Last Resort kicked up the intensity level on "Skeleton Crew." The United States negotiated with Captain Chaplin and XO Kendal, while continuing to hunt down the USS Colorado. The result was not what any of them wanted. It ended with sacrifices; one for the many and out of love and loyalty.
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Chaplin proved just how smart and conniving he can be. He's no dummy, that's for sure. He went into the negotiations with a plan and pushed all the right buttons to get the best deal for his crew. He was willing to go down for their freedom.
Secretary of Defense Curry, White House Advisor Straugh, and Admiral Shepard showed up to negotiate, but they had no intention of giving Chaplin a good deal. They wanted to bring the sub home or destroy it, while charging Chaplin with Treason.
Chaplin held a trump card though, he wasn't naive to what triggered the whole debacle and was willing to use make it public. He knew that he would never get them to agree to a public trial, but it was his leverage. And, it worked. He kept Kendal in the dark, but for a good reason.
They were so close to going home. Curry and Straugh could have ended the standoff without any more blood being spilled, but they didn't take the honorable path. I guess it shouldn't be a surprise since they did attack their own ship and nuke a country to protect their secrets. Disappointing.
Admiral Shepard took the honorable action of shooting Straugh to prevent her order to kill not only his daughter, but the crew. He also saved the symbol of the government's lie. This conspiracy will take many lives and he sacrificed his freedom for Grace and the cause.
The longer the standoff continues the more lives that will be lost. Perhaps, Chaplin should think about holding a trial on the island? The only problem with that is he was bluffing about his knowledge of the SEAL action. That's a key piece of information that he needs to get. Perhaps, Kylie or Christine can find a way to reach out and let Chaplin or Kendal know how to retrieve the information from the device on the sub.
It looks like negotiations are off the table for a while. What happens next?
While Chaplin and Kendal headed off to the beach for negotiations Shepard got her first command. What a first command! Wow. She took control and didn't look back. From the decision to use the drill, to leaving King behind, to outmaneuvering three Navy ships, to saving the crew and even King -- she commanded.
She did exactly what a Captain should every step of the way. I thought the cavern escape from a few weeks ago was intense, but it was a joy ride compared to this situation. So far, the US government has taken threats from the USS Colorado seriously since Chaplin did launch a nuke at the country. Is that something that will continue? Or, at some point, will the US call their bluff and see what happens?
Luckily for Shepard they didn't test her resolve and the US ships backed down. Her father gave her the few minutes she needed to save her crew. He wasn't going to let his daughter down. The look of pride on his face when Chaplin said that Grace was in command was priceless. He is so proud of his daughter. And, now she knows he is on her side as well. It will help push her even harder.
The COB and Shepard have never gotten along. It hasn't been clear exactly why, but she is a a woman, a Lieutenant and her father is an Admiral. Any of those reasons would be enough. The moment when he said, "Officer on Deck" was a turning point for their relationship.
Despite the how or why she ended up on the USS Colorado, she proved she deserved to be there and her rank. I'm sure he will still try to rile her up, but she at least knows he respects her and that means something.
Odds and Ends
- I've been hoping that Kylie and Christine would team up and it's happening. They will be a formidable force stateside. They can work the conspiracy from a different direction than those on the island. If they can find a way to communicate, they could break the whole thing open.
- I was pretty sure Christine was on to her swarmy lawyer, but the confirmation was nice. She can play him even harder than he is playing her.
- There are people within the government and military that are on Chaplin's side in the fight. How big could this thing get?
- King has a wonderful ability to deflect and use humor during horrible situations. It's a relief from the rest of the military crew on the island. His line, "How tough?" to Grace is a perfect example.
- China invaded Taiwan That's going to create a greater urgency for the US government to end this standoff.
- If I repeat, "There is no Sophie and Sam." over and over again, will that make it true? These two need to keep away from each other. Sam is a married man.
- Chaplin packed his bag. He really did want to go home.
(Image courtesy of ABC.)