‘The Last Ship’ 1.02 Recap: “Balls… We Need the Balls”

For those of you who thought last week’s premiere of ‘The Last Ship’ was a little slow, boy are you in for a treat! The second episode was cut together by action movie trailer editors on crack.

In, like, the first four minutes we learn: The crew of the Nathan James is doing SWAT training (machine guns!) for their ground assault on a prison full of (probably dead) prisoners; Master Chief is still a badass; stereotype check-box Uhura is also tough; Military German Shepherds get to just lie around wherever and with whomever in crisis situations; we see how foreshadowing works when the Lovely Scientist describes the disease’s symptoms; this post-apocalyptic shit sure does strain relationships; and, during memorials it’s expected that you bring an iPhone pic of your presumed-dead loved one. Oh, and bring some light sticks, because we don’t do memorial candles anymore.

The pacing continues this way through almost the entirety of the episode. Whew!

The crew’s plan is to sail on down to, and then blast their way into, Guantanamo Bay. The mission? America gets to blow the crap out of some evil terrorists. I mean, get some food, fuel and hospital supplies. (Why is there a hospital, stocked like the Mayo Clinic, at this prison?) They split into two teams. Team One: super deadly virus-proof hazmat suit-wearing dudes to infiltrate the hospital. And Team Two: Team America.

When Team One gets to the Mayo Clinic, they put on their masks and start an ominous countdown timer. Only 60 minutes of air. I hope no one cuts it close!

Team Two gets to the action scene where apparently one guy – and his tactical beard – has managed to keep the terrorists at bay for four months. However, now that the U.S. Navy has showed up, RPG toting baddies are everywhere! Lots of terrorists get shot (machine guns!), a couple of Team Two get injured, Sexy Scientist Lady demands to go to the beach and save the wounded. And, finally, the terrorists capture the new character. What should we do? Prepare the 5-inch! In a very silly – and awesome – scene, the Nathan James fires a Volkswagen into a warehouse where the captain and the terrorists are negotiating. BOOM! The good guys win!

Meanwhile, back on the ship, Bad Guy Hiding in Plain Sight is trying to sabotage the ship, sort of. He loiters around a lever that was seemingly built with the sole purpose of flooding the ship with poisonous gas, when he gets caught looking suspicious. This is the character’s only move forward from the surprise reveal at the end of the first episode. Well, that and it gave me an idea for a drinking game. I was pretty sure Shifty Eye Science Guy was a spy from the get-go. Why? All he ever did, in EVERY single shot of him, was look around like Snidely Whiplash. This episode is even worse. Wanna get completely trashed? Play the Russian Spy drinking game! I counted at least eight shots of this character doing NOTHING but googly-eyeing around in a shady fashion.

Ok, everyone is safely back on the ship and all stocked up for the next couple of episodes, when SUDDENLY another ship radios the good guy ship. It’s British! They have Guinness and we have smarmy British jokes! Then, EVEN MORE SUDDENLY, a ship comes within binocular distance. So, is that the ship with the Brits? Is that another ship? Should the show now be called ‘The Last Three Ships’? Who the hell is running the radar?

It’s the Russians! Bummer, I thought we’d get to fight some OTHER danger to American society next week, like the Chinese or Women’s Rights or fluoride in the water. Oh well, I’m not worried. As we learned from the premiere, the Russians are TERRIBLE shots and the Nathan James’ shields are impervious to Russian missiles. Piece of cake.


  1. This episode was SOOOO ridiculously cheesy. I swear, when the faceless evil Arabs were running around shooting at everything, I could hear them yell, “Derka derka derka, Mohammed Jihad! Derka derka!!”

    And that last scene: “One thing hasn’t changed. America doesn’t negotiate with terrorists.” D’oh! I guess this episode was written a few months ago. Bad timing, that is.

  2. A little off topic, but did you guys watch Fargo? It would have been a perfect show for your weekly recaps! I was pleasantly surprised by how well written and crazy the show was.

  3. Leo

    This review is actual gold. I am enjoying how truly awful this show is, and you have managed to capture that perfectly. Bookmarked.

  4. Scott H

    I believe in the end, the scientists will be incapacitated and it will be up to the Lassie trained German Shepard to concoct the antidote and save the day.

  5. Robin

    Loved this episode. Sure, it’s not Emmy material but a bag of Dorito’s never goes for lack of eating in our home, either. If I want “health food TV”, I’ll watch HBO or PBS. Love the action, the sockpuppet characters, the big guns…reminds me of TV shows from the 60’s where they were just pure entertainment. And unlike The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, I think I can trust that MOST of the truly main characters will survive until the end. Yeah!

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