Band of Brothers

Season 1 Episode 7

The Breaking Point

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Oct 14, 2001 on HBO
out of 10
User Rating
272 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Easy Company is entrenched along the outskirts of the German held town of Foy. Before Easy Company and others make their assault on the town, the company must survive the constant shelling.

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  • Remarkable. World War Two had the same problems as World War One.

    An astonishing episode, this one. If you look at the traditional depictions of the two world wars, The Great War (WW1) is often shown to be an absurd, incredibly cruel war in which the military didn't achieve much in four years, an exercise in exhaustion. World War Two looks like a campaign with lots of movement, with clear goals and brave soldiers who could get things done.

    This episode shows that the Second World War had WW1 moments too. The men of Easy Company are stuck in the Ardennes in the cold, constantly shelled. Death could come any minute, even if you weren't doing anything. The brilliant thing about Band of Brothers is that you never know what will happen to your favourite character, and there are some (tragic) surprises here. At the same time it is shown that some officers were as clueless as their predecessors in World War One.

    The story point of view changes in most episodes. This one is told through the eyes of a weary sergeant, beautifully played (=underacted) by Donnie Wahlberg. On a technical level I was constantly amazed by the way the snowy forest was recreated indoors. You couldn't tell it was fake.

    The only criticism you could throw at the episode is that sometimes the irony seemed a bit forced. But then you realise that it really did happen this way. Life's little ironies...moreless
  • This is a defining episode in the series.

    This is my favourite episode in the Band Of Brothers series. Easy Company have survived Bastogne and are now preparing for their assault on the town Foy.

    The men are shelled constantly and many men are killed on badly injured. Muck & Pencala (Malarkey's best friends) are killed and Toye and Guarnere (2 of my favourites) are severely wounded. Buck Compton who witnessed Toye and Guarnere getting hurt, breaks down and has to leave the line.

    1st Sgt Lipton (this episodes narrator) he explains to Winters how easy company's commander Lt. Dike is such an incompetant leader, unfortunately Winters can't do anything about it.

    During the assault of Foy, Dike freezes and Winters has to send in Lt. Speirs

    (of Dog Company) to relive him. Speirs gets things under control quickly and Easy Company take Foy.

    Speirs becomes Easy Company's new commander and Lipton gets promoted.

    I loved every minute of Breaking Point. This is a defining episode for Easy Company, you sense that after they took Foy they had broken the Germans back.moreless
  • A soldier finally receives what he has been dying to get, and surprises everyone when the unexpected happens.

    Great episode with, surprise!, a moral undertone. If I had to choose a phrase to sum it up it would be "All that glitters is not gold".

    We are treated to a particularly humorous bit where the newest 'leader' of the team keeps running off and leaving them all to fend for themselves. One of the soldiers naturally steps up and into his place, all the while they tear this new leader down because he just up and leaves them in the middle of war.

    The one thing I did not like about this episode is when one of the members leaves. It is very choppy around there, with no real reasoning why he left. Overall, the flow of this episode is superb, conversations are had all around, and the humor is present, which is always entertaining.moreless
  • After getting to know some of the characters this one is hard to watch.

    This is an action packed episode. The main premise of this one is Leadership. While you see great leadership from Winters. You don't see that from the constant officers who replace him. While in most war time situations, the NCO's usually are the ones run the platoons, you rarely see that in company strength. While you Winters review possible candidates for Company Commander, you get to see each of their strengths and weaknesses. As said in this episode this was the lowest point for Easy Company in the war. The shelling claimed a large amount of soldiers. You get to see which officer is in charge of Easy Company. It's a great choice that I didn't see coming.moreless
  • Another episode filled with tension, energy, emotions and intensity.

    The Breaking point. It refers probably to the point where soldiers have had enough...enough to see their friends dead or handicap in war. Exactly what happened to Buck, a courageous soldier, who many wanted as the new Easy Company C.O instead of the unworthy Lt Dike. They focused a lot on that aspect on war, the break downs where some even went nuts.

    I like the way the story is told by Lipton...brings on a lot of energy. The Germans bombing were intense and the causalities where perfectly represented graphically. Winters is now commanding officer and cannot go on the battlefield with his beloved Easy Company but I love it when he hold the gun and wanted to assault too. The assault on the Germans was awesome and what Speirs did was so brave and epic. Great Lipton was promoted, he deserved it and Speirs is a worthy C.O for Easy company.moreless
Michael Cudlitz

Michael Cudlitz

Denver 'Bull' Randleman

Ron Livingston

Ron Livingston

Capt. Lewis Nixon

Scott Grimes

Scott Grimes

T/Sgt. Donald Malarkey

Donnie Wahlberg

Donnie Wahlberg

2nd Lt. C. Carwood Lipton

Neal McDonough

Neal McDonough

1st Lt. Lynn "Buck" Compton

Ross McCall

Ross McCall

Joseph D Liebgott

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Carwood Lipton: (narrating) Fear is poison in combat. Something we all felt, but you just didn't show. You can't. It's destructive, and it's contagious.

    • Warren "Skip" Muck: (introducing a reinforcement by talking him through the wounds the Easy Company soldiers had) Even first Sergeant Lipton over there got hit! He got a couple of pieces of a tank shell burst in Carentan. One chunk in the face, another chunk almost took out his nuts.
      Bill Guarnere: How are those nuts, Sarge?
      Carwood Lipton: Doing fine, Bill. Nice of you to ask.

    • Carwood Lipton: (narrating) The morning after the shelling that killed Muck and Penkala, I saw a soldier trying to dig a foxhole with his bare hands. He didn't even notice that he'd torn off all his fingernails.

    • George Luz: (imitating Lt. Dike) Sgt. Lipton, you take care of things here and I'm gonna go for help. I got to go polish my oak leaf clusters.

    • (after Compton has a breakdown)
      Carwood Lipton: I guess he just couldn't take seeing his friends Toye and Guarnere all torn up like that. And nobody thought any less of him for it.

    • Penkala: "Don't do anything stupid"? Who's he talking to? A bunch of morons who volunteered to jump out of a perfectly good airplane.

    • Carwood Lipton: (narrating) Lt. Dike wasn't a bad leader because he made bad decisions. He was a bad leader because he made no decisions.

    • Guarnere: Hey Joe. Good to see ya pal.
      Toye: You too.
      Guarnere: What the hell are you doing back here?
      Toye: I had to make sure you were on top of things.
      Guarnere: Yeah, we're on top of things. I even tied me own boots last week, all by meself. Hey fellas, look who I found.
      Warren Muck: Hey, Joe Toye, back for more.

    • Nixon: Division has decided to pluck one officer from each regiment who served in the heroic defense of Bastone and send them back to the States on a thirty day furlough, get him out banging the drum for the war bond, that kinda thing. Turns out I've been plucked
      Richard Winters: Hey, that's fantastic Lew, good for you.
      Nixon: Thank you.
      Richard Winters: But how does your leaving help me?
      Nixon: Doesn't, I'm not going. I've already seen the States, I grew up there. That's why I came to Europe, just wish they told me a war was going on. Anyway, this thing is wasted on me, but I'm sure we could find an officer somewhere in this battalion that could use a long trip home.

    • Ronald Spiers: You wanna know if they're true or not. The stories about me? Did you ever notice with stories like that, everyone says they heard it from someone who was there. Then when you ask that person, they say they heard it from someone who was there. It's nothing new really. I bet if you went back two thousand years, you'd hear a couple centurions standing around yakking about how Tercius lopped off the heads of some Carthaginian prisoners.
      Carwood Lipton: Well, maybe they kept talking about it because they never heard Tercius deny it.
      Ronald Spiers: Maybe that's because Tercius knew there was some value to the men thinking he was the meanest, toughest sonofabitch in the whole Roman Legion.

    • Warren Muck: I swam the across the Niagara once.
      Alex Penkala: Yeah?
      Warren Muck: I swear. On a bet.
      George Luz: What, in a barrel?
      Warren Muck: No... God! I didn't go over the falls, George. I swam across the river. Ten miles up from the Falls. I tell ya that current is damn strong. It must have carried me at least two miles down stream before I made it across, but I got across. Now personally, I didn't think it was all that stupid. But my mom and my sister Ruth... they gave me all kinds of hell.
      Alex Penkala: Well, they do have a point. You're an idiot

    • Lipton: (narrating as Captain Spiers runs across the battlefield) They didn't shoot, probably because they couldn't believe their eyes from what they saw. But the most amazing thing was, after he made contact with I company, he came back.

    • (Joe Toye and Bill Guarnere have both gotten their legs taken off by artillery)
      Joe Toye: Jesus, what's a guy got to do to get killed around here?
      Guarnere: Sarge, they really got ol' Guarnere this time. (Being loaded on a stretcher) Hey, Joe, I told you I'd beat you back to the States.

  • NOTES (3)

    • International Episode Titles:
      Slovakia: Bod zlomu (Breaking Point)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      United Kingdom: November 9, 2001 on BBC 2
      Germany: April 24, 2003 on Premiere 1
      Denmark: June 26, 2006 on Kanal 5
      Greece: December 6, 2007 on SKAI
      Slovakia: October 21, 2009 on STV1

    • One-third of a million pounds of recycled paper were used to create the snow for the forest set – the largest ever used in a production.