The Last Ship season finale open thread: Run silent, run deep, and run into a few missiles

Now that’s what I call a landing party! The Ramseys have now sunk to the bottom of the New Orleans delta, thanks to the capture of a shore battery they intended to use against the USS Nathan James. But their war continues nonetheless into the season finale, “A More Perfect Union,” as another leader of the Immunes re-emerges to challenge the Navy’s mission to save what’s left of the United States and the world.

With Commander Tom Chandler needed to prepare the Nathan James for battle against the Immunes submarine, XO Mike Slattery led the critical personnel onto land to wait out the results, including President Michener and Dr. Scott. Survivors ill with the flu ran across the landing party and became the first successful test of Dr. Scott’s “contagious” cure, Michener calls it a “miracle.” Do I sense a presidential pardon in the works? The only problem will be getting onto shore to spread it around; with the propaganda war against the Navy at a fever pitch, that won’t happen quickly, and maybe not in New Orleans, at least to start.

That’s secondary to the main action from last week. The survivors told Slattery about the shore battery poised to ambush the ship when it came into range. Slattery, Tex, and Lt. Green went off to find it, and they did — in the nick of time. After Slattery took a round to the arm in the ensuing gunfight, they killed the Immunes running the battery and turned it against the submarine. The Ramseys had to surface after a volley of torpedoes seriously damaged the sub, but they’d had enough left to target the Nathan James from behind. Slattery finished them off with the shore batteries, but he’ll need to get back to the ship pronto. The Nathan James itself took a hit, and it’s not clear how bad the damage is; they had to flood a magazine in order to put out a fire that would have otherwise sunk the ship.

All of this action leaves viewers wondering what the series has left for its season finale tonight, though. There is still the not-inconsequential matter of the civilian merchant marine looking to find the Nathan James. They have access to RPGs, as we have already discovered, and perhaps other weapons that might threaten the ship. The smoke from the battle had to have signaled all of them to the Navy’s location, and they’ll all be hotfooting it in that direction shortly. Chandler has already ruled out lethal force to stop them, but it’s going to take some time for the ship to get out of New Orleans if they want to escape their harassment for a while. And even when they do, the Immunes’ cult leader Kevin McDowell still remains a threat, even if Valkyrie has flipped and can exploit their communications network. It’s going to be a long tour of duty for the Nathan James … we certainly hope.

To finish off Season 2, our friend Adam Baldwin (XO Slattery) talked with me earlier in the week to look forward to Season 3. I tried getting Adam to spill the beans on what will happen tonight, but he’s a man who knows the value of protecting sensitive information. (Adam Baldwin for President?) I did find out what happened to that whole story arc in which I took over the Nathan James, which I presumed would finally air in tonight’s season finale. “Welcome to Hollywood,” Adam tells me; they reviewed the dailies, and wondered where the heck I’d learned to act. You’ll hear my answer to that, and much more from Adam, in this interview. Watch it before tonight’s Season 2 closer at 9 pm ET on TNT.