The pilot episode of “The Last Ship” Season 1 Episode 1 “Phase Six” aired on Sunday, June 22, 2014, at 9:00 p.m. on TNT. The crew learned of a worldwide catastrophe that completely changes their mission. Read on to learn more about this episode.
Starring Eric Dane (“Grey’s Anatomy”) as Commander Tom Chandler, “The Last Ship” feels every bit like a summer blockbuster movie. It isn’t actually a surprise, considering the show is produced by Michael Bay (“Transformers”).
The first episode opened with Dr. Rachel Scott (Rhona Mitra) being led to a quarantined zone in Egypt, where she was told by the local doctors of the newest victims of a deadly disease spreading in the area. Dr. Scott took a blood sample but apologized to the locals, saying she had to leave without them so as not to risk the infection.
Nearby, the USS Nathan James, led by Commander Chandler, was setting up for a mission in the Artic. Dr. Scott intended to board this ship to meet with Dr. Quincy Tophet (Sam Spruell), her colleague, whose laboratory was inside the ship. Dr. Tophet explained to Commander Chandler that they were there to study birds in the Artic, so he let Dr. Scott aboard.
The story moved four months later with the USS Nathan James conducting a weapons test, while Dr. Scott and Dr. Tophet were on the ground doing their own testing.
When Chandler asked that the doctors were to prepare for home, Dr. Scott was not too pleased and, using her satellite phone, demanded to have her mission extended from the national security advisor. Immediately afterwards, Chandler received orders that they were to stay put in the Artic.
With her mission pushing forward, Dr. Scott returned to the icy ground to finish her tests. However, Russian helicopters suddenly arrived and attacked, forcing the USS Nathan James to counter attack. When Chandler asked one of the Russians they defeated as to what they wanted, the Russian answered that they were looking for the “cure” from Dr. Scott.
Chandler then confronted Dr. Scott, demanding to know what was going on. As it turned out, the outbreak in Egypt the previous months had caused a global pandemic that left 80% of the world’s population infected. Concerned agencies tried to come up with vaccines but to no avail, and it was Dr. Scott’s mission to find a strain in the Artic. She declared that she had the strain already, but she would need to get back to her lab at home so that she could work on a cure. The crew then planned to return to the United States.
Meanwhile, Chandler tried to get in touch with the president but reached the speaker of the house instead, who told him that both the president and the vice president caught the virus and died. The speaker also said that Russia and many parts of the world no longer have functioning governments. People were getting sick, and many were dying.
Chandler, along with his XO Mike Slattery (Adam Baldwin), watched more videos of the chaos that happened after the virus spread. Realizing the grave situation they were in, Chandler told the rest of his crew, and none of them were able to get in touch with anyone from their families. However, Chandler learned that his wife and daughter were still alive somehow.
Out of nowhere, a nuclear missile flew above the ship then landed in the English Channel, temporarily causing the ship’s system to shut down. With Chandler’s quick thinking, however, they brought the power back on and started doing an investigation.
The USS Nathan James found what looked like an abandoned cruise ship nearby, which Chandler thought they could board for food and supplies. With special protective gears, they also discovered that the cruise ship had lots of dead passengers, obviously infected with the virus.
While aboard the cruise ship, one of Chandler’s crewmembers accidently tripped and his protective headgear fell off, thus infecting him. He didn’t last long, and the crew held a funeral for him back at their ship.
Dr. Scott continued to work on her samples in the ship’s lab and discovered more characteristics of the virus. She told Chandler about this and also convinced him that she could do something to stabilize the virus with the vaccine she’s working on, if they could find a safe laboratory anywhere.
Chandler suggested that the doctor makes the vaccine in the ship, the safest place, since chaos existed everywhere without a functioning government. He then gave the crew their latest mission: They would stay in the sea and keep the ship the safest haven for the doctor. Chandler got the full support of his crew.
Meanwhile, someone on the ship got hold of an SAT phone and, speaking in Russian, warned the person at the other end of the line that USS Nathan James wouldn’t be coming into land after all. What was this spy planning to do next?
How action-packed was the first offering? Did it hook you enough to watch the next episode?
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Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Angela N.