"Last Resort" arguably contains the richest cast of characters of any freshman TV show this year. "Skelton Crew," the latest episode, redefines and reaffirms the relationships between those characters. New bonds are formed, others severed, and in one memorable case, overdue respect is given to an emerging leader.
With an armed contingent behind them, Capt. Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher) and XO Sam Kendal (Scott Speedman) enter into negotiations with the United States government over the surrender of the U.S.S. Colorado and its crew. Secretary of Defense William Curry (Jay Karnes) and White House Chief Advisor Amanda Straugh (April Grace) arrive at Sainte Marina with their own armed squadron and Admiral Arthur Shepard (Bruce Davison) in tow.
Each side thinks they are holding all the cards. Capt. Chaplin knows that James King (Daniel Lissing) and the other Navy Seals the Colorado picked up had been making a hasty retreat from Pakistan before the attack order was received. Secretary Curry is just biding his time, though, until the ships in the blockade can target the Colorado.
Finding the renegade ship may be easy thanks to a dead battery in the sonar array line. Commanding the Colorado, Lt. Grace Shepard (Daisy Betts), daughter of Admiral Shepard, sends King out to replace the battery in that early warning system. Shepard gets plenty of grief, though, from Master Chief Prosser (Robert Patrick) about her capacity for leadership.
Grace shows she can make the tough decisions when she has to abandon King in the water to save the submarine and its crew. Lt. Shepard even has the strength of character to prepare four nuclear missiles to encourage the ships in the blockade to back off.
On Sainte Marina, though, tempers are flaring. Secretary Curry pushes Capt. Chaplin's button when he mentions his dead son. Chaplin continues to hold out for a televised court martial. A frustrated Kendal is willing to accept a deal, but Straugh revokes it when the location of the Colorado is revealed. Before she can complete the fire order on the sub, Admiral Shepard grabs a sidearm and shoots Straugh and Curry.
Back home, Kylie Sinclair (Autumn Reeser) is dealing with the betrayal by both her father and boyfriend over the Perseus specs. Kylie pays a visit to Christine Kendal (Jessy Schram), who has seen through the government's attempts to make her doubt her husband's loyalty. Calling herself the "other woman," Christine says that her husband loves his country more than anything and wouldn't betray it for anyone, not even her.
By the end of "Skeleton Crew," Grace has finally earned Prosser's respects. In a powerful episode, actress Daisy Betts shines once again. Betts' performance here is one big reason why "Last Resort" has emerged as a top-notch drama.