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Band of Brothers Rewatch, Part 3: Carentan

Happy Veteran's Day!


































All pictures from a picpams by totallybalancedand tasteofblame.



Poll #1295279 Carentan

Wait, which one is….

Hoobler?
0(0.0%)
Muck?
5(29.4%)
Martin?
1(5.9%)
Talbert?
4(23.5%)
Shifty?
1(5.9%)
I only know Winters, and even then only when his helmet’s off.
3(17.6%)

Worst WTF Moment:

That guy’s leg is shot in half.
1(5.0%)
Half of Tipper’s face is a mess.
3(15.0%)
Lipton nearly loses the ability to make the sweetest, bravest little baby boomers ever.
0(0.0%)
Talbert is a victim of Friendly Stabbing.
1(5.0%)
D and F Companies retreat, leaving Easy to face the tanks.
4(20.0%)
Random guy in the field gets…you know.
2(10.0%)
Blithe is shot in the neck.
0(0.0%)

Best OMG Moment:

Under heavy fire, Winters takes off his helmet to wave the men out of their ditches and into Carentan.
2(11.1%)
Shifty takes out two snipers with two shots.
3(16.7%)
Luz saves a French family.
0(0.0%)
Winters lays hands on Blithe and cures his blindness.
0(0.0%)
The chaplain walks through the streets of bodies as if nobody’s shooting.
2(11.1%)
Winters stands above Blithe’s foxhole and yells at him to come out and fire his weapon.
1(5.6%)
Welsh and McGrath shoot at tanks from the middle of the open field.
4(22.2%)

Best Bromantic Moment:

Talbert tells Lipton that his manhood has survived the attack.
0(0.0%)
Liebgott holds Tipper after he gets blown up.
4(20.0%)
Nixon and Winters share a smirk and a twinkle at Strayer’s expense.
1(5.0%)
Winters comforts Blithe.
0(0.0%)
Nixon flirts with Sherman tanks.
1(5.0%)
Malarkey and More take a ride through the English countryside.
2(10.0%)
Gordon gives Talbert one of his purple hearts, avec poetry.
3(15.0%)




RECAP:

Blithe
1 : of a happy lighthearted character or disposition
2 : lacking due thought or consideration : CASUAL , HEEDLESS
synonyms see MERRY

Albert Blithe looks at the sky. Talbert and Shifty find him. They tell him they’ve been fighting with the 502nd since D-Day. Blithe says, “I’ve been trying to find Easy.”

They do find Easy, and have a reunion with the boys. Perconte exposits that Meehan’s plane must have gone down and that Winters is CO. As Blithe is 1st Platoon, he’s under Lt. Welsh.

Welsh barks to his platoon that they’ll be helping take Carentan. He says it’s the only place where armor from Omaha and Utah beaches can link up and head inland. They set out, Welsh cautioning the men not to “play grab the fanny with the man in front of you.” Party pooper. Hoobler is lead scout for 1st platoon, who lead Easy Company. Easy is following Fox Company to Carentan.

Luz is funny.

It’s nighttime. First platoon realize they’ve lost F Company in the dark. Welsh sends Hoobler and Blithe ahead to find them. Nix and Winters catch up to Welsh and gripe adorably.

Blithe and Hoobler pick their way through the woods, find F Company and insult their education. Blithe goes back to tell Easy they’ve linked up again. On the way, he is startled by a dead German, sitting upright in the dark. Nixon and Winters come along and encounter Blithe, a bit shaken. Mary struggles to think of something other than what Nix and Winters might do, alone in dark forests.

Nixon sees that the dead German has edelweiss in his buttonhole. He says that this guy is one of the Fallschirmjager, German paratroopers, and that the edelweiss is the mark of a “true soldier”. Turns out I have a fetish for Nixon saying things in other languages whilst also being smart, cause damn. And Nix isn’t done with me yet. He says that Division thinks that there’s a regiment of paratroopers holding Carentan. So that’s who the men are up against.

Now I need a military person here so I wish to hell misterrealwould show up already. But what I do know is that there’s some commentary in this piece about how paratroopers are supposed to be better than other soldiers. I have no clue about them relative to Marines or Seals or Green Berets, because that there is the entire contents of the part of my brain labeled “elite military units”. But I know that there’s a line about these men joining the Airborne because it meant they’d be fighting alongside the best. So better than draftees, I guess. And, to the extent that this is true for Germans as well, Nixon’s intel means that our boys are just slightly more fucked than we thought they were a few minutes ago.

D-Day Plus Six: Carentan. It’s daylight and Easy is outside the town, ready to attack. Winters says 1st platoon should go right up the middle, and fast. Second and third will come in from either side. First goes and it gets bad right away. It feels like there’s a sniper in every window of that town, bombarding the men with gunfire. Most of them leap off the side of the road and take cover. Welsh and Luz make it to the edge of town, going, “Where the hell is everybody?” Winters is behind, yelling at the men to keep going forward. He’s standing on the road as they cower below. He’s yelling, he’s waving, he’s kicking at them! He takes off his helmet and waves them on with it! They finally get going and Easy makes it into Carentan.

It’s a small, old town. German snipers are all over the place, behind second and third-story windows. The boys are taking cover as best they can, but it’s brutal. Three men down in like the first minute. Shifty has decent cover behind a corner of a building, and no one has spotted him yet. He takes out one sniper with one shot. Then another. In return, he gets a hail of bullets from some undead sniper, but he survives.

Note: Shifty Powers is a great shot. That’s his thing. It’s more fun if you know that, going forward.

The men are desperately trying to take out the German guns so they can make headway. Welsh runs right up to a window and lobs a grenade in, killing the gunner. Hoobler and Luz smash another window and do the same. They approach a third window. Hoobler tells Luz to smash the window so he can toss the grenade. Luz hesitates. Instead, he kicks open the door, gun raised. There’s a very scared French family huddled on the floor. Luz is their new favorite person for, like, generations.

Lipton runs up an outside staircase to the second floor of a building. He sees a huge blast go off a couple streets away. He starts yelling to the men on the ground “They’ve got a zero! Get out of the street!” I thought zeros were Japanese fighter planes, but maybe they’re German guns too…I don’t know. I looked at google and got nothing. I look at Lip’s face and what I see there is that a zero is a big-ass gun.

Blithe rounds a corner and promptly goes blind. In the street, someone’s leg is blown off. Bull carries him to safety.

Lipton’s in the middle of the street, trying to get the men out of there. An explosion in front of him knocks him back against a wall. Talbert runs to help and binds Lipton’s arm. Talbert follows Lipton’s eyes down to Lipton’s crotch, which is very bloody. Talbert immediately rips open the crotch of Lipton’s pants and looks inside. “You’re ok Lip. Everything’s right where it should be.” Lipton nods gratefully. “Come on, upsie daisy!” Tab carries him away. Aw. That was so sweet I’m not even gonna go there.

Tipper goes into a shop to clear it. Coming out, a huge blast rocks the place. He staggers out onto the street, where Liebgott is passing by, and collapses. Tipper’s leg is blown to bits and half his face is shot off. Liebgott holds him and comforts him until they can get him away to a medic.

Germans run away from Carentan. Americans shoot them from windows.

Winters is in the street. A soldier rides up on a gorgeous (and spirited!) white horse.
Winters: “What’s your name, trooper?”
Farnsworth: “Sgt. Farnsworth, Able Company, 501st. I’m supposed to tell you we’ve got it clear from here all the way north to (somewhere).”
Winters: “Tell your CO the 506th arrived in force and secured all positions south of you.”
Farnsworth: “Yes, sir. (to horse) Come on, fat boy, let’s go!”

Useless Trivia that only your humble recapper can provide: That there was Freddie Joe Farnsworth, real-life ex-Marine Sergeant and rodeo champion. He is now a stunt-man and technical advisor to the movie industry. He was assistant military advisor on B of B. I first learned about Sgt. Farnsworth listening to Colin Farrell do press for Alexander, on which Farnsworth trained the actors to ride horses. I believe he also did horse stunts on Deadwood. You might find him on the B of B extras --- for sure in Ron Livingston’s diary piece.

Ok, sorry. :-)

Winters is still in the road, waiting for my tangent to end. In a doorway, there’s Col. Strayer, backed by several men. Also Nixon, writing something down, as usual. Col. Strayer asks Winters whether it’s safe to come into the road. Winters is slightly confused, as he’s standing right in the middle of the road, quite unshot. Strayer asks again. Winters hesitates only slightly, I would love to think for Nixon's benefit, and tells Strayer that yes, it’s safe. Strayer and the men move past. Nix approaches Winters with THE cutest little squint of humor and WTF I have ever seen in my life. Winters smirks back. It’s definitely one of my top-five Wixon moments. Nixon moves on.

Neener, neener, Winters immediately gets shot in the ankle. Tempted the wrath, he did.

At some makeshift medical place, Doc Roe patches up Winters' leg. Buck checks on him. They exposit that there will probably be a counter-attack, as the Germans really, really want Carentan back. Winters notices Blithe looking even spacier than usual and asks Roe what’s up. Roe explains that Blithe can’t see.

Winters crouches down in front of Blithe. Blithe’s been crying. He explains that everything just went black and that he hates letting everybody down. Winters tells him to take it easy and puts a hand on Blithe’s shoulder. Blithe closes his eyes. He opens them. He can see. “Thank you, sir. I think I’m ok.” Winters is boggled. He tells him to stay put for a bit, to make sure he’s really ok, then to rejoin his unit.

So, in case you were unclear about what we think of Winters, he is now making the blind to see.

I buy it.

Some of the men sit around in town, smoking and talking about the Speirs rumors. They tell different versions of the story of the POW massacre. Malarkey says he didn’t actually see what happened. “And he took out that last 105 on D-Day, practically on his own, running through MG fire like a maniac.” Malarkey: “Now that I did see.” They figure they don’t care whether any of the other stuff’s true.

Easy’s pulling out of Carentan. Perconte grouses that E Company is always on point or way on the flank, unprotected. He says that there are nine companies and once in awhile he’d like to be right in the middle.

The men come under fire. That’s the Germans on their way to retake Carentan. The men retreat to a wooded area to return fire. By night, everything is quiet except the Germans, who are singing German songs.

Talbert comes to Smith’s foxhole to wake him for his watch. Smith wakes and mistakes Tab for a German, stabbing him several times with his bayonet. Liebgott snaps Smith out of it and takes care of Talbert. Smith is horrified at what he’s done. Tab screams in pain.

Blithe is in a foxhole a ways off, with Martin. He goes to find out what the yelling’s about and meets Lt. Speirs on the way. Speirs says everything’s under control.

Speirs: “You have some nervous privates in your company.”
Blithe: “We do sir. I can vouch for that.”
Speirs: “They just don’t see how simple it is.”
Blithe: “Simple what is, sir?”
Speirs: “Just do what you have to do.”
Blithe: “Like you did on D-Day sir?” (And here we thought he wasn't very brave!) “Sir, when I woke up on D-Day, I found myself in a ditch, all by myself. I fell asleep. I think it was those air sickness pills they gave us. When I woke up…I didn’t really try to find my unit. To fight. I just kind of stayed put.”
Speirs: “What’s your name, trooper?
Blithe: “Blithe, sir. Albert Blithe.”
Speirs: “You know why you hid in that ditch, Blithe?”
Blithe: “I was scared.”
Speirs: “We’re all scared. You hid in that ditch because you think there’s still hope. But Blithe, the only hope you have is to accept the fact that you’re already dead. And the sooner you accept that, the sooner you’ll be able to function as a soldier is supposed to function. Without mercy, without compassion, without remorse. All war depends on it.”

D-Day Plus Seven. The barrage starts. Winters runs the lines to give orders. He wants fire superiority. Blithe cowers in his hole and won’t shoot. In his defense, all the leaves around his hole have holes in them. So it’s a fine line between cowardly and sane sometimes.

German tanks appear and start hitting the lines with heavy blasts. Dog and Fox companies retreat, the bastards. Winters tries to keep Easy firing. He comes upon Blithe and yells at him, “Fire your weapon, Blithe!” Winters stands tall above Blithe’s foxhole. “Fire!” Blithe stands shakily and prepares to fire. “Fire, Blithe. Let ‘em have it, Blithe!” Blithe fires and fires.

Welsh and McGrath need to get closer to take out a German tank, so they run into the open field. They’re using one of those shoulder-held rocket-propelled thingies. (Seriously, misterreal, get over here.) They miss their first shot. And their second. Welsh loads the rounds as McGrath holds the gun, yelling hilariously, “You’re going get me killed, Lieutenant! I knew you’d get me killed!” Their fourth round hits its target and they retreat.

We hear an awesome rumbling from behind the trees, and some very curvy black tanks peek through. Nixon, looking through his binoculars, purrs, “Well hellooooo, Second Armored.” For the love of god, Nix, you even talk sexy to tanks. Now it’s two sets of tanks and many regular guns and lots of people get killed, one in a way that I’d rather not talk about.

As the Germans retreat through the distant trees, one of them stops to turn and fire again. Across the field, Blithe has him. “Come on”, he whispers. The man stops. Blithe shoots and scores. Blithe walks across the field to find the man he killed. Blithe stoops to pick the edelweiss from the soldier’s buttonhole.

D-Day Plus 25. Nixon and Welsh are with a team moving toward a farmhouse. They need scouts. Blithe volunteers; Welsh picks Dukeman and Martin to go with him. Blithe is on point. He gets close and then is shot in the neck.

As Blithe is tended to, Winters comes up and tells Nixon and Welsh that they’re being pulled off the front line and sent back to England.

England. Winters is stiff. Hello! Oh, he means his leg. He says Col. Sink and General Taylor are pleased that Easy held the line and send their gratitude. Welsh is snarky.

Blithe, head and neck bandaged so as to facilitate his staring blankly upward thing, is wheeled into a hospital ward as Gordon is getting his third purple heart, for acne or something. Popeye, still lying on his tummy since D-Day, gestures to Blithe and says, “And he only gets one.”

Malarkey rides in a sidecar as More careens joyously around England. The men meet in a mess hall. Gordon delivers a hilarious retelling, in verse, of the night that Talbert was stabbed by Smith. He ends it by giving Talbert one of his three purple hearts, as Tab would not be eligible for one of his own. The men drink. Red-headed cutie pie Babe Heffron meets Guarnere and they figure out they know some of the same Philadelphians. Officers whisper to Lipton, who slowly looks less celebratory. Lipton makes an announcement. (Oy. I would really like to hear one officer make an announcement without using the words, “Listen up.”) Lipton says that they’re going back to France.

Malarkey stops by the local laundry house to pick up his clean clothes. He’s been promoted to Sergeant. (yay!) He pays and turns to leave, but the laundry lady asks whether he might not be a dear and take laundry to some of the men in his company. Malarkey agrees and she reads their names off the paper packages that hold the laundry.

She starts with Meehan and lists ten men, ending with Blithe. Malarkey is speechless.

Ok, that’s it. How about a slow clap for Marc Warren (Blithe) who we won’t be seeing again. Incredible, haunting performance delivered with very few lines.

Comments

( 83 comments )
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marymary
Nov. 11th, 2008 03:40 pm (UTC)
Hey, guys. Holy cow, this one was long. I'll try to work on that. *g*

I've been trying for a Monday/Thursday schedule, but Vet's Day was too good to pass up. And I have a brutal week this week, so I might not get to Replacements until Monday.

Seems like a few people who wanted to be here are not here yet anyway, so that will give them more time to catch up.
misterreal
Nov. 12th, 2008 02:03 am (UTC)
This vet thanks you. :)
(no subject) - tomfoolery815 - Nov. 12th, 2008 02:07 am (UTC) - Expand
aunt_deen
Nov. 11th, 2008 04:10 pm (UTC)
Okay,marymary, I laughed out loud, like, five times reading this. Hows about a slow clap for our recapper?

Talbert immediately rips open the crotch of Lipton’s pants and looks inside. “You’re ok Lip. Everything’s right where it should be.” Lipton nods gratefully. “Come on, upsie daisy!” Talbert carries him away. Aw. That was so sweet I’m not even gonna go there.

I think it's the "upsie daisy" that makes it art. And yeah, I'm not going there, either. That was a great moment.

Blithe's story was awesome, and I do love the irony of his name. And I never really pegged him as a coward in my mind. Cowardice always seems to me to be a much more considered and self-aware thing and Blithe was just ... out of it. I think the jump knocked something loose in his mind and he was never fully there after that. Winters (natch) was able to bring him partway back a couple of times and there was the conversation with Spiers but Blithe just wandered through the whole episode in a nightmare for the most part.

We hear an awesome rumbling from behind the trees, and some very curvy black tanks peek through. Nixon, looking through his binoculars, purrs, “Well hellooooo, Second Armored.” For the love of god, Nix, you even talk sexy to tanks.

I remember thinking the same thing.

Col. Strayer asks Winters whether it’s safe to come into the road. Winters is slightly confused, as he’s standing right in the middle of the road, quite unshot. Strayer asks again. Winters hesitates only slightly, I would love to think for Nixon's benefit, and tells Strayer that yes, it’s safe. Strayer and the men move past. Nix approaches Winters with THE cutest little squint of humor and WTF I have ever seen in my life. Winters smirks back. It’s definitely one of my top-five Wixon moments.

This was my favorite moment in the whole episode. I love how Winters and Nixon were very carefully not looking at each other until Strayer had moved past them and then they just tried not to burst out laughing. And then Winters gets shot quite hilariously. I have to think that Nixon, if he had still been standing there, would have fallen to the ground in hilarity and gotten himself killed so I'm glad he left.

I have the next ep on the Netflix queue, so I should be caught up before the next one. I hope.
marymary
Nov. 11th, 2008 04:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you, dear. :-)

And there are DVDs about a mile from you, you know. No need to Netflix if you don't want to.
(no subject) - aunt_deen - Nov. 11th, 2008 04:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tuesday_suit - Nov. 12th, 2008 12:14 am (UTC) - Expand
misreall
Nov. 11th, 2008 04:15 pm (UTC)
Alright, I am going to come back to make a real comment when time allows, but I just have to throw in that Marc Warren who plays Blithe is (allegedly) on of the front runners to play the new Doctor Who.

That is all.
aunt_deen
Nov. 11th, 2008 04:49 pm (UTC)
Well gosh. That's gonna cause some rearranging of my brain.
marymary
Nov. 11th, 2008 04:31 pm (UTC)
aunt_deen, you're right that calling Blithe a "coward" is totally unfair. I should have said fearful or something. I think he's meant to represent the person who's quite sane and normal and functional in real life, but who is (understandably) utterly unequipped for this situation.

It's interesting to watch him learn to cope. Maybe through the heart-to-heart with Speirs or maybe through Winters' encouragement or just getting more numb to it. By the end of the Cartentan counter-attack, he seems to have pushed past some wall, spotting and killing that German as the others retreat. By D-Day plus 25, he's volunteering to be the lead scout as they approach the farmhouse.

FWIW, my research says that he didn't die a few years after the war, as stated in the tag. I think he died in the 50s. Still, a short life.
tomfoolery815
Nov. 11th, 2008 04:43 pm (UTC)
Okay,marymary, I laughed out loud, like, five times reading this. Hows about a slow clap for our recapper?
Clap.
Clap.
Clap.
:-)
That must have taken forever, Mary. Thank you, sincerely, for all the extra effort. I'm going to honor your effort with a Reverse Jacob and talk about the recap first.

“They’ve got a zero! Get out of the street!” I thought zeros were Japanese fighter planes, but maybe they’re German guns too
He means they're zeroed in on the American location, IMO.

Aw. That was so sweet I’m not even gonna go there.
That's kind of you. :-) Yeah, this isn't Stephen Rea reluctant to assist Forest Whitaker in "The Crying Game." Talbert knows that's the only question Lipton wants answered at that moment, so he does what's needed to answer it.

In his defense, all the leaves around his hole have holes in them
Heh. Fair point.

Blithe, head and neck bandaged so as to facilitate his staring blankly upward thing
Ha!

We hear an awesome rumbling from behind the trees, and some very curvy black tanks peek through. Nixon, looking through his binoculars, purrs, “Well hellooooo, Second Armored.” For the love of god, Nix, you even talk sexy to tanks.
BWAH! It's the "some very curvy black tanks" that makes it art.

You ladies will understand if I didn't hear him in quite the same way, right? ;-)


Edited at 2008-11-11 04:46 pm (UTC)
tomfoolery815
Nov. 11th, 2008 05:01 pm (UTC)
Marc Warren is incredible as Blithe, isn't he? And you're right, Mary, to point out that he had to portray Blithe with very few words.

Ambrose: "Bravery is when you're scared, but you go anyway."

Each of the three lieutenants that counsels Blithe knows that whatever is happening, he's got to snap out of it. Otherwise he's going to get himself, or his comrades, killed. Each tries a different approach. Winters, of course, initially goes with compassion. Perhaps it was just a fatherly, or big-brotherly, bit of compassion from Winters that snaps him out if his hysterical blindness.

Harry tries to get him to pretend it's just a game of football. But Blithe is too deep in the wilderness of his mind for that.

Speirs' chilling speech is, ironically, a survival mindset. The soldier that can do his job does seem more likely to stay alive than the one who panics and makes a mistake. The "all war depends upon it" part is actually, I think, about the individual getting past his fear for the sake of the unit. If the individual doesn't cope with his fear, he's going to get his buddies killed.

Awesome metaphorical shot of Blithe down in the hole, needing to pull himself up out of it. Winters becomes Blithe's personal cheerleader at that moment, because that's what is needed to keep Blithe alive. So, of course, that's what Winters does.
tomfoolery815
Nov. 11th, 2008 05:12 pm (UTC)
I have to think that Nixon, if he had still been standing there, would have fallen to the ground in hilarity and gotten himself killed so I'm glad he left.
Ha! Yes, then I'm glad he left, too, Deen. It is the exceedingly rare Someone We Like Got Shot, And That's Funny moment. The looks Nixon and Winters exchanged right before it were terrific.

Did you guys read DL's portrayal of Winters' reaction as one of "Shouldn't have smirked like that about Strayer?" I thought that's what I saw. And did you notice that Winters only talks about his wound with other officers, and interrupted the doc's treatment of him to help Blithe?

A little more on Blithe, since this is his episode: He hurt my heart when, while blind, told Winters he didn't want to let anybody down.

he seems to have pushed past some wall, spotting and killing that German as the others retreat. By D-Day plus 25, he's volunteering to be the lead scout as they approach the farmhouse.
I think that, because he's feeling guilt about not having done more on D-Day, he wants to prove himself to his comrades.
ilovehulajosh
Nov. 11th, 2008 05:14 pm (UTC)
Oy, how did I miss the first 3 ep viewings?

I'll start tomorrow I swear.
marymary
Nov. 11th, 2008 05:21 pm (UTC)
Great! We'll be here.
marymary
Nov. 11th, 2008 05:19 pm (UTC)
Speirs' chilling speech is, ironically, a survival mindset. The soldier that can do his job does seem more likely to stay alive than the one who panics and makes a mistake. The "all war depends upon it" part is actually, I think, about the individual getting past his fear for the sake of the unit.

Right. I think I left a comment in Day of Days about the men having to polarize their emotions. They love and protect and emphathize with their fellow Americans (and allies). They run into danger for each other, they hold and comfort each other. These are above and beyond what they'd probably do for friends in real life. This situation intensifies their bond.

On the other hand, Germans are for killing. They might be good people, they might be just as eligible for friendship and compassion as the Americans, but the soldiers can't see it that way. They have to shut down whatever emotion that reaches out to a German soldier. As he aims his gun or lobs a grenade, the American can't regret killing a German or he'd be paralyzed.

IMO, Speirs just takes that a step further. And it's actually two things he outlines in that speech. 1) No compassion. So you NEVER hestitate to kill a German soldier. Luz's hesitation is what saved that French family. But hesitation can get you killed, get your friend killed, or drive you insane. 2) No fear. You're already dead. So you don't worry about hurting others and you don't worry about yourself. Speirs does worry about his fellow soldiers --- it's arguable whether that's out of some genuine fraternal emotion or it's a purely practical matter (keep Americans alive so we can win).

So I don't find Speirs' philosophy fundamentally different than the one that the military encourages or the men seem to possess. All the other men are walking around with the burden of these situational emotions, and Speirs isn't. He seems freer because he is.
marymary
Nov. 11th, 2008 06:39 pm (UTC)
Winters, of course, initially goes with compassion. Perhaps it was just a fatherly, or big-brotherly, bit of compassion from Winters that snaps him out if his hysterical blindness.

Right. Maybe one way to say it is that Blithe's mind just couldn't see what it was seeing anymore, so it shut down. Winters, on the other hand, is a sight for sore eyes. :-) Blithe and I agree.

Tom, I like your distinction between the three lieutenants. It's also interesting to compare Winters at the aid station to Winters above the foxhole. In that case, he's yelling really loudly at Blithe to get up and fire his weapon. But even that has a kinder, gentler tone to it. As opposed to verbal abuse, Winters leans toward cheerleading. "Come on, Blithe, Let 'em have it!!!"
misreall
Nov. 11th, 2008 06:41 pm (UTC)
Speirs is the one true warrior in the bunch, for good or for ill. He has internalized every part of what makes a good soldier, or, more likely, he came with those extras already in place. I don't find him evil or amoral, so much as a throwback to another world. If a war, and the army, had not come along I am a little afraid to think of what he might have done or become.

Speirs does worry about his fellow soldiers --- it's arguable whether that's out of some genuine fraternal emotion or it's a purely practical matter (keep Americans alive so we can win).
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Speirs is the one true warrior in the bunch, for good or for ill. He has internalized every part of what makes a good soldier, or, more likely, he came with those extras already in place. I don't find him evil or amoral, so much as a throwback to another world. If a war, and the army, had not come along I am a little afraid to think of what he might have done or become.

<i>Speirs does worry about his fellow soldiers --- it's arguable whether that's out of some genuine fraternal emotion or it's a purely practical matter (keep Americans alive so we can win).<i\>
I think he definatly cares about the men, not just as troops. They are his brothers in the truest sense, people that you do not chose but that fate seems to chose for you. In some ways the whole Band of Brothers/Henry V connection is at it's purest in Speirs. "For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother"

Speirs, I think, is the true believer of war, and the kind of person who sees it as being enobling as well as degrading. But I think a lot of that becomes clearer later.
misreall
Nov. 11th, 2008 06:51 pm (UTC)
Ok, clearly I am lj cursed.

Sigh.
marymary
Nov. 11th, 2008 07:57 pm (UTC)
Yeah, misreall, I agree with you on Speirs. He's a natural. :-) And I think it helps to see the whole series to understand him.

They are his brothers in the truest sense, people that you do not chose but that fate seems to chose for you.

This is a great observation!
olsonm_raymond
Nov. 11th, 2008 09:08 pm (UTC)
This episode dramatizes the fundamental crisis that faces all soldiers; how much of your humanity can you afford to lose? Victory (and saving lives) requires that you sacrifice some of it. But it will stay with you for the rest of your life.

For me, this dilema carries with it an inescapable sense of extreme injustice: soldiers don't start wars; they just pay the price.
marymary
Nov. 11th, 2008 10:21 pm (UTC)
I Know I Know That Guy
This will save you some imbding:

Winters, Damian Lewis: Life, Forsyte Saga, Dreamcatcher
Nixon, Ron Livingston: Office Space, Standoff, Little Black Book, The Practice
Malarkey, Scott Grimes: ER, Party of Five
Lipton, Donnie Wahlberg: New Kids On the Block, Boomtown, Dreamcatcher, The Sixth Sense
Bull, Michael Cudlitz: Life, Standoff, Prison Break, 24
Martin, Dexter Fletcher: Layer Cake, Topsy Turvy, Caravaggio
Liebgott, Ross McCall: Bones, Ghost Whisperer, Jennifer Love Hewitt’s boyfriend
Buck, Neal McDonough: Desperate Housewives, Tin Man, Flags of Our Fathers, Boomtown
Guarnere, Frank John Hughes: The Sopranos, Boomtown
Col. Sink, Dale Dye: Every Colonel or General in everything you’ve ever seen, also military advisor to every military movie you’ve ever seen
Muck, Richard Speight: Jericho, Supernatural
Welsh, Rick Warden: Rome
Toye, Kirk Acevedo: Fringe, The Black Donnellys, The Thin Red Line, Oz
Webster, Eion Bailey: ER, And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself, Almost Famous, Buffy
Speirs, Matthew Settle: Gossip Girl, Brothers and Sisters, Into the West, ER
Meehan, Jason O’Mara: Life on Mars, Grey’s, Men in Trees, Monarch of the Glen
Evans, Simon Pegg: Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead, Black Books, soon to be Scotty in the new Star Trek movie

There are two other people most of you will know, but it's more fun to be surprised (if that's possible at this point).

Wait, there's a third one! Let's play spot the SNL regular. In an upcoming episode, someone you know from SNL has a cameo. If you know where he is, no telling.
tuesday_suit
Nov. 11th, 2008 11:44 pm (UTC)
Okay,marymary, I laughed out loud, like, five times reading this. Hows about a slow clap for our recapper?
Clap.
Clap.
Clap.
:-)


I'm with Tom. That was incredible, M. You're better than TWoP:-)

Luz is funny.

Luz is hilarious. :-)

Nix and Winters catch up to Welsh and gripe adorably.

Well, when don’t they? ;-)

I hear Blithe on the mosquitoes – I hate those things.

Turns out I have a fetish for Nixon saying things in other languages whilst also being smart, cause damn.

Yeah, he can talk to me in German anytime he wants. Or, you know, French or Dutch or Pig Latin. Regular Latin, too.

But what I do know is that there’s some commentary in this piece about how paratroopers are supposed to be better than other soldiers. I have no clue about them relative to Marines or Seals or Green Berets, because that there is the entire contents of the part of my brain labeled “elite military units”.

Yeah, mine, too. And I’m really wishing I knew more about how the company/divisions/etc were organized….I just don’t know much about the military and I think it’s probably hurting my understanding of this whole series.

Note: Shifty Powers is a great shot. That’s his thing. It’s more fun if you know that, going forward.

He is, and I think he’s one of my favorite characters. He does his thing so well, and he’s so brave doing it.

Tipper goes into a shop to clear it. Coming out, a huge blast rocks the place. He staggers out onto the street, where Liebgott is passing by, and collapses.

Mary is much smarter than I am because I don’t know half the names at this point.....and thank you very much for the list above. :-)

As men fall dead in the street, a chaplain calmly steps through, bending down to give each one the last rights.

It’s “last rites” – FYI. :-) And I’m glad I watched this twice because I’m picking up on things I missed the first time around, like the chaplain – at least, I don’t remember him. It’s like BSG that way.

A soldier rides up on a gorgeous (and spirited!) white horse.

Yeah, what’s with the horse? It’s the first one we’ve seen so far, right? Short of random, but I guess not so much, being where they are in France.

That there was Freddie Joe Farnsworth, real-life ex-Marine Sergeant and rodeo champion. He is now a stunt-man and technical advisor to the movie industry.

Cool.

So, in case you were unclear about what we think of Winters, he is now making the blind to see.

I buy it.


Yeah, me, too.

Speirs….well, I have a different opinion of him now, but he’s got a dead-on stare that could pretty much stop anything in its tracks.

Some of the men sit around in town, smoking and talking about the Speirs rumors.

“I know a guy, who says a witness told him….” Yeah, I don’t really believe it, either.

He says that there are nine companies and once in awhile he’d like to be right in the middle.

He’s got a point. Though I’m sure the story would be much less interesting if they were in the middle.

By night, everything is quiet except the Germans, who are singing German songs.

Yes, because if they were singing Chinese songs, that would be a bit strange. ;-)

Continued below....
misterreal
Nov. 12th, 2008 02:12 am (UTC)
"But what I do know is that there’s some commentary in this piece about how paratroopers are supposed to be better than other soldiers. I have no clue about them relative to Marines or Seals or Green Berets, because that there is the entire contents of the part of my brain labeled “elite military units”.

Yeah, mine, too. And I’m really wishing I knew more about how the company/divisions/etc were organized….I just don’t know much about the military and I think it’s probably hurting my understanding of this whole series."

Seals and Green Berets did not exist in WWII. Any questions you have on organization, etc. Feel free to ask. One of few things I know a lot about. :)
(no subject) - tuesday_suit - Nov. 12th, 2008 02:17 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - tomfoolery815 - Nov. 12th, 2008 03:30 am (UTC) - Expand
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