The Last Ship: “SOS”
The Russians are back! But first we get a flashback to the geek-hunky Norwegian scientist being held captive in Ruskov’s ship. (He’s Norwegian, not Russian as we previously thought.) Before the virus took off, he was trying to convince his superior to test a controversial new experiment. The older professor said no way, but the younger man (whose name we still don’t know) said he’d already tried the procedure—on himself! Horrified, the older scientist storms off. Then the younger guy’s wife comes on the scene. She’s got a lot of international travel on her calendar and seems to be coming down with something. Which does not bode well.
Flash forward to Guantanamo Bay, where Ruskov announces that the ship is finally repaired. Now the question is finding Dr. Scott. The scientist says she’ll definitely be on the lookout for monkeys, probably in Central America. But he can’t narrow it down further than that.
Back on the Nathan James, things aren’t going so well with Scott’s experiments. She’s learned a disturbing detail about the virus’ extra gene: it’s human. Also, it’s made the original virus ten times more lethal and almost indestructible. Oh yeah, and she’s only got two monkeys left. Did the Norwegian guy’s freaky experiments make things better or way, way worse?
After trying to jump ship last week, Cossetti is getting a lot of cut-eye from his former pals. Turns out you can’t threaten to ditch a mission and turn everyone against their captain without suffering some awkwardness afterwards.
Speaking of awkward, Slattery confronts Greene about his relationship with Foster. Since she’s being punished, he needs to be punished too. And he needs to explain to his crew exactly why he’s being punished. “You’re a leader. Lead,” Slattery says.
In the communication room, Mason stops the radio on a familiar voice. Three weeks before, he heard a transmission from an 18-year-old Jamaican girl named Bertrise, who was on a fishing boat named the Octopus with 50 other people. A week later, it was 15. And now she’s the only one on her boat left alive. Which means she might be naturally immune to the virus.
There are mixed views on the situation. Dr. Scott needs to find her—Bertrise’s DNA could be the key to beating the virus. Slattery thinks it’s a trap. Mason just wants to reach out—Bertrise is just a kid and she’s all alone out there.
It’s Chandler’s call. Although breaking radio silence will broadcast their location (i.e. the Russians could find them), he gets on the mic and calls Bertrise, who reads out her GPS coordinates.
Of course, the Russians heard the whole transmission, and Ruskov gives the orders to scope out the situation. This is not going to be a pleasant reunion.
Before suiting up for the mission, Greene gives Cossetti a pep talk. “You gotta bring it,” he says, “Every second of every day from here on in.” Cossetti assures him he will.
The two RIBs make their way toward the fishing boat. With the Russians close at hand, the Americans board the Octopus and start searching for Bertrise.
A few sailors check out the lower deck, but all they find are dead bodies. “This does not feel right,” Slattery says. And you know what else doesn’t feel right? The Russians, who are getting awfully close. Tex wonders if it’s a set-up, but Chandler tells him to keep looking.
It pays off: while combing the upper deck, Cossetti finds Bertrise hiding under a blanket. They load her onto a RIB and take off.
It’s a full-on shootout as the Americans flee the fishing boat. Riding together on one of the RIBs, Tex and Chandler knock off a few Russians—but not before their boat takes some serious damage. The Russians may be dead, but they’re sinking. They have no choice but to jump into the water.
Back on the Russian ship, Ruskov is livid. How could his men lose the Americans in open water? Things are getting desperate on the Nathan James, as well. So desperate they pull Quincy out of captivity so he can translate the Russian transmissions. Quincy says he’ll do it—so long as they promise to kill Ruskov when it’s all over.
While one RIB makes its way back to the Nathan James, Chandler and Tex float on the open seas. They’re about 10 miles from the fishing boat and definitely closer to the Russians than the Americans. Tex urges Chandler to call for help, so the captain pulls out his transmitter. But he gives a weird order, telling his crew to cease all rescue missions.
Tex is furious. What are they supposed to do now, drown? Chandler insists he made the “proper command decision”—finding them is not worth the risk to the whole crew. He suggests they start swimming toward a reef.
Tensions flare onboard as the crew decides what to do about Chandler. Slattery wonders if his transmission was a misdirect, but Barker says they should follow orders. Meanwhile, Greene pressures Cossetti to give him more intel about where the Russians went. “Think!” he shouts. But Cossetti can’t remember anything.
Meanwhile, on the Russian ship, Ruskov plays house with Quincy’s wife and daughter, who are just as pouty as Quincy. They have good reason to be: it seems Kelly has been forced into sex slavery with Ruskov.
One of Ruskov’s men comes in and explains that Chandler gave an order to stop the rescue mission. So Ruskov says to send in the drone.
Now it’s a race to see who will find Chandler and Tex first. After spotting the drone, Slattery says to blast it out of the sky—even if that means making the ship’s location more visible. Just before the drone targets Chandler and Tex, it gets hit by an American bomb and goes kablooey. Take that, vodka sniffers!
Ever the hero, Chandler is pissed that his crew took action. It’s okay, though: the Russians didn’t get a reading on the Nathan James’ coordinates. Obviously Ruskov loses his shit when he hears this. But after some heavy bickering among his crew, Ruskov interrupts with an epiphany. Chandler’s crew will do anything to save him—meaning they’re more vulnerable than they seem.
Dr. Scott apologizes to Bertrise for putting her through so many blood tests. But Bertrise says she’s the one who’s sorry: she made things difficult for the soldiers who came to rescue her. It’s just that she heard so many stories of soldiers killing sick people, she was afraid they’d do the same to her.
Out in the open water, Tex makes a confession: he has a crush on Dr. Scott. And finally Chandler breaks his macho-hero veneer—by bursting into laughter! “Do you think she’s interested?” Tex asks. Chandler says they should get some rest.
Bertrise continues her story. Her father owned a hotel in Jamaica, and when the sickness came they turned the premises into a hospital. But after her mother died, Bertrise ran away with her father and brother, who died on the boat. Now she wants to know why she didn’t die. Once the data is processed—which only takes like 30 seconds?—Dr. Scott gives her an answer: it’s because she’s immune—to every single strain of the virus. Meaning her DNA could give the rest of the world a chance.
Slattery keeps looking—they know Chandler wouldn’t just give up. Then it hits him: the reef! Also, they just heard over the radio that the Russians are out of fuel. Who knows if it’s true—but if it is, that gives the Nathan James a major edge.
Out in the water, Tex and Chandler continue their heart to heart. Chandler says he joined the Navy to piss off his father, who was in the Army. And he also makes a confession: he is afraid. Not to die, per se, but to never see his wife and kids again.
Are you ready for more heart to hearts? This one’s between Greene and Cossetti. Greene says he knows Cossetti is playing things over and over in his head. Cossetti is ashamed—he should have been on the RIB with Chandler and Tex, except he tripped before getting on. Maybe things would have been different. Greene tells him second-guessing is just part of the job.
Quincy picks up chatter from the Russians. Ruskov is still searching the water, but he thinks the Americans have drowned. Quincy can’t hear all the words, however, because the radio keeps cutting in and out—so he can’t confirm if Ruskov thinks the Americans drowned or if he knows they drowned. Slattery starts freaking—but then reminds everybody not to trust anything they hear. Still, he agrees to send out the helicopter for one more short search.
The helicopter takes off, and spots something reflecting on the surface of the waves. The Americans dip a little lower to see what it is.
Meanwhile, in the water, Chandler and Tex see a chopper flying overhead. They’re saved! A harness is dropped, and Tex insists Chandler goes first. It turns out to be a bad move: when Chandler reaches the deck of the helicopter, he encounters a circle of Russian soldiers pointing their guns at him.
And as for the Americans in the chopper, they zoom in on their target to find nothing but shiny debris.
Stats of the Week
Number of monkeys Dr. Scott has killed: 32
Number of heart-to-hearts this episode: 3
Number of pep talks Greene gives this episode: 2
Number of dead bodies we see on the Octopus: 5-7
Number of times Cossetti has a look of total fear and/or self-hatred in his eyes: 5