I don't write about "The Unit" very often, but CBS sent out a screener of last night's episode and next week's, and they were strong enough to merit a little blog love. Spoilers for part one coming up just as soon as I put on a concert t-shirt...
I was at a bit of a disadvantage for this one, as the screener arrived with a note asking critics not to reveal who died. So not only did I know someone would die, but that it was likely to be a surprise ending, since Grey was wounded so early in the episode and yet CBS PR was requesting secrecy. And since I figured the dead guy was either going to be Grey or Hector -- who have always been second-tier characters without wives -- that meant Hector was likely to take a bullet in the final minutes, which he did.
That said, until the Army truck conveniently pulled up at the exact moment (and location) the Unit members charged out of the building, I thought "5 Brothers" was a very effective thriller episode, particularly during the scenes in the apartment where Brown had to keep control of the family who had the poor fortune to have their home turned into a hide-out/field hospital for the Unit. I thought the episode struck a good balance between showing Bob trying his best not to hurt these innocent civilians and not allowing them to do anything that might hurt him or his guys, and the fact that he had to kill the English-speaking son was a place a lot of other shows wouldn't have been willing to go. "The Unit" gets dismissed a lot as a meat-and-potatoes action show, but there's a moral ambiguity to a lot of it that you rarely see on network TV.
And as I said the last time I blogged about the show, Scott Foley continues to do surprising, interesting work as Brown; Bob's a quieter, less flashy character than either Jonas or Mac, and some actors would struggle to play an action hero whose defining characteristic is his ability to think, but Foley pulls it off. (He also tends to shine the most in the more overtly Mamet-y episodes; I wouldn't be surprised to see him become a regular in Mamet's movies once the show ends.)
The strip club/tow truck story was what it was -- an excuse to give the wives something to do in the middle of an episode that didn't really need them -- but all the female characters will be used much better in next week's episode, dealing with the aftermath of Hector's death.
What did everybody else think?