Final Season of 'The Last Ship' Finds the 'Nathan James' Fighting Like It's 1942 (VIDEO)

Ileane Rudolph
Exclusive Doug Hyun/TNT

When TNT's drama The Last Ship returns for its fifth and final season, it’s been several years since the terroristic destruction of crops leading to worldwide famine was stopped. The U.S. is finally getting back on its feet and building a new navy, and the globe finally seems to be at peace.

Not for long, of course.  You didn’t think just because Admiral Tom Chandler (Eric Dane) and his intrepid shipmates from the Nathan James stopped the extinction of the human race several times over, all would be well on the planet, did ya?

Executive producer Steven Kane gives us a preview of how the waves break during the military adventure’s last 10 episodes.

But first, check out our exclusive video clip of the new Chandler at work in the final season premiere episode:

What has Tom Chandler been doing since last season’s crisis?

Steven Kane: He’s at the Naval War College teaching a new batch of cadets for the Navy. He’s taking all the experience he gained as a leader who saved the world several times and trying to give back as a teacher.

Where’s Chandler’s old team?

Meylan (Emerson Brooks) is running the fleet command out of the new headquarters in South Florida, the former site of NASA, and Admiral Slattery (Adam Baldwin) is in charge of the new fleet of ships. Foster (Marissa Neitling ) is the CO of the Nathan James, Burk (Jocko Sims) is the ship’s XO  and Miller (Kevin Michael Martin)  is still on the ship as well. Garnett (Fay Masterson) is captain of one of the new ships and Gator (Michael Curren-Dorsano)  has gone into civilian life. Meanwhile Danny (Travis Van Winkle), Sasha (Bridget Regan), Wolf (Bren Foster) and Azima (Jodie Turner-Smith), the Vulture team, are undercover in Central America to help court the Panama as it reopens the Canal to international trade.

The goal of the season is to get the world started again.  The plague is behind us as is the famine. Yet, there’s a lot of unrest, especially in South America, so the team wants to strengthen the Panamanian government.

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How is everyone doing after all the trauma of the last season?

Chandler wants to stop being a warrior and put that behind him. He can’t, but he tries because it’s a heavy burden being the guy who has to save the world. Danny is so hardened by war that it’s tough for him to be a stay-at-home dad and husband.  This season is really a meditation on the cost of war and the warrior’s ethos.  There’s a lot of heroism inside, but the warrior pays a price—usually his or her humanity. It’s a meditation on war, and yet it’s still a fun and  exciting season.

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Who is the enemy this season?

Gustavo (Tavo) Barros (Maurice Compte, Mayans M.C., Narcos ) is a Colombian soldier who sees himself as the modern -day Simon Bolivar. His goal is to unite all of Central and South America. In his mind, as long as there’s been modern history, Central and South America have been also-rans with no seat at the UN Security Council, no power at the World Bank or with the IMF.

Barros’s attitude is the plague is a great reset and a chance for South America to rise and stake its claim and change the status quo.  He’s gotten a continent of people who have been suffering and given them a sense of hope and power and a sense of purpose.

The way to achieve his goal, as he sees it,  is to weaken the United States.  As you’ll see in the first episode they launch the equivalent of a Pearl Harbor-type attack. They cripple the Americans with a combination of cyber and physical attacks. They hope that will give them the confidence and power to take over the continent.

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 What kind of character is Tavo?

He’s a visionary and a megalomaniac. His noble intentions get out of control as he gets more and more power. He’s a very viable, powerful threat and enemy to Chandler and his people.

 How will Chandler react?

He becomes everything from FDR to Eisenhower, when he must broker alliances and treaties between countries that haven’t trusted each other since the plague. He’ll have to be a statesman as well as a planner of war.

(Credit: TNT)

How does the cyber attack affect U.S. defenses and its new fleet? 

The attack knocks out all ability to use satellite and high-tech weaponry on ships. It’s like we’ve been dropped back into World War II with paper maps, push pins, toy ships, short wave radio and Morse code.

We’re doing almost like a Band of Brothers, telling a story of an old-fashioned war because technology has been taken out of the game. It makes the challenge of winning the war that much difficult because it levels the playing field. For instance, the Nathan James is in open water without the help of satellites or high-tech weaponry. The fun of it is that the ship has to fight as if it’s 1942.

So once again it’s up to the Nathan James to save the day?

It is, but in midseason, we bring in the U.S. Marine Corps, as well. They partnered with us and were very helpful and very cooperative. We'll also have the army; we have all our fighting forces. It’s the biggest season we’ve done; it is like a blockbuster movie every week.

The Last Ship, Season 5 (final season) premiere, Sunday, September 9, 9/8c, TNT

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