Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Blogging Through Foyle's War with Rachel and Jess: The White Feather

So, Foyle's War isn't really a book ---- but who cares because it is written by Anthony Horowitz who is brilliant AND it gives you the same experience as reading a really thoughtful and complex novel because it is a fabulous and engaging character piece. Perhaps, I would say, some of the best writing in television. EVER. So, Jess and I are coupling our insane infatuation with the show from a.) a fangirly, giddy standpoint b.) a reverence for wonderful writing, characters and mood and pulling them together in one conversation.
We are both simultaneously watching from the beginning of the series and chatting afterward ( note: Jess lives in Colorado and I live in Toronto )

Episode 2: The White Feather

Rachel: I am always really impressed at how well all of the story lines interlock:

-Fierce hatred and traitor-ship ( is that a word?) with Guy Pearce and his blackshirt crowd clashing with the fierce patriotism of the Dunkirk fishing boat crew
-The “victimization” of Edith: the young girl bullied into cutting wires by her horrible mother ---vs. David ---an innocent victim of a battle he did not fight ( when he is shot by a German bullet across the channel)
-The clash of ideas: Stanley’s hatred of his parents and his reverse-Freudism and Milner exploring the Protocols of the Elders of Zion out of sheer desperation.

Jessica: Watching that one, I just couldn’t imagine how frightened you must be to do what Edith did – to cut telephone wires so that when the Germans arrived in a few days they hopefully wouldn’t throw you in a camp because your grandfather was Jewish.
And the fishing boats going to Dunkirk! Oh! It just makes me want to cry with how awesome those people were. I think I need a book or a documentary on it or something, because that has got to be one the most amazing wartime stories I’ve ever heard – hundreds of English fishing boats crossing the Channel to rescue British soldiers trapped at Dunkirk. OH.

I love Foyle’s confrontation with Milner, how Foyle never outright condemns Guy’s ideas but you can read the disgust all over him (again and again, this is what blows me away about Michael Kitchen – how you always know exactly how Foyle feels despite the fact that he never, ever says it). Milner’s quiet despair. He feels lost and confused and just wants someone to explain it to him. “I don’t understand what it was for.” And Foyle’s response to this: A gentle understanding. He doesn’t try to explain, knows he can’t – he just needs Milner to be on his team, 100%, and maybe that’s exactly what Milner needs—a team to be on. And what better team than Foyle’s team? NONE.

I think my favorite moment in that episode, though, is when Foyle is talking to Stanley after Stanley’s mother is killed. Stanley says he knew the chick from Whitehall came out of the room, because he smelled her. And Foyle’s eyebrows shoot all the way up into his hairline, and he’s like, “…smelled her?” It cracks me up just thinking about it.

Rachel:I also love when Sam and Foyle meet Milner’s wife for the first time. Also, Foyle’s face, resolute yet still moved, when Guy mentions Andrew getting shot down over the channel

Jessica:I like how Andrew is used in the episode even though he’s not in it. Guy tries to use Andrew to emotionally blackmail Foyle, which just makes him angry. But then the fact that Foyle has a son the same age as David is all that’s necessary for David’s father to know that Foyle completely understands what he’s going through—all the explanation necessary for Foyle to attend his funeral. Just as mentioning Andrew is the surest way for Guy to destroy any sympathy or understanding Foyle might have had for him, mentioning Andrew is all that’s needed to form a bond between Foyle and David’s father.

Rachel: This great big war finally reaching poor, unsusceptible Hastings. As it always does----
The moment we think that Hastings is “safe” ---all being on the edge of the front and not near enough to be affected, that is when the war enters: be it by bomb, or a bunch of ships scraping the casualties and wounded from the other side.


Unknown said...

Rachel, hello from another Rachel in Toronto who's a "Foyle's War" fan. Just thought you might be interested in the favourable comments on the Quietly Enigmatic Foyle fan site:
It would be lovely to see you there.
Sincerely, Rachel_Toronto

Rachel said...


nice to meet you too, Rachel from Toronto!