After a quick, pilot-style title card that shows an American flag submerged in the ocean, we're dropped right into the action. An inflatable motorboat full of Navy SEALs -- at least one of them wounded, so we know somebody somewhere is pretty mad at them -- flees to a point in the middle of a bay somewhere, while their leader, a poor man's (which is to say American) Robert Carlyle is on the phone to someone he calls "hospitality," requesting a "hot extract." Already this show is getting filthy. There doesn't seem to be anyone on the other end of the phone line, or even in sight, but suddenly, a big honking submarine surfaces directly beneath them, leaving their little boat neatly beached on the main hull just aft of the conning tower. I don't know if that's even possible, but it looks pretty impressive. We'll soon learn that this is the USS Colorado, an Ohio-class nuclear submarine, and it's about to become a very fraught place to be.
Inside the conn, which serves as the sub's bridge or CIC or what have you, there's an atmosphere of urgent competence. There's also a dollop of new people dropped on us at once, but as I soon realize, the nice thing about weecapping a show with a military setting is that the characters tend to have their names stitched across their right nipples. For right now I'll just say that the always riveting, frequently show-killing Andre Braugher is playing captain Marcus Chaplin and Scott Speedman is sporting a respectable naval haircut as his second-in-command, executive officer (or XO) Sam Kendal. Kendal gives the order to prepare to dive again as soon as the Chief of the Boat (who we'll meet shortly) has the SEALs safely inside. The radar operator, Lieutenant Cameron, is picking up plenty of blips nearby, but the captain doesn't seem too worried, pointing out that they're kind of in a heavy traffic area.
"Let me know if anything acts pissy," he instructs, then turns to his navigator, Lieutenant Shepard, and asks her for three good ways out of there. Which they'll need, because Cameron reports that a Pakistani military frigate just turned their way. The good news is that the SEALs are already on board, so they're ready to dive. Which they forthwith do, with all the Tom Clancy-porn that entails. Chaplin leads his XO down the sloping deck, giving Shepard the conn and reassuring his nervous second officer that they're not actually at war. "Just make him realize how incredibly dead he'd be if we were." At least he's leaving her with clear instructions.
Chaplin and Kendal make their way forward to sickbay, where the Chief of the Boat, a Joseph Prosser (played by Robert Patrick with a heaping helping of salt, some of it probably literal) accepts the SEALs' thanks and leaves them to the commanding officers with a warning that their new passengers are "wound tight." The SEALs' leader, Langston, tells Chaplin their wounded fellow needs a hospital, and Chaplin assures him that they're five hours out from where he can be medevac'd to the Eisenhower carrier group, where the sub plans to test some new equipment. Kendal remarks on the SEALs' pursuers and mildly wonders, "Anything we should know?" Langston's only response is to reiterate his thanks for the pickup, which is clearly intended as a polite request for Kendal to fuck off. "You had to ask, didn't you?" Chaplin asks his XO, either as a mild rebuke or a rueful commiseration. After they're gone, Langston asks one of his other guys, whose name is King, "What the hell happened back there?"