Masters of the Air Episode 3 Review

Masters of the Air Episode 3
Masters of the Air Episode 3, focusing on three task forces tasked with a mission to take out ball bearing factories in Germany. Specifically, we focused on the first task force, which aimed for the Messerschmitt engine assembly plants in Regensburg. We witnessed camaraderie, devastation in its purest form, and decisions being made which meant that less than half of the task force made it to the final destination.

It felt like when this episode started, there was going to be something that was going to go wrong, with the weather conditions being too foggy for the plane to take off at 6:00 a.m. We saw that it was inevitably delayed, but then once the time had passed and conditions were still bad, the first task force of the unit, the one that we were following, was sent up into the sky on their own and without the protection of the two other forces that were supposed to go with them. During the start, we heard about how far the Eighth had come in the space of a year, going from 12 B-17s to 376 heavy bombers and 240 fighters, which was a vast improvement. But even with that confidence that got instilled into the fighters and while the development was there, it showed that although it meant that they were a force to be reckoned with, safety in numbers was something which was paramount, and synchronization was key.

With the task force aiming to drop their bombs on Regensburg, which would delay production of the heavy war machines, it was a mission that meant a countless number of lives would be saved if it was successful. With the planes up in the air, we saw that while on their own, they were quite literally flying into the gates of hell where no mercy was shown upon anybody, and you could die in a matter of seconds. If it wasn't the bombs that were being fired up, it was the fighter planes which were flying towards you with the intention of just killing you. We saw that the mission was all about synchronization, but what we saw was synchronized chaos, where you'd be lucky to make it out. They were flying into the jaws of death, and as was mentioned, they were being sent straight into hell alone, and they didn't know if they were going to make it out.

With the plan being to drop the bombs over the factories and then proceed to fly onto Africa, that was the final destination. During the battles in the sky, we saw that several planes were taken out, men were killed, and we also saw others having to abort the mission and jumping out with their chutes with the intention of being rescued. We saw different attitudes being present while up in the sky, and you can only imagine that that's how it probably would have been like. There were some who were more outwardly brave and needed to instill confidence in their men, such as Buck, who was determined to complete the mission as long as the planes were flying in the sky, and there were others who were fearful that they wouldn't make it.

There was a moment about 3/4 of the way through this episode where one of the planes was going down, and the troops had aborted. However, Baby Face was stuck inside of the pod where he was firing the weapon from. Quinn stayed back with the intention of trying to save him, but we saw that Quinn had to leave him behind; otherwise, he would have died. This was a moment that was just awful to watch, the confliction that one would be going through during that situation on whether to stick and help and not know when the plane was going to crash or leave saving yourself and knowing that your friend would die and have it live in your head forever.

With Quinn landing in Flanders, Belgium, we saw that he was met with authorities there where he was given the option of whether or not he could surrender and become a prisoner of war or he could decline that option and he would be helped to be snuck back into England through occupied areas. We didn't see him make his decision, but judging by what we saw in the episode, I thought he might have chosen the option to be a prisoner of war as he'd want to survive. But in the trailer for the next episode, it looked like he took the decision to go back to England and risk being killed on the journey, so that's going to be an arm of the story which will be very interesting to watch develop.

During the beginning of the episode, we saw that Curtis said how the fog used to spook him as a kid but despite his team feeling anxious, he was feeling quite positive about the mission that he was on. His plane was hit during the battle that was taking place, and he was flying until some of the people made it out. However, during his landing on the strip of grass, the plane went up into flames upon it touching the ground. Right at the end, we heard that Buck said that he didn't know where Curtis was and if he made it, but judging by what we saw unfold, I'd be surprised if he did make it because that looked like an explosion that was unsurvivable. When looking at the real-life First Lieutenant Curtis Biddick, he did sadly die due to exactly what was depicted in the episode. He died due to his plane suffering an oxygen fire by damage to the nose and fuselage. This trapped several of the men on the flight deck, which meant that four members of the crew were killed, which included Curtis. So with regards to the show, it doesn't seem like we're going to be seeing Barry Keoghan's character anymore.

There was another moment in this episode which I thought was a nice touch. There was no real narration from Crosby's point of view when it came to the storytelling, which is something that I thought was a shame as I did quite like that last week. However, what I did like was the care that we saw him having. There was a moment where after all of the chaos had unfolded, he was panicking about the fact that he wasn't able to track where Curtis's plane went down, and even though he was told that there was nobody that would have been able to have tracked it amongst everything that was unfolding, he wanted to ensure that he got it right, showing the level of care that he not only had to the job that he was doing but to the people that he was serving alongside, ensuring that if they were still alive, they could be found or if they were dead, then it would be properly documented where they went down. The moment where we saw Crosby arrive in Africa safely, he kissed the good omen that he was given and told to keep, and we saw him get down on the ground and appreciate just being on land, showing just how grateful he was to have been able to have touched down, showing the safe haven that just being able to have your feet on the ground brings.

After being up in the air and going through all of that, with the men now being in Africa following the bombs being dropped on the factory and stopping the production, I feel we're going to be seeing them having a bit of time there in the next episode before proceeding to head back to England, where it looks like more men are going to be assigned to the 100th Bomb Group.

Overall, I feel this third episode was the best out of the first three that we've had so far. There was a moment where I was just sitting there looking with my mouth wide open and just questioning how what we were seeing depicted was actually real. At one point, the scene where Buck was sitting in the pilot seat just looking at the chaos, devastation, loss of life, and not knowing if himself and the rest of his unit were going to make it back to safety was just heartbreaking and fear-inducing to watch. You can't even begin to imagine what the actual members of the 100th Bomb Squad were thinking during missions that were like that, seeing their friends being shot out of the sky, having to evacuate their plane due to it being on the verge of being taken out, and having to make decisions that would live with them forever.

The overall feeling that was delivered through the screen before they went up in the air was one of fear for sure. It felt like some of them were flying to their deaths, and the priest saying a prayer for them beforehand was nice but it added to the haunting nature of knowing that they were embarking onto something which was extremely deadly. The scenes in the air were quite simply amazing to watch. It felt like they were navigating a maze in this week's episode with the sheer amount of fighting that was present and the decisions that needed to be made. 

This is a show that received a bit of criticism after the first two episodes last week, but I think it's one that's just going to take time, as I already feel like after three episodes, it's improved. It's got a large cast and one which I think is just going to take time to truly connect with all of the characters and understand what we're watching unfold on screen, but I think it's all coming together quite nicely, so I'm looking forward to seeing what next week's episode brings.
  • Series Title : Masters of the Air
  • Season : 1
  • Total Episodes : 9
  • Release Date : February 2, E3
  • Language : English
  • Genre : Action, Thriller
  • OTT Platform : Apple TV+
  • Origin of Country : US
  • Runtime:48 Minutes
  • Rating : 8.9 IMDb
  • Cast : Austin Butler, Callum Turner, Anthony Boyle, Nate Mann, Barry Keoghan

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