[WARNING – This review contains SPOILERS.]
With its ninth episode, The Last Ship is kicking into ultra high gear. Called “Paradise”, the episode’s title directly plays into one of its two major plots. And while the majority of the episode takes place at sea with the Nathan James and Captain Chandler (Eric Dane), the other half deals with the climax of the troubles in St. Louis and the new federal government.
With only four episodes to go before the season finale, The Last Ship is laying its cards on the table, showing just where the final four hours will take viewers. At the same time, there series is also setting up the plot for season 4.
After the revelation that President Peng was creating deadly gas missiles in order to prevent the cure from reaching other countries, the Nathan James finds the island where they had been constructing the bombs. After a shoot out it’s discovered the last shipment already set sale, making its way to safety. With the assistance of Takehaya (Hiroyuki Sanada), the Nathan James pursues the Chinese warship – along with two other American destroyers in the Pacific – and enters into combat with it. After radioing in their position to the government, the three ships are ambushed and only the Nathan James is able to escape.
Back in St. Louis, Kara (Marissa Neitling) discovers that the radio signal which has been disrupting communications has, in fact, been a signal from the White House. That signal has been sending information to President Peng and is revealed to have been the cause of all the James’ misfortunes from the third season.
“Paradise” concludes with Kara witnessing the assassination of a cabinet member and Andrea Garnett (Fey Masterson) taking the President hostage, revealing that the regional leaders are taking over the government. She tells the president that he can either play ball or be killed like former President Michener.
This was a spectacular episode, highlighting everything that makes The Last Ship great: thrilling action, ship-to-ship combat, and the unveiling of chilling secrets. Overall, “Paradise” is one of the best episodes of the last three seasons. It’s interesting that it seems to be laying the groundwork for a fourth season already, and that it may include a “civil war” (something I even hinted at a few reviews earlier). Season 3 of The Last Ship is shaping up to have one incredible finale.