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Generation Kill – “The Cradle of Civilization”

“The Cradle of Civilization”

Episode Two

Man, what a difference a week makes.

Well, actually, scratch that: there’s really not much to separate, in terms of content, the first two episodes of Generation Kill. While our heroes, of sorts, see more action this time around, there’s still that sense of military blue balls driving the action and what we get in terms of the further bureaucratic incompetence is right in line with what we saw in last week’s opener.

Rather, the difference is that we have a much better sense of the smaller character differences: it’s easier to tell people apart now, and some of them are even getting some good ol’ fashioned character development in the process. However, the other difference is that I’m losing some of the command structure: while I can tell everyone apart, telling you exactly what they do in any sort of organized fashion just isn’t going to happen.

And I don’t know if that was really the point here, as this episode is rather about the actions rather than the buildup; Bravo Company gets to see some honest to goodness combat this time around, and what really makes it stand out is the visceral uncertainty of it all: moment by moment, it’s hard to know exactly what’s going on, which can be dramatically confusing but also very satisfying in the end.

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