When The Last Ship season 5 premieres on September 9, 2018, its swan song begins, giving the TNT adventure series an advantage: it can raise the stakes as high as they can go and end with the ultimate flourish. In the middle of the action will be Sasha Cooper, played by Bridget Regan, who joined the cast in season three and has become an integral part of the U.S.S. Nathan James’ crew and its elite Vulture team of field operatives. Regan is currently filming Jane the Virgin, also entering its fifth and final season, but she looks back with great fondness on the experience on set of The Last Ship and can’t wait to see the last run of episodes with the fans.
Regan wasn’t shy about teasing some details of the coming season, which will apparently feature a larger cast that includes other military branches. “One of the coolest things was that we teamed up with the Marines this year,” she says. “So we had the help of the real Navy and Marines, and then we had all these fantastic actors playing Marines. And so the cast doubled in size, and we got to pull out all the stops because we got to say, ‘This is our last one. Let’s go big!’ It’s massive! It’s a big, blockbuster, massive-budget summer movie every week.”
As in previous seasons, The Last Ship season 5 will make a bit of a time jump, allowing burgeoning relationships to fully mature in the blink of an eye, and the power structure on the Nathan James will shift yet again. “We’ve skipped forward again three years and see where the relationships are, how those have changed; we see who’s been promoted,” says Regan. “My personal favorite promotion is who’s the new captain of the Nathan James. I think the fans are going to particularly love that.”
Will fans finally get to see Eric Dane’s Tom Chandler and Sasha together in the final season? Regan won’t rule it out. “At the end of season four, they said they were going to try a fresh start,” she admits. “They both have been through the mill, so when we met Sasha, she was recently widowed, and Tom was also widowed. So they’re finding their way back to each other, and whether it be fate or just coincidence, they’re back in each other’s lives, and we see what that relationship is going to be like.”
But Regan reminds viewers that The Last Ship is not the kind of show to spend too much time on such frivolities. “This show isn’t like a soap, and also these characters aren’t the type of people that are going to hem and haw over their relationship and go into the locker room and cry and talk about their feelings. That’s not who these people are,” she insists. “I think the fans sometimes expect that because there’s so much of that kind of show out there… Sometimes I longed for those scenes because I personally like watching them, and I personally am more of an emotional person than Sasha is; we’re very different in that way.”
Regan is more interested in the friendships and close bonds formed within Sasha’s Vulture team, the tactical group that sees most of the action when confronting enemies. “I personally have a really, really deep love for Vulture team which is Travis [Van Winkle], Bren [Foster], and Jodie [Turner-Smith]. We got to work with each other a lot, and there’s this family-like loyalty and this coming together for the common good.” That closeness and ability to work as a group may become a matter of survival in a season that could include real danger.
After all, no one is safe when a series knows it’s ending. In fact, Regan has great fondness for a moment in The Last Ship season 5 that will illustrate the higher stakes in play. “There’s a moment where we think we’re losing one of the members of Vulture team, and that person’s telling us to leave them behind. It was just so intense,” Regan recalls. “The writers let us go off-script, and it was the most — I have goosebumps right now talking about it — it felt so real! We were in the real jungle shooting this, and afterwards we were all shook. The writers came out; they were all crying. It was such a great, awesome day!”
As a matter of fact, some members of the team may even be wishing to go out in a blaze of glory before The Last Ship’s final bow. “We did all have running bets as to who was going to live and who was going to die,” Regan admits. “You know, we’re going, ‘No, I want to die! No, I’m gonna die!’ because of course everybody wants their dramatic final scene — we’re such greedy actors! You know, we did want to do our characters justice.”
So what does Regan wish for when both The Last Ship and Jane the Virgin have ended their runs after an impressive five seasons? Having explored fantasy television in Legend of the Seeker and the Marvel universe in Agent Carter, the next genre the talented actor is eyeing may surprise some fans. “Mostly I want to do musicals now,” says Regan. “I love musical theater so much; that’s actually my first love. So I would love to do a musical next.” She laughs, adding, “Did I surprise you on that one?”