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Tom Chandler sails into some dangerous waters in the July 10 episode of The Last Ship, but new series regular Bridget Regan hints it’s not just because his vessel is floating in a minefield.

Chandler (Eric Dane) steps gingerly into a different sort of minefield when he reveals his feelings for Regan’s character, former Navy Intelligence officer Sasha Cooper.

“I was thrilled when I read this episode, to be honest, because Chandler’s not a man of many words,” Regan said during a recent phone interview. “He’s not the character who’s going to sit down and talk about his feelings.”

The pair reunited in New China at the beginning of the season. Their reactions to seeing each other immediately signaled they had a past connection that went well beyond Navy work. With both expressing their feelings for the other, Regan said, “their relationship, in this episode in particular, takes an interesting step forward.”

Chandler might be getting all touchy-feely because he fears for his own survival as he and the Nathan James search for a way out of this latest mess. Viewers know he’s not the kind of leader who sits back and orders his crew members to execute all the dangerous missions. A teaser for the episode shows Chandler leaving a video message that begins, “In case we don’t make it.”

Maybe Chandler left the message for Sasha before heading out to disarm the mines himself. No spoilers from Regan, but she tease something about the mines.

“They are not your regular mines,” Regan said, “so we really have our work cut out for us.”

The Nathan James isn’t just dodging the mines, but also torpedoes launched by an unknown assailant. The most likely culprit is Takehaya (Hiroyuki Sanada), the pirate holding Slattery (Adam Baldwin) and other crew members hostage. But New China President Peng Wu (Fernando Chien) might have changed his mind about helping Chandler.

“Minefield,” written by Navy veteran Mark Malone, airs at 8 p.m. CT Sunday on TNT. According to Regan, it’s a must-see episode.

“Eric told me that it was the best episode that ‘The Last Ship’ has produced, ever,” Regan said.  “It’s a really high stakes, intense episode.”

I’ll have more later from my chat with Regan.

More: The Last Ship Season 3 review
More: Bridget Regan’s life lessons from acting
Last Ship

Chandler (Eric Dane) and Cooper (Bridget Regan) have a past in “The Last Ship.” (Doug Hyun/TNT)