Despite being based on a really awful book, I enjoyed the first season of The Last Ship. It was post-apocalyptic, but had an air of hope for the future that was a welcome change from a lot of dark and disgusting shows I’ve seen recently. The second season, while decent, lost a lot of what I thought was good in the first, and by the time it got to this year… well, I’ll let you read on and find out.
Following the death of Dr. Scott, the world continues to turn, but all is not right in the new America. The cure has been spread far and wide, but not everyone thinks that the disease should be cured. In Asia, the president of China tries to wipe out Japan by tampering with their doses of the cure and when the Nathan James goes to investigate, they get caught in the middle of a war. Meanwhile, back home, a coup of the American government is quietly underway and only Chandler and the crew of the Nathan James can stop it.
The only thing that made this show worth watching was the plague. Now that the plague is gone, so is any real reason to tune in. This is really just a modern-day military drama with some sci-fi elements and I found myself rapidly losing interest. This was especially the case when it came to the political melodrama. I was never invested in any of it, I didn’t care who was President, I didn’t care how they split up the country, I just didn’t care. I never particularly liked Michener as President and when he was replaced by Oliver, I didn’t care then either. This has never been about political intrigue for me, it was about survival and now that the show isn’t about the plague anymore, what’s the point of tuning in?
This is especially true because, after Chandler left the Nathan James and went to take a cabinet seat, I was hoping that he wouldn’t jump back into the saddle every five minutes, kicking Slattery out of his captian’s chair, but that’s exactly what happened all season. It was the Captain Kirk syndrome. When Kirk was promoted to admiral, he shouldn’t ever be in command of a ship again, but they made excuse after excuse after excuse for him to take center seat. If you never allow your characters to grow, how can your show evolve?
At the end of the season, Chandler left the Nathan James for “the last time”. Sure, tell me another one. And they already got a fourth season so I guess we’ll have to find out what shenanigans they have to pull to get him back aboard. After all, that’s what the show is all about. But the show has really moved beyond “the last ship” and its crew, hasn’t it? It lost focus on what made it so good to begin with, turning into something that really isn’t that interesting. Either they need to get back to their core of they need to give up. I know that if they don’t, I’ll be dropping this thing like a hot potato next season.