Fall TV Second Look: Last Resort (ABC)

  • Publish Date: October 19, 2012
  • Comments: ↓ 3 user comments

Throughout the next month, we'll be taking a second look at select new fall shows to see how critics' opinions are evolving. View all Second Look reviews here.

Drama | Thursdays at 8p ABCLast Resort

Critics Users
74 8.0
based on 3 eps. 69 votes

Consensus After 4 Episodes
Steady Steady
...good on the sub, less so on land

How it's doing: Not well. Some industry experts are certain that the series will be canceled at some point this year, with the only mystery revolving around when that might happen. The show's ratings declined each of its first three weeks on the air (before ticking up slightly in week 4), it is getting a smaller boost from DVR viewing than most other shows, and it is consistently trailing its competitors on Fox and CBS (though it does beat NBC's poor-performing Thursday comedies).

About that Metascore: Critics got a chance to view three full episodes prior to the start of the season, and while they loved the pilot, many expressed some reservations about the subsequent hours (particularly the second episode), which led to skepticism about the show's long-term prospects. The result was a lower Metascore than would have been assigned to the premiere alone. Still, Last Resort is the second-highest-scoring new network show of the fall season so far, trailing only Nashville.

Episode by episode

Below, we sample comments from critics and recappers after both early and recent episodes of Last Resort. When possible, we have used symbols to provide a rough snapshot of week-to-week changes in quality according to each critic:

IMPROVING: Indicates the critic has noted a general improvement in quality
Liked it STEADY: Indicates that episode quality has remained steady (which could be good news or bad)
Liked it DECLINING: Indicates a general decline in quality in that episode

A.V. Club / Scott Von Doviak

Episode 1

"The premise is far-fetched, of course, but certainly less so than a magical island with a smoke monster on it. For now, there's enough intrigue to keep me hooked, although I can't imagine what Last Resort would be about in, say, its third season, if it's lucky enough to last that long." [Grade: B+]

Liked it Episode 2

"Here's hoping that, as the writers grow more confident in their material, they can leave the CliffsNotes behind." [Grade: B-]

Episode 3

"The sustainability of the premise remains questionable, but this week's action/suspense sequences were well-executed." [Grade: B]

Liked it Episode 4

"Despite the nagging flaws (I'm already kind of done with Mayor Julian as a viable villain), I still think Last Resort is a pretty decent thriller with a handful of intriguing elements and a rock-solid lead performance." [Grade: B+]

HItFix / Alan Sepinwall

Episodes 1-3

"The 'Last Resort' pilot episode is far and away the best I watched for this fall season. There are some bumps in the next two episodes, but also some very promising signs that, coupled with the talent involved, has me wanting to believe there is a great series here" [Grade: B+]

Episode 4

Liked it "Four episodes in, 'Last Resort' continues to do well when it's dealing with conflicts involving the crew of the Colorado, but is much sketchier when it leaves the sub."

IGN / Eric Goldman

Episode 1

"Last Resort has such a tense, 'How will this be resolved?!' scenario, it's hard not to also wonder, 'How do you sustain this for several years?', if it finds its deserving success. But the pilot feels so confident and powerful, I'm more curious than concerned when it comes to answering that second question." [Grade: 9.5/10]

Episode 2

Liked it "While not as intense as the pilot (and really, we can't expect it to be on a weekly basis), the second episode of Last Resort was solid, continuing the tension implicit in this scenario and adding new players to the mix." [Grade: 8.0]

Episode 3

Liked it "Tani's 'My mom got sick and I'm stuck with my dad who I don't get along with' storyline sticks out like a distracting sore thumb among the intrigue and tension of Last Resort. I hope she can somehow be better integrated as time goes on. " [Grade: 8.3]

io9 / Charlie Jane Anders

Episode 1

"Last Resort reminded us of early Battlestar Galactica, in a good way. ... I'm aware this is a divisive show thus far — people either love it or hate it, with no middle ground. Personally, I mostly loved it."

Episode 2

Liked it "I'm still enjoying the heck out of Last Resort. ... So far, this show is still feeling pretty fun and interesting."

Episode 3

Liked it "I'm beginning to wonder if Last Resort is just an idea that would work for a movie, but not so much as a weekly TV show."

Episode 4

Liked it "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.)"

ShowBuzzDaily / Mitch Salem

Episode 1

"So this much is evident about Last Resort: you won't be bored."

Episode 2

Liked it "It's still far from clear how Last Resort intends to extend itself beyond mini-series length into a continuing story. ... Last Resort was entertaining tonight, even gripping, but what is it?"

Sound on Sight / Deepayan Sengupta

Episode 1

"Overall, this is a fantastic pilot with lots of promise for what's to come."

Episode 2

Liked it "Thankfully, it manages to craft a second episode full of suspense and interesting character moments, fleshing out the emotional stakes of the events and, by extension, making them more tangible."

Episode 3

Liked it "Overall, this is another fantastic episode of a show that came out of the gate guns blazing, and hasn't shown any indications of slowing down."

Episode 4

Liked it "Another gripping episode."

TV Equals / Luke Gelineau

Episode 1

"Wow. I thought this show would be good, but I honestly wasn't expecting the pilot to be that good!"

Episode 2

Liked it "Last Resort had the best pilot of any new show this fall, but "Blue on Blue" was just about as good of a follow up as could be expected."

Episode 3

Liked it "My biggest concern with this show has always been how difficult it would be to sustain on a week-to-week basis, as the premise has always struck me as being better suited to a miniseries or movie, but so far it's managed to stay engaging every week."

Episode 4

Liked it "Yet another great episode."

TV Fanatic / Christine Orlando

Episode 1

"Last Resort is better than any action movie I saw this summer. The pilot has already ratcheted up the tension to a fevered pitch and I will definitely be tuning in to find out what comes next." [Grade: 4.7/5]

Episode 2

Liked it "There was tension and suspense on multiple fronts and it solidified why I can't wait to keep tuning into Last Resort each week." [Grade: 4.4]

Episode 3

"As I found myself holding my breath for much of 'Eight Bells,' I couldn't help but think this ABC drama just gets better and better with each episode." [Grade: 4.6]

Episode 4

Liked it "Overall, the scenes on the sub or of the crew on the island were where Last Resort was strongest. The show had me completely enthralled when I was watching the Captain, the COB and the rest of the crew trying to maintain order and persevere through circumstances no one could have foreseen. It's on the mainland that my attention started to wane." [Grade: 4.5]

What do you think?

What do you think of Last Resort? Is it getting any better or worse as the season progresses? Are you sticking with it?

Comments (3)

  • mrmonster  

    Over all, I give the show a 9 out of ten, or 4.5 stars (even though my review gave it a ten). I gave it a 10 after seeing the pilot, which was awesome, but starting with the second episode, things just got worse and worse. They just have not been able to replicate the suspense and awe in the pilot. I don't think I'll watch it again until the season finale.

  • JoaninMexico  

    I absolutely LOVE this show - the writing and acting is top notch and for once, doesn't alway show the US as being perfect. I'm sure these things happen and it's nice to see this angle covered. Please, please keep this show on the air - it' the highlight of my week.

  • silverbear  

    I LOVE the show. My husband and three kids along with their boyfriends or girlfriends also love the show. We heard it's being dropped and we can't believe it. It's the only show we record and watch every week. I can't believe that this show is the one being dropped when there are definately much worse programing out there. The pilot was awesome and probably the best episode but I've really enjoyed the character development in subsequest episodes.

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