‘Last Resort’ review: Tone-deaf at DEFCON1
By — Hank Stuever,
Thursday, Sept. 27, 8 p.m., ABC
From “The Shield” creator Shawn Ryan comes this complicated and frankly outrageous saga of a U.S. nuclear sub called the Colorado, with “Homicide: Life on the Street’s” Andre Braugher at the helm. The Colorado goes rogue when they get a surprise launch order from the brass and suspect it isn’t legit. No sooner have they defied command than Washington launches a missile at them. Meanwhile, Pakistan gets nuked three times. The crew barely escapes and surfaces at a remote island (and NATO listening outpost), where Braugher’s Capt. Marcus Chaplin issues a worldwide ultimatum, warning of a White House coup and threatening to launch his sub’s arsenal if the island is attacked.
As a demonstration, he detonates a nighttime nuke off the mid-Atlantic coast, where everyone from Washington to New York can see. (In which case I’ll take a pass on the she-crab soup for a few years, thanks.) “Last Resort” is a real stretch for those of us Cold War babies who were raised on horrifying doomsday dramas, where the prospect of one bomb launch meant instant annihilation and permanent winter.
It’s an adrenalin-doused premise that is handsomely executed, but it feels like we get to Defcon 2 way too fast. It’s as though Tom Clancy has been asked to reimagine “Lost.” Isolated in their new antihero paradise, the crew and islanders have to figure out what happens next. It already feels like the writers are also locked in an unwinnable standoff.
— Hank Stuever