It sure didn't take Tom Chandler long to get right back in the center of the action.
A new Tom Chandler was on display on The Last Ship Season 5 Episode 3.
We'd already gotten to see Tom the professor on The Last Ship Season 5 Episode 1. But no one was tuning in to watch him teach military history.
This time out, we briefly got to see Tom the diplomat as he uses his stature as world hero to get representatives of two warring nations, Mexico and Cuba, to come to the table to discuss a temporary alliance with the U.S.
Tom definitely pushed the right buttons, appealing to their self-interests. Costa Rica falling to Tavo's forces reinforced his point nicely.
What do the two nations bring to the table? First off, their troops don't get added to Tavo's forces. Also, they can fill in some gaps in soldiers and weaponry while the Americans learn to work around their damaged technology.
In simple terms, the Nathan James is just one ship and can't mine the Strait of Yucatan all by itself. Why not recruit allies who have similar goals?
Actually, though, I liked Slattery's form of diplomacy after the brawl in the mess. Just threaten to let them swim home if they don't get their acts together. He wasn't as inspiring as Tom, but he still got his point across effectively.
Now let's look at the chink in the U.S. armor: the mole who keeps tipping their strategies to Tavo.
I've come around to some viewers' speculation that Alisha's needy girlfriend is the mole. Otherwise, their relationship is just a waste of valuable airtime. I don't see much time invested into any other familial relationships this season.
So the girlfriend's photo file sent to Alisha's phone was how the virus got snuck into the Command center. Who knows what was packed in the bag of supplies she brought in for Alisha this episode? I'm sure we'll find out soon.
And how long before Tom's boy wonder Clayton figures this out? That will be a key development in this war since they can't get much back online until they clear out the virus.
My favorite new addition this episode was the three women and their Huey helicopter. The look on Tom's face as he was exiting the chopper was hilarious.
Who knew that two chopper missiles could take out the bulk of Tavo's air force? Unfortunately, the pilot's ignoring her bullet wound doesn't bode well for her long-term future.
I'm not sure how I feel about President Reiss (making Steven Culp the second Desperate Housewives alumni to ascend to that post on The Last Ship.) It was obvious that Reiss wouldn't have been in that position if Tom had had any interest in the job.
But I think he was right to be concerned about Tom's mental state. Based on those couple of scenes with Tom staring off into space, I'd guess he's about to become the poster boy for PTSD.
That storyline should work both dramatically and as a tool to bring awareness to that condition. Or maybe I'm making something out of nothing, and Tom was just lost in thought.
Fortunately, Vulture Team has fallen in with a group of like-minded individuals raising hell on the front lines.
Of course, nothing is ever easy for any part of the extended Nathan James family. What seemed simple (use Semtex to blow up the bridge) quickly went sideways.
As always, Sasha was there to come up with a somewhat feasible alternative mission on the fly, which naturally didn't hold together all that long.
Her plan depended on Perez's troops not knowing what he looked like, and apparently, they didn't. Until he yelled, "It's a trap," after which they followed the orders of this unfamiliar man. Huh?
It was deeply satisfying to see Perez get shot by his troops during the firefight, then to have him blown away by the explosion. The loss of that bridge should definitely slow down Tavo.
I question the wisdom on Tom's broadcast after the James' victory. I understand he was trying to demoralize Tavo's followers, but the famed commander of the gringos gloating could well have the opposite effect.
On the plus side, Vulture Team found out Tom and the Nathan James were still in the fight, although Danny can't be sure about Kara's status.
To catch up on the fight so far, watch The Last Ship online.
How long until the mole gets uncovered? What's going on with Tom? Is Danny also losing it?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.