There were two powerful stories in this episode. One featured Grace Shepard in charge of the sub on a dangerous mission. Although the ending was predictable - of course Grace and the sub survive - the way to the ending had some good twists and results. James survives, and Prosser finally comes to see that Grace has what it takes.
The second story was one of the best to come down the pike in an earlly episode of a new series in quite some time. The Secretary of Defense (Curry, played by The Shield's Jay Karnes) comes to the island for negotiation, along with Admirable Shepard (Grace's father) and Presidential assistant Amanda Straugh. Two surprises ensue -
Sam sure looks like he's accepting the President's amended, generous offer - to Chaplin's dismay. But it turns out that's what Chaplin wanted all along. Pretty good twist, but the next surprise is the stunner: when Straugh suddenly withdraws the peace offer (when she's informed of Grace's mission), and orders the US ships in the area to take the Colorado (with Grace and crew) out, Admirable Shepard shoots her dead before she's completed her command, and wounds the Secretary of Defense in the process.
Not only a brilliant, classic, punch-in-the-plexus Shawn Ryan scene, but it gets precisely at what makes Last Resort so good: gunplay involving the Secretary of Defense, Presidential assistants shot dead, nukes aimed and sometimes fired at Washington. You just can't find that anyplace else, and I'm looking forward to more.
See also Last Resort: Best New Show on Television