Early in the Season 3 premiere of The Last Ship, gunmen raid a Vietnamese nightclub. Crew members of the Navy destroyer U.S.S. Nathan James return their gunfire. Bystanders are killed.
TNT didn’t broadcast the two-hour premiere on June 12—most likely because airing that nightclub scene would have been insensitive just hours after the horrible mass shooting in an Orlando club that claimed the lives of 49 people and injured at least 53 others.
A week later, the nightclub attack won’t be any easier to watch, but those who haven’t seen “The Last Ship” previously shouldn’t think the show wrestles with deeper stories than it does.
It’s an action-adventure series, pure and simple, and a highly entertaining one at that. “The Last Ship” returns at 8 p.m. CT June 19.
Over two seasons, Captain Tom Chandler (Eric Dane) and the crew of the Nathan James fought to deliver to the U.S. a cure for a global pandemic that nearly destroyed the world’s population. And they blew up a lot of stuff to make it happen.
“The Last Ship” is a throwback to simpler times. There is no “anti” in its heroes and its villains are neither conflicted nor complex. The lines between good and evil are clearly drawn.
The big bad of the new season is Chinese President Peng (Fernando Chien), whom the newly restored, St. Louis-based U.S. government believes is hoarding the cure instead of distributing it to other Asian countries. U.S. President Michener (Mark Moses) sends Chandler to a global summit to investigate.
Chandler is reunited with an old acquaintance, Sasha Cooper (Bridget Regan), a former Navy Intelligence officer now acting as a diplomat in New China. As some of Chandler’s old crew are taken hostage from the Vietnamese club, he and Cooper become targets of the Chinese. And the new adventure begins.
Based on William Brinkley’s novel, “The Last Ship” still suffers from occasionally clunky dialogue and some overly earnest acting. But you can’t underestimate the appeal of high-octane action and the predictability that eventually good will overcome evil.
And at a time when viewers are bombarded by social media vitriol about everything from terrorism to parenting (around alligators and gorillas) to a political system that’s become disappointingly childish and divisive, “The Last Ship” is a welcome distraction.