Last Resort

Pilot: Fantastic show! The best new show of the season thus far! Congrats ABC! High production value, tight script, ricochetting tension and a commanding leading actor in Andre Braugher who manages to make you want to believe him yet can't help feeling he knows more than he is telling. Simple story with enough mystery to keep you engaged and questioning why, why, why?? and tight action sequences that keep you at the edge of your seats, with some twists and turns that makes you wonder "WTF?!". Enough story telling to bounce back and forth between submarine, DC, home, island, etc. but that's not saying the pilot does not have it owns gaps and plot holes. However, they are small and easier to overlook what with the frantic pacing and twisting political intrigue. Scott Speedman was surprising competent and less teeny boppy-ish since his days on "Felicity"; Patrick Stewart is an interesting character and I can see him being the Ben to Braugher's Jack; Daisy Betts...well still undecided about her; nice to see Dichen Lachman ("Dollhouse) on telly again, but Autumn Reeser not so much, although the latter's has a rather interesting plot line. Definitely going to chase this to the end, unless it veers off to slow and plodding or absurd. I can accept preposterous like "24" just based on the scenario that this Pilot presented, but please do not stray into ridiculousness! I don't know how this can last more than 1 season and if it does please don't drag out any conspiracies. Also, I fear it may be filled with too many filler episodes on a network channel. Let's see how it goes! Navy boys should really enjoy this! But when I crossed the equator it sure was not only "La Bamba" and dancing! hahahah

Episode 2, "Blue on Blue": Very good 2nd outing, but same thing, if this continues for 20 episodes, then it's gonna get slow. I am intrigued by the DC subplot involving Autumn Reeser, but Jessy Schram's scenes are a tad derivative. Andre Braugher is gunning for a lead actor nom, and is Robert Patrick for a supporting actor. Scott Speedman's acting has really improved since his "Felicity" and "Underworld" days. I hope Dichen Lachmann gets more things to do rather than just spouting island lore to a lonely SEAL.

Episode 3, "Eight Bells": A relative filler episode. At least the COB is now out and thrown into the mix to give more dynamics within the submarine. The action scene is well choreographed, tense and gripping. Andre Braugher is fascinating to watch as Patrick Stewart chews the scenes. I'm curious as to what is the main plot purpose of Dichen Lachman (and the SEAL guy) in the show. She's a good actress and it's interesting...but what's her deal?!? The DC political intrigue needs to pick up pace. Good lord, Scott Speedman better not forget his wife. The hostage crisis bit was actually well done. I can't imagine the PTSD that will result from it!

Episode 4, "Voluntold": A realistic filler episode into the possible psyche of persons in such a scenario. I like how the role of "The Terrorists" seemed to topsy turvy within the Americans. Stewart's COB is possibly the most complex, interesting character in the show. Which side will he fall on eventually? Speedman's wife, ?Christine, has an interesting interlude, but she seemed shoehorned into the episode just cos she was signed on as series regular. My prediction about PTSD last episode came true, but it was a bit awkward and out of the blue. Too many plot lines dangling, they need to start streamlining all the narrative threads: NAVY SEALS, SEAL guy and Dichen, Christine, DC politics, Sub politics, US politics, French woman, Julian dude, minerals in the ground, etc etc. At least the girls in DC seemed to be linking up.

Episode 5, "Skeleton Crew": A good Grace-centric episode which served to develop the characters of some of the supporting cast. Good to know that the producers are developing the outside world realistically and not focusing solely on the United States. DC is still getting interesting, and Kylie and Christine would be an interesting combi. How many seasons can this show last?

Episode 6, "Another Fine Navy Day": Oh, so this is how they intend to prolong the drama on the island. I must say, it is rather entertaining. At least I am piqued to keep on watching it. But, why is it always a mole? I hope they jigged it up a bit and not have it as a crew member. Now, the King and Hopper storyline is getting intriguing. I do miss the political conspiracy bit though. Dichen Lachmann is so wasted in this show.

Note (18 Nov 2012): Sad news. ABC has cancelled the series. It was very well acted, especially by Andre Braugher. The concept may have been more suited as a mini-series on a cable network. Perhaps, they will still have a chance to try for mini-series nom. Pity. I do hope they get to end it properly.

Update: It's a pity the chances for noms for Andre Braugher and Robert Patrick just dropped. At least it frees up Dichen Lachmann who is so grossly under-utilised.

Update (19 Dec 2012): Now that the show has cancelled, I kind of lost momentum to follow it. Some of the episodes were a bit dull, but the Pakistani hijack episode was brilliant: tense and exciting. The follow-up was a slow, measured political game that quietly highlights the more insidious political turmoil churning in the background. And Singapore's Chin Han makes an appearance. Our local boy is sure going places. So far the show is going towards its endgame, and it seems to be speeding up with the looming deadline. I am now just in it too see how Shawn Ryan wraps it all up. The premise is really intriguing, but as said weeks earlier, this show is better as a mini-series, rather than a long form network series. It should had balance the island military drama with more political conspiracy. I do hope the series finale wraps it all up nicely.

Update (22 Jan 2012): After a long winter hiatus, the plots have clearly sped up for the two new episodes since this is now a limited engagement. Non essential plot lines are hastily wrapped up and the coup d'tat is pushed up forward straight to the face. Nonetheless, it is still very exciting to see them race towards the endgame. Hopefully Dichen Lachman can get a new pilot ASAP.

Series Finale: An obviously rushed job that tied up most of the loose threads. Nonetheless, the creators/producers/writers did a great job, sadly the  full potential of this series could not have been fully realised. But a good run anyways.

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