In this week’s episode of The Last Ship, Valkyrie, the Nathan James loses four crew members, more about that later, but they do manage to finally get one over on the mercenary crew of the Achilles. Last week saw Chandler’s crew painted as the bad guys and blamed for blowing up the flotilla. Ramsey and his communication system was used to put the destroyer and her crew in danger from the general public.
*Sidenote* Speaking of the mercenaries, this week’s installment may not have featured the leader of the Immunes for more than a minute, maybe two, but that was long enough for Irish actor Brian F. O’Byrne to prove that his Sean Ramsey is not only mad as a march hare, but he is delusional as well. Telling his brother Ned about his “manifesto” while mentioning, “You’re in there as well bruv,” Sean believes in his own prophecy wholeheartedly. Meanwhile his brother may be going along for the ride, but he is not a believer. Familiarity breeds contempt and since the “new world order” leader is his brother, Ned follows, but not willingly and without the zeal of the convert. He knows Sean all too well.
At the start of the episode, Lt. Green and his team are attempting to help survivors of the Ramsey brothers’ attack on the civilian flotilla. It is revealed that these people were not Immunes but normal survivors. The Immune they captured last week is on shore with them. The man continues to eye Tex’s gun and at the earliest opportunity he escapes. Unfortunately this is when the edited video transmits over the cell phones of the survivors.
The man pumps up the other response team who arrived to help the injured and they begin to fire at Green and his men. The team from the Nathan James do, however, pinpoint where the signal is coming from that allowed Ramsey to broadcast his damning video about Navy destroyer before they have to fight their way off the beach.
The president (Mark Moses) gives a stirring speech, exonerating the James and her crew. XO Slattery tapes the presidential message and Commander Chandler comes in as he finishes. President Michener tells Chandler, “I hope this gets where it needs to go.” The commander replies, “I’ll get it there or die trying.” As things turn out, he almost does.
Chandler takes Wolf-Man, Ravit, Burk, Granderson and a few others to the source of the signal, which is on an offshore oil rig. The team arrive and begin the sweep for the transmitter as well as shutting the rig’s lines down. Granderson looks but they cannot find the source or equipment which allows the antenna to transmit.
The Commander orders the everything destroyed. Once he announces this a woman comes clambering out from a vent and tries to escape. She is Valerie, aka Valkyrie (Tania Raymonde) and she is not an immune. During Sean Ramsey’s message earlier, the crew notice the logo Valkyrie and this is who it referred to. Valerie opted to help the Ramsey’s because she believed the conspiracy theories.
As she and Chandler discuss her beliefs, a civilian ship turns up and a man shoots RPG rounds at the rig. He causes severe damage, the rig begins exploding and the crew rush to turn off leaking valves. Just as the circling vessel moves in for another shot, the helicopter from the Nathan James shoots the boat and kills the threat. (Later Slattery is furious when he learns that Sean Ramsey forced them to kill innocents, in other words non-immune survivors.)
By the time the end credits roll, Chandler has been wounded (He has shrapnel behind his liver that he refuses to remove until after the Ramsey’s have been defeated.) and he has lost four of his crew. Rachel Scott saves Chandler’s life and it seems his animosity towards her from last week has dissipated somewhat.
The biggest moment of heartbreak comes with the death of super sexy and deadly Ravit Bivas; the Israeli special forces soldier that Burk was very interested in and vice versa. The only other death that came close to the emotional trauma of Ravit dying was the death of Chung, who dies after saving Lt. Granderson’s life.
While this episode had a good mix of action and just enough presence of the Ramsey brothers with their collective madness, it felt a little manufactured, or perhaps clichéd fits that little bit better. At the very least a few tropes were trotted out here for the viewer.
*Sidenote* It bears pointing out that the Ramsey brothers are essentially evil versions of Peachy and Danny from The Man Who Would Be King with Sean Ramsey as Danny. While O’Byrne is no Sean Connery (he’s the wrong nationality for a start) he does an impressive job as the man who plans to be the benevolent despot of the New World Order. Of course the two soldiers in the 1975 Huston classic were not brothers, but the resemblance is there for all to see.
It is hard not to roll one’s eyes when Valkyrie turns out to be a beautiful female genius. Sorry but the part of super smart beauty has already been filled by Rhona Mitra as Rachel Scott. It would have been preferred casting to have a normal looking guy or gal, rather than the gorgeous Raymonde as Valkyrie. Just as hackneyed is her instantaneous decision to back the “good guys.” Even though they saved her life, as Chandler admits, this was not altogether out of the goodness of his own heart.
The same can be said for the Immune captor jumping at the chance to drop the crew in the sh*t while helping the flotilla survivors and Chandler’s heartfelt “thank you” to Scott. Last week he was ready to line the good doctor up against the wall and shoot her.
Still, The Last Ship does entertain and the performances more than make up for the annoying storyline this week. Adam Baldwin did look like he was close to patriotic tears while listening to the president’s speech and it would be a cold hearted individual who did not tear up during Lt. Ravit Bivas’ death scene.
Not to be picky but the series needs more of the Ramsey’s and their mercenary crew. There may have been good bit of action in this episode but it lacked color and the Achilles with her bickering slang talking crew provide that in full.
The Last Ship airs Sundays on TNT, there are two episodes left in this season with no word of a third being approved. Hopefully the Nathan James will defeat the evil Ramsey’s before the season finale.