Bomb Girls S02E03 – The Enemy Within

 

This was a tough episode. Not that it was hard to watch, or anything of that sort, I mean emotionally tough. It could very well have been called Sacrifices, because we see that each of our characters, and even our nation made sacrifices to get through the war.

marcoLosing none of the momentum that the season has already built up, those wonderful folks behind the scenes and in front of the cameras put us through the ringer again this week, and leave us with things to think about.

I was left wondering, as the Leafs won the Stanley Cup, how other people were locked up in internment camps at Petawawa, all because they spoke another language, and had immigrated here to a country where they thought they could be free. I was aware of the Japanese internment camps in the States (because George Takei, Star Trek’s Sulu, spent time in one during the second World War). I had thoughts like, how could that happen here? And sadly, I could see both sides of the argument, I hate to think that means I’m growing up.

Everyone sacrifices in this episode.

Marco (Antonio Cupo) has a terrible run this week. He tries to enlist, but is turned down, because he speaks Italian and is of Italian descent. With Gladys’ (Jodi Balfour) help, he and his mother journey to Petawawa to see his father, who is being held there, without trial, or the possibility of release, simply because he belonged to a group that had alleged fascist ties in support of Mussolini. He is held himself, and interrogated, and beaten, until a phone call is receive that clears him.

Marco and his mother have to sacrifice the hope of seeing their family reunited before the war’s end.

gladysGladys sacrifices her pride, bartering a deal with her father to get Marco in to see her father. She also sacrifices a lot of her faith and belief in the ideas of law and justice during wartime.

Bob (Peter Outerbridge) has his own issues with pride this episode, he’s unable to make lead toys anymore, because the material is being used for more necessary items, and he decides to turn to finding other work, but because of his condition, and the fact that all the women are taking the factory positions, he can’t get a job… Until Lorna (Meg Tilly) tells him about a News Stand that he can have a stake in.

Lorna gets shown up by Vera (Anastasia Phillips) when both of them teach life skills courses in the canteen (I can’t see that set now without grinning, Sue and I spent so much time there, I think we know every inch of it!). Lorna tries to teach about making sacrifices in the kitchen to make things last, and perhaps making meals that may not sound like they appeal, but would be healthy and filling. Vera on the other hand, teaches things about make-up, and making the best of what they have, to a roaring success.

But Vera, later, has her own problems, when the soldier she’s dating this week reveals that he has no intention of going overseas. She thinks he’s a coward, and he implies she’s no better than a prostitute.

aliThe biggest sacrifices happen with those two girls who have my heart each week, Betty (Ali Liebert) who is still rocking that cap, and it looks amazing on her!! Betty is sacrificing who she is, to fit in with what everyone thinks is normal, going so far to finally sleep with Ivan (Michael Seater). It was a heartbreaking moment, because she really was trying, trying to become someone she’s not, and it hurts, when you see a character you know and love being someone they aren’t. You won’t them to be true to themselves (a message we too often ignore in ourselves). She realizes it though, after she takes Kate (Charlotte Hegele) to Leon’s (Jim Codrington) church.

Leon invited Kate and Betty, because he knows Kate is going through problems and is losing her way.

Kate, oh, Kate.

She’s drinking, she’s lost her faith, she’s sacrificing all she is to the bottle in an effort to forget what she and Betty have done. There’s a moment when she and Betty are talking, and she says she wants a normal life, she wants what Betty has with Ivan, and for a moment, there’s such a look of hurt on Betty’s face when she says that.

megWar is not without its sacrifices on the home front, and while they were spared the horrors that so many of our fighting men saw, they had their own trials and tribulations to face.

Yet, sometimes there is hope, and we got a brilliant moment at the end of the episode, when Eugene Corbett (Brett Dier). But with so many sacrifices made in this episode, will the Corbetts be required to sacrifice their son as well?

The writing on this show continues to be top-notch, and in this episode they shone the light on the internment camps we had within our borders, and did so without flinching.

I love this show, and I love the girls of Victory Munitions!

Bomb Girls airs Wednesdays on Global.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Louanne says:

    Hello, If you want to know more about the Italian Canadian internment, please visit http://www.ItalianCanadianWW2.ca, a national project (book, exhibits, and website/archive) dedicated to teaching about this little-known event in Canadian WWII history. The project was funded by the federal government.

    1. TD Rideout says:

      This is a fantastic link! Thank you Louanne!

      1. Louanne says:

        My favourite part are the oral history interviews with the children of the internees or the internee bios. The team worked really hard on this. We also have the permanent exhibit open to the public for free onsite at Columbus Centre (Dufferin and Lawrence West in Toronto) and the travelling exhibit just started its 3 year tour nationwide to museums/cultural centres.

        I was very excited to see episode 3 because in season 1, they hardly touched on this topic with Marco’s character. It was a very emotional episode.

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