Lt. Jones And Easy Company
Posted 13 February 2004 - 11:56 AM
Lt. Jones walks into the "barracks" with 2nd Platoon and briefs Sgt. Malarkey about the patrol. As Lt. Jones turns to inform the platoon, Sgt. Malarkey cuts him off and briefs them himself, obviously breaking rank and showing where experience and genuine leadership at times one ups rank. (Proven again when Winters disobeys Colonel Sink).
Another instance, when Lt. Jones asks Pvt. Cobb if he is drunk, Lt. Jones looks slightly perturbed, but doesn't overreact. Sgts. Martin and Malarkey also do nothing else but tell Cobb to shut up, never saying anything about the drinking. Perhaps Martin and Malarkey know exactly what the Company has been through the past month and a half and wouldn't react as trivially to a drunken charge as Lt. Jones would. Again experience over newness.
It's profound to note the growth and realization of Lt. Jones throughout the episode. Here is a young man, fresh out of college with rank and priveleges being placed in one of the most heralded companies of the war. He finds out very quickly that his rank means little at the outset, and true leadership comes from within. He also finds out within the episode that experience in combat outranks him, and although he is so willing to get his hands dirty, his inexperience is a deathly liability to the platoon and the patrol.
The ending of the episode really puts his reality into perspective. Sitting in the CP, he watches Winters, Nixon and Speirs (?) formally promote Sgt. Lipton to Lieutenant. It took several months, through battle, hunger, blood and death for Sgt. Lipton to work his way up to a rank that Lt. Jones attained in school. Lipton, standing there being congratulated by his superiors in his dirty uniform...Jones, watching them, finally realizing true leadership, sacrifice and honor.
Although Pvt. Webster's story also played so very prominent in this episode, there was no more character growth than Lt. Jones. Is there any follow up history to his military career? It would be terrific to have seen his career blossom into the type of leader that these Toccoa men became through hardship and loss.
Posted 13 February 2004 - 12:07 PM
Posted 13 February 2004 - 10:19 PM
I now feel even more strongly about the writing and portrayal of Lt. Jones than I did last time. Every WWII cliche screams out that a shavetail ringknocker will be a junior Dike, bound to get men killed. Jones is just as green as his character must be.
But, where Dike will never get it, Jones is portrayed as growing up -- almost incredibly -- in 24 hours. He swallows the embarrassment of the way in which his officer protocol is dissed by all and sundry. He watches and learns. But he doesnt' abdicate the responsiblity of being an officer. He fights for a spot on the patrol. He accepts that he's supercargo, but then performs when given the whistle, and the responsiblity for ringing down the fire support. And he's the one who wrestles down the supply PFC who's bound on killing the Germans as Jackson lies in pain. He has earned enough standing to face down Cobb, and to be backed up by Martin.
Finally, he gets it when Winters displays the redirection of his duty -- to keeping his men alive rather than obeying senseless orders. Jones flinches, then nods. Hell of a learning curve for one day. And he's rewarded with a sincere "well done" from the men.
Well written; well acted.
Slide, as you can see, we agreed on some points, especially the portrayal of the growth of Lt. Jones. My father concurred.
Edited by appell8, 13 February 2004 - 10:22 PM.
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users