Our Girl Part IV

What a turbulent ride this week’s episode was! It shouldn’t be news to you that I am obsessed with this show, and if you still haven’t watched it: What on earth are you waiting for? This is my review of Part 4/Episode 4 of the Our Girl mini-series. Beware of Spoilers!

Such an intense episode, right? So much drama, secrets and action going on, I barely know where to start. Just know up front that I was sitting on the edge of my seat breathless the entire time!

So, it was announced that this episode would revolve around Molly having to choose between Smurf and Captain James, but I thought it definitely wasn’t only about that. As we heard last time, Bashira’s father is more than angry about Molly “destroying” his family and therefore wants revenge, not just on Molly, but on his daughter as well. All of this leads to Molly having to go on a special mission, since she is the only one who can positively identify Bashira’s father. That pretty much sums up the main premise, now let’s get into more detail!

  • Again, I just love that we get to see those glimpses of the platoon really being a team and being there for each other! Those moments are always amongst my favourites!
  • Qaseem has become one of my favourite people on the show! I just like his character so much, he is always the wise and reasonable voice of the team and I am glad we got to see more of his life before the Army again.
  • Also a thing I’ve mentioned before: the music is chosen spectacularly well! Love it every episode!
  • Molly really doubted herself this episode, but she shouldn’t have. She has such a strong character and she’s such a good person – she really came a long way from where she started at in the movie! She’s absolutely one of my favourite heroines on screen at the moment!
  • Now, this is probably the biggest and most important part of my review – the endless Molly-James-Smurf debate. While Molly’s and James’ relationship was built up slowly and beautifully, it escalated quickly this week. We find out that James has a wife and a son at home. Yes, you’ve heard right! It should come as no surprise that Molly is pissed at finding out that information. Seriously, who wouldn’t be? Granted she didn’t even let him explain, but he could’ve and should’ve offered this information about himself at some earlier point. And I had such high hopes for them after he seemed to invite her for Christmas at his place.
    But even more shockingly was the way she found out about his secrets – hiding in his closet while Smurf confessed to Captain James that he considered giving Molly his mother’s engagement ring. Which he ended up doing and she even took it. Didn’t I just talk about her wrongly encouraging him last week? That definitely doesn’t say “I just want to be your mate.”, or does it?
    Things got even worse when Molly and James made up, kissing for the first time and Smurf witnessed all of it. Such a cute moment and then it was ruined by him totally losing it. Well, he didn’t immediately lose it, but it didn’t take long until he endangered his life and the lives of the members of his platoon. All of that is to some extant understandable, since he truly believes that he loves Molly and that James is taking her from him, but I am still of the opinion that his feelings got confused, because she saved his life. We knew that he’s not the most stable person out there, but this time his behaviour had real consequences, because it got him and James shot. Molly tends to them both as best as she can, but we don’t find out how stable they are when they get taken to a hospital by a helicopter. Yes, that is how Tony Grounds decided to leave us this week …

There was really a lot to take in and such a thrilling cliffhanger at the end. I love this show to bits and I just can’t imagine it ending next Sunday. I don’t know what they’ve planned for Molly and the others, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed for another season. What did you think this week?

Read my previous reviews here:

19 thoughts on “Our Girl Part IV

  1. Alright, where do I start? Maybe with the bad, and sadly for me – there was a lot of it here. I’ve been quite forgiving about the creative freedom they took in depicting the military and actions so far, because I understand you need to make a lot of sacrifices in order to have a compelling drama sometimes. But almost everything military-related in this episode was so beyond ridiculous and improbable I was really struggling with the episode. I basically found myself fast forwarding through that last sequence, which was supposed to be the most dramatic and the one we’d care about the most, because of how silly it was.

    On the upside, it was all beautifully acted, and the dialogues for the most part were also wonderfully written. I found some of Smurf’s scenes cringe worthy, but they might have well were meant to be that way, so I suppose it is fine. And at this point I guess I do care about our characters so much I can sort of put the military in the background and just deal with the personal stories.

    Now to some more specific points from the episode:

    * Smurf. Regardless of what happens with Captain James, at this point – and despite taking the ring, which I will get to in a moment, he should not be an option. Yes, they do have great banter, but he’s totally unstable, and I think it goes beyond excusing it somehow with everything he has been through. He hadn’t moved almost at all since we first met him, and despite him really wanting to prove himself, he just doesn’t really get what that entails. Sure, some of it might be dealt with with good therapy, which he really needs, but at this point he’s not cut to be a soldier (and should be court-martialed for that stunt he pulled. And kicked off the army). Captain James doesn’t come out too well out of this either, but right now I will focus on his health situation and not any other consequences that incident.

    * Ring. To be fair, Smurf didn’t know what Molly’s state of mind was when he gave her the ring, but even without knowing he was still manipulative enough (even if he doesn’t realize that) by basically guiltying her into taking it. And yes, she doesn’t make things much better for herself. But it is a delicate situation. How do you totally push off someone you generally do care about, do fear for the mental stability off, and in such place, which not only you are stuck with one another for months, your life depends on you all being there for each other. So by always trying to keep friendly while fending him off, and with him being a bit obsessive, he really just doesn’t get a clue. His face when he saw James and Molly though? A combination of heartbreaking and terrifying.

    * James. I am actually not mad at him for not revealing the wife/son thing. It was a bit crappy of him to not say it even after it was obvious to him that he’s totally going against regulations with Molly (even if they hadn’t kissed, he knew very well he had crossed the line a while ago). But it is something that is hard to bring up, especially if you are already in a super sensitive spot where you can’t even start working on a relationship. I don’t agree with what he did and I think he was a bit of a coward there, but I can see how it would happen, and I think that beyond the initial hurt, that’s something Molly can understand too. She knows as much as he does that you really do suspend your life outside when you are out there in Afghanistan. It feels like a different universe. The only thing that surprises me though is that Smurf knew he was married and yet in all those months it never came up. From my experience, there was nothing we did more than gossiping about our commanders (yes, the guys too).

    * Military experience. With all of my issues that I mentioned above, I was glad they did keep some of the discussion going about the impact of war and their role in it and all that. It is interesting and difficult to comprehend for people who are uninvolved, and I think it does do a good job in making people think about those things. And there were a lot of little moments that did ring true and brought up memories.

    * The closet? Really?

    * Qaseem is wonderful. I really like Molly’s relationship with him – we know Molly has a lot of issues with her dad, even if she started working on it a bit in her home visit, but I think he does play some sort of a father figure for her, as well as a teacher – which is another concept she probably hadn’t been very appreciative of so far.

    * Next week. I have no idea how they are planning on wrapping this up. I suppose I have a week to obsess. I do wonder if they will leave it open for another series, and how they will do it. I wonder if I was in her place — do you stay in the army? Or do you just use it to open yourself up to avenues you really haven’t considered before or thought you’d be talented for? I think we have no doubt that Molly does have the abilities to go back to school, finish her exams and go to university, for example, if she decides she wants to do that. While I do like that she is never apologetic for who she is, even when she knows she’s being ignorant about something (for example, how often we have big words she doesn’t know the meaning of), I think she is aware of that. And as she fought for education for girls the entire series, I wonder if it’s something that will also make her realize she had taken education for granted herself.


    • I’m sorry that you are disappointed that it isn’t that realistic! I love the show, but I just have no experiences to compare it to, so it mostly seems fine to me. But let’s get on to your points!

      -Smurf seems unfit for duty in my opinion as well. As I mentioned, he didn’t just endanger his life, but that of others as well. He needs to go to therapy! Did you know that his dead brother was his twin? If they mentioned that before, I must’ve missed it somehow, because I felt like hearing that for the first time.

      -I know that it’s terribly difficult for Molly to handle the Smurf situation … it’s easy for me to talk what she should’ve or could’ve done since I am not actually in her situation, but sometimes I just feel sorry for Smurf, although he definitely should have realised what her feelings were sooner.

      -Concerning James … First, I hope he doesn’t die, and second, I would have understood him not talking about his wife, since they are currently separated, but I think he should have said something about having a son. Maybe I wouldn’t have thought it to be so strange that he never said anything, if he hadn’t talked about taking Molly to his parents home for Christmas a couple of scenes before. I don’t know, maybe I’m being weird about this … but I agree that it’s strange that they never talked/gossiped about that sort of stuff when James wasn’t around.

      -About the military experience, I loved when they said that they have to fix the little things, before being able to do something about the big things, because it’s true. And not just for a war-like situation, but for a lot of other things as well.

      -Darn it … I wrote cupboard … I’m going to have to change this. Her hiding in there though was so awkward.

      -You’re absolutely right about Qaseem, he does have some sort of mentor role for Molly.

      -I have no clue what’s about to happen or how they want to end it. At the beginning I might have said that they want to have a clear finish after the five parts, but considering it’s recent success, I can imagine them wanting to make more of it. I like your ideas for what Molly might do, but I can’t yet see her leaving the army entirely.


      • I did know it was his twin brother, although I couldn’t tell you where I knew it from.

        Regarding James, I totally agree with you about how he acted, but I think the only point I have about this is just that despite him should have had told her and all that, it’s such a human thing to have something drive you crazy and you know you need to say it and you just can’t find the right moment to say it and then it blows up in your face, that I can understand it. I would be mad, too, though.

        I can’t see her leaving the army entirely too, and I wouldn’t want her to – but I would be interested in seeing what options she would consider. It will show us what she learned about herself and what she believes now she can do.


      • You’re definitely right by saying that sometimes you want to talk about something, but you just don’t find the right time or the right words to actually say it. I can relate to that and it’s not like Molly didn’t get over it as well, but it was very shocking at first.

        I’d love to see her explore her possibilities as well. Molly isn’t perfect, but she is one of my favourite characters on television at the moment and I can’t get enough of her.


  2. I have enjoyed this entire series, but sadly only through removing my brain and letting the romantic nature of my female psyche take over.

    Turner does a good job at portraying an 18 yr old newbie in theatre, but on occasion her character falters displaying a level of maturity beyond that of her supposed age. I’m not saying that an 18 year old cannot be mature, but in my experience of youngsters in the forces; they just dont behave with that measure of level headedness when confronted with the issues she has had to face.

    I particularly enjoyed watching the relationship between James and Dawes grow. It was lovely seeing him open up to her, but in reality this would never have happened. A comissioned officer with his level of experience would never have put himself in that position with Molly, no matter what his feelings were, He certainly wouldnt have risked having a heart to heart with Molly whilst his troops were just a room away and to cap it all, during the pivotal point of an op.

    Molly’s level of inclusion during interrogations and briefings is also highly unlikely. The British/American Intelligence branch would have most definately had photo intel on Badrai if they were doing their job correctly, so her involvement is not particulary plausable. A private does not get involved in these matters; neither are they permitted to have insider info on upcoming missions. They get told only what they need to know during pre mission briefings with the rest of the squad.

    Criticisms aside; had I encountered a Captain James double whilst I was single and serving, I would most definately have struggled not to develop the biggest crush on him. They played their cards well when casting Ben, knowing he would appeal to the female demographic.
    Sadly, I feel that his followers will end up dissapointed. It is almost inevitable that he will not make it through the end of this series, and we have had two major clues from the writers confirming this.
    “I want you to be the last thing I see”. Well with the stomach wound that he sustained, I would put money on his wish being granted.


    • Thank you so much for commenting and sharing your thoughts, I’ll try to answer everything as best as I can.

      -I thought Turner was supposed to portray an 18 year-old in the movie, but is somehow older now, considering that she finished her training and all. But I just assumed that from the start and never actually looked that up. If it’s true that she’s only 18, she really does seem to react very mature in some situations.

      -The James/Molly dynamic was one of my favourite things on the show! I loved the slow build-up, but I think they just went for more drama than realism in the past episodes.

      -I will gladly believe you that it is not common for a Private to be included in meetings of that sort. I have absolutely no experience with that whatsoever, so I trust in your judgment.

      -Ben Aldridge is perfect for the role! I adore the man, but as gloomy as it sounds, I know what you’re talking about. There’ve been tons of rumours about what might happen in the grand season finale and James’ death came up more than once. Depending on how they want to continue the series (and also if they want to continue it), it might make more sense to have him out of the picture, but of course, I would be happier if he lived through it all.


    • Nice to hear from other people who have served and I agree with you on most points, except two things. Having served when I was 18 myself, I’ve seen the entire range of maturity. I think in general the boys I have served with were always more immature than the girls (that’s a universal thing, I think!) but across both sides you definitely found some people who were wiser beyond their years and I suppose just older at heart.

      I also know of officers who definitely put themselves in Captain James’s position. Although I do agree it’s very unprofessional to put yourself there, and that I don’t think they got themselves into the situations Jamse allowed himself into, but at least this is an exaggeration of something that could happen, unlike some other unlikely situations that were shown. (And I wrote before – the particular example I had in mind? The couple did pretty well in keeping it secret until after she finished her service, and ended up married and with kids. You just never know. But it’s a huge risk to take).

      I said earlier too, there were a lot of little details across the series that did remind me of my service quite a bit (lots of atmosphere stuff on post, relationship with other characters etc), but for the most part you do have to put aside what you know about the army in order to get invested.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree. It has brought back a lot of memories of past tours for me; in particular, trying to eek out my toiletries until the next parcel came through and scrounging bits of string just so that I could hang up my towel to dry and any cards that I received. I used to seek out a quiet corner of the mess tent during breakfast, just so that i could read a few chapters of a novel. It would set me up for the day and help to keep me grounded. I served for 16 and retired just 2 years ago, but I cant keep from feeling nostalgic when I watch these shows. I most definately miss the camaraderie and feeling proud to be part of something so special.
    All I have left now are the memories and I plan on treasuring them.


    • I actually used to write stories when I was in the army and every day people would wait for me to write a few new pages so they can grab them from me and read it, and the pages would just go from hand to hand while I wrote a few more. It was an interesting experience. I haven’t served for as long as you, just a few years – but in my case I think the serving culture is different. It’s mandatory, so everyone serves their few years and for the most part move on afterwards. There are a lot of triggers that make me miss it, though, and I am very proud of it. I also do carry some open wounds from it that probably will never completely heal, but what can you do. A few weeks ago I was visiting my homeland, and suddenly I saw this soldier who by his uniform I knew he served in the same unit, base and role as I did, and I so wanted to go over to say something. But he was on the other side of the train platform, so it was a bit complicated to do… I actually signed up again once my mandatory contract ended, but it was a short-term secondary contract and when it expired I didn’t stay. Had the chance to return to a similar service – not in the military though – later, but life had already taken me elsewhere… But I do think that no matter how long your service was, there is something that it gives you that people outside the military won’t understand, and it doesn’t even matter what country you’re from. I had the chance of talking to a bunch of soldiers from both the US and the UK army and it was so easy to connect over the shared experience, in a way that I think a lot of people in their life where they are from don’t understand. Interestingly, they all expressed a bit of jealousy about being where I am from – a place where being in the military is normal and accepted and part of culture, so you never have to explain, and people around you – to a point, at least, depending on the roles they served in – always understand what it’s like. We all back there definitely understand how it’s like worrying about our loved ones. And you should treasure your memories. They are precious! I actually keep both my Dog Tag and a really silly picture of myself from basic on my make up mirror, and I didn’t serve remotely as long as you did…


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