3 Big Questions…
That lead to more questions.
Last Week’s (and earlier) Questions Answered
Any news on the battleship? Chandler thinks he hears the battleship, but no one else could find it. Some believe the battleship may be a figment of Chandler’s imagination, but I don’t. Although there’s no logic in it, I bet we get to see it next week.
Danny coming home? He earnestly -wants- to before he heads off for what he called his final mission. Does that mean he won’t fight with the full invasion force? I doubt that.
Tavo’s beef with US (or Admiral Chandler)? Unless we get some kind of flashback or weird exposition next episode, I think I’ll have to retire this question. His reliance on the tarot cards, from this critic’s point of view, makes him somewhere between irrational and crazy. That may have to be enough for this season’s one-dimensional big-bad.
Who’s in charge of the military? Admirals Chandler and Slattery, with General DuFine and newcomer Col. Zotti appear to be making up the plan for invasion while en route to said invasion. The army is busy holding the line with the Mexican army anyway, so who cares who’s in charge of them I guess.
Does the James have to win alone? No, she doesn’t. Anybody else’s heart do a little happy-dance when you saw the Michener following in the James’ wake? It’s not that I -didn’t- want the James to go it alone. I was happy that the Navy had given Tavo the finger and gotten another ship back out at sea.
This Week’s Questions
Who leads Tavos’s military without any generals?
Yes, I know there’s an easy answer. He just promotes the next bunch of lower ranking generals and colonels up a notch and bang! He has a new military command structure.
I’m not so sure it would be that easy in reality.
(Before I get any responses that, “this is just TV,” I’d like to point out that – I already know that. I have not, in fact, lost track of whether the things I see in the TV are real or not. However, I find that it’s a lot more fun to discuss TV shows as if they were real though, especially when, with the exception of a worldwide plague, the show pretty much tries to represent how that kind of story could play out in reality.)
Ahem. Anyway. The constitution of his military has always resembled something more like organized militant squatters that had overrun the legitimate militaries of their host nations thanks to the plague thinning their ranks. Then you have the fact that Tavo kills people. Lots of them. He even kills people loyal to him. I say that to mean that if an ordinary, thinking person got caught up in the Gran Colombia movement and found themselves on the next escalator step to the top of Tavo’s funhouse, that person might just bounce. (Bounce means run away with haste for Gen Xers and older.) Not all of them would, sure. But word on the fate of the previous batch of generals would surely trickle down. It’s not like Tavo’s giant version of Mini-me does both the killing AND the clean up. I’m proposing that this would leave him with a half-bare cupboard of ambitious cut-throats and dull-witted seat-warmers.
So, Tavo, his wife, and the mystic art of Tarot will probably run the show for one more episode. Since there IS only one more episode of THE LAST SHIP, an American-made show, produced with the full cooperation of the United States Navy, I bet it goes fatally bad for them.
Why was Burk on that mission?
I know a lot of Navy people will read this, so this question is for you. They never spelled it out, but in the previous episodes, Burk looked and acted a lot like Kara’s XO on Nathan James. In this episode, the command structure looks a little top-heavy with all the admirals and generals, but I don’t think any of those men or women would replace the ship’s XO or make him redundant. So, if that’s true, Burk belonged on the bridge, right?
This is the kind of stuff that makes this show feel more like Star Trek than it probably should. How many times did Riker get into a LOT of trouble on an away mission? Well, in this show, Burk gets sent on not just an away mission, but a pretty dangerous looking recon mission, which inspires another question specifically for Navy readers: Isn’t that the kind of thing SEALs are for? Or is it routine for the XO of an Arleigh Burke destroyer to go floating around in the dark and commandeering enemy Coast Guard vessels in two-man teams?
If all of my non-military career, yet military TV show inspired suppositions are anywhere near correct, then I’m afraid the writers placed Burk there specifically to die. For drama. To eff-up Danny for having to kill a kid not much bigger than his own son. But, maybe the Navy readers can straighten me out on that.
Will Chandler’s PTSD / battleship / white whale situation ultimately make a difference in how things go in the final episode?
It’s got to, right? This episode showed the first real disruption to Chandler’s competence on the job. The business with the charts and then again with “hearing” the battleship forced Chandler’s fellow officers to exchange a few secretive, “WTF?” looks. That means this is going somewhere, right?
We have three options as I see it:
- They add up to nothing. Total red herring and the least dramatic option. The writers HAVE gone this direction in the past.
- He suffers another episode or two, but powers through and does his job. The way this season has gone, this feels like a very likely, if improbable (an possibly insensitive to actual sufferers of PTSD) course of action.
- He suffers another episode and can’t get through it without the help of his crew. Although we’ve seen Chandler accomplish a lot, “The Last Ship” is not called “Chandler’s Boat”. It’s about the James and her crew. Without this crew, Chandler couldn’t have been as great as he’s been over five seasons. It’s only fitting that Chandler will need them one more time in order to get back home.
Why make a big deal out of this point? Because the show has! It’s got to be a -really- important plot point next week, right?
BONUS QUESTION: Does the Nathan James sink next episode?
I only ask because we all heard Slattery during the preview say she was going down. I mean, that’s a trick, right? But they did show a LOT of explosions, plus actual footage of the battleship finally… Ugh.
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