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Warning: This article contains spoilers for Season 3 of The Last Ship. Read at your own risk!
When The Last Ship debuted on June 22, 2014, it quickly caught the attention of over five million viewers eager to watch the post-apocalyptic drama. A ship filled with sailors had survived the "Red Flu," a virus for which there was no cure and was killing millions of people. On board this ship was Dr. Rachel Scott, a brilliant paleomicrobiologist who was determined to find the cure.
For two seasons viewers watched the USS Nathan James battle evil that wanted to profit off the death of innocent lives as well as those people selectively choosing who had the right to live. They lost crew members to the virus and in battle, and viewers were captivated. I was one of them.
Season 3 has veered from that course, steering into political waters and allowing the death of the beloved Dr. Rachel Scott. The new government is showcased as well as the likelihood of a war between China and the new United States. And some of us feel like the story line is hitting too close to home.
In today's world, we've seen enough of war and the destruction it leaves behind. We've watched as people around the world have been tortured and held captive. Once in a while, we want to turn on our television and tune out the noise of the world. We were able to do that in Season 1 and 2 of The Last Ship. Unfortunately, Season 3 turns up the volume.
Captain Slattery (played magnificently by Adam Baldwin) is now in charge of the Nathan James, and several members of his crew are held in captivity. Partial focus of the show has shifted to a rescue mission that has already taken five episodes, leading into six.
On the home front, we're faced with a president who isn't entirely presidential, as he doesn't quite seem to know what to do with each crisis that arises and territorial leaders threatening to riot. Honestly, I would be very surprised if viewers aren't fast-forwarding through those scenes if they DVR this series. I know I do.
Season 3 is down 28.62% in viewers, bringing in an estimated 2.09 million viewers. Since it ended Season 2 with an average of 2.93 million viewers, there is concern this might be the final time the ship sails. Of course all shows dip in the ratings over the years (especially summer shows), as even hardcore fans tend to forget about a program after a 10-month hiatus. But The Last Ship's Facebook page tells the story of viewers who are clearly unhappy with the current direction of the show. And unhappy viewers lead to lower ratings. We can only watch and wait to see if The Last Ship redeems itself in the next eight episodes. I, for one, would hate to see the ship sail off for the final time at the end of Season 3.