'Last Resort' pushes Chaplin, Shepard to confront possibility of WWIII [Exclusive video]

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ABC's new military drama will be going belly-up after the current 13-episode season (its first), but that doesn't mean the adventure's over. Thankfully, the writers have the time to give this ballistic missile submarine saga a satisfying conclusion and sew up any loose ends of the conspiracy that defines the plot.

In this exclusive sneak peek from the upcoming episode "Blue Water," Capt. Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher), admittedly a little drunk, calls Lt. Grace Shepard (Daisy Betts) into his office. Chaplin is backed into the proverbial corner, as he has been all season, and he wants Shepard to weigh in and "provoke debate" over the newest predicament to arise.

[Related: Robert Patrick talks about not being the villain on 'Last Resort']

The vessel and its crew have already been deemed enemies of the United States. They now must find a way to reclaim their innocence, uncover the truth of which government player set them up, and hopefully return safely to the U.S.

Chaplin discloses that Julian Serrat, a scrappy Liberian crime boss, said he'll bring in "all manner of pirates," and the leader of China is willing to provide aid to the USS Colorado -- even if that means engaging in confrontation. Which path they choose will define not only the future of the submarine and those engaged in the turmoil, but possibly also the state of the world.

After encouragement from the captain, Shepard says, "There are always strings attached to any offer." She's not keen on making any alliances and is most concerned with moving forward properly so that the crew members can return home and clear their names.

Chaplin insists that alliances wouldn't technically be official since they are not a sovereign nation. He's certain that the administration will not back them up and that they'd watch the crew die before moving in. Shepard calls him out, saying, "Stop lying to yourself." She's not ready for WWIII to begin over this decision, but Chaplin is convinced that it has already begun, and at this point, restraint equates failure. He's ready to plant his flag and take a firm stand. He presses Shepard to state her position, as well. She's not on board.

To find out whose judgment prevails and what repercussions follow, watch "Last Resort" on Thursday, 12/13 at 8 PM on ABC.