Band of Brothers
Why We Fight

Episode Report Card
admin: B+ | 4 USERS: A+
Why We Fight

Prior to this week's installment, we get a literal recap of the last episode. It's not all germane, so I'll fill in my own: Winters accepted a promotion to Major, and we learn Webster and Liebgott both speak German. Incidentally, in the show's recap segment, Colin "Why Couldn't I Be Aaron Spelling's Son?" Hanks gets two featured moments, which, unless he's in the finale somewhere, seems excessive to me because his character came and went during the hour and isn't a face we need to remember.

Vet-tacular. A man opines that people felt like the war was finally coming to an end, and that the Germans just didn't have the heart to keep it going. "We used to say the only good Kraut was a dead Kraut," recalls a second veteran. But he marvels that, behind all the bravado, everyone realized the enemy soldiers and Allied soldiers alike were just kids. A third man takes it further, noting that, just like their German counterparts, "we did the job that we had to do." The fourth man remembers entering the war firm in his belief that Germans were the evilest people in the entire world -- but as the battle progressed, and when they arrived in Germany itself, they realized that Nazis and Germans weren't always one and the same. Another veteran muses that, sometimes, he'd spot an enemy soldier and wonder whether they shared common interests or personality traits. "Under different circumstances, we might've been good friends," he says.

April 11, 1945: Thalham, Germany. We fade up on a violin slowly being lifted out of its box; as it moves, the shot remains tightly focused on the bridge of the instrument. It turns, rests snugly under a man's chin (of which we only see a tiny, tiny part), and a bow gently begins caressing the violin's strings. The camera backs out to reveal the doleful musician, who pours as much feeling into his face as into his instrument. We now see he's standing in a makeshift clearing, one of few empty spots in a town of rubble piles. A handful of other musicians plays with him, bowing violins or violas with equal emotion.

As the camera continues its backward journey, the villagers reveal themselves. Quietly, they sift through rubble, forming human chains stretching to the top of a pile and helping pass down salvageable remnants. There are tables with three legs, cracked chairs, and pieces of serviceable lumber. But the people move slowly, ghost-like, through their motions, as though the soul of Thalham crumbled with its buildings. Importantly, fanatically, a villager stacks whatever whole bricks he can find amid the wreckage; another couple carries rolled-up rugs and still more people collect a set of intact, if dirty, dining-room chairs.

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Band of Brothers




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