Sunday, February 10, 2019

Young Indiana Jones -- Episode 8: Trenches of Hell

To Watch: Click Here

Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
Indiana Jones's Belgian infantry company has been decimated in battle to the point where he's the temporary leader, but the French command steps in and places some officers in charge. After fighting the Germans in some trench battles, Indy is captured and sent to a POW camp. After a failed escape, he's sent to a high security castle fortress where he plots an escape with Charles de Gaulle. 

Memorable Quote:
Soldiers are citizens of death's gray land. Drawing no dividends from time's tomorrows. In the great hour of destiny they stand. Each with his feuds, and jealousies, and sorrows.  ~Indy reciting the beginning of Siegfried Sassoon's poem

I like the narrative of Indy getting captured or re-captured over and over again (4 times by my count) before he finally gets away.

I don't know why Indy doesn't just say he's an American fighting in the Belgian army instead of pretending to be a Belgian, and later a Frenchman. It should be clear from the second he opens his mouth that he's an American, but no one seems to bring this up, at least until the end when de Gaulle is quite pleased with himself for discerning Indy's true nationality. Indy says, "I fooled a lot of people with my French. How did you know I was American?" No idea, Indy, he's just that good.

Brushes with historical figures:
  • Siegfried Sassoon (soldier and poet)
  • Charles de Gaulle

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • The writer of this episode also wrote my favorite action movie, Die Hard 3 (previously reviewed on this site). Sadly, there are no riddles or f-bombs in this episode. 
  • It's cool that Indy's in charge of the Belgian company, but my man could use a better haircut. 
  • Good acting by the guys playing the French Lieutenant and the psycho, scarfaced Belgian. Also worth noting that there's not a single woman to be found in this episode -- it's a total Belgian/French/German brat fest.
  • A few notes regarding the first battle:
    • It's not often that we see a World War One reenacted battle on network television. As usual with this series, the production quality is excellent. 
    • The geometry of the bunkers seems off, in that Indy works hard to get the grenades over to Scarface's bunker, only to have Scarface throw them at the German machine guns at an angle which makes it seems as if Indy could have just thrown them at the Germans himself. 
    • Not sure why they had to include the brief scene with the poor soldier losing his gas mask and asking Indy for his (to which Indy basically says, "Sorry dude"), unless they wanted to show us how deadly the gas was. 
    • Confusing lack of transition (and maybe a scene got cut) when the Germans overwhelm the Belgians and French with a ton of dudes riding horses and wielding flamethrowers, which is immediately followed up with the Belgians and French safe and relaxing in the trenches and planning their leave.
  • The Germans in the POW camp and the castle aren't as mean and scary as they could have been. 
  • Indy's periscope doesn't look like it would work unless it has mirrors that we don't get to see.
  • For such a supposedly imposing prison that's impossible to escape from, the prisoners sure have a lot of time where they're completely unsupervised.
  • It's surprising that de Gaulle picks Indy to accompany him on his two-man escape instead of another Frenchman. And how do they have enough air in the coffins?  It's not as if they have breathing tubes like MacGyver in Deathlock.
  • I'm glad Indy got away from the guy on the motorcycle, but he shouldn't celebrate too much yet considering he's still in the middle of Germany on a bike. 

Final Analysis:
This episode was fairly middle of the road and not much in the way of big highlights or lowlights, and I'm ranking it 3 out of 8. It will be interesting to see if even the highest ranked young Indy episode makes it above any with older Indy -- at this point I have my doubts. 

No comments:

Post a Comment