TNT’s The Last Ship El Toro TV Show Review. The Last Ship: Season 1, Episode 5: El Toro gives the crew of the USS Nathan James their first glimpse of new civilization since the virus that is ravaging the world hit. And things don’t look good.
Dr. Rachel Scott (Rhona Mitra) has her first vaccine prototype, and needs a group of monkeys to test it out on. Commander Tom Chandler (Eric Dane) aims his vessel towards Nicaragua, where they are hoping to find an unguarded reserve of primates. When Chandler lands with his unit, they find the reserve isn’t as unoccupied as they expected. On one side of the river is an entire village of infected people. On the opposite side, the villagers are uninfected, but are enduring an equally horrid fate. They have been enslaved by a wealthy wannabe-tyrant known only as El Toro (Jose Zuniga). El Toro and his armed men keep the villagers in constant fear, forcing them to adhere to his rules or risk being exiled to the other side of the river. To re-enforce El Toro’s status as the bad guy, he is also a pedophile, because I guess being a slave owner was too subtle in the eyes of the writers.
Despite not doing much to contribute to character building – something that I have given up hope on entirely with this series – this is actually a pretty solid episode of The Last Ship. It survives entirely on some legitimately well-filmed action sequences that are less explosion-driven and more hands-on. El Toro is obviously a “bad guy”, so it’s easy to root for him to get shot down by “the good guys”. However, there’s an interesting layer to the El Toro situation that I picked up on, even though the show itself didn’t acknowledge it. Early on, El Toro says that part of how he provides protection for his village is by setting up a perimeter in order to keep the infected people out. At the end of the episode, when (SPOILER ALERT) El Toro is defeated, his villagers rejoice that they are free and the crew returns to the ship happy. However, no one brings up the fact that now there won’t be anybody to keep the infected out of the village. For all Chandler knows, he could have just signed this whole villages death warrant.
The fact that the writers don’t bring this up at all leads me to believe they don’t even know when they have interesting material to work with. The Last Ship is so consistently black and white that any shades of grey are quickly brushed away. In fact, the only character with any depth, Dr. Scott’s traitorous assistant Quincy (Sam Spruell) was entirely absent from this episode.
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