Season One, Episode One
Air date September 27, 2012
US viewers 9.31 million
Written by Shawn Ryan & Karl Gajdusek
Directed by Martin Campbell
Episode chronology
← previous
next →
"Blue on Blue"
Captain is the first episode of the first season. It is the series pilot, the first episode of the series overall. It will premiere on September 27, 2012 on ABC. It was written by executive producers Shawn Ryan & Karl Gajdusek and directed by executive producer Martin Campbell.

Captain Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher) and the crew of the USS Colorado, a ballistic missile submarine, find themselves declared enemies of the United States and on the run when they ask for confirmation of an order to fire nuclear weapons on Pakistan that comes from an unusual channel. They take refuge on the island Sainte Marina to regroup.


A small raft carries several soldiers, one of whom is wounded, as it speeds across a vast expanse of ocean. One of the soldiers is trying to raise whoever is supposed to be meeting them at the rendezvous point but no one is answering. Underneath the raft, bubbles form and a huge submarine comes up under them. The soldiers, who are Navy SEALs, are told to get in post-haste because they're in hostile territory.

In the command centre of the submarine, Captain Marcus Chaplin asks for some possible escape routes, which is good since apparently a Pakistani frigate is turning on their position. The submarine dives once again.

The captain and his executive officer (XO) Sam Kendal go for a walk and Chaplin leaves Lt. Grace Shepard in charge, noting that she can relax since they're not actually at war and to just let the Pakistani frigate know how incredibly dead they'd be if they were.

The Chief of the Boat (COB) Joseph Prosser hands the SEALs off to the XO and Chaplin. The SEAL leader thanks them for the pick up. Chaplin says they'll be in range of choppers to take the wounded guy in soon. The XO wants to know why the Pakistani frigate came after them. The SEAL is mum. He goes to one of his other SEALs and asks "what the hell happened back there?"

The XO catches up with two female sailors -- Reynolds and Cortez -- to do a mandatory weekly 'sensitivity' check to make sure they haven't been harassed. The women crack up at this but report they haven't had any problems. We learn it's 1400 hours and it's day 56 of their tour.

Elsewhere, two male sailors are discussing the vagaries of beatboxing while fixing some mechanical issue. One, who looks white, is telling one, who looks black, about how he understands hip-hop better than he does. The XO wanders by and the black one asks if he can shoot the white one in the head. The XO says "permission granted".

Two other sailors are complaining about Chaplin giving Shepard, a woman, command of the boat when he left the bridge. She overhears them. She bumps into Kendal and tells him Chaplin wants to see him in his quarters. Kendal goes to Prosser and tattles that the sailors were busting Shepard's balls. Prosser says he'll take care of it.

Kendal then goes to see Chaplin, who's looking at pictures of his son, who is a soldier, in the desert. Kendal says he must be proud. Chaplin says his son is jealous of him being surrounded by water. Kendal asks Chaplin about the 'Eisenhower group' changing course. Chaplin says Washington is falling apart. He flicks on a small TV in his quarters to show Kendal news reports of a looming impeachment of the President and that four generals have resigned in protest of the President's 'reckless' policies. As he pours them a drink, Chaplin makes an analogy to Reagan firing the air traffic controllers in the '80s as a way of making the Russians believe he was crazy and capable of anything, including launching nukes. They toast to "being 500 feet under and half a world away from it all." Chaplin pulls a picture out of Kendal's pocket of a pretty blonde. Chaplin tells Kendal he's recommended him for a high-up desk job on the mainland and tells him to go home to his wife and start a family. He says that whatever debt Kendal thinks he owes Chaplin he has paid 100 times over.

Prosser tells Shepard that Lawrence and Stern will be pulling latrine duty for a week for disrespecting her and that it's not about her being a woman. She calmly puts him in his place and tells him that it's two weeks latrine duty and that he should be addressing her by her rank or ma'am, not her first name.

On the bridge later, Chaplin asks Shepard for a report. She informs him that they are currently crossing the equator. At this announcement, someone flips on the PA and "La Bamba" by Ritchie Valens comes pouring out. Everybody starts smiling and boogieing. Cortez runs over and puts sunglasses on Chaplin. Shepard looks confused. Chaplin asks her if it's her first time crossing the equator on a warship. She smiles. Apparently this is what they do. Kendal enters and Chaplin salutes him.

Suddenly something comes over the communication system that alarms Chaplin and he yells "battle stations!" The party is over. Shepard reports they have been ordered to launch one of their nukes. Chaplin, Kendal, Shepard, Prosser and another sailor are standing in front of a locked safe and taking out all the stuff that is involved with nuclear launches: codes, keys, numbers, lanyards. Kendal and Chaplin look at the numbers and say they're good. They believe they have "an authenticated fire order" but Shepard is hesitant and freaked out since it came from the Antarctic network, which would only happen if D.C. was wiped out in a first strike.

They prepare the missiles for launch. Kendal inserts his key. He and Chaplin eye each other nervously and then they chew over the Antarctic thing. Chaplin orders an antenna put out so they can take a look. When they flip on the monitor, regular TV is on screen. Chaplin wants to talk to command. Prosser, whose obviously going to be the hawk, is all "we're cleared to fire" and says if Chaplin communicates, he will be disobeying the order. Chaplin says this is noted. Chaplin calls national command and requests confirmation. He is told that he has an authenticated order and should fire. He says he has no declaration of war and questions why the order came through a secondary channel. Things get tense on the deck. He tells the guy since he's still getting "Hannah Montana" on his TV, D.C. clearly hasn't been wiped out so he's not going to annihilate 4.3 million Pakistanis until he hears directly from someone whose authority he can recognise. He then hangs up on him.

Back in D.C., a hot chick in a red dress named Kylie is using the description of the U.S.S. Colorado as foreplay with her beau on the way back from a date. She talks about its stats: Trident nukes, 150 men, 9 women and 2 female officers, it makes its own air and power, and cost $4 billion. One small problem it had was the way it had of announcing itself through it's own magnetic signature, making it a sitting duck. But she fixed it with some technology called Perseus, which she hopes to make a lot of cash on with the help of the senator that her date works for. He says he can't resist her. They are now on the bed and ready to get it on when she gets a text that says "472 Chaplin" and totally freaks her out. She runs off and he is sad.

Things are tense and sweaty back on the deck. Deputy Secretary of Defense William Curry rings up Chaplin. Chaplin recognises his voice but wonders why the President isn't on the line. Curry doesn't answer but instead relieves him of his command and asks for the XO. Kendal takes the line and is promoted. He is told to fire. He tells Shepard to take Chaplin's key and put it in the computer. She does. Everybody continues to sweat and be tense. Kendal then asks for what Chaplin did, that Curry send the request via the regular channel. Curry says he will and the line goes dead. Suddenly the Navy SEALs are on the con and asking why they're refusing the order. Kendal tells COB to remove the men but they resist. Chaplin tells them they have no authority there. The SEALs pull guns and Chaplin says those are not great on submarines. The SEALs say they never miss. Suddenly, they realise that a missile is locked on their position and everyone springs into action for an emergency deep dive. Basically, preparation is "hold on!" The sub dives, the missile hits the water and explodes, and things go haywire and sparky. Chaplin says to bring the boat up but Shepard says she can't as she needs to reboot. They're taking on water and approaching the bottom. They hit the bottom and the lights go out. Water is pouring in. The SEALs and Kendal go to save their wounded buddy. One of the SEALs dies in the process.

Somewhere on a tropical island, a dude in a red Mercedes drives by a bar and then up to a NATO outpost. Inside, a British man is on the phone, explaining that he has a missile signature on his screen. A French woman with him confirms it was an American Tomahawk missile. The guy explains that this could start a war. He hangs up. She tells him to scan the area -- near India and Pakistan -- for the last hour and give her something she can bring back to NATO command. The Mercedes man, Julian, arrives and she, Sophie, is happy to see him but says he can't just waltz in like this. He says nothing is ever put behind locked gates that someone won't break into and he produces a jar of Nutella for her as a gift. He says someday she'll give him a gift.

Back on the sub, Kendal and Chaplin debrief: boat's damaged, there are casualties, and they don't know who shot at them or if they will again. He says the man best equipped to help the boat is in his room chilling to Mozart. Kendal says he needs Chaplin's help. Chaplin says they have a captain: Kendal. It seems like he's trying to buck him up but it also doesn't seem very helpful. One SEAL looks at his dead SEAL friend.

Kendal returns to the control room and delivers a rousing speech to his crew urging them to do their jobs to ensure they survive and promising that he will face up to the consequences of his questioning the order later.

On the nearby island Sainte Marina, Sophie Girard picks up the missile fire from her post at a NATO monitoring station. She also gets a visit from the island's Mayor Julian Serrat, who is trying to curry favor with gifts. Soon afterwards she records two nuclear missiles being fired on Pakistan but is powerless to intervene and breaks down in tears.

Christine Kendal gets unwelcome visitors at her home; naval officers in dress uniform. She fears for Sam's life. Kylie goes to confront Admiral Arthur Shepard about the attack on the Colorado, which the news is attributing to Pakistan. She tells him that her prototype would have masked the boat from Pakistani fire and that the text message she got prior to the incident means that the navy was processing an order to relieve Chaplin of his command. She accuses him of ordering the attack and then realizes that he knew nothing about it. Aboard the Colorado Sam remembers Christine begging him not to leave for his tour.

The Colorado also records the nuclear strike. Chaplin resumes command of the boat over the protests of Chief Prosser. He directs them to surface at Sainte Marina. He then has the crew secure the NATO station under his command. Chaplin calls Admiral Shepard to tell him that the Colorado was attacked by friendlies but the call is cut short by Naval Military Police.

SEAL officer James King takes his commanding officer's body aboard and sends the rest of his team to the hospital with Hopper. He pays bar owner Tani Tumrenjak to store the corpse in her walk in fridge and then starts to drink heavily in her bar. Mayor Serrat approaches King about the sudden invasion but King intimidates him into leaving.

Sam calls Christine and the Navy monitor their conversation. He is able to tell her that he loves her but they are cut off by a sudden blackout in the NATO station. He takes Sophie to the generator and finds that Chief Prosser, Seaman Stern, and Seaman Lawrence have switched it off and contacted naval command to report their action. Stern threatens Sam with a gun. Grace shoots Stern, killing him before he can fire at Sam. They get the generator on-line in time to recognize a pair of bombers headed towards the island.

Chaplin threatens to fire a nuclear warhead on the US if the bombers do not turn back. The bombers continue beyond the threshold he set and he follows through, firing the missile. The bombers turn back but Chaplin refuses to disarm the warhead. Sam is aghast until Chaplin reveals that he set the missile to detonate 200 miles east of Washington.

Chaplin records a video message declaring the island his territory and threatening to attack anyone who violates a 200 mile perimeter around it. Sam tells him that he came across "just crazy enough."

As Chaplin addresses the world Mayor Serrat kidnaps two of his crew; Seamen Pilar Cortez and Josh Brannan. King enigmatically laments his role in precipitating the nuclear strike against Pakistan. Grace visits Stern's body in the hospital and Prosser confronts her for her actions. He is taken into custody for organizing the blackout with Lawrence and Stern. Hopper deliriously mutters that they hit the wrong target.

Afterwards Chaplin muses on what happened to the America he grew up in and considers the possibility of starting afresh on the island.



First appearancesEdit

The following named characters are introduced in this episode, in order of appearance:

  1. Gil Langston - leader of the SEAL team picked up by the USS Colorado.
  2. Hopper - the injured navy SEAL with Langston's team.
  3. James King - a guilt ridden officer in Langston's team.
  4. Fisher - the medic in Langston's team.
  5. Lieutenant Commander Sam Kendal - Executive Officer (XO) of the USS Colorado.
  6. Captain Marcus Chaplin - commanding officer of the USS Colorado.
  7. Cameron Pitts - the Sonar Operator of the Colorado and a tech nerd.
  8. Lieutenant Grace Shepard - second officer of the USS Colorado and daughter of a prominent Navy admiral.
  9. Master Chief Joseph Prosser - Chief of the Boat, also known as Cobb.
  10. Crewmember Reynolds - a female member of the Colorado crew.
  11. Seaman Pilar Cortez - an unruly female member of the Colorado crew.
  12. Petty Officer Josh Brannan - a loudmouthed male member of the Colorado crew.
  13. Crewmember Jones - Brannan's buddy.
  14. Seaman Stern - an insubordinate crew member of the Colorado who dislikes Lieutenant Shepard.
  15. Seaman Lawrence - Stern's buddy.
  16. Lieutenant Chris Cahill - communications officer of the Colorado.
  17. Jeffrey Chaplin - Captain Chaplin's son, serving in Afghanistan.
  18. Christine Kendal - Sam Kendal's wife.
  19. Kylie Sinclair - Owner of a technology company with a prototype aboard the Colorado.
  20. Robert Mitchell - A senatorial aide who is sleeping with Kylie.
  21. William Curry - the Deputy Secretary of Defense who relieves Chaplin of command and twice orders attacks on the Colorado.
  22. Julian Serrat - Mayor of the island town where the Colorado takes refuge.
  23. Tani Tumrenjak - owner of a bar on the island town where the Colorado takes refuge.
  24. Sophie Girard - manager of the NATO station on the island.
  25. Nigel - Sophie's colleague at the NATO station.


  1. Stern - shot by Lieutenant Shepard during an attempt to deliver the Colorado to the US Navy.
  2. 12 USS Colorado crew members - killed in the CRUISE missile attack on the submarine
  3. Gil Langston - killed by a ruptured bulkhead while evacuating sick bay after the CRUISE missile attack.




  1. Andre Braugher as Captain Marcus Chaplin
  2. Scott Speedman as XO Sam Kendal
  3. Daisy Betts as Lieutenant Grace Shepard
  4. Camille De Pazzis as Sophie Girard
  5. Dichen Lachman as Tani Tumrenjak
  6. Daniel Lissing as SEAL Officer James King
  7. Sahr Ngaujah as Mayor Julian Serrat
  8. Autumn Reeser as Kylie Sinclair
  9. Jessy Schram as Christine Kendal
  10. and Robert Patrick as Master Chief Joseph Prosser

Guest starring

  1. Matt Gerald as SEAL Officer Gil Langston
  2. Omid Abtahi as Nigel
  3. Max Adler as Seaman Stern
  4. David Rees Snell as SEAL Barry Hopper
  5. Michael Ng as Sonar Operator Cameron Pitts
  6. Jessica Camacho as Seaman Pilar Cortez
  7. Will Rothhaar as Seaman Josh Brannan
  8. with Bruce Davison as Admiral Arthur Shepard


  1. Daniel Bess as Lieutenant Chris Cahill
  2. Darri Ingolfsson as Robert
  3. Isaac Gilmore as SEAL Fisher
  4. Jason Quinn as Seaman Jones
  5. Kamakani de Dely as an Armed Marine
  6. Mary Gutzi as Dodds
  7. Kasim Saul as Seaman Lawrence
  8. Robert Egbert as the Weapons Officer


  1. Clint Dodson as Russian Spec Ops
  2. Michael A. Lilly as Commander
  3. Raj K. Bose as Island Villager
  4. Paul Edney as U.S. Navy Lieutenant
  5. Unknown as Seaman Henry
  6. Unknown as Seaman Reynolds
  7. Unknown as News Reporter 1
  8. Unknown as the National Command Officer
  9. Jay Karnes as William Curry[1]
  10. Unknown as News Reporter 2
  11. Unknown as Shepard's assistant


Opening credits

  1. Robert Duncan - Composer
  2. Jean Higgins - Episodic Producer
  3. Martin Campbell - Executive Producer
  4. Marney Hochman - Executive Producer
  5. Karl Gajdusek - Executive Producer
  6. Shawn Ryan - Executive Producer
  7. Shawn Ryan &
  8. Karl Gajdusek - Writers
  9. Martin Campbell - Director

Closing credits

  1. Nicholas Bradley - Co-Producer
  2. Mary Courtney - Unit Production Manager
  3. Jamie Marshall - First Assistant Director (AD)
  4. Wainani Young Tomich - Second AD
  5. Rebecca Mangieri, C.S.A. &
  6. Wendy Weidman, C.S.A. - Casting
  7. Rachel Sutton, C.S.A. - Hawaii Casting
  8. Rohn Schmidt - Director of Photography
  9. Jim Spencer - Production Designer
  10. Angela M. Catanzaro - Editor
  11. J. Kathleen Gibson, A.C.E. - Editor
  12. Kathryn Morrison - Costume Designer
  13. Evyen Klean - Music Supervisor
  14. Janet Lopez - Music Supervisor
  15. Tom Jacobs - Technical Advisor


  1. Shawn Ryan's twitter feed @Brandon_Kosto: "Was that Jay Karnes as the voice that ordered the nuking of Pakistan?" @ShawnRyan: "Good ears."

External linksEdit