The Last Ship Series Finale Review: Commitment

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That was certainly an appropriate series finale, especially as it was shown on Veterans' Day.

Tom Chandler cheated death one more time, although his ship didn't, on The Last Ship Season 5 Episode 10.

I guess I missed a lot by not having been forced to read "Moby Dick" while in school.

Last Battle - Tall - The Last Ship Season 5 Episode 10

Then I would have figured out sooner why Tom kept spacing out throughout the season.

Here goes: The battleship was Tom's white whale. He was hunting it; it was hunting him.

Obsession is a much more preferable explanation than having a medical condition such as PTSD or traumatic brain injury or a brain tumor.

Related: The Last Ship's Adam Baldwin Q & A

Using the sinking Nathan James as a harpoon to sink the battleship should have taken care of that obsession.

But that wasn't Tom's only, shall we say, mental condition.

As Sasha pointed out, Tom had a significant case of survivor's guilt.

That became more than apparent near the end. As he floated between life and death, he saw many of the faces of the people who had died on his watch. They didn't seem to blame him, and in the end, he chose to live.

Abandon Ship - The Last Ship Season 5 Episode 10

Having a handing-over-the-watch ceremony was a great way to showcase one last time those who had passed. 

I would have like to have seen more of the regular characters still standing at the end, but that's not the nature of war. If there's no viewer connection to the slain character, there's little impact.

Fortunately, although Tom had moments where he slipped away this season, he remained more than sharp enough to complete his mission.

And in Tavo, the U.S. military was up against a petty dictator who became increasingly unstable and sabotaged his war efforts which had started so promisingly.

Related: The Last Ship Season 5 Episode 9 Review: Courage

When a leader is listening more to the predictions of his wife's tarot cards than his generals who had his war going in the right direction, you know the end is near. And sure enough, it was.

Even after being surprised, Tavo's soldiers were making a good showing for themselves. But the tide turned quickly, to a large extent because the troops didn't believe in their leader anymore after the paranoid Tavo was killing off military of all ranks as traitors.

Let's just say the U.S. invaders were much more motivated.

Unexpected Attack - The Last Ship Season 5 Episode 10

Still, the beach assault scene, although it was relatively brief, showed the brutality and chaos of war effectively as seen through the eyes of the journalist Nina. What started as a hot story became all too real as bodies went down around her.

Tavo stupidly tried to recruit civilians to slow the Americans, but his broadcast only served to allow Clayton to pinpoint the position of his headquarters. From there, it was just a matter of sending in Lima Team to locate and capture Tavo.

Tavo's refusal to leave his home and go where he and his family could be better protected was his downfall. His hubris, wanting to go mano a mano with Tom, ultimately led to his death.

Related: Watch The Last Ship Online: Season 5 Episode 9

When Tavo figured out that he was just a blip on Tom's radar, he refused to surrender to Sasha and Danny, preferring suicide by soldier. Danny was only too happy to oblige him.

I doubt too many will mourn him other than his wife and son.

I thought war machine Wolf was a goner, but much like Tom, he's invulnerable, but without all the doubts.

Finally, there was the sinking of the Nathan James.

Doomed Dictator - The Last Ship Season 5 Episode 10

I'm still waiting for an explanation how that battleship even exists and could be operational. Setting that aside, how could it keep appearing and disappearing?

If I understood Slattery correctly, it slipped in behind a smaller ship so it couldn't be detected. But that doesn't cover its seemingly stealth capabilities when there aren't any other ships around.

But that ship has sailed, so to speak.

It was sad to see the Nathan James go down, after all, it and its crew had done for the world. But it's a miracle it lasted as long as it did, after all the damage that has been inflicted on it.

Related: Enjoy unlimited access to thousands of movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video. Watch anywhere. Cancel anytime! 

I felt bad for Kara, that after a stellar job as C.O., she had to be the one to order the crew to abandon ship.

Of course, Tom went down with the ship. Well, kind of.

Although it will never happen, I would love to see a followup movie. I want to see which characters get a happy-ever-after. They all deserve one. 

To see the series from the beginning, watch The Last Ship online.

How did you like the finale? What surprised you this season? Should there be a followup?

Comment below.

Commitment Review

Editor Rating: 4.75 / 5.0
  • 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (22 Votes)

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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The Last Ship Season 5 Episode 10 Quotes

Clayton: We caught them by surprise, sir.
Slattery: They know we're here now.

Sasha: I'm worried about you, Tom. I'm worried to leave you on Nathan James.
Tom: In less than five hours, you're going to hit that beach in Colombia with 300 sailors and Marines. Don't be afraid for me.