Last Resort review – 1×02: ‘Blue On Blue’

Courtesy of ABC

The second episode of ABC’s biggest gamble of the fall television season gives us a glimpse of what to expect as the pilot transitions into a series. So how does the second episode fare?

Let’s bitch it out…It’s a bit of a tough call. On one hand, ‘Blue On Blue’ gives us a few nice character beats amidst the drama as the island is infiltrated by Special Forces. On of the other hand, I’m not sure how interesting the show will be if we simply watch invaders attack week after week. This week we’re two for two as the show cold-opens with an attempt to cross the perimeter by the Illinois, and then later – surprise! – the Russian military who Halo jump from the 747. It all serves to produce a couple of solid action sequences (take note, Revolution: this is how it’s done) and it’s clearly an effort to reintroduce themes of loyalty, patriotism and rah-rah Americanism from the pilot.

In that sense, ‘Blue On Blue’ works. It echoes the pilot enough that it serves as both a successful follow-up as well as a replacement in the event that people missed last week’s episode. With that said, the show remains more interested in its themes than its characters as we don’t get much more of a sense of who these people are. Oh sure, we now know that Sam (Scott Speedman) kept his imprisonment by North Koreans from his wife, Christine (Jessy Schram) and that Chaplin’s (Andre Braugher) son died two weeks ago in Afghanistan. Does that reveal anything about these people? Not yet. It’s a start, but a reveal isn’t exactly character development.

In terms of likeability, I want to like Daisy Bett’s Grace more – the actress is pleasant enough – but the way that the character is written, she waffles back and forth between capable Navy officer and a pea-brained moron (“Hey, is that guy trying to kill me? I’m just gonna trust him and hope for the best! Tra la la”). So basically…can we throw in a touch of consistency for this character? xoxo, cinephilactic

Courtesy of ABC

Other Observations:

  • I’ll admit that I’m an unapologetic Dollhouse enthusiast, but even non-Whedonites must wonder what the h*ll Dichen Lachman is doing on this show. So she’s the sage island bartender? Cause that sucks…Sure Daniel Lissing’s James King looks good without a shirt on, but babysitting/motivating that drunk all day hoping that he mans up to take out a couple of Russians? That’s can’t be anyone’s definition of a good day at work
  • Now Robert Patrick, on the other hand, is great. He spends the entire episode in a LOST bear cage and still nearly manages to get half of the group to mutiny. He’s so easy to love-to-hate
  • I’m interest to see what people think of Sophie (Camille De Pazzis) and Kylie (Autumn Reeser). Last week I said I wanted more from the female characters, and while Reeser doesn’t get much to do but land her informant, Linus (Assaf Cohen) in a coma, Sophie gets a few juicy scenes with Sam. But do we like her morally indignant attitude? So far she and fellow NATO employee, Nigel (Omid Abtahi) are woefully underdeveloped. What role are these people going to play in this island conflict?
  • I quite liked Christine’s ruse on the phone when she undercuts the government. I’m interested to see how this new plot development involving Jay Hernandez, acting as her lawyer but secretly working for the government, pans out. I can easily see Kylie and Christine teaming up at some point
  • Finally, the three videos of the three main characters is a little too on the nose. They reinforce the loss that these characters have suffered (Sam & his wife; Grace & her father, and Chaplin & his son), but paired with the rising American flag and Chaplin speech about American values a few minutes earlier nearly veers the entire ending into ‘cheese’ / obvious territory. This show will have to walk a thin line between grandstanding and uplifting. This is more of the former than the latter.

Best Lines:

  • Lissing (to Sam, re: the Special Forces): “You’re not working on a plan. What you’re working on is a just a really complicated suicide”
  • Grace (to Michael King’s Hawkes): “We’re gonna need every gun we have, so if you’re going to shoot me in the back, maybe you can wait until we’re done here.”
  • Lissing (at the bar, as Grace thanks him for saving her life): “One more for the lady with the…face”

How did the second episode fare for you? Do you have a better sense of where the series can go now? Are you more invested in any of the characters? Do you think Grace is a dumba*s for trusting Redman and Hawkes on the mission? Hit the comments below with your thoughts

Last Resort airs Thursdays at 8pm EST on ABC

About cinephilactic

cinephilactic is a university contract instructor in Film Studies. He is an avid TV watcher, particularly science-fiction, fantasy and drama series. His favourite shows currently airing on TV include The Good Wife, Breaking Bad, Justified, Hannibal, Game Of Thrones and a smattering of shows on The CW. He has a tendency to "hate-watch" particular shows and likes to think that his sarcastic voice comes through in his reviews, though sometimes he's just being bitchy

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