The war is over and the men wonder what the future might hold for them. Robert Lechie returns home to his cold family and gets his old job back. His main purpose is to see if he can start a relationship with Vera who lives across the street. Eugene Sledge makes it home some six months after VJ Day and is met by his old friend, Sid Phillips. Eugene is having trouble settling into civilian life and cannot quite understand why some men like himself survived with no physical injuries when so many others died. Lena visits John Basilone's parents and has something of John's she thinks they should have. Written by
When John Basilone's wife Lena, who was also a Marine, visits John's family at the end of the war, there are no award ribbons on her jacket. As a minimum, she would have earned the American Campaign Medal for her service in the United States. See more »
[at Burgie's stop, he looks out the window at his family]
There's my little brother. No sign of Florence.
Melbourne's a hell of a long way, Burgie. It'll take Florence a while to get from Australia to here.
[Burgie turns to go, Snafu speaks hesitantly]
[he turns back]
For doin' all you did to keep us from gettin' our fool heads shot off.
You're good marines.
[they smile at each other and he leaves]
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The final episode of "The Pacific" is difficult not in subject matter - narratively it's formulaic to a fault - but in contrast to the prior episode, on Okinawa. We have (arguably) the darkest and ugliest episode, follow by the most sentimental and rosy. Sledgehammer suffers the earliest reactions to PTSD, postwar, while Leckie sweet-talks his way into his old job and into the arms of his sweetheart across the street. Incidentally, I found the Leckie and Vera scenes to be an appropriate conclusion. And dare I say, endearing? Cliché they may be, but wasn't this the era that invented such cinematic clichés to begin with? Also, the Vera-Leckie angle is satisfying, considering that Leckie was probably the only really engaging character in the whole series.
Many rightly consider "Band of Brothers" the best television miniseries, ever; it's a tough act to follow, and "The Pacific" doesn't really try. Instead it endeavors to show a side of of the Second World War not often portrayed in mainstream entertainment, and not just in a geographic sense. Although wildly uneven in tone, taken as a whole "The Pacific" effectively captures the brutality of the Pacific Theater, particularly the psychological pain of its combatants.
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