Controlled Flight Into Terrain
Well, that was a fast-paced, action-packed pile of nothin’. **
Two shows this week left me with a nagging anxiety. The first was Reilly: Ace of Spies, a PBS series from the ’80’s starring Sam Neill, currently airing on WETA UK. The show is based on the real life of Sidney Reilly, perhaps Britain’s greatest secret agent. This particular episode dealt with the attempt to overthrow Lenin, and the outcome was disturbing. In a way, that’s how this episode felt. I didn’t feel a sense of closure and I kept thinking of where it went wrong.
I knew Marcus was making a grave error in accepting help from the Chinese. Not that making a deal with Serrat would have been much better, but at least Marcus could have dealt with him (i.e., killed the son of a bitch) without creating an international incident.
On with the show…
Christine is rescued by Hopper (who pays his SEAL buddy Wes a ransom for her) and they return home. Hopper’s been looking pretty good these last few episodes.
Sam’s in custody, Chinese warships are circling the island, and the mutineers have control of the USS Colorado. When Marcus boards the boat, he’s taken into custody, too. But the mutiny quickly becomes mutinous itself. The COB wants to head for the American fleet and hence home, but others, headed by Anders (everyone’s favorite non-contrite rapist), plan to turn the sub over to the Chinese for a handsome price. In the ensuing melee, the COB is stabbed (with a screwdriver, to his chagrin), and saved by Grace. They barricade themselves in the torpedo room, and their ensuing conversation is actually quite enjoyable. It’s the Second Redemption of the COB. But two of the mutineers take a blowtorch to the door.
It’s the return of Action Sam! Marcus and Sam both escape their detainment and end up together in engineering, where they’re able to control the boat. Their conversation brings them close to where they started, with enormous respect for each other. Sam even calls the conn to ask Anders who’s crazier, the Captain or the XO. Anders isn’t laughing, since 1) the mutineers really don’t know how to operate the submarine, and 2) Marcus has taken rudder control from them.
Simultaneously, Serrat and the Chinese take over the NATO Early Warning Station. The plan is to send the Colorado’s coordinates to the Chinese so they can board her. Awesome Sofie takes down the system, so Serrat locks her in her office. There she’s able to send a private message warning others of what’s happening. Marcus says he’ll scuttle the boat rather than give it to the Chinese. Sam is able to contact Sophie, and she reluctantly sends the request for two F/A-18 fighter jets to destroy the sub.
The mutineers break into the torpedo room. But the COB and Grace (wearing gas masks) have leaked torpedo fuel. When COB lights it, it creates cyanide. (I don’t know if this really happens, but it works for me at this moment.) The combination of cyanide and Grace’s mad karate skills take out the mutineers.
But wait! Anders has both firing keys and says he’ll nuke Chaplin’s home town in Maryland. He actually initiates firing, but Marcus (remember, he has control of the rudder) steers the boat onto a shoal and the launch is aborted.
As Grace and the COB head for the hatch, Marcus tells Sam he’ll stay with the Colorado. If something goes wrong with the fighters, he’ll be able to destroy the boat from within. Sam leaves. The F/A-18’s hit their mark.
What the hell happened to James? Wasn’t he supposed to prevent certain people from taking control of the sub? Tani returns to tell him about Chinese prospectors on the island. (They’re looking for those “rare earth minerals” Serrat has been harping about.) She says if the envoy leaves, they’ll leave, and asks James for help. James is set to take out the envoy when Tani stops him. She says she doesn’t want him to kill any more, not for her.
All those involved with the coup d’etat are killed except Kylie and Robert (who’s become a paranoid mess). The President tells Kylie to kill Robert. She doesn’t want to, but Robert says she must to prove her loyalty. She does, with his help, actually.
- Marcus goes down with his ship;
- while sleazebag Serrat continues to breathe. I can only hope that part of Sam’s revenge plan is to return to Sainte Maringa and kill the son of a bitch.
- The Chinese goes home in disgrace, having failed to give his government a U.S. submarine.
- The remains of the USS Colorado crew return home. Sam reunites with Christine. COB falls to his knees and kisses the ground. Grace looks around for… someone. Her father? James?
- James remains on the island with Tani. I wonder how long it’ll be before he goes stir crazy. I give him less than 2 months.
- Sophie stays on the island and pines for Sam.
- Kylie gives Hopper’s video drive to Christine, who then gives it to the press. The apparently vindicates Marcus, and he is seen as a hero who helped topple a corrupt administration.
- Kylie goes home to her father’s “victory” celebration, where she shoots the President.
**On second viewing the episode wasn’t so bad. Once I knew the ending, I could sit back and enjoy the acting. Still, I would have preferred a different outcome for several of the characters. But it’s time to put Last Resort behind us.
Fair winds and following seas.
[Mutiny and Anders photos by Mario Perez, all others by Karen Neal, © 2013 ABC]