I’ve been meaning to start writing open threads for the TNT series The Last Ship since it began last season, and especially for Season 2, but travel keeps getting in the way. If you’re already watching it, you know it’s one of the few unabashedly pro-US, pro-military television series on the air. I’ve been hooked since the first episode, but Season Two has really stepped up the tension in the Michael Bay production.

The USS Nathan James’ vaccine works for both a cure and a preventative, but the problem now is how to get it to the world. Dr. Scott has labs across the US working on production, but others want to seize the Nathan James for their own purposes — including, apparently, a submarine that targeted a hospital ship in last week’s episode. Only one member of the raiding party managed to escape, and the Nathan James was unable to track the sub as it fled. Meanwhile, the Nathan James has had a personnel drain as crew members try to find their families back home, but all of the main characters are ready to set sail as tonight’s episode begins. Plus, their layover in Baltimore added a couple of new crew members, including a woman from the IDF who can more than take care of herself.

I’m actually a little curious as to how the escapee managed to get back on the sub (if he did), and what connection they have to the group of immunes in Florida. Patient Zero seems intent on infecting everyone who managed to miss the first wave of the “red flu,” but he doesn’t appear to have had an impact on the Florida group — at least, not yet. We haven’t seen the Russians reappear in Season Two yet, but are they all dead from their contact with Patient Zero, or are they still managing to hold on? It’d be too bad if they’re gone — they made great villains, although not quite as good as Alfre Woodard, who we know is gone for good.

The biggest question yet is: just how does one recreate the US and the world after a pandemic with an 80% fatality rate? Frankly, considering the evaporation of legal authority, the most interesting part of the show may be the fact that so many of the crew are still on board.

Catch up with last week’s episode here before tonight’s show at 9 ET. According to the released summary, tonight’s episode pits the Nathan James against the sub, but it won’t be their last confrontation this season — and we’ll find out more about the Florida “immunes”:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_c9pUjc0rys

If you haven’t caught up with The Last Ship before now, here’s our friend Adam Baldwin in a video from a year ago talking about the first season and his character’s place on the USS Nathan James. Those who need a recap of Season One can find that below. TNT has the episodes available on demand for both seasons, but some may want a short cut to coming up to speed.

Finally, I paid a visit to The Last Ship’s set in January. I don’t want to give anything away, but Eric Dane may need to refresh his resumé:

2015-01-15 20.26.13

As an aside, we were there for nine hours as Adam’s guests, and the crew was very gracious and welcoming. We watched them film what ended up being about two minutes of the season opener. And it was very, very, cool.