The Liberator episode 4 recap – the ending explained

November 11, 2020
Daniel Hart 0
Netflix, TV Recaps


“Home” finishes a formidably well-made series; it marks the end of World War Two that ends with a bittersweet victory as Sparks and his men learn about the horrific atrocities against humanity.

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“Home” finishes a formidably well-made series; it marks the end of World War Two that ends with a bittersweet victory as Sparks and his men learn about the horrific atrocities against humanity.

This recap of Netflix series The Liberator episode 4, “Home” — the ending explained — contains significant spoilers.

We recapped every episode — check out the archive

The opening

“Home” opens in Germany with a couple waking up in bed. The wife answers the door to her house and the German Major asks for her husband Heymann — he has been declared a traitor for not following orders and is condemned to death. His wife tries to show a doctor’s report to the Major to prove he had wounds. The soldiers hang him in the street and call him a coward in front of civilians; this is a horrific moment to start the finale of The Liberator, but it gets worse.

“A quiet German town”

Sparks and his squad reach Aschaffenburg, Germany on March 31st, 1945. Allied Forces quietly walk into a tranquil town that seems to be abandoned. Suddenly, Gomez alerts his men of a sniper as one of them is shot in the head. The soldiers get into positions to fight back. Gomez asks Sparks to retreat for safety as he is high in command. The squad checks out properties one by one; they want to take out the machine gun and the sniper. “Home” has all the scenarios of a Germany ready to surrender the war.

Using children to fight

In one of the houses, they find a woman and her children. The boy is one of the German soldiers; the Germans are using children to fight, a shocking moment for the army. Sparks reports to his superiors that they need to win the city, so the Germans do not declare victory. As it moves late into the night, they find a young wounded girl and they get her to a medic. This a different ballgame as part of the war; there’s compassion for the German people as it nears an end.

The end for Gomez

In one of the houses, Gomez finds a secret room in a house and shoots a German soldier. He’s also shot in the process, but no-one knows where he is as he starts bleeding out. Due to the pain and feeling weak, he’s unable to shout. Coldfoot finds him in a secret room and requests a medic. But it’s too late, and he slowly dies — the group is devastated.

War destroys years of civilizations built

Sparks sends a letter to Mary about how it took a thousand years to build Aschaffenburg, but it took weeks for them and the Nazis to destroy it. He’s about to announce that the Nazis have surrendered the city; it’s going to be a ceremony. While they scour the city, they find Heyman’s wife knelt by her husband, who is still hung. She asks for help and explains what happened to him — Sparks learns that the German Major did this and he promises the wife that her husband will get a proper burial with honors. This has caused something to trigger in Sparks’ head — at the end of the last chapter, we saw how much this war had impacted him. He’s now near the end, and he’s appalled by the lack of humanity.

Making the German Major announce the surrender

Sparks meets the German Major, and he demands that he joins him for a ride in the city immediately — Sparks is clearly angry. He asks the Major to ride around the city and announce the surrender which, if you think about the time Germany was in, was embarrassing. As they drive past the deceased soldier Heymann, who has been placed in a coffin, the Major stops announcing the surrender as he suddenly looks guilty and anxious; a civilian spits on him. Sparks narrates and tells the audience that he hopes he has seen it all — this provides anxiety for the audience because we know he hasn’t seen anything yet.

The first sight of a concentration camp

The Liberator episode 4 then moves to Bavaria — April 29, 1945. The squad reaches a concentration camp, and they believe it’s a Prisoner of War facility. The soldiers can smell something horrid. They open one of the train carriages nearby, and there are hundreds of dead bodies inside all piled on top of each other. Sparks asks his soldiers to open all the carriages; he wants his men to secure the camp to figure out what this place is. There’s a genuine shock amongst the squad — the anger is felt.

There’s so much anger

Sparks and his men scour the place. Four German soldiers try to surrender, but one of his men is so angry he shoots all four of them. Sparks was not present or giving orders in this scene.

The regiment then finds a large group of prisoners who are malnourished and almost dead — one of the Jewish people asks Sparks if he is a dream — the man cannot believe they are finally receiving help. Sparks orders for food and medicine immediately. One of the sergeants lines up the wounded soldiers to kill them all — he starts shooting them. Sparks runs at the sergeant and stops them; he explains that he is sickened by the atrocity they have seen in this camp, but it’s not their decision to make to kill them. Sparks and his superior check out the gas chambers; his superior explains how this is not an isolated incident.

We can only imagine what it would have been like to discover a concentration camp, but this gives us a slight insight into how the allied soldiers felt and acted when they saw what Nazi Germany did.

The war is over

The superior offers good news; Hitler is dead, and Germany has surrendered, so they are off to Munich. The war has ended, but Sparks does not feel like it’s over for him. The incident in the concentration camp is investigated by the army for executing wounded, surrendered soldiers. The investigation has become a big deal, and the focus is now on Major Sparks — he’s ordered to report to 7th Army Headquarters to listen to his charges by a judge.

The charges against Sparks

There’s an emotional moment where Sparks says goodbye to his men. Afterward, he visits the Army HQ. He’s charged with the dereliction of his duty leading to the deaths of 17 unarmed German prisoners of war. His case is going to be reviewed. He’s told he will have an opportunity to present his testimony.

500 days in combat

Sparks visits Chief Army Justice as instructed by the charges against him. The chief lists Sparks’ and his regiment’s timeline in World War Two. Sparks denies he gave those men orders to kill the prisoners but states that they are still his men. The Chief tells Sparks that his regiment served over 500 days in combat, more than he ever did, and asks “who the hero is”. He tells Sparks to go home and not let the scars ruin him. There was a lot of respect from the Chief Army Justice in this scene; he understood what 500 days of combat could do to a man, and he clearly respected the mental and physical resilience.

The ending

Sparks sends a letter to Mary and tells her that his life as a soldier is over. He admits to Mary via the letter that the war has changed him and he will be a different man from who she married.

Sparks is finally reunited with Mary, and they hug each other tight — he hopes she still loves the man he is today.

The series ends with some facts:

  • During World War 2, the 157th Regiment fought over 500 days in combat.
  • Nine soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor, 61 received Distinguished Service Crosses, 3 Distinguished Service Medals, 1,848 Star medals, 38 Legion of Merit medals, 59 Soldier’s Medals, 5,744 Bronze Star Medals, and 52 Air Medals.
  • With its southwestern roots, the 157th regiment was composed of Apache, Seminole, Cherokee, Sioux, Choctaw, and Mexican Americans.
  • Despite the racial tensions at home, these men came together to fight their common foe.
  • Felix Sparks completed law school at the University of Colorado, Boulder, became a lawyer, and later served on the Colorado State Supreme Court.
  • He and Mary were married for sixty-five years until his death in 2007.

The Liberator episode 4 finishes a formidably well-made series; it marks the end of World War Two that ends with a bittersweet victory as Sparks and his men learn about the horrific atrocities against humanity.

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