The Liberator episode 3 recap – what happened in “The Enemy”? A likely surrender.

November 11, 2020
Daniel Hart 0
Netflix, TV Recaps
4.5

Summary

Many decisions are made in “The Enemy”, and it’s those decisions that highlight the difficulties of war; the human cost is real, and while this is animated, the realism is impactful.

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4.5

Summary

Many decisions are made in “The Enemy”, and it’s those decisions that highlight the difficulties of war; the human cost is real, and while this is animated, the realism is impactful.

This recap of Netflix series The Liberator episode 3, “The Enemy” contains significant spoilers.

We recapped every episode — check out the archive


The opening

Sparks sends a letter to his wife Mary explaining how they’ve been taken out of Italy, and he’s been reassigned to Southern France — everyone knows the lives that have been lost in Normandy. He’s been promoted to Major which includes a team of thousands of men; most have never been in battle, and their survival depends on the men who have made it this far. What follows is soldiers running on the beach, but it’s eerily quiet at first. There’s a sense of anticipation and nothing happens — even the viewer is waiting with bated breath.

What took you so long?

A French man on a bicycle tells Sparks and his men that the Germans have left — he jokingly asks what took them so long. There’s a touching scene where two soldiers are introduced as father and son. A soldier named Otaktay is quiet as all the Americans introduce themselves.

Awarded an honor

Sparks writes a letter to Mary explaining how they are seen as liberators and are celebrated; German prisoners are everywhere. His men are calling it the “Champagne Campaign”. However, Sparks is wary of an underlying threat. Sparks is awarded the Presidential Unit Citation honor — it’s for his efforts in the bloody Anzio. He’s given three more medals for the other survivors.

Sparks raises to his superior that he needs more reinforcements due to winter conditions. However, his request is denied — he’ll have to make progress with what he’s got. You can tell in this scene that Sparks wanted to speak up about his concerns, but then he retreated.

Vosges mountains — early 1945

Temperatures are at freezing point. And as Sparks predicted, winter becomes their new enemy, and the Germans attack briefly with artillery — they know where they are. On the mountains there’s gunfire, and a supply truck is attacked. One of the tanks hits a mine and is instantly disabled. They are against well-trained SS soldiers.

Trapped in snow

A few soldiers are trapped at night in the freezing cold. One of the soldiers takes a chance to make a run for it as he doesn’t think they will make it through the night. A sniper kills him. The father and son are also trapped, and they agree to a strategy to make it across and away from the SS soldiers. The son will run while the father distracts the sniper. It works.

This is a terrible situation and one that feels horrific to watch — it’s like the endgame of chess with little chance of making it out.

A cease-fire

The next day, the captain finds some of the soldiers dying of frostbite. The SS soldiers who are sniping decide not to shoot and show some mercy. The SS makes an announcement, requesting a ceasefire to discuss options. The captain meets the SS Major who explains they are surrounded, and they are giving them an opportunity to surrender — they have all their positions and radios; the SS major explains that their situation is “hopeless”.

It’s time to surrender

The captain radios to Major Sparks about the surrender and how the SS knows they are cut-off. Sparks tells the captain to give his soldiers the options. The captain tells his men that they have agreed to surrender as they are surrounded. He gives his men options to break lines, but he warns them that the SS soldiers have them covered. It’s either run away with the risk of death or be a prisoner of war — two sobering, cold options.

The ending

Some soldiers decided to run away as the others are brought in as prisoners. Sparks storms into his superior’s office and he is furious; he tells him that he warned that this would have happened; seven company commanders, 35 platoon leaders, 500 men, dead, wounded, or captured. He tells them that the plan was sh*t. Sparks is told that he was their best hope and some orders will haunt them. It feels too much of a simple response from the superior — an almost “shrug of the soldier”. It’s alarming that decisions were made so easily that cost the lives of many.

Sparks writes a letter to his wife Mary, explaining that he has hit a breaking point. He feels regret for letting himself believe that death and sacrifice were over and explains he has no more emotional reserves to fall back on. He wants to remember what hope feels like.

Many decisions are made in The Liberator episode 3, and it’s those decisions that highlight the difficulties of war; the human cost is real, and while this is animated, the realism is impactful.


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