Sunday, May 19, 2019

REVIEW: 'Catch-22' - Yossarian Grows Depressed and Angry About the Rising Mission Counts in 'Episode 2'

Hulu's Catch-22 - Episode 1.02 "Episode 2"

Yossarian pursues desperate measures to get home, while Milo sees war as a growth industry.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Hulu's Catch-22

"Episode 2" was written by Luke Davies & David Michôd and directed by Ellen Kuras

There is no escape from the brutality of war. YoYo would love to just enjoy a break. He has several opportunities to do so here knowing that he will still have to fly missions. He is still pushed to the brink of sanity though because Colonel Cathcart continues to increase the mission count before discharging the soldiers from their service. And so, it doesn't matter how much time YoYo spends in the infirmary or in Rome. He will still return to the base with even more missions to complete. He doesn't even receive peace and quiet that he hoped for in these escapes either. He is kicked out of the infirmary because he isn't actually sick and he starts a fight with a guy who is simply annoying to him. In Rome, he finds solace in the owner of this brothel who also understands the realities of war. But he still returns to the base with the latest daunting realization that the missions have gone up once more. It doesn't ultimately matter that some of his fellow soldiers are finding ways to make this war worth it for them. Major Major gets a promotion here. His title officially becomes Major Major Major Major. That happens simply because it's easier for the commanding officers to refer to him as a major instead of a sergeant. Sure, it's once again a moment that lands with a thud because he has to try explaining his name once more. However, it's fascinating to watch as he establishes the rules of his office in the hopes that he won't have to do anything with this newfound promotion. YoYo goes to him with the hopes that a friend in a position of power can actually help him get out of his service. But Major Major doesn't really see the urgency in that mission. Similarly, YoYo's close friend, Clevinger believes in the integrity of the United States government. He is appalled by the notion that it may be the latest great nation to fall. He sees the United States army and its soldiers as the greatest on the planet. However, Marcello can offer a far better argument as to why Italy will prosper following this war because it understands its place on the world stage and isn't seeking to change things. It will forever be protected by whichever side in the war is currently winning. It doesn't walk around with the sense that they are superior and must be respected. That's what the Americans and the Germans have. YoYo can appreciate that sensibility. To him, it is only further proof that his government is just as much the enemy to his personal safety as the people on the ground firing at the planes. Every mission he goes on is dangerous and could lead to him being killed. It doesn't matter if the pilots are evading attacks either. Even the most innocuous circumstances could lead to disaster. One mission is defined by clear skies. It seems like everything is working as perfectly as it could possible be. But one plane flies into some clouds and suddenly disappears. Clevinger was on that plane. As such, YoYo is racked with even more despair understanding that he's still alive and his friend isn't despite their polar opposite views on the value of the government. Clevinger insisted that the Colonel was making the best decisions weighing all of the personal consequences for his men. But YoYo understands that Cathcart is just doing whatever it takes to seem impressive while keeping his unit stable for as long as possible. He has no sympathy for his men making these grand sacrifices. He just sees them as acceptable loses given the statistics. YoYo doesn't want to end up like that. But it feels like the system is actively working against him and may make that seem like his only option for escaping.