Last Resort, Ep 1.08: “Big Chicken Dinner” forces Chaplin to choose between necessity and justice

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Last Resort, Season 1, Episode 8: “Big Chicken Dinner”
Written by Julie Siege
Directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton
Airs Thursdays at 8pm (ET) on ABC

The adverse effects that Chaplin’s sudden separation from the US government has had on the crew of the USS Colorado is not an avenue the writers have been afraid to go down. As the conflict and siege draws on, and the conflict between the islanders and the crew keeps reaching new heights, there were bound to be people affected as a result who may otherwise not have been. While we have seen how people closest to the conflict, such as Kendal and Prosser, have had to alter their expectations as time goes on, how the secondary crew members have been affected by the delay in getting back, especially since they aren’t privy to all the information that someone like Chaplin has, is something the show took a look at this week, delivering another gripping episode that showed us some new sides to some old characters.

This episode was an excellent showcase for Daisy Betts, and did much for building the character of Grace Shepard. The backstory the episode provides on her time at the Academy gives the audience a genuine understanding of what shapes her, and why she takes her rank and position of authority so seriously. Her story also adds a new light to her interactions with Prosser and the crew, both past and future. The flashbacks were very effectively done, with the final twist making perfect sense as to why only Grace was able to so visualise what had happened between Anders and the Islander, and not contradicting anything we’ve learned so far. It will be interesting to see how her interactions with Chaplin changes, now that this piece of her history has come to light, and credit must be given to the show for dealing with the overall rape storyline in a subdued and respectful manner, something many other shows have failed to do in the past.

The storyline between Kendal and Booth this episode was also fascinating to watch. In different circumstances, it’s believable that Kendal and Booth, or John as he said his real name was this episode, would have become good friends, and both had a lot in common, as this episode explored. Booth’s inability to rattle Kendal’s belief about Chaplin speaks volumes about both Kendal as an individual, and his connection to Chaplin, and it will be interesting to see how the death of Booth affects Kendal’s actions going forward. There is bound to be some conflict between Kendal and Chaplin once the former determines that Cortez, who Chaplin obviously still trusts, is the sleeper agent, and seeing Paul Wells on the boat with Christine Kendal is bound to weigh on him as well. Sam is up for a rough time in the next few days, and Anders has already set a dangerous precedent, both for how unstable the crew can become, and the fact that Chaplin doesn’t consider anyone important enough to be above authority if necessary.

Overall, this was another fantastic episode. It was great to see some focus on Grace Shepard, as well as on some Islanders other than Serrat and Tani. Tani’s father makes a clear stand this episode with regards to his thoughts about the USS Colorado’s continued stay on the Island, and it will be interesting to see whether he actively aligns himself with Serrat or not. How King and Hopper react to the death of Booth, especially since they did not get a chance to question him themselves, is also something worth looking out for. It was a shame that the effects of Serrat’s actions against Prosser at the end of the last episode were not revisited this week, but the writers have proven that they are able to keep up with storylines, which indicates that this will also be picked up in a future episode. Chaplin’s actions with regards to Anders was very telling this week, and how his abandonment of Anders, despite the latter’s admittance to his crime, weighs on the crew, some of whom will no doubt feel that Chaplin has betrayed Anders, is something to look out for. All of this, as well as how the crew reacts to having their ranks thinned, makes next week’s episode one to definitely look out for.

Deepayan Sengupta

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