'Last Resort' Review: An Edge of Your Seat Thrill Ride


What defines honor? That lies at the heart of ABC’s new drama, Last Resort, one of the strongest pilots I have seen in years.

Make no mistake: this pilot is an adrenaline-filled, edge of your seat thrill ride that will leave you breathless.  But at its heart, it is also a morality play.  Is honor defined by your country, or within yourself? And who decides right from wrong? 

Without giving away spoilers from Thursday’s premiere, Last Resort tells the tale of the most sophisticated US nuclear submarine ever built, The Colorado. Its crew receives questionable orders to bomb Pakistan and kill potentially millions of people. When the ship’s Captain, Marcus Chaplin (brilliantly played by Emmy-winning Andre Braugher), refuses the orders without confirmation, they are fired upon by a fellow American sub.  

It would seem The Colorado was being used to create a war, with no regard for the 150 souls on board. With no choice but to go rogue, the Captain and his crew take over a NATO early warning system island, inhabited by a drug lord, local citizens, and a  couple of NATO personnel.

The pilot is, quite simply, amazing. It feels like a big-budget action adventure movie and the tension builds with each scene. And the last five minutes will, quite literally, send chills down your spine Moreover, the acting is first-rate, across the board.  Scott Speedman (Felicity)  excels as the sub’s XO Sam Kendal, and there is a very strong (and large) supporting cast including Robert Patrick (Terminator 2), Daisy Betts, and Daniel Lissing. 

But the standout is Andre Braugher . He is nothing short of mesmerizing as Captain Chaplin.  Is he crazy? A true patriot? A little of both?  Time will tell, I suppose, and in Braugher’s more-than-capable hands, I suspect we will discover a truly three-dimensional character in Marcus Chaplin.

And again, the pilot hints at very complex morality issues for each character to grapple with, in addition to the white-knuckle adventure,  political shenanigans, women in the military issues, etc.  Plus, there is bound to be some romance in the mix, too, so this show may actually have something for every viewer.

Last Resort premieres this Thursday at 8 pm on ABC. It’s not an ideal time slot and it’s facing some pretty stiff competition from The Big Bang Theory and the X Factor, so I can only hope this show finds an audience.

Please check it out!

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