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July 30, 2014

Generation Kill: Stay Frosty

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Aug 18th 2008 9:20AM

Generation Kill(Part 6 of 7) "You know, Iraqis don't really seem good at fighting, but they never really completely surrender either." - Person

And therein lies the difference between the Iraqi Republican Guard forces and the Fist Recon Marines: heart. Guess which side is lacking it?

The point is furthered even more when most of First Recon finds solace and happiness as they realize that their mission is over. M.R.E. milkshakes, Colbert's stash of Chef Boyardee, and an unopened issue of Juggs are the things that make people smile now.

So while everyone is celebrating the end, leave it to Brad to run around with his shirt off, giddy that Godfather is giving First Recon one more mission - one more chance to maybe, just maybe, do something remotely close to what they were trained for.

As this episode unfolded, I found myself strangely relieved that after next week, Generation Kill will be over. It's not that I haven't enjoyed the mini-series and, on top of that, I loved Wright's book. But it is taxing to watch. Every Sunday night, it's the same thing. Simply put, the ineptitude of people like Captain America stresses me out! As if this series isn't loud enough with all the guns and explosions, my neighbors and girlfriend are surely sick of me as well. Every thirty seconds, I'm bellowing various expletives at fools like Encino Man and Casey Kasem.

As the assault on Al Kut ended, most of First Recon realized that they were too late to the game and wouldn't be a part of the invasion on Baghdad. Godfather, and people like Colbert, felt otherwise. So the new target became Baqubah, a city north of Baghdad. The mission? Stop the Iraqi armor from moving south to the capital. The problem? First Recon's Delta Company had finally caught up to them. The Marine reservists. Great. A whole contingent of Captain Americas and Encino Men. Needless to say, I swore a lot during this episode.

Granted, I shouldn't be discounting some of the boneheaded moves that the everyday guys made. Garza was asking to be shot at when he put on that Iraqi helmet, and Casey Kasem had to have known that Fick would rip him a new one when he sent out a recon team after a bombed-out tank.

Casey Kasem ... we have to talk about him. Gunnery Sgt. Ray Griego. Encino Man's personal ass kisser. That's the thing. I don't think Ray is stupid, but he is hell bent on climbing the ladder no matter how ridiculous it makes him look. Plus, he uses Encino Man as some kind of shield. He really is a puppet master of sorts. Craig listens to him and does what Ray says. It's insane. But according to Captain America, you have to be insane to survive war ... so that's a good thing I guess.

More thoughts...

  • I know I mentioned it already, but when Fick went off on Griego, I loved it. "I'm puttin' it down Gunny. You pickin' it up?" Classic quote.
  • Wouldn't those milkshakes have been about 90° after sitting int the sun, in those thick M.R.E. wrappers? Gross.
  • The creativity never ceases: Trombley is Whopper Junior. Whopper Jr. = Burger King = BK = baby killer. Wow.
  • I'm trying to recall stuff from the book, but I think it's Kocher who eventually gets reprimanded for the way Cpt. America treated that prisoner. All because that idiot reservist filed a complaint. Kocher is one of the good guys and his ass gets screwed. Ain't right.
  • I loved the scene when everyone started helping the Baghdad refugees. Great moment. They all got to be human for a brief second.
  • And speaking of being human, Garza made the best point yet: in the real world, all this stuff would land every last one of them in jail.
  • Combat shits. No fun.
  • Miss the head, but you drive over the body. Brad is right: you can't win.
  • I think one of the most surprising things from this episode was the newly-found zen adopted by Fick. No more questioning orders. He's just cool with everything, even going as far as justifying some of the stupid crap to his men. He's the last one I would have expected to give in like that. But this was before Godfather got them back in the game.
  • It had to get political sooner or later: Wright made a good point: if they don't need to wear their MOPPs, then that means there are no WMDs. And if there are no WMDs, then why are they there?

Well, they'll find out what they're really there for when they get to Baghdad in next week's finale, "The Man Comes Around." It's all about crowd control. That is definitely not what they were trained for.

For those that haven't yet, has this mini-series convinced you to read Evan Wright's book?
Yes208 (85.2%)
No36 (14.8%)

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Dave R

Dave R said...
Great writeup Jonathan. Hello First Recon Marines!

Haven't seen the show but the book was excellent. I did a quick post back in Feb. about the book and have seen a traffic spike to that post recently, mostly from searches on "first recon blog"...this may be what they're looking for.

Dave
http://www.islandersoftware.com/weblog/2008/02/16/generation-kill/

September 13 2008 at 10:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dave R

Great writeup Jonathan. Hello First Recon Marines!

Haven't seen the show but the book was excellent. I did a quick post post back in Feb. about the book and have seen a traffic spike to that post recently, mostly from searches on "first recon blog"...this may be what they're looking for.

Dave

September 13 2008 at 10:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Taylor Henderson

The very last statements, during the credits of Generation Kill, Series 7, the Marine talking, during the credits, said something to the effect: "My mother was an M16, my father was the devil", etc. Where does that come from and how does the whole thing go.

Thank you,
JT Henderson, USMC Retired

September 01 2008 at 1:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
...

The milkshakes are powder. You add water and shake it up. It's whatever the temperature of the water is - which is probably over 90-degrees. You can make one yourself - Mix some Ovaltine with some powdered milk and drink it from a ziploc bag.

August 20 2008 at 9:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
c

poke, made the comment not Garza

August 18 2008 at 6:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Son of Bill Brasky

"I loved the scene when everyone started helping the Baghdad refugees. Great moment. They all got to be human for a brief second."

Key words.."brief second" as while they're helping people on the road a car approaches.. they fire smoke.. and the cartridge ricochets off the road hitting an elderly man in the back of the head killing him right there... brutal. It pisses me off to know that this stroy takes place 5 YEARS AGO and we're still there losing American lives.

This is right up there with Band of Brothers. A must see.

August 18 2008 at 4:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Son of Bill Brasky's comment
D-Bo


"This is right up there with Band of Brothers. A must see. "

Couldn't have said it better myself.

August 18 2008 at 4:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Son of Bill Brasky

"I loved the scene when everyone started helping the Baghdad refugees. Great moment. They all got to be human for a brief second."

Key words.."brief second" as while they're helping people on the road a car approaches.. they fire smoke.. and the cartridge ricochets off the road hitting an elderly man in the back of the head killing him right there... brutal. It pisses me off to know that this stroy takes place 5 YEARS AGO and we're still there losing American lives.

This is right up there with Band of Brothers. A must see.

August 18 2008 at 4:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Borat

It was Sgt. Espera, not Garza (I think) who made the comment about "back in the civilian world"...

August 18 2008 at 3:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Borat's comment
c

Sgt. Espera did make the comment.

August 18 2008 at 6:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gig

My Tivo missed the second episode and though I have been checking through all of the many HBO channels I haven't been able to find a replay of it. Anyone have any ideas?

August 18 2008 at 11:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Gig's comment

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