TNT’s new drama The Last Ship is a post-apocalyptic series based on a novel of the same name. Set on a naval war ship, the Nathan James, it stars Eric Dane (Grey’s Anatomy) as Commander Tom Chandler and Rhona Mitra (Nip/Tuck) as Dr. Rachel Scott who are among one of the few survivors when a deadly virus wipes out eighty percent of the globe. It is up to the brave crew of the naval destroyer to protect the work of Dr. Scott as she hurries to find a cure that can save the world.
Oh, and there’s a lesbian.
Christina Elmore (Fruitvale Station) is Lieutenant Alisha Granderson, a smart and level head-headed officer who left a girlfriend back home in Norfolk, VA before shipping off to Antarctica for four months for weapons testing. When the crew’s mission is completed and the sailors are once again allowed to contact their loved ones, they are devastated to discover that most of their family and friends have died due to the pandemic. We hear about Lt. Granderson relationship in the very first episode. Granderson says, after informing the Chandler that they were fifty miles off the coast of Europe, “The last time we made port in France, I promised my girlfriend we’d come back and see Paris together. With everything, that’s all I keep thinking about.”
And…that’s about it. No back-story. No flashbacks. So far, no relationship. In some ways, it is refreshing to hear a woman casually talk about her girlfriend in the same way a man would, and not experience any dramatic reaction. After all, her same-sex relationship is treated like all the others. Or is it? While other character have brief flashbacks or deliver long speeches about their significant others, Granderson gets two lines. Granderson is a prominent character with several lines per episode, but very little character development.
To be fair, I’ve only watched the first three episodes of the 10-episode season, so there is still a lot a room to grow. Though there is a good chance that Granderson’s girlfriend is victim of the global virus, there is still an opportunity for flashbacks that can give insight into Granderson’s character and her relationship. There are also opportunities for Granderson to find love on the ship. Two other characters are having a secret tryst, so there’s no reason that Gunderson can’t eventually hook up with the Chief Engineer Andrea Garnett, or even Dr. Scott.
Have you seen The Last Ship? How would you like to see Lt. Granderson profiled more on the show?