Spoilers for episode four of "Generation Kill" coming up just as soon as I cook a goat...
You're now basically caught up with me. I've seen part of episode 5, but I reached a point where I decided I'd rather watch each episode closer to when I was going to blog about it, so I'll be watching 5, 6, and 7 at roughly the same pace you will. The decision was less about not wanting to inadvertently spoil things (it's really not that kind of show), but because I was having a harder and harder time reconnecting with each episode as I had to write about them, even with the extensive notes I take for stuff like this.
I bring this up because, from what I remember at the time, I wasn't that fond of "Combat Jack," at least relative to the previous three episodes, but now I'm not sure how much I can trust those memories.
Specifically, I didn't like the detour we took with Captain Patterson (the shorter, wiser Encino Man lookalike) and Alpha as they went on their mission to recover the body of the crucified Marine. I know that chronologically, this is the point in the story when the incident happened, but it feels like we're too deep into the miniseries to be spending so much time with a different, albeit related, group of Marines. One of the commenters said that episode three was the best so far because he could finally start telling the characters apart. So just as we're all getting to recognize all the personalities in Bravo, it doesn't seem like a great time to go off on a chaotic mission with Alpha.
That said, the material with the Bravo guys was very strong, particularly the road block sequence at the end. Outside of IEDs, stories of nightmarish roadblocks seem to be the most frequent kind of tale coming out of this war (the one really memorable part of FX's "Over There" also involved a roadblock), and the two roadblock scenes -- Bravo shooting up the truck, and Fruity Rudy and Meesh coming upon the aftermath of another roadblock shoot-em-up -- illustrated just why those things are so terrifying, even with superior firepower on your side.
Some other moments I liked:
-Doc tells off Encino Man. If I didn't know that he had actually called the guy incompetent and gotten away with it (Wright documents the exchange in the book), I wouldn't have believed it.
-Kocher (Colbert's counterpart in second platoon, played by Owain Yeoman) warns Captain America what would happen if he fired one of his AK's again. Come to think of it, this was a good episode for the grunts briefly standing up to their idiot leaders.
-Espera compares Trombley to Dylan Klebold, one of the perpetrators of the Columbine massacre. Also, Trombley's admission that he gets more nervous watching game shows than he does getting into fire fights.
-Colbert's contempt for organized religion was amusing, and also served as a nice counterpoint to the idea that the Iraq invasion was President Bush's own holy war.
What did everybody else think?