Our Girl Part II

Since I loved Our Girl so much and I know that it only consists of 5 parts, I decided to review all of them. (Click here for last weeks post) So, here we go with Episode 2! Beware of Spoilers!

This time Molly had to decide who she can trust and where exactly her priorities lie. On the one hand she wants to follow Army regulations and her Captain’s commands, but she also developed a relationship with a local girl Bashira and she just can’t bring herself to ignore the connection she has with her. Again, the episode had everything from action and humour to really moving moments. Here a quick summary of my thoughts:

  • Smurf is back from the hospital and he wants to be there for Molly no matter what. She seems to think those are just empty words, but I believe he actually means it. Also, I seem to detect some jealousy because he can sense the blossoming romance between Molly and Captain James (I so knew this was going to happen!). I’m afraid that at some point, he’s going to really mess with Molly’s and James’ relationship.
  • We could already see that Molly liked Bashira in the first episode, but James told her more than once that she should stay away from the girl. Although I know where he is coming from, I also think that Molly was right when she said that they are already involved in the local’s lives. It was such an emotional moment for me when I saw Bashira with the bomb. Great acting on both sides, from Lacey Turner just as much as from Becky Eggersglusz!
  • I like how we slowly get the background of other characters as well, such as Qaseem in this episode.
  • I find it interesting that they always question the military’s actions as well as certain cultures, because it is true – what’s normal in one country, isn’t normal in another. While I have strong opinions on some subjects (such as child marriage and abuse – that’s always a NO!) who are we to judge which way of living is right?
  • Another thing I really enjoy is the music of the show. Music has always been important to me and it can really set a scene. The theme song is great (War Rages On by Alex Clare) and they always chose awesome songs by Daughter and London Grammar for their promos. The whole karaoke and the other singing scenes during the episode were absolutely hilarious!

The promo for next week looks amazing! I heard James say “Come back to me.” and that was it! I am so hooked on this and I definitely don’t want to wait a whole week … What’s your opinion so far?

16 thoughts on “Our Girl Part II

  1. I really enjoyed reading both your reviews so far. I got seriously addicted to this show very quickly and watched the two episodes (and last year’s movie once I realized there was one) an embarrassing amount of times.

    What I really like about the show is that it does what I find military films and shows rarely do. It mixes the gritty side, the reality of war, the moral questions and all that, with the light, humorous side. It’s usually either / or (and when it’s the latter it’s usually not even attempting to be realistic). I’ve seen a lot of comments of people who complain that the love triangle makes the show into a soap opera instead of a serious one, but I think that’s not true. I think that when you throw a group of young people into an isolated, tense place like this, especially with very few girls, emotions are very likely be even more intensified than normal circumstances. I can tell from my own 2.5 years of military service (in a different country) that aside from the life and death and morality issues we had to deal with all the time, and as maturing as this experience was, we were still a bunch of 18-20 year old people and you could have easily made a soap opera out of the life at the base. All part of the experience.

    And speaking of romance: I actually don’t think Smurf is aware of Molly’s feelings for James or vice versa. I think he’s too consumed by his own feelings and that he reads Molly’s behavior towards James as wanting to get his “approval” and not romantic. He also can’t see James’ feelings towards her because that scenario is really such a taboo (and he looks up to James as the army man through and through that he is and all that).

    (Yes, I might have been obsessing a little bit).

    Looking forward to next week’s episode and your review of it.

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    • Thank you so much for commenting and sharing your thoughts and experiences!

      I think it’s really difficult to properly depict the military on TV. because everyone seems to have an opinion about it, but Our Girl really seems to hit the right tone in my opinion.

      Interesting theory about Smurf! I haven’t thought about it that way, but I can definitely see where you are coming from. The dynamic between Molly, Smurf and James is definitely an interesting one and I can’t wait to find out how things develop.

      Never worry about obsessing about TV shows or movies – I am totally with you on this one! The amount of time I use to watch everything is ridiculous, but I just can’t stop.

      Can’t wait to see next week’s episode either! Hope to read your thoughts in the comments again 😀

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      • You’re welcome! I’ve generally been trying to reduce the time I spend online commenting on TV shows, because honestly the obsessing and rewatching takes enough time of my busy life, but sometimes you find that a show does make you think about many things and that you have no one to share it with…

        I agree it is a tough subject, and I have to admit I’ve been having some difficulties reading comments about military and war from people who are obviously unfamiliar with both, although I know most of the audience probably shares that experience rather than being familiar with it. I think I was particularly bothered with a great review I read, or rather, it was great until the point the person wrote that the downside of the show was that it was serving as “blatant pro-war propaganda”, a declaration that made no sense to me. First of all, generalizing what we saw in the show under this kind of title is more of a propaganda (an anti-war one, maybe?) than anything we see on the show. It does a quick and lazy job in generalizing what the show is about. Secondly, what does pro-war in this context even mean? It’s a show about people in service. Of course they are going to believe – to a point – that what they are doing is right, otherwise they wouldn’t be there fighting. If *that* is pro-war, what are you even doing watching a series about the military? What did you think you will see? protests against the fighting in Afghanistan? Also, the show presents such a variety of opinions about what they are doing in Afghanistan, with each character feeling quite differently about it and what we are trying to achieve. Taking all of this and calling it all “pro-war” is a generalizing statement that can only come from someone who never had been through war or really had to consider what war means and what things should or shouldn’t be fought for. At the end of the day, though, I do wonder how much of the audience feels that way (I saw many spoke of last year’s film as an army recruitment ad, which I didn’t feel it was) because I obviously am watching this through a very different frame of mind than the rest of its audience.

        As for James/Smurf, looking at the two promos that are out there for next week’s episode, I mostly feel confused about what is going to happen and can’t quite imagine how it will play out. For someone as strict about army regulations as James, how would the situation of him expressing anything towards Molly while still in the field can even play? That “come back to me” piece makes no sense to me when you just think about her going to a bit of R&R. It’s not like she’s going to decide while she’s away that she doesn’t want to come back and rather stay back home…

        As you can see, you might quickly regret about hoping to read my thoughts next week. You also might want to take an advil first.

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      • I know exactly what you mean! I often watch shows that I am really passionate about, but my immediate friends don’t watch it or haven’t even heard of it. Nonetheless, I need someone to talk about it, that’s one of the reason why I created the blog. Unfortunately, not a lot of people actually comment on any of my posts, so I am really grateful to hear your opinion. And don’t worry if we ever disagree on something – open discussion is so much more fun than just say “you’re right” to everything.

        I think the diversity of the characters and their different opinions on what’s happening, is what makes the show so great! I read similar reviews to the one’s you’ve mentioned and I just didn’t feel that way at all. I really shouldn’t be talking though, because I don’t have any personal experience with war or the military, but I try to understand as many different point of views as possible and I also try to see what’s underneath the surface. One thing is for sure, I don’t think that Our Girl is meant to be “pro-war”, but rather supposed to show what the people serving in the army and warring countries are going through.

        As you’ve probably read in my first review of Our Girl, I’m a hopeless romantic. So, I’m actually looking forward to a possible romance happening, BUT (and that’s a big but) you are right with one thing. Character-wise it doesn’t make sense that James would go against regulations for Molly. It had been established quite thoroughly that he is a man who follows the rules and it seems that this goes quite a bit against his usual character. However, the promos are always edited to be as intriguing and maybe even confusing as possible, so that people tune in the following week. We won’t know what went on for certain until we actually see it. Maybe it will all make sense!

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  2. So apparently I can’t leave a reply to your last reply. So a new reply it is.

    First of all, let me be clear about something: it’s not that people who hadn’t served or lived through war can’t have an opinion. It’s just that it would be helpful to point out that this is where they are coming from and even admit that they don’t know that much about this. That’s something that has been getting me often when it comes to the region I am from – I find that it is sometimes too easy for people who sit half a world away on their sofas, never having to live through one day of war, having an opinion that usually is picking one side or the other. War isn’t black and white. It is mostly grey.

    Yes, it’s always hard to find an audience online… sometimes you just need someone to obsess about reading reviews to stumble into something. Looking at your post list there are a few other things you wrote about that I watch though, so I might have to spend my Saturday obsessing about other things, too.

    I agree with you about the goal of the show. I think that too often people tend to look at a military as this “body that fights wars” and forget it is a body that is made of many individuals, all of whom have opinions, feelings, and emotional/moral struggles along the way. People treat it as a machine, but it’s anything but. And I think it does it work so well that even I, as someone who has served but not in the British army, can completely recognize and identify with many things on the show. It doesn’t surprise me, though. I have met and spoke to people from other armies before and the understanding of what service and war mean and the struggles it presents it’s something that is often easier to servicemen and women to understand even from different countries over someone from your own culture who didn’t go through this experience.

    I’m a bit of a hopeless romantic myself (albeit with limited schmaltz capacity, so no dramatic love declarations in front of an audience for me, please), and I always love shipping for couples. Having said that, if I thought romance was out of place in a specific story, I’d comment about it. But like I said before, I think in this particular context it makes total sense. Even moreso, having read some of the comments the cast and crew made about the show, I liked the point about what James stands for, in Molly’s eyes. There’s something about what they described – she never thought someone like James would ever pay attention to her, as his background and personality is so far off anything she knows or grew up with (if you haven’t watched the movie yet, by the way, you should). It really hit home with me, because if I go back to my own experiences – I served in the military, I worked in many places, I did my undergraduate studies and then moved halfway around the world for grad school and stayed there to work afterwards. And in no place I have ever experienced what I did in the military, where you really meet people from every part of society, in a way “real” life rarely ever allows. And even though we know very little about the background of the characters in the show – even for the more developed characters like James and Smurf – we can tell that they come from completely different worlds. And it’s ok that we don’t hear that much about their backgrounds, because they are most likely to not talk about it that much. But they all would have felt it, especially earlier on. Once you get to know one another, those people are your family and the military is your life, so your background and what you did before means very little. It’s those people around you who can understand what you go through more than anyone else.

    Yes, I agree that promos always manipulate things, but I still can’t imagine what context would bring him to be so out of character.

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    • Yeah, the commenting system sometimes doesn’t work right … no clue as to why.

      I totally agree with you on war being neither black nor white. In fact, things in general are barely ever that simple.

      Feel free to comment on whatever shows, movies or books I’ve written about and that seem interesting to you! As I said, I love to discuss! Obsessing over all of these things almost feels like a second job by now.

      I understand that some experiences have to actually be lived through to be fully comprehensible to someone else. I guess military concepts are one of those things that produce a very clear image in people’s heads, but are often entirely different in reality.

      For me things aren’t allowed to be too cheesy either – there is a limit! It seems that I definitely have to go and watch the movie now … if only I had more time. Maybe I can make some room next weekend.

      I think background stories of characters have to be fully developed for the character bibles of the writers, but not actually to be shown on the series. I need some information about people, to better understand their actions and feelings, but it’s not necessary to reveal it all to make a story work. Especially, not one like Our Girl, since her past is shown in the movie and it’s all about the “now” now.

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      • I just spammed the last 4 months of your blog. Be careful what you wish for.

        Speaking of military and romance? Have you ever watched Army Wives? I was absolutely addicted to it, and I still feel empty for about a week every time I finish a rewatch of the show.

        (and some of my favorite romantic storylines in later seasons involve a female medic. Go figure).

        I agree with the background stories method. I suspect that for the actors to bring the right color into their character and interaction, they need to know the background stories, even if we don’t get to really hear them much. We still see them between the lines. I think you definitely feel the background there even if it’s not being spoken about.

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      • I love getting comments haha it might take a bit longer for me to answer, but it makes blogging a lot more fun! Keep it coming!

        I think I’ve only ever watched 1 or 2 episodes of Army Wives. I am somewhat a fan of Drew Fuller but I didn’t ever catch on to the show. No idea why though.

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      • It happens. I would give it another shot though, as so much happens beyond the first few episodes. That’s the hard thing with an ensemble show like this – you really need the time to get to know and feel comfortable with the characters, and the first episode especially is this huge intro.

        I started watching it because of Drew Fuller too. (I’m a massive Charmed fan).

        By the way, since I’m stuck in bed today, I got to do some more Our Girl obsessing, and turns out they posted the script of the first episode on the BBC website, which was a nice read. It’s always interesting to read the descriptions of the actions they are doing and how the characters are described there.

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      • There’s a possibility I’ve watched Charmed more times than anything else combined. My first year as self-employed was so freaking stressful I found myself rewatching Charmed in a loop because I found it relaxing, somehow.

        You should! I actually ended up reading some other scripts as well, for Merlin and for Spooks – which is probably my all time favorite British series (and much darker / more intense than anything we discussed so far. But in addition to all my romance and fantasy interest, I’m really into military/spy stuff, so it fits).

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      • I’ve definitely watched it a lot as well and it’s always running on some channel on TV as well. So, there’s no escaping it anyway!

        BBC is great for actually releasing them. I have to read a lot of scripts for school anyways, so it’s much for fun to get some that I actually like.

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      • I didn’t realize they did that! I love reading scripts too and often get them for movies together with making-of and art-of books – I do prefer it when it’s just part of the book and not a separate thing. I hope they will upload for other episodes as well – it seems like sometimes they just pick one episode per show and sometimes they upload a few.

        Is it tomorrow yet? I also found someone who already managed to upload some Captain James / Molly fanfic. The obsession is contagious.

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      • I’m afraid they often only post one episode per season or show, but maybe we’ll get lucky!

        I actually have to DVR Our Girl tomorrow 😦 but I’ll review it right on Monday after work. I can’t believe that I’ll have to miss it. It really is addicting.

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