Archive for Thursday, September 27, 2012

‘Last Resort’ goes to extremes

September 27, 2012

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The gang on “Lost” had to endure only a plane crash to land on a beautiful island filled with secrets. The folks on “Last Resort” (7 p.m., ABC) have to start World War III — or refuse to, as the case may be.

Andre Braugher stars as Capt. Marcus Chaplin of the USS Colorado, a nuclear submarine. In buddy cop movie fashion, he tells his next in command, Sam Kendal (Scott Speedman), that he’s recommending him for a desk job near Washington, D.C., so he can start a family with his young sweetheart. We know that’s not going to happen.

Reports of a messy impeachment battle arrive in snippets, telling us that generals and admirals are abandoning an embattled commander in chief. Without warning, and only moments after picking up Navy SEALs in a training exercise, the Colorado is ordered to launch nuclear weapons at Pakistan. When Chaplin questions the authenticity of the orders, all heck breaks loose.

Not to give too much away, but the Colorado becomes a rogue ship, bristling with nuclear weapons and defying a government it no longer deems legitimate. The pilot leaves one wondering if Washington has gone crazy, or Chaplin. Or maybe both.

It’s clever, if a bit much, to combine elements of “Lost” with such Cold War thrillers as “On the Beach” and “Seven Days in May,” but I definitely want to see where this deeply paranoid thriller is headed.

• ‘‘Elementary” (9 p.m., CBS) sets Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) in modern-day Manhattan, where he’s come after escaping from a drug rehab facility in the U.K. His unseen father has hired Dr. Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) to look after him. Fortunately for us, he resumes his sleuthing while she tries to humanize him.

He’s impetuous, rude and insightful. She’s slightly wounded, but able to reach the people whom Holmes offends. And he offends everybody. “Elementary” really pushes Holmes into anti-social territory. Viewers looking for the next Gregory House may have found him.

Fascinating, cruel and creepy, this new variation on the famous detective pushes the Holmes-Watson relationship to uncomfortable and fascinating extremes. Sometimes it resembles that of Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling.

Tonight’s season premieres

• Raj feels left out on “The Big Bang Theory” (7 p.m., CBS).

• Walden plans a surprise party on “Two and a Half Men” (7:30 p.m., CBS).

• The aftermath of the crash impacts everyone’s future on “Grey’s Anatomy” (8 p.m., ABC).

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