ship is suddenly boarded by the Pakistani Navy. The ship’s captain is killed, and the families are taken hostage.
The Pakistani admiral in charge wants Chaplin to launch one of his nuclear missiles at an Indian army battalion that’s preparing to invade Pakistan. As leverage, the Pakistanis will kill one hostage every half-hour, with only two minutes before the first execution. Although Chaplin tries to stall, a Pakistani lieutenant (whom James worked with in Pakistan) kills one of the family members and throws her body overboard.
James, Hopper, and Fisher (the third remaining SEAL) come up with a plan to board the ship and take out the kidnappers. Sam Kendal joins them, but before he leaves on the mission, he gives Chaplin his firing key.
The SEALs can’t board the vessel within the half-hour time frame so the Pakistani lieutenant kills another woman and throws her overboard. These scenes are absolutely horrifying.
While the SEAL team (plus Sam) take their positions, a reporter who’s about to be shot gives up Christine Kendal. Christine bravely presents herself. To save her from being executed, Paul Wells comes forward and says, as a US government attorney, he can tell those in Washington to put pressure on India to retreat. Instead, he’s shot and killed.
The Colorado crew watches the proceedings in the mess. Cortez is so shaken, she can barely breathe. She can’t admit she took the key, so she hangs it in Chaplin’s stateroom, where Grace finds it. Grace takes the key and is prepared to fire on Chaplin’s orders. Of course, Chaplin now thinks Grace is the CIA mole who took the key.
Chaplin prepares the missile for launch, but instead of aiming it at the Indian army, he targets the hometown of the Pakistani admiral and his murderous lieutenant.
Finally the SEAL team is in place and they begin taking out the Pakistanis. However, another SEAL team boards the ship and a melee ensues. In the fracas, Fisher grabs Christine, saying she’s his ticket home. James, Hopper and Sam retreat since they know the other SEAL team probably has orders to kill them as well as the Pakistanis.
Back on the island, James tells Chaplin and Sam what happened in Pakistan: Hopper (apparently under new orders) planted a compact nuclear bomb, then reported via his helmet camera that they found nuclear weapons in Pakistan. He also reported the scientist had been killed by Pakistani forces, although he was actually still alive at the time. Hopper planned to kill the scientist, but shot one of his Pakistani escorts instead. In the scuffle that followed, the scientist shot and injured Hopper, whereupon James shot and killed the scientist (although James wasn’t aware those were the new orders).
So, that’s why the U.S. wants the helmet cam memory card. They want to cover up the fact that they planted evidence of nuclear weapons in Pakistan. Just so they could annihilate the country? Not cool!
Next week Sam and James go off-island to some unknown place, and Hopper hightails it to Kylie Sinclair’s kitchen.
[As usual, all photos are courtesy of ABC.]