November 25, 2014 by JImbo
I hate when a TV series “jumps the shark.” It does something stupid that ruins it for you. You can try and try, but it just becomes unwatchable eventually.
That happened about Episode 5 of the TNT series “The Last Ship.”
It wasn’t just one thing I suppose.
It wasn’t just the miraculous fixing of the massive, advanced marine engines with duct tape and bubble gum; conveniently forgetting they were all out of spare parts which was a major plot point the previous episode.
It wasn’t them suddenly ignoring the fact that bad guys were still chasing them at high speed in a faster ship from the episode before that…and that now suddenly couldn’t catch them so they could drift for a few days.
The nail in the coffin was… The Brass Band.
This is a common TV theme when the Captain and all major leadership insist on leading every little landing party. Not one. Not two. ALL OF THEM.
It’s most noticeable in Star Trek.
(poster from http://www.redparsley.blogspot.com)
So that’s really smart… your top four officers on your ship ALL sent to the planet at the same time to face all the potential danger while the crew stays on the ship.
(Thinking about this…maybe they have a point. The Air Force often sends their officers into combat as pilots and leave the enlisted mechanics behind. The enlisted seem to like this setup as there’s always too many extra officers around anyway.)
However, it’s a bit different when it’s not just “some officer”, but every important officer on the ship.I think maybe it became standard policy in Star Fleet, because it continued throughout the different incarnations of the show.
“The Next Generation”
And now in “The Last Ship”
It’s against the rules for a reason.
That reason is because it’s VERY VERY VERY DUMB.
All it takes is one accident (let alone the many armed bad guys) to take out all the leadership in the group. The top three leaders on the ship all in the same team? Is that really a good idea? Seriously?
Furthermore, if you can’t trust your troops to get the job done in your place you aren’t a great leader. It means you have neither prepared them properly nor trust them to accomplish their mission. If you can’t delegate to them, why have them along at all?
And once again they don’t listen to the enlisted guy who says it’s a bad idea for four unarmed people to take on 13 guys with machine guns to fight a drug lord and risk the safety of the rest of the planet in the process. Lemme state that again… they risked their holy mission to develop a vaccine to SAVE THE PLANET because they thought it was better to go unarmed into a drug lord’s camp instead because the drug lord was mean to people.
And that is when I generally can’t watch a show anymore. It goes beyond unlikely to ridiculous. I can take all sorts of fantasy or science fiction mumbo jumbo. Teleporters, Replicators, Anti-Gravity…as long as it fits the plot.
However, I have to draw the line when the producers violate their own internal rules of logic. If transporters can’t work in a plasma storm…then alright fine whatever. If they suddenly DO because it makes sense to have them work this episode… I call bullshit.
Similarly, you can’t go around preaching how there is “no greater mission than making this vaccine” and then spend all this time and energy violating that very goal. Not a single person (besides the gnarled old enlisted guy) manages to see this plot hole? How can the audience take anything they do from this point on seriously?
They aren’t great leaders. They are AWFUL leaders. You have two goals as a leader…. Accomplish your mission and take care of your troops along the way. By going back into an armed enemy camp for NO REASON they violate both of those goals.
I don’t care how many wise pep talks they give. I don’t care if they bring pineapple to their troops on guard duty to prove how nice they are. They may make nice guys. They SUCK as leaders however.
Yes, I would be that asshole to say “No, that’s not our mission. We are saving the world. Hate me if you want.”
This is what happens when you let officers get their hands dirty. Especially when they’re main characters. They feel the need to do some pointless heroic crap.
The Captain stays with the ship. At the very least, it just makes logical sense that if you have a 5,000 ton destroyer with 200 people on board, someone has to be there to give commands. What good is a Navy Captain doing with 5 other guys in the middle of the jungle taking on a drug lord?
So you’re going to leave the trained enlisted guys whose JOB is to do that on the ship? As I said above, it shows the Captain is a terrible leader. He can’t manage resource, he can’t lead people, he should be courts-martialed for incompetence.
I understand the whole “lead from the front” thing, but that is for grunts at the lower level. Even the Army Generals who “led from the front” didn’t personally lead scout teams deep into enemy territory. That’s dumb.
They went NEAR the front. Close enough to see it with binoculars. They stayed where they had communications and could actually DO something for the rest of their Army. You’re not paid to do some Buck Sergeant’s job. You’re paid the big bucks to be a GENERAL (or in the this case Captain.)