Friday, January 24, 2014

REVIEW: 'Enlisted' Heads to the Depressing Single Guy Trailer Park Near the Dump in 'Pete's Airstream'

FOX's Enlisted - Episode 1.03 Pete's Airstream

Still adjusting to life back in the states, Pete tries to distance himself from his brothers and the platoon, which, of course, backfires. Meanwhile, Pvts. Robinson and Park try to bond with Jill.

"Pete's Airstream" starts off simply as a story of Pete trying to get some distance between him and the members of his platoon because they are annoying and always around him. Those opening cutaways with Privates Gumble and Dobkiss as well as Randy were hilarious. And yet, the plot slowly turns into a great big character moment for Pete and what his life is like now that he is no longer the super-soldier off fighting in Afghanistan. He ultimately needs the space in order for him to deal with his own stuff. The platoon continue to hang out with him and its increasingly less of what he wants out of his own trailer. They throw a party for him and its the exact opposite of what he wants. Sergeant Major Cody sees what's going and gets the Hill brothers to understand what Pete is going through. In the end, the platoon is still just right outside the trailer but now they are there for Pete not for themselves. It's a show of support but also a way that they are bonding together as a unit.

The episode also had a really strong B-story with Perez, Hill and Robinson having a girls' night out. It was funny on its own merits - "Lone Wooolf," "We're like a yogurt commercial," & "I know. Little secret. I give really bad advice." - but it also flowed into the main story very naturally.

Couple that with the great recurring jokes of the community worrying about sinkholes (You just knew one would appear by episode's end) and Cody knowing everything that happens on the base (Who wants to challenge him now?), and this is yet another solid entry for Enlisted.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Pete's Airstream" was written by Theresa Mulligan Rosenthal and directed by Matt Sohn.
  • Obviously, FOX moved Enlisted to 9/8c. in an attempt to improve the ratings. Bones is a better lead-in than Raising Hope so I hope it works because I really love this show.
  • Derrick: "I had to help him through the rough spots. That's not me. I'm the middle brother. I am the rough spots."
  • Randy: "Check out this muscle. Feels like calamari."
  • Jill: "The trick is to avoid comparisons."
  • Love that the picture of Pete, Derrick and Randy that Pete is trying to hang in his trailer is one of the photos taken to promote the series.
  • Pvt. Gumble: "Is it because I look like one of the Rugrats." & "Answer the black friend question." Also, going forward he will be called JaMort.
  • Derrick: "Hey everyone listen up. I got some bad news." Everyone: "Boooo." Derrick: "At least wait to hear it first."