ABC’s military drama “Last Resort” premiered with a bang in the fall, failed to gain almost any audience and was canceled by the network and then went out with another bang on Thursday (Jan. 24) in its series finale.
“Last Resort” was supposed to be one of the best new dramas of the fall season and it honestly was, but it never found a following, mostly because it aired on ABC, which is notorious (and ridiculously so, if I must say) as a mostly female leaning network when it comes to dramas.
“Last Resort” was among the most promising dramas on television because there really aren’t many serials on television at the moment like it, a military/conspiracy type show that featured both nonstop action and intrigue. The supremely talented cast, led by Emmy Award winning actor Andre Braugher certainly didn’t hurt it either.
“Last Resort” may not have been a show that could’ve sustained enough interesting storylines to last three or more seasons, but it damn sure was good enough and should’ve garnered an audience strong enough to last longer than its half-season, 13-episode run.
ABC canceled the series after the showrunners had already written its thirteenth episode, which left them with two options: air the episode as is without a proper sendoff or try to re-write portions of the episode. Thankfully, the episode was partially re-written to give the show at least somewhat of a real sendoff.
This resulted in an episode that while mostly pleasing seemed to be cobbled together on the fly with a tacked on series ending.
Basically the questions that were on everybody’s mind (Will they return home? What will happen to the submarine? What will come of Capt. Marcus Chaplin [Braugher]?) are all wrapped up in the finale’s final 10-minute or so segment.
This final scene featured both the good and the bad of what happens when showrunners and writers are forced to wrap up an entire series in such a short span of time. The bad comes when Kylie (Autumn Reeser, who was never one of the strongest characters on the show) assassinates the President, effectively allowing the survivors of the USS Colorado to return home. This was one of those, “was that really necessary?” type scenes that while I know was an effective way of ending a storyline just doesn’t really sit right with me. The best of the rapid wrap-up was Chaplin’s decision to go down with his ship, like every great captain does, by remaining on the hobbled sub that he beached to keep mutineers from using the sub and its nukes for harm. It might have been nice to see Chaplin return home with the remainder of his crew, but was there really anything for him to return to? He certainly would’ve been viewed a hero, but that’s not what he was in this whole shebang for.
“Last Resort” featured nice performances from Braugher, Scott Speedman (as Executive Officer Sam Kendal), Daisy Betts (as Lt. Grace Shepard), Robert Patrick (as the COB Joseph Prosser) and Daniel Lissing (as Navy Seal James King) throughout its short run. The series will go down in television history as one that really could’ve been something, if only given the proper chance.
“Last Resort” aired locally on KATV (Conway Corp. Channel 7).