The Last Ship (S04E08) "Lazaretto"

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This weeks episode “Lazaretto” begins with with Vellek and Christos in a flashback scene. One of the most revealing moments this week is undoubtedly Christos’ mysteriousness finally coming to an end, and what the newly learnt truth might mean for the final 2 episodes next Sunday. I think the truth was hugely surprising to some viewers, and relatively predictable to others – but I’ll get to that soon.
The episode was formulated into an episodic narrative, a technique the show often uses. Essentially, it allows them to portray the sub-plot (This season’s said sub-plot being Vellek’s mission) alongside the main thread that follows the Nathan James crew. Such structure is massively fitting on this show as the storyline follows two simultaneous ‘teams’ continually fighting against one another. As a viewer we’re able to see both sides of the situation, encouraging us to become further engrossed in the chaos. Whilst it may usually be the lesser focus, the sub-plot in this particular episode saw the most development and surprises.
Shortly into the episode we bear witness to a conversation between the Velleks, Fletcher, and to Fletcher’s surprise Stafros (replacing Dimitrius and now a Greek admiral). It is not long before Fletcher learns of Vellek’s mission to eliminate aggression in mankind that we as viewers in conjunction with the crew themselves became aware of last week. I was not surprised to see Fletcher show no loyalty to Vellek upon this discovery. It was clear from his hesitancy to betray the crew in Tempest that Fletcher’s sole reason for working with Vellek was rooted in patriotism and because he believed he was doing so for the good of his people at home in Great Britain. Thus, his determination to inform the Nathan James crew of the real goings-on proved that Fletcher died – for the most part – taking actions he believed were for the greater good. Some of his actions may have been hugely questionable, but it’s clear he is a decent man at his core and I’m personally glad that both the crew and Sasha herself can have some piece of mind in that fact – even if it lacks closure. Regardless of good or bad, he is definitely reckless in his final hours – evident in how he kills Demetrius in what I can only assume was an attempt to bide him some time. Presumably seeking to understand fully Vellek’s plan and expose the truth, Fletcher is shot dead by Giorgio himself after radio-ing through to the James, expressing his regret and telling them his discovery (which we know they had already uncovered themselves.)
Fletcher’s death came as no surprise to me. I figured it to be rather inevitable, as did many other viewers I talk to. That said, I never had expected it to be Giorgio who would kill him in the end. I talked in previous reviews of my suspicions that the two of them may betray Vellek together – Giorgio perhaps getting tired of his father’s neglect – So I put my hands in the air and admit that I didn’t call that one correctly. Despite his resentment towards the lack of love and appreciation his father shows him, Giorgio proves ultimate loyalty to him. I believe this is very likely rooted in love and pity for his father who we now know is sick himself, living in his own illusion… Christos is dead, he died in a street crime before the initial pandemic and Vellek has been hallucinating his presence this entire time. Christos had planned to move away before his death, to Vellek’s dislike, and thus Vellek is imagining him by his side almost 24/7. I knew something was up here and I feel dumb for not figuring this one out earlier! I don’t know whether we’re supposed to feel sympathy towards Vellek after this revelation, but he seems to be becoming more and more disorderly in his mission and I feel as though he will continue to unravel in next week’s double finale – his increasing incoordination allowing the NJ to catch him up… all building to a final head to head consummation.
So bringing focus back to our crew on the Nathan James… We have our initial wardroom scene as normal, laying out the plan for the episode ahead. Kara, as on the top of her game as ever is able to discover that Giorgio has communications with a small island known as Kleos. Sasha confirms that the island was home to a “Lazaretto” – a prison-like quarantine used during the pandemic. The crew head to the island hoping to uncover more information on the Vellek’s whereabouts.
The crew split up and venture to raid the Lazaretto… but to their surprise the place is brimming with prisoners. They’ve uncovered the base of Vellek’s experiment. As the mission continues, Green, Miller and Wolf disguise themselves amongst the prisoners while Sasha and Azima cover the exits and the situation on the outside. Burk, accompanied by Jeter, who we haven’t seen out on a mission for a long time head into the communications room. Eventually, thanks to intel from Ares himself the crew are successful in uncovering what we began to suspect already that the drug laced the food, or more correctly “The drug IS the food” that’s allowing Vellek to hold such control. Meanwhile, Burk and Jeter are able to transfer the data they uncovered back to the NJ which Kara and her team decrypt, but the already injured and weak Jeter takes a hit.
Thanks to Sasha and Azima’s faultless sniper skills the team manage to get out in one piece. Now’s a good time to comment on Green’s former “Boy’s only” remark. We know he meant it based on the group of prisoners and not a question of female ability. (I mean, he’s married to one of the crew most badass ladies after all) – but Sasha wasn’t a fan of the comment regardless and she well and truly proves that the team would be nothing without a little girl power and the endless skills those women seem the have up their sleeves.
All in all I felt the episode was revealing but a little dragged out. There was a lot of filler minutes as though the real grit of the episode struggled to fill the 42 minute slot. The crew kicked a lot of butt and a lot of viewers are here for the action scenes so that’s not entirely negative, I just found myself tuning out at times. It wasn’t my least favourite episode of the season but it definitely wasn’t my favourite either and I don’t feel as though there is a great deal to personally share my thoughts on!
All of that said, it’s important to bear in mind that this episode precedes the finale episodes and it’s not uncommon for shows to use this penultimate episode to set everything up for the following week’s finale. It was almost destined to be slow at times as they lay the foundation for whatever’s to come! I don’t even have a great deal of predictions anymore, throughout the season I’ve hit some nails on the head and been completely off with others, so I’m resigning to just wait and see how it all culminates! There’s a possibility of a cliffhanger next week with the show having filmed season 5 immediately after, but the new season does follow a new narrative as far as I’m informed so I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
My review was not only shorter than normal but formatted a little differently this week – focusing on one half of the plot and then the other rather than commenting on the narrative sequentially and switching back and forth between the two plots as the episode itself does. I was trying something new but I feel that this way of writing is a little messier than the my usual method, so I hope it was still readable and a sufficient overview for everyone! …I hope to bring you an A+ final review for next weeks double episode finale so thanks for bearing with me for these 2 slightly slacking weeks. Life’s busy and as always I really appreciate your readership!