'Last Resort' canceled but deserves a second chance on different network: Here's why

Military drama features strong writing, outstanding female leads

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'Last Resort' canceled but deserves a second chance on different network: Here's why

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LAST RESORT - "Voluntold" - Even as Marcus and Sam learn that they have been charged with treason against …

An unfortunate casualty of the 2012/2013 television season, the brilliant military drama "Last Resort" deserves a second chance on a new network. In November, ABC announced that the show would complete its current 13-episode run. "Last Resort" will go into dry dock after that, but the final fate of the series remains undecided.

Created by Shawn Ryan ("The Shield"), this ensemble drama features strong writing and some of the best performances on primetime television. Andre Braugher leads the cast as Captain Marcus Chaplin, the commander of the U.S.S. Colorado and a man who possesses unwavering dedication to the United States.

Capt. Chaplin questions unconfirmed orders to bomb Pakistan, however, which marks the sub and its crew for death. In order to save his people, he commandeers the island of Sainte Marina. Declaring it a sovereign nation, Chaplin backs up his words with a sub loaded with nuclear missiles.

Scott Speedman plays Executive Officer Sam Kendal, a sailor who supports his captain, but he finds himself declared Public Enemy No. 2 in the process. Kendal is torn between doing what's right and making it back home to his wife, Christine (Jessy Schram).

A powerful female cast dominates this military drama

While the smell of sea water and testosterone can be overwhelming at times, "Last Resort" does feature a trio of top-notch actresses. Daisy Betts continues to surprise viewers each week as Lt. Grace Shepard, an officer accused at times of being a daddy's girl. Lt. Shepard knows how to take and give orders, though, and she isn't afraid to make life-or-death decisions.

Playing what could have been a thankless role, Jessy Schram, so great on the TNT series "Falling Skies," turns in a strong performance as Christine Kendal. Schram's character keeps the home fires burning for husband Sam, but recent episodes thrust Christine in the media spotlight. "Blue Water," the latest episode, shows her becoming a pawn in a diabolic political game.

Autumn Reeser, who co-starred in the late, lamented ABC adventure series "No Ordinary Family," is not just another pretty face as Kylie Sinclair. The creator of the Perseus cloaking device, Sinclair finds herself caught up in the intrigue surrounding the U.S.S. Colorado. A child of privilege, Kylie now has to decide which side she is fighting on and must get her hands dirty in the process.

"Last Resort" not afraid to take chances

During the first 10 episodes, series creator Shawn Ryan made some risky moves that paid off handsomely. The story revealed that Master Chief Joseph Prosser (Robert Patrick), a real straight-arrow, has a painkiller addiction that he barely keeps in check. When captured by Julian Serrat (Sahr Ngaujah), the self-appointed mayor had his men use a blowtorch on Prosser's bare feet to reawaken his cravings.

No character on this series is safe. During negotiations on the island of Sainte Marina, Admiral Shepard (Bruce Davison) fatally shoots White House Chief Advisor Amanda Straugh (April Grace) in order to save his daughter Grace. Admiral Shepard's little girl even had to abandon Navy Seal James King (Daniel Lissing) to save the rest of the crew.

ABC currently is burning the last three episodes of "Last Resort," but a show and crew this exemplary do deserve a second chance on another network.

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