The Last Ship Shanzhai Review. The Last Ship: Season 3, Episode 3: Shanzhai gave audiences a chance to learn more about the man responsible for kidnapping Mike Slattery (Adam Baldwin) and his crew while also seeing Tom Chandler (Eric Dane) returning to his role as captain of the Nathan James. The episode went deep into the enemy’s mind and where he’s coming from, making viewers feel a little sympathetic towards his cause even though his morals can be extreme. Back home, President Michener (Mark Moses) tries to hold down the fort, but even he can’t avoid what the Americans are hearing about potentially going to war with China.
It’s great that the show was able to show us a bit more about the motives of Takehaya (Hiroyuki Sanada), a former Japanese captain turned pirate who kidnaps the Nathan James crew in order to harvest their blood. Apparently China’s President Peng Wu (Fernando Chien) has been withholding the cure from their allies, causing Takehaya to take matters into his own hands by luring the Nathan James crew to his island and harvest their blood for the cure. Now it’s Mike Slattery and the crew trying to fight for their lives, so they can only rely on their training to help them. They are smart enough to locate where exactly they might be through some quick thinking and whatever their surroundings might be.
Tom also finds out about what Takehaya is up to and gets permission from President Michener to lead his group on a rescue mission to save Mike and his crew, who are now prisoners of war. Even though Tom is willing to sacrifice his life for the crew, it’s also clear why the pirates took action and want to handle the cure themselves. President Peng hasn’t been completely honest about his activities and is only looking out for himself. It has caused President Michener to keep the country’s relationship with China secret in order to protect the public.
Even though we don’t know much on what the pirates are planning to do with Mike and the crew, their tactics and keeping themselves out of the public’s eye is the major conflict for our heroes as we go into this third season. Despite their ultimatums being justified, it still doesn’t excuse them from the physical and psychological torture that they’ve done to the US Navy crew.
The episode also dug deep into Jessie (Dichen Lachman) as a character. She tends to ignore orders from authorities in order to save herself, but in the end, she does the right thing in helping out Tom and the team. She is still mad at Sasha (Bridget Regan) for what went down between them, but hopefully they will patch things up when they start working together. It will take some time for them since Jessie still holds a grudge against Sasha for not saving her brother and friends when she was a Naval Intelligence Officer so we basically understand why Jesse doesn’t trust the American government. After a good pep talk from Naval Officer Alisha Granderson (Christina Elmore), Jessie reluctantly agrees to help the Captain out of a tight spot.
The fight choreography between Wolf Taylor (Bren Foster) and the Asian forces was a spectacle to watch. It definitely showed how much the show has evolved in fight sequences since the first season. It really gave much of a kick out of the episode, no pun intended.
‘Shanzhai’ gave us a bit of a backstory behind Takehaya’s motives in kidnapping the Nathan James crew and also for what made Jessie end up resenting towards Sasha. There was also a change in leadership as we witnessed the Nathan James back in Tom’s control, so it makes us wonder how long these changes will stick with the crew. The President’s storyline may not have been strong this week, but it did show us how much the country has changed since the cure was distributed and where they are in this new world. With no government for support, the Nathan James is back as the lone wolf relying on their training to get the mission done, and that is exactly how we like it.
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