Last Resort Round Table: "Voluntold"
No one likes to be "Voluntold." For those of you in the dark about that title, it's a military slang term. If you don't volunteer, well, you'll be voluntold.
This week, our Last Resort Round Table team of TV Fanatic staffers Jim Garner, Carla Day and Christine Orlando are joined by Andrew of Film Geek Radio's Dispatches From Sainte Marina podcast to debate if they would high tail it back home or stick with their Captain.
What was your favorite scene from the episode?
Andrew: I really liked the climactic showdown between Chaplin and Brannan. It was a bit heavy-handed, but it perfectly encapsulated so much of what the show is about. Brannan, like most of the show's characters, is acting in what he thinks is in the best interests of his friends, colleagues and nation. The reason Last Resort is working so well right now is that it's all about the very key thing that makes characters interesting: moral ambiguity. None of the answers are fully right but none of them are fully wrong, either, including Brannan's desperate attempt to try and take control.
Jim: I really enjoyed Tani and King's scene after he buried Gil and she was seeing to his wounds. While the romance brewing is obvious, watching King lower his guard a little and fall asleep against her touch was really nice, a great counter point to all the tension we get in the rest of the episode.
Carla: The scene when Brannon threatened Chaplin and crew with the grenade was a pivotal moment. Chaplin kept his cool and by allowing all the crew to hear the interaction provided the stage for him to re-gain their trust and faith. Chaplin was smart to allow Brannon to talk to Secretary of Defense Curry also. Curry's order to take down the ship and Brannon's decision to disobey the order, was the best support for Chaplin's initial questioning of orders. It put the sailors in Chaplin's position, but Curry's disregard for the 120 souls on board pushed them towards Chaplin too.
Christine: My favorite scene was short and simply. I was the Captain walking past his crew on the way to the sub. Everyone knew someone was gunning for him and the tension of the moment was almost as palpable as the Brannan holding the grenade.
If you were part of the crew, would you stay or would you go?
Andrew: Depends. If I had a family waiting for me back home, I'd probably go. Otherwise, I'd probably be too confused to do much besides trust my captain.
Jim: After Chaplin's speech, I would stay. He is absolutely right about the oath being to protect the constitution from enemies foreign and domestic. I would want to bring the truth to light.
Carla: I'd hope I'd have the courage to stay. It's not the easy choice, but it's the right one.
Christine: I'm with Andrew on this one. It depends on my situation. With a family waiting I might grab the first boat out but on my own I'd probably stay out of loyalty to the Captain and the remainder of the crew.
Since Anders was voluntold that he was staying, do you think he will retaliate?
Andrew: I'm sure it's going to come into play later on. He probably won't directly act against his superiors, but I wouldn't be surprised if he sits back and lets trouble come their way.
Jim: I hope not, especially since Michael Mosley - who portrays Anders and is also on Revolution - is a busy guy. If I heard him correctly, his character doesn't make sense. He's on a three-year enlistment, yet he is the most senior tech for the reactor. That can't be right.
Carla: He may act out in small ways, but I don't think he will do anything to hurt the ship or the crew. It wouldn't get him home any quicker and it would put everyone at risk.
Christine: Jim, I took that to mean he only resigned for three years but that's just my interpretation. But having someone who doesn't want to be there in such an important position will certainly come back to haunt them all in the future.
Is Grace right? Does this entire mess originate with the SEAL mission?
Andrew: It's been obvious from the opening scenes of the show that the SEAL mission was directly related to the decision to nuke Pakistan. However, I wouldn't be surprised if that's just one piece of a larger puzzle. Clearly there are some major power struggles taking place in D.C., and I'm guessing that mission was just the tipping point of the conspiracy.
Jim: Yes, but not how she thinks. It has to do with the guy the SEALs killed, the nuclear "pre-strike" was to cover that up. I'm betting they would have accused Chaplin of going rogue and firing the nukes on his own had he followed orders.
Carla: Yes. I've long thought their mission was the instigated the USS Colorado's problems. The bombing of Pakistan was done to cover up whatever the SEALs did. If Chaplin launched that attack, it would have been disavowed by the US. When they didn't launch the attack, they used the "fake" hit on the Colorado as the justification to "retaliate" against Pakistan. The SEAL mission is at the crux of everything.
Christine: Yes, but I'm with Andrew. I think it is just one piece of a more complex puzzle. I am curious to find out what happens to the SEALs who chose to go back home. Depending how much they know, it might not be a warm welcome.
Do you think Christine will hold firm, or will her belief in Sam crumble under the pressure?
Andrew: At this point, I don't particularly care either way. Christine's storyline is by far the weakest of the show so far, and while I hope her relationship to Sam stays strong - I really don't want to see the show get bogged down with melodramatic love triangles - at this point I'd be open to just about anything that develops her beyond "crying woman who misses hubby."
Jim: If she can figure out she's being played then it will give her the strength to hold firm. Sadly, I expect she is getting played by a team of masters and will turn on Sam. But then that might open the door for Sam and Sophie right?
Carla: I could see it going either way. I'd prefer to see Kylie befriend Christine and bring her into the fold with Admiral Shepard. Christine as a fighter would be more fun and feel more true to the character that we've seen so far.
Christine: So far, the Christine storyline bores me. It feels all too predictable but I'm hoping for more. If she and Kylie team up that could be a lot of fun.
Does Kylie want the truth or just her Perseus drive?
Andrew: Both, and I have a feeling the two are not mutually exclusive.
Jim: Kylie wants restoration for her stolen property. If you look at it, on one hand she told her father she agreed with him, on the other she met with the Admiral to tell her what she knew about what was being covered up. These seems to indicate she is playing both sides towards the middle.
Carla: She initially wanted to protect the Perseus drive. It was her life's work. But, now, she wants the truth, especially since her father took her drive on behalf of the government. She's angry and her new mission in life is to uncover the truth. The smile she gave when she saw Christine's proclamation about the truth was telling.
Christine: Both. Kylie was just betrayed by her government, her boyfriend, and her father. She's smart, a bit selfish and mercenary but I'll bet she doesn't like to be played. That will propel her to find the truth.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.