TNT’s The Last Ship Trials TV Show Review. The Last Ship: Season 1, Episode 9: Trials is easily the best episode of The Last Ship we have ever seen, and there’s not a single explosion. Human drama is infinitely more interesting than loud noises and gunfire, so it’s no surprise that Trials is such a triumph. The Russians have been evaded and Dr. Scott (Rhona Mitra) has her vaccine prototype, so the only thing left to do is test it out. While the whole world dies around them, the crew of the USS Nathan James might be on the verge of saving mankind. Before they can throw any parades, they need to start human trials of the drug.
Six brave crew members volunteer, including Tex (John Pyper-Ferguson), Kara Foster (Marissa Neitling), and CMC Jeter (Charles Parnell). All Commander Tom Chandler (Eric Dane) can do is sit and watch the situation unfold, as no amount of Navy experience can help his crew now.
Trials is an impressively restrained episode, taking place almost entirely onboard the Nathan James. There are a few cutaway scenes that show Chandler’s family surviving on the mainland (and also introduce a character played by terrific character actor Titus Welliver), but mostly all action takes place on the ship. And the “action” is not what you’ve come to expect from this brainless, Michael Bay-produced boomfest. It’s all about finally reaching into the humanity of these characters and discovering more about them in an extreme circumstance. Some of the developments would be more powerful if the preceding episodes did them justice, but by itself Trials does succeed at making us interested in these people for the first time this season.
Next week could potentially be another thematically interesting episode, as the crew returns to the American mainland for the first time since the outbreak began. There will probably be a lot more action, but the possibility for greater questions of morality is enough to think that perhaps The Last Ship can end on a high note.
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