ABC’s “Last Resort” (8 p.m., Thursday) is another of those risky, high-concept shows. If it’s good, viewers wonder if it will able to stay fresh, and if the high production values of the pilot will continue past week one. If it’s bad, viewers wonder if it will get better, since these types of shows, if done well, usually do. (Unless it follows the opposite trajectory, going from good to bad.) If it’s great, however, viewers usually don’t worry so much…. though even the great ones, like “Lost,” stumble once in a while.
So which category does “Last Resort” fall into? It’s good, with the potential to be great.
In the premiere, the crew of the nuclear submarine USS Colorado get an order to blow up Pakistan. Because the order comes in on a back-channel, Capt. Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher) and his second-in command, Sam Kendal (Scott Speedman), question it. (Chaplin barks: “I’m not going to annihilate 4.3 million Pakistanis without hearing directly from someone’s authority I recognize.”) Shortly after, the sub is targeted … not by the Pakistanis, but by the U.S.
After the attack, the sub and its crew head to a tropical island. (Loved the image of the sub surfacing among all those tiny fishing boats.) Once on the island, the captain and his crew (and some Navy SEALs along for the ride) make allies and enemies – both among the locals and their former shipmates.
I won’t get too much more into the plot, since I recommend watching the pilot yourself before the next episode airs. But some of the other characters who figure prominently in the first episode: Lieut. Grace Shepard (Daisy Betts), an admiral’s daughter struggling for respect; Kylie Sinclair (Autumn Reeser), an enthusiastic arms manufacturer for the Pentagon; and Master Chief Joseph Prosser (Robert Patrick).