August 3rd, 2008
We’re now over the halfway point with HBO’s miniseries, and things remain relatively the same in terms of my opinion: fantastic production values, strong writing and some great performances have stabilized, and as the show delves further into the war it is only allowing these elements to expand further. With a series that is so contained in itself, telling the same types of stories without grand character arcs, there isn’t the usual concerns over a show jumping the shark so to speak; with only seven episodes, there isn’t room for any of that type of manuevering, at least not to this point.
And so, “Combat Jack” is the closest we might get to a complete diversion, as Bravo is separated from Alpha, who go on a side mission that demonstrates further the lack of foresight behind the broader military command. It’s not an overly complicated lesson (“Liberation Army” being a buzzword for abject failure), but it’s one that does feel in tone with the series trajectory, and while it does mean spending a little bit less time with the core group it seems that chronology and the slavish attention paid to it by Simon and Burns (And Wright, for that matter) dictate that we take this little journey.