The Last Ship returned with an action-packed Season 3 premiere that kicked off by answering the biggest question fans had after last summer's finale.
Yes, Dr. Rachel Scott (Rhona Mitra), the woman who spent a year developing a contagious cure for the virus that wiped out the planet, is dead as a result of her assassination by the immunes last season.
But while The Last Ship giveth an answer, it taketh away too, because we're finding it hard to believe she's really dead. The story moves on from her death entirely too quickly — jumping straight into complications surround distribution of the cure that feels like a deliberate distraction.
All we get for proof of Scott's demise is some lip service in the opening monologue from President Michener (Mark Moses) as he addresses the nation, as well as the invention of a new formula that determines the number of people needed to receive the contagious cure for it to spread — a.k.a."The Scott Effect." Scott's face is also printed on some newly created rations as a way to memorialize her, but that's it. No body. No flashback to the night of her death. Nothing.
Is this really enough to solidify the cold exit of a character who's been at the forefront of the show for two seasons? We're having serious doubts she's actually gone — especially since the episode's major events feel like huge red herrings.
First, there's the political drama. Five months into the presidency of Michener, the administration is working with other nations to distribute the cure on a global scale. But this proves complicated in Asia, where hoarding of the medicine has become dangerously problematic and could lead to a mutation of the virus that would make the current cure obsolete. In response, Michener sends resident action hero Tom Chandler (Eric Dane), now promoted to Chief of Naval Operations, to meet with Chinese President Peng Wu (Fernando Chien) to discuss the matter.
From here, we're tossed into a non-stop action adventure as Peng's forces soon come after Tom, in an attempt to prevent him from making it back to the states. Luckily, Tom eventually escapes his wanna-be assassins just in time to make it back to the Nathan James to learn, well, things went wrong over there too.
As Tom was dealing with Peng, the James was sent on its own mission in the region to distribute more of the cure in Vietnam. While docked, things go seriously south as the crew is kidnapped in a night club--the scene that got the series pulled from the schedule last week.
After the kidnapping, we find the crew being... drained of their blood in a gruesome scene. The show ends on a cliffhanger that doesn't explain why the kidnappers are exsanguinating the crew, but it's possible it may have something to do with the fact that they're all vaccinated from the virus already. Could more governments be trying to reverse engineer the cure and/or virus?
It's a provocative question, but again, one that feels suspiciously like a lot of set-up meant to make us wonder about Dr. Scott's true fate. Do you think she's still alive?
The Last Ship airs Sundays at 9/8c on TNT