It's February 1945 and a depleted Easy Company is now in Haguenau, France on the Rhine just across from Germany. Pvt. David Webster, who was injured during Operation Market Garden, returns ... See full summary »
It's February 1945 and a depleted Easy Company is now in Haguenau, France on the Rhine just across from Germany. Pvt. David Webster, who was injured during Operation Market Garden, returns to the Company but finds that his absence from the fighting in Bastogne has alienated the others and he is treated as an outsider. The Company also has a new junior officer, Lt. Henry Jones, a West Point graduate who has yet to get any battlefield experience. The war is clearly coming to an end and the men are starting to think they might just survive the war. When Colonel Cink orders a raid across the river to take prisoners for interrogation, the men are less than keen to take part but follow orders. No one believes it's worth it when one of the men dies from the wounds he receives. When Col. Cink orders another raid the next night, Capt Winters has his own unique way of dealing with the situation. Written by
The series began in some clarity. We know what the goal was -- getting through jump school even in the face of relative incompetence -- and we could tell one soldier from another because we could see their faces.
But as episode followed episode, though we could follow the general progress of Easy Company through the battles of the European theater, the stories got murkier. In full combat kit, especially bundled up in winter gear, it was more difficult to tell who was who. Some members of the company dropped out, sometimes to appear irregularly in later episodes. Some episodes introduced a completely unfamiliar character and kept him as the central figure in a story that could have stood on its own.
But "The Last Patrol" is emblematic. It represents the series at its best. Winters is back as a captain. The men are dog tired but carry out a dangerous mission successfully, at some cost to themselves. The fire fights are done convincingly. The ending brings a sigh of relief, even though a character we've come to respect is committing a crime to achieve it.
If you were to see only two episodes, the first one and "The Last Patrol" would be a good choice.
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