Last Resort TV Poster Image

Last Resort

Effective drama raises thoughtful questions amid violence.
  • Network: ABC
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2012

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The commanding crew of the Colorado values truth, honesty, and trust, but they're functioning in a world that doesn't always share those values. Although it's unclear, their own government could actually be working against them.

Positive role models

The main characters take their duties seriously and weigh the cost of every action they take. They would rather do the right thing than simply do what they're told and aren't afraid to question authority when their gut suggest they should. There are several characters whose actions are less noble or even duplicitous. Although both men and women hold positions of power, some male characters are sexist, and women aren't always treated as equals.


Violence is a major theme, but the violence you see isn't graphic. Characters carry guns and occasionally fire missiles, causing injuries and even death, with some blood and a few explosions.


Light sexual innuendo with brief sexually charged scenes, some characters in lingerie, making out, etc. Body part slang includes words like "balls" and "rack."


Moderate use of words like "bitch," "ho," "damn," etc.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters tend to drink alcohol to manage stress.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Last Resort concerns a crew aboard a U.S. ballistic missile submarine that's loaded with nuclear weapons. But while violence -- and the ongoing threat of violence -- is a major theme, the violence you see isn't overly graphic. Characters carry guns, and there's some blood associated with injuries and deaths, but most characters are highly ethical and seek to do the right thing. Language mainly includes words like "damn" and "bitch," along with some body part slang like "balls" and "rack," and there's some sexual content (making out, shots of women in lingerie, etc.) and mild innuendo. Some characters drink alcohol to deal with stress.

Parents say

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What's the story?

When Capt. Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher) and XO Sam Kendal (Scott Speedman) of the U.S. submarine Colorado question orders to unleash nuclear missiles on Pakistan, their vessel becomes a moving target -- and the crew is treated like enemies of the state. With nowhere else to turn, they seek refuge on a tropical island of LAST RESORT, take over a NATO station, and try to discern who's igniting a nuclear war.

Is it any good?


Even those who don't fancy themselves fans of the submarine genre could get hooked by Last Resort's well-penned pilot, which starts out with some hammy, ho-hum dialogue but quickly morphs into an effectively engrossing thriller about a rogue crew and the advent of nuclear war. There are plenty of subplots to follow, too, but you're definitely left with the sense that they're leading somewhere with a satisfying payoff.

The plot is admittedly out there, but it works. And another interesting angle is the show's exploration of co-ed quarters below sea level, a recent development stemming from the end of a Pentagon policy that banned women from serving aboard Navy submarines. Though some of the male-female tension feels exaggerated, it's certainly rooted in powerful truths that make great fodder for parent-teen discussions.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Last Resort's premise and whether such a scenario could actually happen. Is the show's take on the U.S. government and those who are part of it overly negative, overly positive, or somewhere in between?

  • Women living and working alongside men on U.S. submarines is a relatively recent development. How does the show portray the relationships between the men and women serving aboard the Colorado? What are some of the conflicts that arise between the characters? Are there inherent challenges men and women face when working together in general?

  • Do you trust most of the information that elected officials funnel to the public through the news media? How important is it to question authority? Is there a fine line between questioning authority and being disrespectful?

TV details

Premiere date:September 27, 2012
Cast:Andre Braugher, Daisy Betts, Scott Speedman
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:Streaming

This review of Last Resort was written by

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Teen, 15 years old Written byWayward Girl December 4, 2012

This Could Have Been AMAZING... But It's Not. At All.

The pilot was incredible... this could have been the next LOST. So intriguing the concept was... and yet the writers had to go and make a mess out of it. I'm not surprised it's cancelled. Sexual content includes sex scenes, brief without nudity, violence includes fist fights, and threating to blow up people with nukes. Disapointment is all I feel when I think of this show. It had potential. .
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old November 14, 2012

Great show

This show is amazing. One episode had me crying! Definitely set this as a higher priority than dumb shows like "The Walking Dead". If you like this show, you'd probably also like Person of Interest and Falling Skies. I think kids 9 and older can watch this.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models