By: Cam Sully
“Want to see an awesome show no one remembers? Check this $#!t out!”
Plot: When the crew of the U.S. Navy Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine, the USS Colorado, picks up a Navy SEAL team off of Pakistan’s coast, they receive an order to launch nuclear ballistic missiles at Pakistan. The sub’s Commanding Officer, Capt. Chaplin (Andre Braugher, Homicide), asks for confirmation of the firing order because the orders were received through a legacy Cold War secondary communication channel, only to be used in the event that Washington, D.C. has already been destroyed. After confirming Washington’s continued existence and refusing to fire the missiles until the command is sent through the proper system, Chaplin is relieved of command and the second in command, Lt. Cmdr. Kendal (Scott Speedman, Dark Blue), is given command instead. When he too questions the orders, the vessel is fired upon by another sub. Realizing they have been declared enemies of their own country, the Colorado seeks refuge on an Indian Ocean island, and commandeer a NATO communications and missile warning facility. The crew must find a way to prove their innocence and find out who in the U.S. government set them up, so they can finally return home. Chaplin later finds himself having to become a reluctant ally with China, while trying to keep his own crew, led by Chief Prosser (Robert Patrick, The Unit), from rebelling against him, and also combat the schemes of the local druglord Julian Serrat (Sahr Ngaujah, Blood Done Sign My Name).
Review: The show is once again another winner from Shawn Ryan and his team who have previously made addicting yet equally thrilling character studies such as The Shield and The Unit. It succeeds by taking elements from that latter show as well as Crimson Tide, Hunt for Red October, 24, LOST, Jericho and By Dawn’s Early Light. All the cast members are able to bring the multiple characters to life and make them every bit as fascinating as their script appears to indicate thanks to their natural level of intensity. In key recurring roles are also a lovely cast that includes: Bruce Davison (X-Men), Ernie Hudson (Congo), Jason Beghe (Monkey Shines), Jessy Schram (Falling Skies), David Rees Snell (The Shield), Autumn Reeser (Human Target), Jay Hernandez (Lakeview Terrace), Omid Abtahi (Sleeper Cell), Michael Gaston (Thirteen Days), Chin Han (The Dark Knight), Michael Mosley (Kidnapped), Gideon Emery (Takers) and Chad Michael Collins (Sniper: Reloaded).
By incorporating disaster and military elements, and having the filmmakers utilizing their usual gift for character-driven suspense, thinking man’s action and consistent outlined format, the show never even feels implausible like most other serialized disaster TV shows. The political conspiracy, while downplayed, is still a well-featured portion as instead of countless close-ups of people talking on phones and C-SPAN style briefings, we instead see some other unlikely heroes trying to figure out who framed their comrades at sea.
Even the best shows have a weak spot and the only true flaw was how for about two episodes, the Chief went missing and no one appeared to notice. But the more I think about it, the more I can suspend belief since the whole show involves characters having to break typical procedures in improper instances so I can suspend belief that they turned a blind eye one chaotic night on the island and didn’t do a headcount. Other then that, this unexpectedly cancelled show got wrapped up in a perfect 13 episodes since showrunner Ryan has fortunately always believed in wrapping everything up in a nice clean package regardless of what the network bigwigs had planned.
Consensus: A beyond gripping tale of mutiny, corruption and naval warfare in groundbreaking disaster fashion!
About the author: He’s experimented with film, runs a wacky podcast and will tackle any under appreciated flick/show that he can non-stop.