Category Archives: TV

Raising Hope – S01E04: Say Cheese

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This is my first writing regarding Raising Hope. If you ever find any other writing about the show before this one, then I must say that those are, in fact, overdue. I’ve been watching Raising Hope since the first installment but I can neither put my mind to it nor even catch it in full since (a) I am focusing much more on schoolwork, (b) It airs late on Jack TV – 10 PM; by this time, I have either gone to be already or simply fallen asleep on my feet, and (c) even the replays are hard to catch. Anyway, three episodes aside, here is Say Cheese.

Gawd, I just love this show! I feel more acquainted with the Chances each week. I like Sabrina too, though, even though she isn’t a Chance. Come to think of it, my folks never did family photos. Well, I guess there was that one time, but with their twenty-five or so, I say that the Chances beat us at that. I especially like the character of Martha Plimpton as Virginia. It’s so fitting. Virginia has all these bizarre ideas for the shoot (skis, berets, suits – name it), which no one in the family wanted to comply with. I find it heartbreaking when, in the end, she reveals to Burt that all she wanted was to have one perfect photo just like all the other families she cleans houses for.

Very much like Sabrina, it was the family’s being dysfunctional that got me so attuned with the Chances. There was Maw Maw who was really did believe that she was in labor, Jimmy literally eating his hair and eyebrows out of stress, the thing about the inverted nipples, the moleful of hair on Maw Maw’s neck, the couch that kept a person eerily on top of another, and Virginia not quite realizing that she is the craziest person in the house (surely, Maw Maw cannot blame; she didn’t always have Alzheimer’s). Virginia scared me though after Jimmy explained this madness of her.

Lucas Neff is adorable. So far, I’ve liked everything that Jimmy has been doing: he took responsibility for Hope (formerly Princess Beyonce), took charge of the latest family photo even though he and Burt were very much against it), and deciding not to take a move on Sabrina for the meantime despite her pushing the “ignore” button on Wyatt.

The last family photo was comical yet very sweet. It was the best exclamation point to the entire episode. Even the scene in the car was awesome: the whole family just singing along to Do Whack a Do. I never saw why Virginia would have thought it dreadful. Sabrina was indeed insightful on that part. And all’s well that ends well. Next time, Jimmy, you’ll have your chance.

“Yeah, I see you’re goin’ down the street in your big Cadillac
You got girls in the front, you got girls in the back
Yeah, way in back, you got money in a sack
Both hands on the wheel and your shoulders rared back
root-doot-doot-doot-doot, do-wah
I hear tell you’re doin’ well
Good things have come to you.
I wish I had your happiness
And you had a do-wacka-do
Wacka do, wacka-do, wacka-do.

It’s oddly catchy!

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The Pacific Part 10: Home

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Ten weeks ago when I first started watching The Pacific, I never expected anything big. Never wanted to, actually. I was very much impervious to research then, hence I didn’t read any reports about the show. But episode after episode, I started to enjoy watching The Pacific and my outlooks slowly escalated. Some installments pleased me, other not so. Notwithstanding that, I became a fan and I will always be a fan! And after days of anticipation and watching reruns of the show, Part Ten has finally aired on HBO Asia. This episode definitely presented the expectations that I solely sought for. I’m not only going to commentate about the episode but I will also be somehow evaluating on the whole show. I found the events very much similar to the Bon Jovi lyrics, “Mother, mother, tell your children that their time has just begun. I have suffered for my anger. Some wars just can’t be won. Father, father, please believe: I am laying down my guns. I am broken like an arrow. Forgive me. Forgive your wayward son.” This libretto is also very much applicable to every Marine – Eugene Sledge in particular. The war isn’t over. The aftermath is held within themselves.

In the previous episode, Okinawa, Mac told Sledge and his buddies that a nuclear bomb dropped on the Jap mainland and completely destroyed the city. That bomb must have been the opening that the US has been looking for and the final straw for Japan. In this installment, while a nurse is reading to two wounded Marines – one of which is Robert Leckie (!), who is clearly more engrossed with the comics he was holding – a ward walks into the memorial and merrily proclaims that the Japs have surrendered. In Okinawa meanwhile, Marines also are having a victory party in where Snafu points out his Snafu’s Packer to Sledge and Burgy. With the war over and the rest of the Marines’ lives set ahead of them, one questions draws to the three’s mind: what do we do now?

After finding out that his parents have turned his bedroom into an attic, and with some military lieutenant banging on Vera Keller’s door, Robert Leckie’s homecoming didn’t give him much pleasure. Sure enough, Bob did start working immediately, covering for sports on a local paper. He also made “quite an entrance” back to work, making the room buzz and requesting the editor to demote the guy who replaced him then start hiring him again. James Badge Dale is amusing and deeply delighted me with Leckie’s act of winning over Vera’s heart. He didn’t even have to try so hard! I guess his wittiness got him ahead of life. Like his mother advised him to, Leckie rapped on Vera’s door wearing his blues (in which Mrs. Keller found him unfamiliar, but which Vera found discernible). I remember the first episode again when Bob passed by Vera on the church steps and introduced himself, in which Vera stifled a laugh and said she knows who he is. This time, Leckie is afraid that Vera would really not remember him, much like her mother. Leckie then tells off Mr. Charles Dunworthy, eventually scoring himself a date with the girl of his dreams. Here, leckie reveals his fancy for Vera and the letters he wrote to her during the war. Sadly, even for me, the letters have all been wiped out in Cloucester. But even then, Leckie and Vera still continue their relationship throughout the rest of Bob Leckie’s life. Leckie died in 2001. And even during his life’s journey with his Alzheimer really bad that he has forgotten his children’s names, Robert Leckie never forgot about the war.

Lena Riggi is shown walking across the street to the Basilone household. Mrs. Basilone is easily revealed to be in great distress, her eyes puffy from crying. Mr. Basilone sits in his chair. And aside from George Basilone telling Lena about the praises that his brother John shared about his wife before parting this life, the house is quiet and the silence is awkward. The Congressional Medal of Honor did slip my mind, so like the Basilones I initially had no idea what Lena’s priority was for coming. John Basilone is an unforgettable character, and Jon Seda who plays the part also is featured at the end of the episode in where profiles were briefly told. This scene ended with the women choked up in tears.

Eugene Sledge on the other hand… oh boy. I never really thought that I would like Eugene when I first saw him on the show. But because Joseph Mazzello is a great actor, I do now. Before his arrival back home, Eugene spent his time traveling on board a train with RV Burgin and Snafu Shelton. Snafu of course still manages to be the dirty-humored guy who gets slapped by a woman he’s been trying to hit on. I was bothered when Snafu hopped off the train without saying good-bye to the sleeping Sledge. I don’t think I can ever believe that Merriell Shelton didn’t have contact with any Marine for thirty-five years until he read Eugene Sledge’s With the old Breed.

RV Burgin meanwhile was first to get off the train. Snafu eventually goes on thanking him before they part. And in turn, RV tells his friends that they were “good Marines”. As Burgy reunites with his little brother and the train rolls on, Snafu and Sledge look daintily on, filled with deep wonder regarding their homecoming. RV Burgin went on to marry his sweetheart from Melbourne, Florence, and becoming literally part of The Pacific, in where he is usually seen at the beginning of most episodes narrating stories about the war.

Eugene Sledge received one heck of a homecoming. He’s hesitant as soon as he reaches the front door – as though thinking about how he would show himself; how he would come home. There was a big dinner in the Sledge household with his older brother also back from the war in Europe, and Sidney Phillips’s upcoming marriage with Mary Houston. It was nice seeing Eugene and Sidney with one another again. It seems to me now that they really have grown, whereas when I first saw them in Part One, they looked much more novel. I admire Sidney’s resilience of having the time to talk to the confused Sledge. Sidney Phillips of course continues to live on with his large kin. And like RV Burgin, he continues to be part of the commentaries during the beginning of most Pacific episodes.

In some such way, Sledge still finds himself centering on the thoughts of “why?”. He has managed to be “idle”, according to his mother but has really been thinking about the war; carefully reviewing the “why’s” in his experience. Unlike Burgy and Leckie, when Eugene came back home he didn’t have any particular goals set (“no job, no girls, no plans”). Not having the desire to get laid yet, Sledge makes a break for it during Sidney’s wedding. And clearly not wanting to have a job, he tells his mother that he’s never going to work at a bank like his brother. It was the only thing he had set in his mind. All he ever wanted was to literally “do nothing for a while”. Based on what I’ve watched, Sledge was the most messed-up after the war.

I was deeply distraught when Sledge was getting his application reviewed. The girl on the counter was asking him all sorts of questions about his capabilities and the skills he can continue outside the battlefield. Sledge ends the conversation with an outstanding, “They taught me how to kill Japs. I got pretty damn good at it”. It also was a depressing sight seeing Dr. Sledge sit up by his son’s bedroom door as Eugene receives his constant nightmares regarding the war. This also leads to Eugene divulging to his older brother that he doesn’t want to put on the uniform again. Ever. But the most heartbreaking thing that I have witnessed throughout the whole episode was when Dr. Sledge took Eugene out for a walk to shoot some animals down by the marshes. Before they could get too far, Eugene suddenly breaks down and apologizes to his father, saying he can’t do it anymore. That scene genuinely still reverberates in my mind as I write this (kudos to director Jeremy Podeswa). Eugene Sledge ends the show – the entire program – with himself primarily laid down on the grass, flower in hand. This scene clarifies the love Eugene has for living creatures (in the end, we find out that he has a PHD in Biology). He twirls the flower up to the sun, gets up, and walks away.

Watching The Pacific the other night, I was outright astounded with the events that occurred. I can distinctly remember them since Day One. I can say that The Pacific is a great show. I don’t care what anyone else says. I’m an avid watcher who has neither read any of the books nor watched Band of Brothers. The only basis for my judgment is what comes out of my TV screen, and it is an excellent program. I am glad that I decided to watch this show that night in April. I witnessed the first Jap encounter in Guadalcanal, the respite and start of development in Melbourne, the unbelievable conflict of nature in Cape Gloucester, the forgotten war of Peleliu, the death of John Basilone in Iwo Jima, the unbelievable combats and ultimate breakdowns in Okinawa, and the unanswerable questions queued in a Marine’s mind back home. Twice, thantaphobia kicked in and I got sort of disheartened watching. That, I’ve known, is how the show made an impact on me. The whole show, I suppose, got me. It really did. The guys deserve an award, really. All the Marines. All the actors who played their part. I love The Pacific – is all there is left for me to write. May the US Marines who fought in the war in the Pacific during World War II rest in peace.

Five out of five.

I shall be purchasing a copy of Hugh Ambrose’s The Pacific in a month! 😀

The Pacific Part Nine: Okinawa

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I still choose Part Seven as my favorite Pacific episode. In my opinion, Part Eight never topped that one, and I admit that I had high hopes for Part Nine. I’m afraid Part Nine never did surpass my great expectations though. Still, they have to give Joe Mazzello an award for an excellent portrayal of his character. I guess I also have to say the same about Rami Malek as Snafu for still being very roguish and (yes) Brendan Fletcher as Bill Leyden for the way he comforted Hamm, narrated the story of his first actual witness of death – and for having nine lives.

Basically, Sledge and his group have reached the outskirts of Japan itself: Okinawa. It was the bloody hell, according to a Marine, for it had such a great number of casualties – the largest digit in fact. It was such a war that not only were the Marines and the Japanese soldiers the ones involved, but also the Okinawan families and civilians themselves, however innocent they are. Similar to Gloucester, it sporadically rained so AmTracks couldn’t get casualties on board. Often, they would be stuck in muck, so bodies were left to rot on the grounds of Okinawa. You can tell that the Marines were already tired from fighting. I felt empathy while watching Part Nine. Not that the production was bad but the war was tiring; as though I were in the Marines position. I understood this again when Sledge uttered out of frustration, “When are [the Japs] going to take a break?”. Then again when Hamm mildly asked, “When are [the Japs] going to surrender?” In the beginning, one veteran made it clear that by the time they reached Okinawa, everyone already was weary and anxious about the thought of ever going home.

The Marines have the closest encounter with the Japanese people this time. Over all, Part Nine is brutal. Brutal as to the point that Sledge would even advice the other Marines to wait until the Japs get closer before they could shoot at them. And that the Marines would shoot at a boy without further ado (“He’s a Jap, ain’t he?”). As long as they were holding guns and facing Japs (“We’re all set to killed Japs!”) the Marines would fire like crazy. Civilians – even the most innocent ones – got thrown into the middle of the gauntlet as well. But sporadically, they just accidentally get bombed or shot at. I can still recall that part wherein a family was running for safety from all the flying ammunition. One of the kids was still moving even after his kin got hit. I think I would have done the same thing Hamm did. That was a really powerful moment because it was Hamm’s supposedly first clear view of seeing someone dying right in front of him. I think the Marines and the Okinawans have this subtle agreement not to attack the innocent; most of the time, the Marines let the women and children get past them. But men? Oh boy. You should have seen those guys make fun of the Japanese prisoners; calling them “fucking monkeys”; throwing cigars and even spitting on them.

Of course, it’s rather obvious that we would be seeing the biggest change in Eugene Sledge. I can never believe that it was him who pushed down that Japanese soldier who, insulted, refused to sit down. We still got a few shades of the younger, more innocent Sledge when he slipped down a hill and lunged into a muddy hole, going literally face to face with a rotting body. Sledge immediately cleans himself with his dagger, which reminded me of Snafu in Part Seven when he warned Sledge about the “germs”. Eugene also becomes sort of superficial towards the place. Eventually, his new axiom stated that the only thing to matter is for them Marines to kill anyone – as long as they are Japs. And that he wished he could finish every last bit of them. Also when he received the letter that his dog Deacon died, he seemed somewhat lost in a trance and only talked less when Snafu asked him about it. Up until the last scenes, Sledge was rather unfeeling, even telling Hamm to “grow up”. We would still see him relentlessly smoke his way throughout irregular predicaments.

New characters like the mendacious Peck, the apprehensive Hamm, and the slighted Lieutenant Mac were all introduced in this installment. With the show clearly at its climax, I had assumed that we won’t be seeing any more character development. Bruce C. McKenna somehow got that underway, though I still think we didn’t and won’t get to know such characters as well as we do Sledge and Leckie. Peck made his mark through his incompetence and foolish ideas, thus leading to the killing of Private Hamm, and by lying about having a wife named “Kathy”, hence his nickname. Lieutenant Mac, on the other hand was constantly disrespected by the Marines. Also, his views weren’t easily venerated, for he was nothing like Ack Ack, Hillbilly or Gunny Haney. Even with new “draftees” on their team, the company was still very small and had to strive their way carefully through the war.

I really think I have to write down the most humorous scenes, most of which include Snafu. One is when he deceived Peck to trade cots with him and the mischievous one ends up resting on a clean sheet. Another one was when he started “working on Peck’s Christmas present”. And another was when he advised Peck – whom he constantly called “boot” – to be “mean too”, like the Japs. That performance is very much etched in my memory! The most heartbreaking scenes on the other hand were when a woman was giving the US Marines her baby, and ends up getting bombed; when Bill Leyden got too close to the explosives after a heated argument with Peck; and every time one of the Marines get so volatile. The most distressing scene was when Sledge finds a dying Japanese woman in a cottage by the Okinawan hills. The woman appeals to Sledge to shoot her on the spot. Sledge refrains from the request and instead, cradles the woman in his arms until she died.

The end of the episode served as a relief. I was glad to see everyone clean and in new clothes. I have assumed that they would all be going home. My biggest complaint? The duration of the whole episode. Seriously, they need to extend the time to two hours. I’m not disappointed with the episode, but as I said, nothing still topped Part Seven. Part Nine is more than enough to tell me that The Pacific is worth watching ten weeks long.

The Pacific Part Eight: Iwo Jima

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Slap a Jap. Well how about it boys? I thought you all want to do more than “slap a Jap”. Slap a Jap. That’s what the enemy is to you, huh? A fucking buck-toothed cartoon dreamed up by some asshole from Madison Avenue! Well let me tell you something: the Jap I know – the Japanese soldier – he has been in war since you were in fucking diapers! He’s a combat veteran. An expert with his weapon. He can live off a maggoty rice and muddy water for weeks and endure misery you couldn’t dream of in your worst nightmare! The Japanese soldier doesn’t care if he gets hurt or killed – as long as he kills you. You can call ’em whatever you want. But never ever fail to respect their desire to put you and your buddies into an early grave! Is that clear?!

– John Basilone

I wouldn’t say that it was a terrible episode. I actually liked the fact that Part Eight focused on John Basilone. I hadn’t really caught a glimpse of the guy since Part Three, and I’ve been itching ever since I heard this episode was going to be his. I also enjoyed his courting days with Lena and the scenes with the guys in Camp Pendleton. But the battle at Iwo Jima and John Basilone’s demise during that war? Over all, Part Eight just isn’t my favorite. Also, I felt as though I didn’t do much justice with my Part Seven appraisal. The raggedy-assed Marines fought an “unknown battle” after all. Hearing that MacArthur didn’t actually use Peleliu to recapture the Philippines, I was frustrated. It was an “American victory” with five thousand casualties.

The initial parts were given to Sledge who, back in Pavuvu and while in the midst of brushing his teeth, spots a Marine throwing a copy of Ernest Hemingway’s Men at War into the waste basket. Sledge later gets a hold of this book and finds out that it actually was Ack-Ack’s property. I think this incident must have placed him in quite a bad mood, because if that wasn’t dire enough, Jay appears with the announcement that he’s been moved to another company. Sledge also gets momentarily annoyed with Snafu, who frequently asks if his eyes have turned yellow; freaked about the “heeby-geebiz” or the “yellow john” (hepatitis). I can never really tell if whether Snafu was serious when he said, “I’m dying”, or if he has only turned pessimistic from the war.

From there, we were taken to the life of one John Basilone – looking (and sounding) a bit bored on a radio show. I myself felt his irritation towards his brothers and people who have been taking him for granted. He quickly states, “I don’t want everyone to know me”, which his family deeply begged to differ from. He later lists as a mentor in Camp Pendleton USMC, training; keeping his body in shape until he can’t lift himself from a push-up any longer. The Camp Pendleton days really were amusing with Jon Seda playing the daunting John Basilone. He would especially play this persona towards two Private First Class students, who ironically were witnesses to his very death. Fortunately, before the battle at Iwo Jima, Basilone gets a little genuine and sincere with all his learners. The “slap-a-Jap” scene really owned! 🙂

When John Basilone first met Lena Riggi (portrayed by Annie Parisse), not to sound cheesy, but it was a wonderful match. Here is a popular, obnoxious Marine going head over heels about a sarcastic yet equally-respected NCO. I liked Lena’s derogatory remarks and worship her indifference towards Basilone. At some point, I thought she was already going to pass John to her friend Lucy, who appears to be the more interested one. But persistence does pay off for the Gunnery Sergeant (“when you get shot down, you keep coming back”). Lena narrating the story of when she first met the famous (and rather ignorant) “Hero of Guadalcanal” definitely fascinated me. I was already starting to have doubts if Lena was really going to be Basilone’s wife when she finally invites him to breakfast – wherein they got to know each other a little better. Basilone telling Lena that she was the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen (one which Lena admitted she had never heard very often from anyone before) became the turning point in their love lives. After running by the beach and John confessing about his Marine enlistment, the two finally get married, laid (“we’ve done respectable”), and bid each other goodbye. It was the last time they ever saw each other again.

It definitely wasn’t the way I had imagined Basilone’s death would be. As much as I wanted to change my opinion regarding the battle at Iwo Jima, I still keep ending up with the same conclusion: that I wasn’t interested. I’ve watched this episode twice, tbh. It was chaotic, of course. But at the end of the day, I never really recalled much about Iwo Jima and appreciated the John-Lena scenes far more. Of course, I can never really defy John Basilone in his final moments, but I think he died rather quickly and sadly. Even then – and furthermore, when Lena was showed alone, crying by the beach – I was thinking of Basilone’s wife, their new home, the promise of having six kids (one which Lena believed would have happened if Basilone had come along ten years earlier), and the necklace Lena gave her husband before parting. It was sad because Basilone hasn’t seen JP after Melbourne, and the war he fought on his last day didn’t exactly consist of any of his friends. The episode ran by too quickly, I might add. I was expecting Sledge and his buddies to make another appearance but the credits rolled instead. Still not my favorite episode, but it did keep me excited for Part Nine.

The Pacific Part Seven: Peleliu Hills

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With Joe Mazzello’s well-honed acting skills and with Timothy Van Patten’s impressive directing, Part Seven just took The Pacific to a whole other level. This has to be the best episode so far! I was so hooked; I even unabashedly increased the volume to forty to drown out the unnecessary outside noises. I was careful not to miss anything. Every part of this installment just soared high and flat-out captivated me.

This episode leads us to the war at the hills of Peleliu. I think the hills are the reason why the Japs wiped out from the landing and the airfield. The hills in fact, had more than five hundred underground holes – all unexpectedly occupied by those sly Japs. And now that they’re officially back to battling it out against the US Marines, the war is even more frightening than before. I never actually thought that the Japs would be even more daunting than their artillery. Though don’t get me wrong: the Japanese resistance was strong. In fact, it was so strong that the US Intelligence can’t even get past it. Truly, it was something I’d never forget. It’s a “fight to the finish”.

The flashbacks got me. That’s for sure. Like that part wherein Sledge was scribbling sticks on his little notebook as memories of the war he’s fought started flickering before him; haunting his thoughts. The other one occurred in a John Basilone scene, in where Basilone, still at loss with the Famous People World, turns over a golf course to take his chances. Reminiscences of Guadalcanal entered his mind – and he suddenly sees Manny and JP subtly calling out to him. I love that part! Especially when the scene forwarded towards the evening and Basilone becomes aware of of his blistered hands. And when some truck’s headlights flashed behind Jon Seda’s silhouette – I have to admit, that was wonderful.

A lot of changes has come upon Eugene Sledge. He’s not that shy Southern boy from Mobile, Alabama anymore, but is a full-fledged man exposed to the bitter realities of war. In addition to that, he now takes a cigarette time and again, accepting anything Gunny Haney offers him. I am starting to see that Sledge is becoming even more cautious with his surroundings. I thought it uncanny of him to be the aware one, when he heard the Japs talking in the underground hole. Part Four came back to me then: when Sledge was still in training and shot two of his cardboard friends. Nonetheless, I was amused. This scene led to the most brutal fights against the Japs. When Snafu told Sledge to check a particular side of the Jap hole, one Jap soldier showed up – and it scared the holy moly out of me! Of course, Sledge isn’t as bad-ass as Basilone was in Guadalcanal, but you should have seen him handle that Jap with his gun: the Jap fell on top of Sledge before drawing his last breath! It was appalling and amusing all at the same time. The best part has to be the flamethrower: Japs were scampering out of the hole – in flames! It was merciless. Even Sledge grows quickly disturbed with the sight of this.

I was surprised when Sledge’s division met the First Marines. William Sadler makes another appearance as Chesty Puller with the injured leg. Still standing, for all I know. I just can’t say the same about Chuckler, who even makes the more surprising appearance. I was hands-down shocked. He was being carried on a stretcher; a little unwary, smoking a cigarette butt! And when Sledge asked if he was all right, he merely cringed in excruciating pain. I wonder how Leckie and Runner would take that, considering that they’ve been waiting for poor Chuckler to return to them.

I was also shocked with the demise of both Ack-Ack and Hillbilly. Especially Hillybilly’s though. I wasn’t very sure where he got shot (I’m thinking it was by the ribs, or just below the heart), but they poured salt on the spot before he died. That has to be a terrible predicament before fading! And even though a lot of Marines had tears in their eyes when Ack-Ack was getting carried off on a stretcher, his death seemed a little extraneous to me. I was happy with Gunny Haney; he wept on both occasions. Now that those two are gone, Gary Sweet definitely has to step up a little more and play a much bigger role.

So far, I’ve also been impressed with Martin McCann and Brendan Fletcher playing the roles of RV Burgin and Bill Leyden. And when that grenade exploded right on Leyden’s face – that was the shiz! If he ever shows, I’d like to see his outcome in the next episode; I heard he has a tough Irish ass and that he’d be back as soon as possible.

Rami Malek portraying Snafu Shelton is very interesting. He still demonstrates this curiosity on Sledge. He even performs Sledge’s indirect command to “put the dead Japanese soldier out of its misery”. There also was this scene in where Snafu was showed snatching a Japanese flag from a dead Jap soldier. It suddenly takes me back to the earlier parts of the show when a packer was asking for a Japanese souvenir so he can go home – plus he’ll pay them really big. Meanwhile it did surprise me that Snafu was the one who stopped Sledge from removing a Jap’s gold tooth because of “bad germs”. They had a slight argument in which Eugene left Snafu speechless. It was a nice sight seeing Shelton savor the air, though. And become happy once he’d realized that they’d been given the morning off.

I never thought that Jay De L’eau would break down – especially not in front of Sledge, who I thought was rather the more anxious one – so yes, it was a little surprising. When he said he’ll get hit but doesn’t care anymore, it made me think a little bit. But when he cried out that Japs are everywhere (like a bunch of roaches, I presume), his intolerance of his emotions nearly got me. It’s a good thing that I had this touch of comic relief in this scene: Jay, supposedly going to do his “business”, goes to a hole, takes his pants off – and gets jumped at by a Jap! Not only did the group take a long time to shoot the Jap, but Snafu also gets the audacity of making fun of Jay (“You looked like you were in a sack race, Jay… you left a trail, boy. They’re gonna find us now.”).

After such a depressing sight, watching them march; deadbeat, it made me glad that they eventually had a peaceful AmTrack ride back to… Pavuvu! As soon as they did, beautiful ladies stand in wait, handing out lemonades to the clapped-out Marines. I don’t know if Sledge fell in love or something like that. But some random guy definitely ruined the moment for him. Best episode ends. It actually is now my favorite one now. It is definitely a must-see. Big kudos to Tim Patten. I heard he’s directed Part Nine as well. Now I have to watch that. I also bagged a lot of wicked quotes watching this episode. My only complaint is the run-rime; I think this one went for fifty minutes or less. But anyway, I am on great expectations now. I am waiting to see which next episode will top that.


“Never run when you can walk. Never walk when you can stand. Never stand when you can sit. Never sit when you can lay down. Never lay down when you can. And never pass a bucket of clean water. Amen.”

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe Episode 4

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Well do you still believe she’s going to make you a king? All the nice things you said about her sound pretty silly now, don’t they? Admit it: you’d give anything to be with the others now. Even Peter.

~Jonathan Scott as Edmund

“MRS. BEAVER, WE’RE WASTING SO MUCH TIME!” – best line ever! 🙂 I have to say, it’s the only line I remember from Susan as well. Let’s face it, Lesley Nicol playing Mrs. Beaver was undeniably funny (a little irritating, yes). With the motherly creature being so unforgivably slow and all, I was surprised that Maugrim didn’t catch the Beaver in their homely lodge. She already was squandering time, bringing too much food and appliances and whatnot (“Can’t set out on a journey with nothing to eat, can we?”). It also seemed as though she was doing this on function. Peter was already mouthing for Susan to hustle. But no such luck; even Mr. Beaver couldn’t tell his wife off. Even I grew irritated with her! But I’ve got to hand it to her: she starred in the funniest part, revealing the harsh truth that it’s more likely for the Queen to hold them in captive (like Mr. Tumnus) because she has a sledge. Lucy went like, “You mean, we’ve no hope?!” Then she cried. :-bd

Mrs. Beaver (insistent): I suppose the sewing machine’s too heavy to take?
Mr. Beaver (frustrated): Yes it is! You don’t really think you’d be able to use it on the run now, do you?
Mrs. Beaver: Well I can’t abide the thought of that witch fiddling with it, breaking it, or stealing it likely as not.

I noticed many things in this episode, by the way. Like Peter rolling his eyes when Lucy told Father Christmas that she would be “brave enough” if given the chance to take part in combat. Moreover, I’d like to point out that I, again, found Richard Dempsey’s acting skillz rather admirable. Don’t get me wrong, the other kids were decidedly improving as well: as mentioned above, Sophie Wilcox even cried in despondency in this affair (I didn’t see tears, but that was something); Susan Cook already had lines; and Jonathan Scott coming to terms with his fault was rather believing. But Richard Dempsey was most realistic. And believe me: it has nothing to do with him being the oldest among the four.

And then we have the special effects. Well first off, I just wanted to let you know that I did find Maugrim’s transformation kewl and all. I thought he was going to be a man in a wolf costume throughout the whole show. Obviously, I stand corrected. I thought it was remarkable, really. It must have been an actual dog playing the hunter role. Still a very great job by Martin Stone. There was this one part where I had the volume to at least thirty – then he started growling, scaring the bejesus out of me! The surprising/awing/funny/left-me-speechless part is that, he had a companion. One companion! When he growled at someone (or something) before shape-shifting, I knew he was calling allies. I know it would sound hostile and antagonistic (again), but seeing only one dog to have followed him? You and what army? Ha-ha. The Queen must be furious. It also felt surreal seeing literal drawings on screen. Perhaps they ran out of costumes or actors to play the magical creatures. I don’t know. But of course, I knew it was coming. That probably was the only unsatisfactory part of the episode.

Other scenes that I noticed include every take the Queen had. There was a part wherein I thought the White Witch was having a hiccup fit. She was in fact gasping. Heh. Even Edmund woke up from this. You have to admit: Barbara Kellerman’s S’s are the best ones you’d ever get to hear. Lots of props to that kitty-like creature who was standing up for his rights, we actually got to see the Witch turn a group of Narnia inhabitants into stone. It also was an amusing sight watching her argue with her Little Man (“Are you my councilor or my SERVANT? THEN WE MUST WALK!”). We also got to witness the weakening of the Queen’s powers. And it is mainly because “Aslan is on the move”. The trees have defrosted; the lake is full again; earth came into view. Also, Father Christmas made an appearance! I find it amusing that he counted the Beavers’ blessings with his fingers; he looked like a little schoolboy. And in case you’re wondering, Peter, Susan and Lucy, along with the Beavers did get to see Aslan in the end. We were left hanging. Very nice.

I find pleasure in the direction. The actors are maturing well. As I turned off the player, I thought I actually felt rather good dedicating an hour of my time on this. I haven’t been watching it for at least a week, I think. I love this show. Ha! There. I finally said it.