Dead Reckoning
The Last Ship Season 1 Episode 3
Season 1, Episode 3
Written by: Steven Kane
Directed by: Jack Bender
Running time: 42 minutes
Original airdate: July 6, 2014
Nielsen rating: 18-49 rating:
Viewers (million):
Welcome to Gitmo
We'll Get There

The James faces off against a new foe who demands Chandler hand over Rachel and her research. When Chandler refuses, he and his crew are put to the test as Chandler engages in a series of risky strategic moves. But it turns out their new enemy has his own horse in the race to find a cure for the virus.


The Nathan James is at a standoff in Guantanamo Bay, with a Russian Kirov-class Battlecruiser that has nuclear warheads on board. The Nathan James' location was alerted by Dr. Tophet who had been in contact with the Russians because his family was captured and are being held hostage aboard the ship unless he communicated via satellite phone with the Russian naval ship. 

Commander Chandler speaks with the Russian Admiral and asks that they meet in person to discuss a peace treaty. Chandler is familiar with the Russian naval commander and even has a book written by the man about modern naval tactics. While the two are meeting, the Russians are laying down a string of mines in the water in order to keep the Nathan James from leaving the bay. The Russian admiral believes that the world is theirs for the taking, because all semblance of a political government has been eliminated, and now they are each The Last Ships of their own navy. The Russian Admiral speaks intensely about the virus being an invisible fire that ran through humanity, and that the fear was worse than the virus itself.

The Admiral also claims that he has something necessary for making the cure that the Americans don't possess, but will not state what exactly. Dr. Scott is adamant that he is bluffing. Commander Chandler will not give up either Dr. Scott or the primordial strain. The Russians cannot rebel since taking the ship by force would risk losing the strain and Dr. Scott.

The land party return to the ship and begin to draw up tactical plans to look for another way out of Guantanamo Bay. They find a small canal and send a two-men Navy SEAL team, Berchem and Smith, to scout it out. Later on they get ambushed and killed by the Russians. Lt. Danny Green is extremely upset because yet again he has lost men under his command. In retaliation, Commander Chandler uses the five-inch gun fitted to his ship to blast the water near the small patrolling Russian boat, which ensues a dramatic standoff with the Americans threatening to kill the three Russians in the water if the Russians do not move out of the bay. The admiral chooses at the last second to accept Chandler's terms and moves his ship out of the bay, which gives the Nathan James some time to plan an exit strategy. 

When Dr. Tophet fears the Americans are completely unwilling to negotiate, he captures Dr. Scott at gunpoint and tries to smuggle her off the Nathan James. A sailor spots them, and fires shots at Dr. Tophet while Dr. Scott runs to the ship's mess hall. Dr. Tophet catches up with her and threatens to unleash the virus on the ship unless he gets his way. Dr. Scott calls his bluff, telling him he is not a killer. She is able to talk him into handing over the virus, and then Tophet is arrested and questioned. He is held in interrogation and is questioned for his actions, stating that the Russians have his family aboard, forcing him to unwillingly cooperate with the Russians and communicate with them via satellite phone.

This information is vital to the American’s plan to escape. They choose Lt. Danny Green and Lt. Kara Foster, who have a hidden romantic relationship, to impersonate Tophet and Scott. They will instead drive a bomb into the Russian ship while the American ship escapes under cover of darkness through the tight canal at high tide. Commander Chandler decides to take a very risky move. He sends the ship through the canal without sonar or radar in order to be invisible to radar. They use a 10-foot-long piece of tin foil to mimic the large Arleigh-Burke class destroyer on radar and use it as a distraction while they make their exodus.

The timing of Green and Fosters’ approach to the Russian ship, coupled with the manual navigation of the American ship, leads to a very time-sensitive, dramatic sequence of events. A few seconds before reaching the ship, Green and Foster jump from the boat. The boat reaches inches from the ship and the bomb detonates, leaving a large tear in the side of the ship's hull. This gives the Nathan James its window of opportunity and torpedoes are launched at the coral lining the floor of the canal, destroying just enough seabed for the Nathan James to sail through. Later, Green and Foster are rescued and are brought back aboard the ship. Lt. Green lets out his emotional frustration, telling Foster that he loves her so she needs to stay away in order not to let emotions compromise their mission.  At the same time, the Russian Admiral visits a Norwegian scientist on his ship to inform them of losing Doctor Scott who the scientist believes to be vital to him creating the cure. The man is held in quarantine and is indicated to be the thing that the Nathan James is missing that the Admiral was talking about.




Guest StarringEdit



  • Daniel Cumming as Operation Specialist PO3 Beier


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