People who watch television shows often clamor for answers nowadays. And television shows play to this, spinning out endless mysteries — for example, Last Resort wants us to obsess over who sent the fire order, and why the Secretary of Defense was replaced, and just what are those minerals on the island. But usually, the interesting questions have to do with why, rather than how. And last night's Last Resort finally answered (for now) the most pressing question: Why are these sailors still obeying Marcus Chaplin?
To some extent, "Voluntold" is a story about the cost of going along with whoever's holding the power. A lot of the episode focuses on Brannan, who is horribly fucked up over the fact that he nominated Redman to be killed by Serrat last week. Brannan is a ticking time bomb, because he hates the fact that he got coopted and turned into a coward by going along with Serrat's games — even though he may have saved himself and Cortez in the process. So in the end, Brannan decides to try and fix it, by going along with another person's games: the newly minted Secretary of Defense, who has issued orders to capture or kill Marcus Chaplin. Brannan takes a live grenade onto the Conn and tries to hijack the submarine, only to find out that the Secretary really just wants Marcus and the rest of them dead.
Like we said a couple weeks ago, Last Resort seems to work really well when it's asking questions about the legitimacy of power and authority, the same sort that Game of Thrones often asks. (The show works less well, notably, whenever it veers into trying to make us care about the characters on the island, whose story always feels peripheral to the real story. Serrat, Nutella Girl, Sierra... I just don't care about any of them.)