Well, that was a fast-paced, action-packed pile of nothin’. **
Together again: Marcus and Sam.
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.
I’m finding it very hard to recap this episode. It felt like there were lots of moving parts (but then, that’s the norm for this show), yet there were really only two: the mutiny on Sainte Marina and the coup d’etat in Washington, DC. Both were disappointing.
Admiral Sheppard calls Marcus Chaplin to let him know of the coup. Once that happens, Marcus plans to surrender the Colorado. Marcus tells Sam. By this point he knows Sam is in cahoots with the mutineers. Oh yeah, and the mutineers blow up a second Chinese relief ship, which could lead to all sorts of international shit.
The end of the year brings with it a plethora of “best of” and “worst of” lists, and SciFi Chick(s) is not above such frivolity. But instead of the mundane “best and worst of,” how about a look at some of the most intriguing characters on sci fi television?
This post was initially a separate page, but since the series is waning and the past few episodes have been rather lack-luster, I took it down. However, I didn’t want to lose the information, so it’s now included it here.
Shortly after the USS Colorado picks up a team of Navy SEALs in the middle of the Indian Ocean, they’re given an order to nuke Pakistan. But the order came through back channels, so the Colorado’s Commanding Officer Marcus Chaplin questions it. When the Colorado doesn’t fire, another U.S. submarine fires a cruise missile at them, sinking the boat and nearly killing the crew. They’re able to recover, and eventually the Colorado harbors on Sainte Marina, an island with a NATO Early Warning Station.
Sam and Sophie? So much more interesting than Sam and his wife.
It may be time to take down my Last Resort Catch-up page. The show has only three more episodes when it returns in January, and I can’t really recommend it to anyone after the last few episodes.
“Blue Water” was a bit all over the place. XO Sam Kendal and SEAL James King head off to Manilla in search of Sam’s wife Christine. With the help of James’s friend, a former Navy SEAL named Wes, they find her. This leads to sappy love-happy Sam/Christine scenes. Sam’s acting out of character, willing to give up everything to run away somewhere with Christine. These two have to be the most boring couple ever. (Yes, even worse than James and Tani.)
“Cinderella Liberty” features James King’s memories of the Pakistani mission.
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.
And here Last Resort had been on a roll, with 2 of the last 3 episodes getting 5 stars. But “Big Chicken Dinner” was pretty crappy. It had so many holes, it might as well have been made of Swiss cheese.
Actually, it’s lucky to get 2 stars. It gets an extra one for James crushin’ on Grace. But Grace tells him to go back to being a jackass and she’ll go back to doing her job.
Ok, so ABC didn’t renew Last Resort. Bastards! It took me awhile to warm up the the show, but now I’m hooked. Here’s why.
Seven Ok, Eight Reasons I love Last Resort
Terrific actors—and characters:
Andre Braugher, of course. He’s the reason I wanted to watch the show. He’s a commanding presence, playing the smart, savvy, and honorable CO, Captain Marcus Chaplin. Ah, but is he crazy? Or just crazy enough?
Andre Braugher as CAPT Marcus Chaplin
Robert Patrick (yes, T1000 Robert Patrick!) as Chief of the Boat (COB) Master Chief Joseph Prosser. He was terribly contentious in the first two episodes, but he’s softened a bit. Heck, he’s even developed respect for the crew’s senior female officer, LT Grace Shepard. He’s nearly everything a COB should be. And he gets the best lines.
Robert Patrick as COB Joseph Prosser
Scott Speedman as XO LCDR Sam Kendal. Also smart and honorable, he’s a little more hot-headed than his CO. He’s the “people person” who cares greatly about his sailors. He’s been loyal to Chaplin and they’ve enjoyed a great rapport.
Scott Speedman as LCDR Sam Kendal
LT Grace Shepard, daughter of a Navy Admiral and third senior officer on the Colorado, has proven she’s tough (having been nearly killed by a Russian special operative), capable (commanding the Colorado on a dangerous mission), and not afraid to make tough decisions (leaving Navy SEAL James King to die in order to save the life of her crew).
Daisy Betts as LT Grace Shepard
Back in the U.S. of A., two previously boring and/or obnoxious characters team up to become better than the sum of their parts. Sam Kendal’s wife Christine is branded a traitor along with her husband. When she lashes out at reporters, she gains the attention of Kylie Sinclair, a privileged defense contractor with a prototype “cloaking device” (my words) on board the Colorado. Both know the government is lying and set out to prove it.
Jessy Schram as Christine Kendal and Autumn Reeser as Kylie Sinclair
Ordinarily, we think of male/female chemistry, but the relationship of CO and XO is unique. Braugher and Speedman both interviewed they’d never experienced a relationship like theirs before. Chaplin and Kendal respect each other immensely. They challenge each other, and pick each other up when needed.
Don’t worry, there also great male-female chemistry. Happily married Sam Kendal finds himself attracted to Sophie Girard, the beautiful French scientist in charge of the NATO Early Warning Station. The feeling is mutual, although Sophie’s not burdened by a significant other. While in a drug-induced stupor, Sam hallucinated he was with Christine, but was actually kissing Sophie.
Camille De Pazzis as Sophie Girard
And then there’s just pure lust. SEAL James King has developed a “good” relationship with island bartender Tani. But he has a contentious relationship with LT Grace Shepard, the Colorado’s senior female officer. She wants to know what the SEALs did in Pakistan; he points out her weaknesses whenever he can. After they defuse a bomb together, they have hot “Thank God I’m still alive!” sex on the beach. It was beautiful to behold.
Daniel Lissing as Navy SEAL James King
And I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface. Stay tuned for more in my own personal Last Resort media blitz.
I am so bummed. Last Resort has been canceled. 😦 So has 666 Park Avenue, but that’s not nearly as devastating. Both shows will end after 13 episodes. Two additional scripts had been ordered for each, but those will not be filmed or aired.
Last Resort received enormous critical acclaim. Why didn’t ABC try it in a different time slot? The rumor is ABC brass were pissed that show runner Shawn Ryan is working on another project (with Eddie Murphy, no less) for CBS.
It took me awhile to warm up to Last Resort, but when I did (with “Skeleton Crew“) I jumped in with both feet.
Last Resort actors are tweeting that the next six episodes will be awesome, and the ending will be kick-ass.
I just hope Andre Braugher and Scott Speedman find other worthy projects soon; and that Aussies Daisy Betts and Daniel Lissing get more U.S. work.