Wednesday, January 29, 2020

REVIEW: '68 Whiskey' - Roback Does His Best to Prove His Worth No Matter How Scandalous He Ultimately Is in 'Daddy Issues'

Paramount's 68 Whiskey - Episode 1.03 "Daddy Issues"

Roback, Davis and Alvarez go on a mission to find Qasem. Alvarez makes an unexpected friend. Roback opens up to Durkin, and tries to salvage the fight with Sasquatch.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides 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 Paramount's 68 Whiskey.

"Daddy Issues" was written by Roberto Benabib and directed by Erin Feeley

Durkin took a moral stand when she said she wouldn't have sex with a married man. It didn't matter that it was only going to be a sham union between Roback and Alvarez. She made that promise to herself and he isn't good enough to break that now. Sure, she eventually has sex with Roback again here. However, that comes across as her seeking closure for the sexual journey they have been on together. Roback made it his mission to please her. He accomplishes that here. It even comes at the expense of his own satisfaction. That makes him an upstanding guy. But it also highlights him achieving what he set out to accomplish in this relationship. Now, she can walk away with absolute clarity. She can do so even though she is forced to lie for him and Alvarez as well. She knows this marriage is fake. But she doesn't want anything bad to happen to Alvarez even though she has just befriended her because of all of this. That female friendship has the potential to be important and pivotal for the series. They bond mostly because they present as being two wildly different personalities in Roback's orbit. They have had different opportunities in life. They may be female in a male-dominated world. However, the culture that they face in this environment is dramatically different. Alvarez's fate may lie solely in Roback's hands and his willingness to marry her. That may not fundamentally change anything. But he is willing to take that step because he respects her and the courage she has shown on the battlefield. He trusts her with his life. And yet, the show continues to depict conflicting views with Roback. It's unclear how the audience should be reacting to the various actions he does. On one hand, he is the protagonist who is trying his best to protect his interests on the base while having fun with his friends for as long as possible. On the other hand though, he is lying about his identity. It is also teased that he killed his father. That's a dramatic escalation. It should significantly alter the audience's perception of the character. He may be another emotionally inept white guy who can't handle rejection or criticism. He presents as having everything together in his life. Even when the pressure increases, he remains cool believing that things will always work out for him. They generally do. Both Holloway and Hazara have had reasons to send him off this base and strip him of his rank within the military. However, they haven't followed through on those threats because they see him as a valuable resource for this local community. Right now, they can continue to tolerate his actions knowing that they can rely on him when they have more personal things at stake. Holloway trusts that Roback and his team can bring her patient back to her before he dies from an infection. That's what she wants even though it further intensifies the temptation she is feeling while being away from her family. She isn't perfect in this world either. She has power that comes from her position of authority. As such, she can make life easy or hard for the people under her command. However, Roback exerts that sense of privilege as well. He gives out orders believing that they should be followed because he knows best in any given situation. That can be costly over time though. It may save Alvarez's life in the long run. But again, he is being deceitful. That is bound to catch up to him at some point. He is stunned that a woman couldn't be sexually attracted to him. Alvarez doesn't feel that at all even though the show may be teasing something messy to come that intensifies the love lives of these characters further. However, the show needs to be more clear with who Roback is. That will greatly help the audience understand the narrative ambition of the series. Right now, it is trying to have things both ways which largely creates a muddled mess that wants to be political but is shrouded too much in secrecy to be all that effective. It is scandalous when Roback is perceived as a killer. The Army may become a safe place for him to escape to that allows him to continue embracing those instincts. That can be an absolutely horrifying message. But it's also clear that the camaraderie and rambunctious nature of life on a military base is also the prime focus of each individual story no matter how severe the threats become.