Part two of 'The Pacific' shows realistic fatigue and decimation
HBO’s new hit miniseries “The Pacific” enters into its second part with guns blazing (pardon the pun). Keeping viewers riveted to the edge of their seats, this week’s part focuses on the events of the 7th Marine Corp. who land on the island of Guadalcanal, where other key characters were fighting in the first episode. They were focused on this location in an attempt to bolster the American defense around Henderson Field, an airport key to American operations in the pacific theater.
As the battle rages on, more and more soldiers begin to die in the bloody battles that take place in nondescript jungles on tiny islands no normal civilian could find on a map. Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, the producers of “The Pacific,” accurately depict the demoralized atmosphere many of the marines felt as they slowly become outnumbered and outgunned by their Japanese enemies.
Speaking with former West Point student and current Biola junior David Clark, I was able to get an insider’s perspective on the validity of “The Pacific’s” portrayal of military life.
“In civilian life, there’s nothing like the camaraderie and brotherhood that’s present in a military unit,” Clark informed. “And while I didn’t lose any fellow soldiers during my time in the military, I know that those guys became my lifeline, and if I had to sit on a tiny island and watch some of them die, I’d be more than devastated. There’s no words for what those guys were feeling, but that show does its best to show what it’d be like.”
The Best Scene: This week’s best scene shows the horrible after effect of the bloody battles. Taking place inside a military medic tent, a soldier with third degree burns on his arms assists a doctor by holding a bucket of bloody bandages. After the doctor promises him treatment at a later time, the soldier asks if a friend of his, Sgt. Manny Rodriguez, was brought into the medic tent. The doctor replies he wishes he could count -– illustrating just how horrific the casualties were for such a small, insignificant piece of land.
As usual, the brilliant score drives the episode although not quite as heavily as the first. The cast takes on a more serious acting job, this time by portraying the stress and fatigue due to the harsh conditions, casualties and loss of their friends.
All in all, this week’s episode follows in the noble footsteps of the miniseries premier by excellently continuing the saga of American operations in the Pacific Theater.