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Imperial, MO
reply to Snakeoil

From ESPN's TMQ (with spoilers)

"Last Resort" Even Had a Scene Where a Dropped Wrench Gives Away a Submarine's Position: The submarine conspiracy show "Last Resort" just sounded the diving horn for the final time. Viewers never found out why the sinister United States president wanted to fake evidence of nuclear terrorism in Pakistan; why most of the military went along with an obviously crazy plan to stage a nuclear first strike on Pakistan, then immediately destroy the American submarine that launched the missiles; why the order to launch came through a 50-year-old Cold War backup system, which is what alerted the noble captain of the missile submarine Colorado that something wasn't right. What was the point? Viewers never learned. At least the evil president got it between the eyes just before the credits roll.

As previous items noted, many episodes featured the Colorado acting like a World War II submarine, not a modern boat. The series finale included lots of gunfire inside a submarine, yet no one's ears ring. Seconds after automatic weapons blast away in a submarine corridor, the characters converse normally. Why there were so many small arms in the first place was puzzling: Does a United States strategic missile submarine really carry infantry weapons and "battle rattle" for every member of the crew? The final fight to oust the mutineers turned on a fuse ignited by a crew chief's Zippo. I don't think I want to be aboard a submarine on which crewmembers have cigarette lighters.

At one point the Burke-class destroyer Patrick Lawrence, under orders from the White House conspiracy, confronts the Colorado. Why is a U.S. navy vessel named after a 19th century British general? The destroyer's captain acts as if he is sailing to certain doom: Viewers are told the Colorado can easily sink the destroyer while being invulnerable to the surface ship. But the Colorado is a strategic missile submarine, engineered to hide, not to fight other ships: Attack submarines are the ones that fight other ships. And modern destroyers are mainly submarine hunters! Burke-class vessels carry antisubmarine rockets and a helicopter specialized for long-range antisubmarine warfare. If a USN strategic missile submarine and a USN destroyer located each other with intent to fight, chips might go on the destroyer.

Plot holes were numerous. Once the Colorado parked off an island in French Polynesia and declared the island sovereign, why did the crew leave the boat, live ashore and interact with the islanders? This would be certain to cause trouble -- indeed, about half the material of the series was friction between crew and natives. The Colorado is said to be Ohio-class, a series designed to stay submerged up to three months. Even if the Colorado needed to surface by the island to take on supplies, the captain could have maintained discipline by having the crew live onboard. Instead there is drinking, fighting and conspiring ashore. A crewman rapes an island woman, then the captain (extremely implausibly) punishes him to banishment in the jungle. You didn't need to belong to the scriptwriters' guild to know that guy would show up later with a gun.

The male crew members on "Last Resort" were GQ handsome, the female characters were lookers: it's television. When the mega-babe lieutenant stripped off her fatigues for a love scene, she was wearing a black lace bedroom bra. Do women serving aboard submarines really pack lingerie from the Victoria's Secret catalog?

Audiences learn that a CIA officer of uncertain loyalty is embedded with the submarine's crew. She communicates with someone in Washington -- the conspiracy or loyalists? -- using satellite uplink equipment hidden in the jungle. But the CIA had no idea the Colorado was going to sail to a tiny French Polynesian island, why would it have pre-positioned a covert radio installation there?

The MacGuffin of the final episodes was a flash drive that contained evidence the president is a traitor. The flash drive changes hands several times with drastic consequences -- because no one makes a copy. In the finale, control of the ship is seized by bad guys. Then, the good guys retake command, overriding the bridge, by punching a few buttons in what appears to be a broom closet. Just like on all "Star Trek" shows!

At the conclusion, the noble captain beaches the Colorado, then Navy fighters blow her up to prevent the ship from falling into Chinese hands. Blowing up a submarine with 288 hydrogen bombs aboard should not cause a nuclear explosion -- such warheads are elaborately trigger-locked. But highly radioactive material might be spread into the air. As the Colorado explodes, characters look on, unconcerned.

There was one nice touch of realism at the end of a mainly nonsensical show. In the penultimate episode, loyal officers and politicians plan a coup to remove the traitor from the White House. One says in passing they must arrest both the president and vice president, then place the Speaker of the House in power.

This reference isn't explained, and what happens next is a preposterous scene in which the Speaker of the House commits suicide on national television seconds after learning the evil president has foiled the coup. But the reference is correct.

(Camouflage fatigues onboard submarines, not blue coveralls, was the least of "Last Resort" plot holes.)

The 25th Amendment contains a clause saying the president may be removed from office if physically or psychologically incapacitated on the condition the vice president and a majority of the cabinet agree to the removal. If the vice president was part of the evil president's never-explained conspiracy, the 25th Amendment wouldn't work, because the vice president could veto a peaceful, legal transition of power. That would leave a coup as the only option. "Last Resort" got that detail right.
Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty - Ronald Reagan

Ignore Button. The coward's feature.
Mentor, OH
*shrugs* Sure it had factual errors that you could drive an oil tanker through at high speed.
But then again what show on TV doesn't have factual errors?

If the writing had been better, and they had a whole season to fill out the plot, then the story may have made more sense.
But I think I read that they had filmed episode 9 when they learned the show was canceled, so they were determined to wrap it up, during the last 4 episodes.

At least they didn't have a guy placing a coffee cup on a string and tying it across the width of the sub to show the effects of compression depth.
Though I am curious about that. Do the new subs compress the way the old WW2 subs used to when they hit the bottom end of their operation depth?

About the only reason why I liked the series was because it wasn't a reality show, or a forensic procedure show, or a cop procedural show.
Is a person a failure for doing nothing? Or is he a failure for trying, and not succeeding at what he is attempting to do? What did you fail at today?.

Elwood Blues
Somewhere in
reply to darcilicious

Re: Last Resort

Pushing 22 episodes you're right, give it 12 or 13/ season, that's a different story.

Space Elf
Mullica Hill, NJ

1 recommendation

reply to Blogger
The gaps between episodes is one of the things that killed Firefly. Networks seem to enjoy starting up shows and then stranding people mid way through. You just cannot do that with a serial. Doctor Who can do it because while each series/season has an ongoing plot, you can still watch an episode on its own.
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports

Elwood Blues
Somewhere in
said by Kearnstd:

The gaps between episodes is one of the things that killed Firefly. Networks seem to enjoy starting up shows and then stranding people mid way through. You just cannot do that with a serial. Doctor Who can do it because while each series/season has an ongoing plot, you can still watch an episode on its own.

It started with Lost, one of their first modern prime time serials. They came back from the Christmas break and started airing random shows... well that just doesn't work in a serial,thus the long breaks between shows now.

They're like the Maffiaaa, they are stuck with one business model and can't seem to break out of it. The 22 episode season is dead..
No, I didn't. Honest... I ran out of gas. I... I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake.......