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#1 ginoguarnere

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Posted 15 April 2002 - 07:57 PM

Let us know your thoughts on tonight's episode of Band of Brothers: "Carentan."  Wild Bill kicked off tonights chats with the Easy Company vets...

Currahee!

#2 hooper117

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Posted 15 April 2002 - 10:56 PM

At the risk of being court-martialled for saying this, Carentan is my least favorite episode of the series. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that quite a bit of the show takes place at night. It is so hard to tell who is who in daylight let alone in the dark. Also I never really took to the character of Albert Blithe for some reason, and so much focus is on him in this episode. Don't get me wrong though I would rather watch Carentan than 99% of what else is on T.V. :D Sue

Edited by hooper117, 29 April 2004 - 12:34 AM.


#3 ginoguarnere

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Posted 15 April 2002 - 11:10 PM

Permission to speak granted, Lieutenant Hooper!

:-)

#4 Jimmydoorknobs

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Posted 15 April 2002 - 11:30 PM

Albert Blithe was not a fictional character. He lost his life. presumably after a couple agonizing years in post war treatment.Why should he be disparaged?

#5 hooper117

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Posted 15 April 2002 - 11:49 PM

Okay, I've been sitting here thinking about Carentan and what I liked best about it. Luz had some great lines and continues to lend a comic element to the series. Loved the way Liebgott holds Tipper when he's wounded and tries to console him. And the little knowing smirks Nix and Winters exchange when Strayer asks if it's safe to cross the road is priceless.

About Blithe, I didn't mean Albert Blithe himself. I meant the way he's portrayed in the episode. I know the instance of the hysterical blindness is real from the book and I can certainly understand how battle could scare somebody so bad that way. I'd be scared deaf, dumb and blind. I have every respect for the real man and I cried when they said he eventually died from his wounds. But I think they Didn't portray his character very sympathetically in the show. I just kept thinking that they needed to get him off the line before he gets hisself killed and maybe others also. I do think they redeemed his character somewhat there at the end.  Sue

Edited by hooper117, 29 April 2004 - 12:33 AM.


#6 STRIKEHOLD

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Posted 16 April 2002 - 12:07 AM

Sue and Jimmy,

I lent out my copy of "Band of Brothers".  What is History vs. Hollywood about  Albert Blithe?

I could not help but remember what a vet had told me about his episode with battle fatigue.  As I posted he told me that he ended up in the Hospital after Sicily.  After some down time he went back and fought through Salerno,Anzio,Holland,Belgium to the Elbe in Germany.  He could not explain what happened.

#7 hooper117

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Posted 16 April 2002 - 12:23 AM

Strikehold,as much as I can remember about Blithe in the book is Winters encountered him in the first aid area and he was completely blind at the time. When Winters took the time to talk to him and calm him down a little he was fine. Just like in the show. The only other time I think he's mentioned in the book is when he's in the front(on point?)during a patrol and gets wounded in the neck. I don't recall anything about him freezing up during battle the way they showed him in the series. That's the part I think is hollywoodized(is that a word?). I guess they had to flesh out his character a lot and I don't think they did the real Albert Blithe justice. Of course it just occured to me that maybe the writers interviewed some of the vets and got more details than what was in the book. That would be a good question for Wild Bill.Sue

Edited by hooper117, 29 April 2004 - 12:35 AM.


#8 sonofwildbill

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Posted 16 April 2002 - 05:18 AM

I will also pose this question to my dad. He told me Blithe was from the Philadelphia area and that my dad was with him when he got hit. This is not shown in the series. I think Johnny Martin is with in the episode. I will check this out. I plan to talk to him this week sometime. Gene.

#9 ladymadonna

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Posted 16 April 2002 - 05:35 AM

Sue's right that's the only mention I've seen of Blithe in the book and as JimmyDK says it does seem awful to disparage the man when he's not here to defend himself.  But then I keep coming back to Sue's point and that perhaps the vets supplied additional information on Blithe that we're not aware of.  (Blithe's not the only one portrayed in a bad light in this episode.  Fox Company also get it tough, twice).

However, I think it's good that the show demonstrated that these men were scared.  I'm thinking of the point where Winters had to practically drag his men out of the ditch as they came under fire entering Carentan.  Everyone of them felt fear and all hed to deal with it in their own way.  When I watch this episode it makes me wonder how and if I would handle it?

Again, I agree with Sue, the best of this ep, for me, were Luz' comic moments and Liebgott's compassion for Tipper.  Also liked the scene where Welsh and McGrath bravely went forward to take out the tank.  My heart was in my mouth at this point!

It seemed strange that they chose to show the scene of Malarkey and Moore on the motorbike and not explain that they'd actually 'acquired' it in France.  But again this is something that I read in the book after watching and in fairness there is reference made to the fact that they took it without permission in the following episode.  I just think that it would have made a very good scene, Moore racing across the beach to the LST at the last minute on this bike!

Thought the last scene was very poignant.  Malarkey collecting his laundry and basically getting a role call of many of those who never would.

Donna

#10 Daffie

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Posted 16 April 2002 - 06:02 AM

I was also very impressed by Winters how calmly he listened and talked to Blithe. It shows him being a real leader who wants to be there for his man.

You don't see that a lot in most movies about the war. You can see the human site of a leader and that is also what get's men motivated to follow him. Well, I think.

#11 appell8

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Posted 16 April 2002 - 06:49 AM

Sue, I'm with you on Blithe.  One of my three least favorite depictions in the series, and one that makes this ep. not among my favorites.  And I hasten to add, it's not because the real man may, or may not, have had an extreme reaction to the reality of war.  It is because, as you say, it seemed clear from the moment the three other troopers come upon him that he is not going to be a functional soldier for a while.  And, over and over, the other troopers and officers seem to be obivious to what we are seeing, and it drove me crazy to watch.  Winters, Roe, Welsh, even Speirs take a hand at trying to make him function, and it made my cringe to see him consistently cringing when others were attacking or otherwise functioning.  Again, nothing against the man, but it chipped away at my sense of reality that his fellow troopers would ignore the fact that he wasn't carrying his weight, which could get them killed.

Other than that, I liked the ep and will so post.

#12 appell8

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Posted 16 April 2002 - 07:03 AM

Among the things I liked about the ep was that we see character traits and relationships consistently emerging.

Harry Welsh, an officer who LEADS (thanks to BK for the insight).  We see his "Follow Me" spirit when he sprints toward the T intersection in Carentan, not realizing that he is alone but for Luz until they find cover.  Then he's the one who grenades the most prominent MG.  And that terrific scene wth the jagdpanzer.  No wonder Winters likes him, and we see some gentle teasing between them.  "Hurts."  "War is Hell."

Winters, the dutiful officer who is furious that the troopers don't charge Carentan behind Harry and angry when "officers crap out on their training,"  I guess because D Co. hadn't kept a guide back.  Winters the kind, who reassures Blithe, and then cajoles him into firing his M-1.  Winters the cheerleader, moving back and forth behind his men supporting them.  

Nix the wiseass.  Wonderful exchange of glances with Winters when Strayer demands reassurance that the street is clear while Winters and Nix are standing in it-- this, the same Strayer who demanded that Easy charge into the MG fire at Carentan.  Classic comment to Harry about not expecting to get back to England.

Shifty the sharpshooter.  He's the one behind the corner in Carentan shooting and hitting consistently until pinned by MG fire.

Liebgott: we see much of his nasty side later, so it's redeeming to see him cradling Tipper, who later gave Liebgott credit for his survival.

Out of time now.  Will post more later.  y.o.s., Doug

#13 psumner

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Posted 16 April 2002 - 07:14 AM

One good thing about this episode for me was that showing Blithe's reactions to war probably showed alot of realistic reactions to being in the middle of a firefight or artillery barrage. These men were well trained to fight as a unit, but every one of them showed fear in battle. The difference was their ability to handle fear.

I remember reading "All Quiet on the Western Front" as a kid. The book describes soldiers and officers who talk big and show alot of bravado before the fighting, and when the time comes to cross over into No Man's Land and face the enemy, many of them would cower and cry, while the quiet, unassuming soldiers ofted did the bravest acts. I think the point was that anything can happen in war, and you don't know how you will react to it until you're there.

#14 ladymadonna

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Posted 16 April 2002 - 07:23 AM

Doug, ditto, I agree with everything you said in your last post and you put it so much better than I ever could.

Especially liked you rcomment about Strayer and also the mention you gave Shifty.  When he gave Lipton the thumbs up I wanted to hug him, he looked so sweet!

Oh and congrats on the promotion!

Donna

#15 ToeKnee

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Posted 16 April 2002 - 07:53 AM

As a whole I like this episode a lot - the two main battle scenes were riveting.  However, I agree with those who have posted that the scenes with Blithe are not my most favorite. While they are effective at portraying how not everyone reacts to combat as Lt. Winters, or Mr. Guarnere, or Speirs do, they were a little too slow paced for my liking. In particular, the opening scene in the field and the scene in the aid station where Blithe is blind both dragged, IMHO.  I hope this doesn't make me sound like I only tune in for the violence, because that is definitely not the case.  Like Sue said, these scenes are still much better than most of what's on TV. Also, like Paul said, I think the portrayal of Blithe's reaction in the middle of the battle scene in the hedgerows, where he's screaming and trying to cover his ears, was very good.  Whether or not Blithe ever reacted this way, I don't know, but I'm sure there were many soldiers who did.  The actor did a great job of conveying the horror being felt.  I can imagine I might react in the same way.

sonofwildbill - I'd be interested in hearing if Blithe is indeed from the Philadelphia area.  In the show his accent made me think he was from the south.

appell8 - good observations as usual.  I'm curious as to what your other 2 least favorite depictions in the series are, or will you save those for us until after the appropriate episode?

One question I have about this episode:  In the scene where Blithe gets shot, Lt. Winters comes along and tells Nixon and Welsh that they're being pulled from the front line, and Nixon says, "Now?"  I may be mistaken, but shouldn't Nixon know about these things before Winters, since he's on the Battallion staff?  And why was Nixon so close to the very front line anyways?

Tony

PS  Congrats to Capt. Donna, Sgt. Daffie, Lt. appell8, and Sgt. psumner on your recent promotions!




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