If you thought previous seasons of TNT's The Last Ship were scarily realistic, get ready for the show's bloody final season premiere this Sunday. Despite previous seasons' man-made world-wide pandemic that killed off a good chunk of the human race, an attempted U.S. Government coup, and a world-wide famine, star Adam Baldwin told SYFY WIRE that those catastrophes fall flat when compared to this final season.
When The Last Ship returns with Season 5's "Casus Belli," it's been three years since our heroes overcame the global famine, and the Navy is ready to unveil its first fully functional fleet since the pandemic. Baldwin's character, Mike Slattery, who was the Captain of the USS Nathan James last season, gets a promotion to Admiral. Unfortunately, the world faces one last threat.
"There will be blood, as they say," Baldwin teases. "There will be explosions. There will be devastation. Heroes will emerge. That's for sure... Season 5 continues with relative peacetime and then we're back with a computer virus that takes everything down. We have to fight our way back from another evil enemy. And the men and women of the Nathan James have to go back to war... and man, we've got to win."
The season plays out like a 10-episode mini-series about war, Baldwin says, adding that it "has a Band of Brothers feel. We've been with these characters for five years and their relationships will progress and mature, and there will be some blood and some destruction and our heroes are tested like never before."
The sh** hits the fan
Mike Slattery, who's gone from the ship's XO in Season 1 to Admiral this season, is still mourning the loss of his family. Last season, he suffered drug-induced visions in which he was back with his family. These visions were real enough that he struggled to come back to reality. This season "he is dedicated to his leadership role," Baldwin says. "He's at peace in the beginning before the attack in the fact that they've been able to rebuild and secure peace in this still-dangerous world. Slattery is dedicated and determined to maintain that and perhaps pass the torch. He needs to fall in love again in his personal life, but then all [of a] sudden, the sh*t hits the fan."
We don't know a lot about the devastating cyber attack or how it gets the last ship, the USS Nathan James, back in action hunting the world's seas for bad guys. However, word is that Tom Chandler gets promoted to Admiral alongside Slattery and that Kara Green is the new Commander of the USS Nathan James, leaving the potential for a very crowded bridge. How the newly minted Admirals Tom Chandler and Mike Slattery and Captain Kara Green will all end up aboard the Nathan James and work through who's in command is something we'll just have to wait and see, Baldwin says.
However, "there's only one Tom Chandler. So whenever he comes back, we're in support of him," he says. "That's the thing about the show is there's mutual respect and it's a team effort obviously... That's the beautiful thing about the United States Navy is that teamwork and the community effort that is put in. You can't do it alone. So there's a lot of mutual respect."
Freedom isn't free
"It's always been amazing to go aboard these Navy ships when they allow us and see the young men and women who basically run these platforms of war... They're smart. They're energetic. They're brave. They follow orders," Baldwin says.
"Recently we saw the loss of Navy Captain John McCain. He passed away. I don't know if you read his daughter's message posted online. Beautiful, beautiful eulogy. She talked about the sadness of losing her father, but she also talked about how tomorrow we move on and we face a new day, and that's what he taught us to do, to be optimistic and move forward."
Baldwin embraces that attitude of protecting America while looking forward to the future in The Last Ship.
"It's definitely Americana," he says, "but it's also that universal human desire for liberty and individual freedom. Freedom isn't free. You have to have someone standing on the wall and who better than Tom Chandler and Mike Slattery and the United States Nathan James. I know it's corny, but America is just this beautiful, beautiful experiment."
A series of milestones
For an actor who's worked in such a broad swath of roles, The Last Ship has landed as an important point in Baldwin's career.
"My career is a series of milestones," he says. "It started with My Bodyguard and then jumped forward to Full Metal Jacket. And then I got to jump into Firefly. And then I was able to do Chuck for a while. And then movies like Independence Day, The Patriot, and Serenity and stuff like that. So I consider my career as milestones and in-between there's some connective tissue, smaller projects, that maybe didn't hit as hard, but they were all fun and I raised three kids doing it. You know, baby needs new shoes," Baldwin says with a laugh.
"But this one is one of the highlights of my life and my career. My father was in the Naval Air Corps at the tail end of World War II, so it's an honor for me to be able to play at this and meet the real men and women in the United States Navy and the Marine Corps... I just hope we did them proud... We had fun and exploded shit because they like that (laughs). As long as it's targeting the bad guys it's good."
The Last Ship premieres it's fifth and final season on TNT this Sunday, September 9 at 9PM.
Here's a preview of Sunday's episode: