Last Resort, Shawn Ryan's new show, premiered two nights ago. It follows the crew of a fictional submarine, the U.S.S. Colorado, led by Captain Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher) and X.O. Sam Kendal (Scott Speedman). When they question a direct order to shoot nuclear missiles at Pakistan, they are attacked by the United States itself. After seeking refugee on the island of Sainte Marine, Chaplin threatens to use their nukes if they are attacked again.
Those of you unfamiliar with Ryan, he is the creator of The Shield, which I consider to be my favorite show. I had seen the ads for the show, but when I found out Ryan was behind it, my interest shot up. The pilot episode (titled "Captain") didn't disappoint, but it does raise some questions, cause I really don't see how this plot could be stretched beyond a single season, or even a couple of episodes. But in the meantime, we'll see how it works. I did think the first half was better than the second. It lost some steam in its last 20 minutes or so.
Braugher was pretty good as the captain, while Speedman held his own against the experience of the former. Robert Patrick was his usual, tough, s.o.b. playing Chief of the Boat Joseph Prosser. Other notable characters were James King, a rescued Navy SEAL, who seems to be the bad-ass, don't-f*ck-with-me guy from the bunch; Grace Shepard, the female boat's navigator looking for respect; and Bruce Davison, as one of the Admirals back in Washington, who happens to be the father of Grace. Also, Omid Abtahi seems to be on every show, isn't he? He was on 24, NCIS, FlashForward, The Event, Fringe, Grey's Anatomy, Homeland, and now this. There's also a local despot, played by Sahr Ngaujah, which will probably bring additional conflict to the crew. Most of the performances ranged from good to ok.
All in all, the pilot was good, but I can see ways for this to sink quickly. Mostly because, like I said, I don't see how much they can stretch the plot without sacrificing plausibility. But I'll be watching. Also, kudos to Martin Campbell (GoldenEye, Casino Royale, the Zorro films) for his neat direction. Grade: B+
(All pictures belong to ABC and its affiliates)