North and South, Book II: Season 1, Episode 5

Episode #1.5 (8 May 1986)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | History | Romance
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Charles and Orry set out to rescue George Hazard, who is being held at Libby Prison in Richmond. They make sure he gets back to Union Lines and he makes it home for Christmas. As he ... See full summary »

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Title: Episode #1.5 (08 May 1986)

Episode #1.5 (08 May 1986) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Virgilia Hazard (credit only)
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Justin LaMotte (credit only)
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Terri Garber ...
Wendy Kilbourne ...
Kate McNeil ...
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Billy Hazard (credit only)
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Charles and Orry set out to rescue George Hazard, who is being held at Libby Prison in Richmond. They make sure he gets back to Union Lines and he makes it home for Christmas. As he recovers however, he learns that a warrant has been issued for his arrest for selling faulty cannons to the Army. He goes after Morgan the black marketeer and his brother Stanley does the right thing. At Mont Royal, Brett has an unfortunate encounter with Salem Jones. Madeline has been continuing her good works in Charleston helping those living in the shanty town and gets Rafe Baudeen's help when a group of young boys are take to dig rifle pits for the army. Elkanah Bent continues to dream of taking control of the Confederacy and gets Ashton to sleep with a contributor. Bent has a large stash of ammo and powder but Orry is soon onto him. An exhausted Charles visits Augusta Barclay. Written by garykmcd

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Drama | History | Romance | War

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8 May 1986 (USA)  »

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Quotes

Orry Main: [to Ashton] Get away from me... Get out of my sight.
[to James Huntoon]
Orry Main: Get her out of my sight! I don't ever want to see her again.
[shouting]
Orry Main: Get away from me!
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Episode Five: What Does Really Make Sense?
28 June 2012 | by (Cieszyn, Poland) – See all my reviews

  • "We kill Yankees by the hundreds and save one man. It doesn't make
sense" (Charles)

  • "Compassion still makes sense." (Orry).


After the depressing ending of Episode 4, this part begins in December 1864 - a significant moment of the Civil War that marks its near end. Characters, especially the southerners, are tormented by a rhetorical question "is there anything that makes sense?.' Wounds are yet to come out despite the fact that, as the prologue to the episode says, "events have slowly changed in favor of the North. The war has stretched the resources of both sides to their limits with the South suffering the most dramatically." Yet, there is some hope that shines from persistent friends.

George, psychologically and physically wounded in Libby Prison, mocked by the beastly captain as "half dead," is rescued by Orry and Charles who make their way by force granting the villains with desirable justice. In the thought provoking and atmospheric moment, George thanks them for saving his life. In spite of a barely authentic humor in the situation, the scene occurs to symbolize the tormented individuals. Charles reveals the psychological state of the southern soldiers' at this moment of the war - despair manifested in "Nothing makes sense!" Yet, are everybody bound to such pessimistic reality? Wish this aspect were developed more...Instead, what we find in Episode 5 are many plots packed into 90 minutes, which does not occur to make much sense, unfortunately.

Episode Five, though supplying us with some of truly unforgettable moments, is one among the weakest episodes of the series. These drawbacks refer primarily to the supporting plots that bring out rather mindful confusion than viewing satisfaction. A surprise comes with a great TV series actress Linda Evans (such a clear reference to ultra popular soap opera DYNASTY) but her charm is condensed to mere screen presence rather than the acting abilities. Her performance (or, ironically, benefit performance within portrayal) suffers from terrible inconsistency from the screenplay. She plays Rose Sinclair, a widowed actress who once had played Cordelia in KING LEAR and is now hired by Madeline to find out what insanely ambitious Elkanah Bent aims at. Here lies a secret of conspiracy against Jefferson Davis revealed to...a charming widow in black veil, a disguise of the 'Angel of the poor.' Can you take that seriously?

Some other unrealistic depictions of characters and the limits of various plots harm the series's reputation. Lee Horsley has some dramatic moments but his end is rather a mere cliché of some Hollywood mixture of tradition than something captivating. There is mixture of noir and thriller when Madeline enters a cemetery at the grave of John C Calhoun where the evil takes over within darkness. But...at least. we get revenge and justice (whatever you call that). Some eminent villains who have been with us for so long and stimulated our conscience get punished - Bent's empire and Ashton's wretchedness are anguished. His ambitions for leadership within Confederacy perish in the almost 'apocalyptic' finale on the verge of lunacy. Meanwhile, Stanley and Isabel's illegal venture is brought to light when George recovers from the Libby Prison trauma. Farewell, villains! Yet, not all the hated characters come to an end...there is, unfortunately, Salem Jones (Tony Frank) who is spared one unusual Chritmas morning and appears at Mont Royal from time to time with destruction.

There are, however, still moments worth attention. The noteworthy scenes of the episode include:

  • George's great entrance home on Christmas Eve. Apart from the
sweetness and predictability of the scene, the moment is one of the most tear-jerking touches of the series;

  • the depiction of southerners' suffering in the character of Charles.
Lewis Smith's best acting begins. Something inside the psyche that shouts out: I am sick of this war and killing! It is particularly revealed in the scene when he comes to see Augusta (we have a clue somehow that it is their last time together). Is it conscience that makes him come back to her or some premonitions? Mind you that the psychological harm is also noticeable in George who is rescued from hell of Libby but some brutality he encountered there finds its resemblance at the Dillard's Tavern...

  • Madeline's visit at her lawyer uncle Miles Colbert (James Stewart)
and her great line about 'poetic justice' - it's meaningful how this plot reveals the core of charity that blends almost with naiveness;

  • James Stewart's hilarious face when Lee Horsley utters an edgy
statement about a special lawyer who aids 'a scoundrel' in helping 'a lady;'

  • Clarissa and Brett watching the family album - such a cute reference
to the glamor of Old South and Old Mont Royal - this is actually the moment when we feel that Clarissa is inseparable from the mansion and from the past - at the same time, it is a lovely scene between the two women;

As both the war and the storyline get closer to the end, we look forward to focusing on major characters. Those reliable characters experience the torments within the dilemma: what does really make sense? 'Compassion still makes sense' but for whom? It is too late for the villains...


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