While last week’s new episode of “The Last Ship” was epic in scope and in drama, we do think for the most part that Sunday night’s season 3 finale was its strongest during some of the smaller, more intimate moments.
For one prime example of that, you don’t have to look too much further than what we ended up seeing transpire throughout tonight’s hour. We didn’t end up losing our biggest characters during the height of a huge battle. Instead, we saw the death of Tex and also Allison Shaw while aboard the airplane. The battle to preserve America came down to her versus Chandler aboard that plane, and while he won, he lost a major part of himself in the process. He made the decision to kill her while she was reminding him cruelly as to how he nor anyone else would be able to be the idealistic hero to unite the country, and that this was a ruthless world.
So after saving his children and turning the country around, Tom found himself in a moral debate as to how to go forward. He’s seen so many die on his watch, and he was ready to hand over the Nathan James to Slattery to call it a day. After all that he’s been through, we can’t really blame him — Shaw shook him, and Eric Dane did a brilliant job of playing that inner struggle in this episode.
Let’s make it clear: We doubt that Tom will be gone from the James forever. “The Last Ship” would be strange if this were the case. We just feel that, at this point in the series, having him question his place is the right move for the character. He needs time to heal, and the show needs a break from the action. This was less about a major cliffhanger this year, and more about giving us a natural end to the story being told right now.
Overall, we consider this to be an excellent finale for season 3 not because of the larger sequences, but because the writers decided instead to focus primarily on the people who matter, and the people we’ll be watching for many years to come. Grade: A-.
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