Last Resort, Season 1, Episode 12: “The Pointy End of the Spear”
Written by Ron Fitzgerald
Directed by Paris Barclay
Airs Thursdays at 8pm (ET) on ABC
It’s always difficult watching the abrupt final episodes of a show with big ideas, such as Last Resort. Too often, such episodes end up becoming unwitting eulogies for what the show could have been, the storylines it could have explored, and every so often, they end with a cliffhanger crucial to the story that will never get resolved. Show co-creator Shawn Ryan, however, has had some experience in working with superb shows that only last one season, and has been involved in shows such as Terriers and Chicago Code, which managed to have very satisfactory endings that resolved some ideas, yet left the door open for future development. Thus, Last Resort can go in one of two directions in its final two episodes, and this week, the writers choose to focus on the dual coup storylines, and prove in the process that they’re not done taking the overall story to unexpected places just yet.
It was very interesting to see the differences in how Kylie Sinclair and Marcus Chaplin dealt with the respective revolutions they were involved in. Kylie has unfortunately seen herself relegated to the background since Christine’s abduction, but her involvement in the revolution has managed to bring her back to the forefront, and the show has benefitted from it. With the US coup now pretty much over, it will be interesting to see if Kylie chooses to take matters into her own hands. Despite her fear, Kylie has always been an individual who barrels forward, from confronting Admiral Shepard to successfully getting Hopper to give up the flash drive, and she is now in a very unique position, as she is possibly the only coup participant who manages to get away clean this episode, in large part due to her father pulling strings, and if and how she chooses to use her position will be key to how things progress in Washington from here on out.
The way Chaplin dealt with his coup, in contrast with how the US President (and presumably Curry) dealt with theirs, was also fascinating to watch. It is perfectly in keeping with Chaplin’s character that he was aware of the coup, but it’s also unexpected that he didn’t take any action against it outside of talking to Kendal and Prosser. There are a lot of cards Chaplin still has left to play, despite the failed coup that would have opened up an opportunity for him to take the USS Colorado home. The biggest of those cards, of course, is the Chinese support he currently has, and how they come into play is something worth watching, particularly as they have yet to receive any gain from their agreement with Chaplin, despite already delivering supplies, which means they will not let control of the USS Colorado slip away so easily. King also remains a wild card, particularly with the list Kendal gave him, as does Grace, who is clearly very capable at this point of taking control of the sub if necessary. The island coup is just beginning, and neither side has the level of power the US President displayed in demolishing the coup attempt, meaning that victory will not come easy for either side, and with all the variables still in play, things could go either way.
Overall, this was another wonderful episode, leading to further regret that this show will be departing soon. The choice to focus on two key storylines was a smart one, as it allowed for major forward momentum on those fronts, enough to lead to a satisfactory conclusion next week without feeling rushed. The underdevelopment of Tani will forever remain one of the show’s weak points, as she had the potential to provide the perspective of an Islander without a vested interest in whether the sub stays or goes, unlike Serrat, but she never really moved beyond James King’s love interest in any concrete manner. James and Grace’s alliance, which has steadily built itself up over the season, starting with the two of them working to defuse the bomb Serrat strapped to a sub crew member, and continuing through events such as reducing the torpedo payload, has been fascinating to watch, and there’s a strong feeling that team will make an impact before it’s all over. How the chips fall in the final fight between Chaplin and Prosser, what actions Kylie takes to try to expose the conspiracy, and how all these event affect Christine’s captivity, as well as how the show ultimately wraps up, are all points worth looking out for, and tuning in for next week.
– Deepayan Sengupta