Filming a (relatively) mainstream series about a war currently being fought is ambitious and potentially disastrous. I tuned into the pilot episode wondering what direction Steven Bocho was going to take. When the ending music started, I can honestly say I was pleased, relieved, and more than a little startled with the final result.
The writing and character development was top notch and promises to be the strong point of the series. From the beginning, I was interested in each member of the fire team and wanted to know more about who they were and what motivated them. Even more impressive was the fact that I also wanted to see how the families were going to fare through this ordeal. Even now, I have to keep reminding myself that this is a pilot episode and that the actors are still getting used to their characters.
The episode doesn’t forget that the series is about the military and a war. It includes firefights that are chaotic and downright scary. The actors were properly attired and showing military discipline you’d expect from an active duty, deployed unit. Finally, the story doesn’t romanticize combat or take it lightly. It is a real part of the story leading to a startling and horrifying final scene. Bocho may have promised not to delve into the politics of the War in Iraq, but he certainly doesn’t have a problem making some striking statements about the dangers this (or any) war.
In closing, I highly recommend this series for anyone that wants a serious, sobering look at the life of the soldiers and families involved in the Iraq War.