We're in the tail end of The Pacific, and the series saves its most harrowing combat and darkest themes for Part Nine, which covers the last battles in Japan. This is without a doubt the best episode of the miniseries, showing every aspect of the combat, the toll on civilian life, and the maturation process of our cast.
It begins with the Marines finally arriving in Okinawa, marching in the mud amongst civilians - and a rare sight: Japanese prisoners. There's an inevitable conflict with the incoming Marines and the prisoners. These were men the Marines had spent months fighting, and had been trained to dehumanize. Even the once mild mannered Sledge goes off on them, showing just how much he's changed.
The temperament of the story heats up more when the real fighting starts. In the darkness, rain and mud on Okinawa, we see the best nighttime combat work of the series so far. The series has proven to be very good at reproducing a variety of different terrain, and the Okinawan fields and hills are no exception. The production team did an excellent job in making it feel like a real battleground.
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