Season 1 Episode 5
With Rachel close to a breakthrough on her vaccine, she, Chandler and XO Slattery lead a small team into the jungles of Nicaragua on a mission to find monkeys for her vaccine trials. While there, they find much more than they bargained for when they run across a former drug kingpin who will stop at nothing to maintain his stranglehold on his oppressed society. Chandler and his men find themselves in a huge moral dilemma over whether to eliminate this menace or take what they need and continue on with their mission...[button color="red" size="small" link="http://www.tntdrama.com/shows/the-last-ship.html" target="blank" ]Official Site[/button]
The ship heads to Costa Rica so they can trap monkeys to test Dr. Scott's prototype vaccine.
In what counts as the ship's gym, Tex finds Dr. Scott on the treadmill. When he asks why she doesn't eat with the crew, she tells him she's not particularly well-liked on the ship after lying to them all for four months while they were in the Arctic, even if she was under orders to maintain secrecy. "I think you under-estimate people's capacity for forgiveness, or find it too hard to forgive yourself," he says. He promises to save her a spot at lunch.
Commander Tom Chandler makes a video recording for his wife, not sure if she'll ever receive it. XO Mike Slattery drops by to report they're getting lots of distress calls from Costa Rica, lots of sickness and civil unrest. Dr. Scott says their next best monkey bet is 30 miles up a river in Nicaragua, where any team they send might be out of comm range. Dr. Scott is insisting on going to the animal preserve to get the right monkeys. Chandler says he'll need all his best men, including Slattery.
Two RIBs (Rigid hull Inflatable Boat) head upriver, back on the ship Engine Chief Garnett heads things up on the bridge. When the teams fall out of radio range, they'll use flares to signal if they need help.
Once they reach shore inland, Chandler orders Tex and a few others to stay on the RIBs while Chandler, Slattery, CMC Jeter and Danny Green head toward the preserve.
On the RIB, Tex hits on Dr. Scott, asking if she has a boyfriend. She mentions a journalist who travels a lot.
Inland, the group suddenly encounters sick villagers. They put on their masks and run for it.
Back at the boats, Chandler tells Dr. Scott she's going back to the boat -- they can't risk her getting sick. He promises to bring her an assortment of monkeys. The boats split up, with Chandler, Slattery, Jeter, Burk and Comms Officer Will Mason heading up river in search of monkeys.
Tex returns to the boat with Dr. Scott and Chandler's RIB sends up a green flare to signal they're out of range but OK.
Garnett knows not to do anything for 48 hours unless they see a red flare.
The RIB passes a wrecked luxury yachted named "El Toro," the name all the sick villagers were saying. They reach land and head inland.
They don't get far before Mason steps on a trap and they're quickly surrounded. Stripped of their weapons and hazmat suits, they're lead into make-shift village by armed men. There are babies and women and nobody seems sick. The men with guns yell at other men to get to work. Chandler looks around and can tell something isn't right.
The men are taken to the leader, a swaggering kingpin who somehow has a jungle Jacuzzi. Chandler correctly deduces he's "El Toro." Chandler firmly explains they need their weapons back and their ship will come looking for them soon. El Toro is unmoved, calling Chandler's threats "impotent." He says the trap that pierced Mason's leg was covered in poison, and he has the only antidote. After some nasty stares and insults, El Toro orders the sick Navy man taken to the doctor.
Dr. Scott joins Tex for lunch. She's worried about the trip. They quote Mark Twain back and forth at each other flirtatiously.
El Toro summons Tom to join him for lunch. He introduces a man who used to be mayor of the town, Delgado, who looks very nervous. A nervous looking woman waits on them. El Toro brags about his fancy things, but Tom notes that he must have taken the villager's tents since he expected to have his boat.
El Toro demands Delgado explain their system, which he says is based on the ancient Inca system where villagers exchange labor for infrastructure and protection. Slattery says it sounds like slavery.
A young woman waits on El Toro, and he pulls her into his lap and gropes her, explaining she's the mayor's daughter, Carina. When she calls him a pig, the mayor freaks out, apologizing for her. She asks Tom and Mike why they don't save the villagers, but Delgado assures El Toro they are grateful and there's no need.
Chandler is ready to leave, but El Toro's men bring in the monkey cages and he demands answers. Chandler says they're investigating the virus and think it might come from the monkeys.
El Toro gets angry about his dishonesty, but agrees to give them the monkeys they need.
Later, he peppers Chandler with questions about what's on the RIB. He noticed the radio is out of range and he correctly guesses that green flares mean things are OK and red is distress.
The boat sees a green flare.
Back in the jungle, Green and Slattery pack up the boat with monkey cages, angry that they're outnumbered. Green wants to help the villagers, but Slattery says it's not their mission. Then they see Carina screaming as she is dragged to another boat. They're going to take her across the river to the infected people as punishment.
Slatter and Green try to intervene, but are quickly overpowered.
On the ship, Tex watches old McHales's Navy episodes. Dr. Scott is sacked out on the couch. He's tucking a blanket around her when she starts awake, sure that something is wrong.
Back in the jungle, they have Slattery and Green tied up. Chandler demands their release, leading to more preening from El Toro, who correctly points out their ship doesn't know they're in trouble. El Toro says Chandler can go, but they're keeping their suits and weapons.
El Toro reminds the children will be sleeping in the tents with him, should they be considering missiles. He takes Delgado's youngest teen daughter with him.
Back in the RIB, Slattery orders them to a stop. He doesn't care if it's not the mission, he wants to go back. He reminds Tom that they both have daughters. Nobody needs much convincing. They turn around.
Later, they sneak through the jungle, unarmed, under cover of darkness. Chandler and Slattery easily take out two of the guards and steal their weapons.
In his tent, El Toro begins putting moves on the crying young girl, plying her with wine.
Danny Green sneaks up on another guard, and takes out another with a well-thrown knife. Another guard finally sees them and gets a shot off, alerting El Toro. He grabs a knife.
The villagers keep quiet as the Navy men advance on the compound.
Inside one of the tents, a man with a machete attacks Green, disarming him, but Green is the better fighter and gets him in a chokehold.
Chandler reaches El Toro's tent, where the girl tells him he's at the river.
Chandler's team converges there, taking out the remaining guards as El Toro grabs Delgado's daughter hostage. Once he realizes he's outnumbered, El Toro surrenders, dropping his knife.
He laughs at the idea of being prisoner on the ship, but waits for them to arrest him. Instead, Delgado comes up behind El Toro and stabs him to death with his own knife.
They leave the village back in Delgado's hands.
On the ship, Tex celebrates the word of the team's impending return by sharing his flask with Dr. Scott.
Driving back down the river to rejoin their crew, the group is feeling triumphant until they pass the first village full of sick people, pleading for help on the riverbank, and they're reminded again of the grim bigger picture.
Conversation With Eric Dane