We Were The Lucky Ones – Episode 7 “Monte Cassino” Recap & Review

Monte Cassino

April 1943, Rio, Brazil. Episode 7 of We Were The Lucky Ones has Addy living in Rio, writing letters to his family and posting them through Red Cross, while working in a book binding shop as he waits for his working permit from the Brazilian government. Unfortunately, no matter how many letters he sends, he receives no answers back.

Later, he comes across the news about the heavy bombing and fighting in Poland. Disillusioned, Addy makes a scene in a local bar emphasising about how millions Jewish people are being killed and nobody cares.  He’s promptly asked to leave the bar. This Madame Lowbeer finds him in a terrible condition and invites him over to her house. It’s clear that Addy and Eliska are not together anymore and she’s courting an American, who her mother doesn’t quite approve of, typical.

However, Addy expresses his grief about losing his family. Since, he hasn’t heard from them for years, he assumes that they’re dead. Madame Lowbeer  motivates him and asks him to not lose hope, and she suggest to move on for the sake of his mother.

Warsaw, Poland: Just outside the Warsaw ghetto. Halina has been working as a help for the man that she met at the party, and Bella is working in a shop when Jakob tells her that they need to leave soon because one of their neighbours had been arrested on the suspicion of being Jewish.

In the backdrop of this all, there is heavy bombing near the city where the Home army, comprising of the Jewish resistance is fighting the Germans. When Halina returns home, it’s clear that the Home army is losing.

In the meanwhile, Felicia is now 6 years old and is living in the convent under a false name, Barbara. She’s mostly alone and doesn’t respond to Barbara which ignites the suspicion of some of the sisters. It seems one of the sisters know the truth about Felicia and she’s been helping to hide her. She’s also bleaching Felicia’s hair so she appears German. Felicia discloses that she misses her mother.  

Genec successfully makes his way to the Polish army. His family has a respite from years of starvation and horrible living conditions. When Genec develops an ulcer and is in the medical room, he meets Selim who has been working as a doctor for the Polish army after escaping from Europe. The reconcile and decide to send letters to their families.

7 months later we cut to Warsaw. A woman who knows Halina from Radom threatens her and Halina ends up paying her with cash and her coat. When she comes back to her workplace, her employer, Herr Den, gives her another coat. Halina finds out that Herr Den is leaving Krakov due to the impending war. He invites her to join him whenever she feels like it.

Meanwhile, Mila visits the convent to find Felicia quieter than ever. She seems different. When Mila calls her name, Felicia says that its Barbara. Mila later talks to the sister, who says that Mila needs to lower her visits since it’s not safe.

Halina and Adam find a place suitable for being an air-strike shelter. Halina is worried about how they’re going to send payment for her parent’s lodging but Adam reasons that the lodgers wouldn’t turn out her parents for one missed payment. He also wishes Halina a happy birthday and it’s revealed that while Halina turned 26, Addy turned 31.

Later, Adam meets with Rahel, his friend from the underground and she tells him that she’s moving. This is when the explosions start and they separate. Halina also makes her way towards the shelter.

Some time later, Adam, Halina and Mila are in the shelter. Due to being low on food, Adam and Halina go for a supply run where they learn that the Home Army has lost and that Rahel had died fighting and killing 3 Germans. While on their way back, Adam is heartbroken and contemplates going to fight but Halina barely manages to stop him. As bombing begins, they go back to the shelter.

After sometime, Jakob and Bella arrive to get Halina, Adam and Mila out of the shelter. Jakob tells them that the Home Army has been defeated and that it’s not safe. They decide to meet at the same time and same spot next day as Adam and Mila go to find Felicia, Halina goes to visit Herr Den to ask him for help in Krakov and Bella and Jakob are to find shelter.

When Adam and Mila visit the convent, it’s been hit and is rubble but they find the girls with sisters safe. They also find Felicia. Meanwhile, Halina is on the train when soldiers arrive and arrests her, locking her in a prison while she reiterates that she’s not a Jew.

France. Genec arrives in France to fight at the front. Amidst cheers of ‘Long Live Poland’, he isn’t convinced about their victory. Later, he doubts that their infantry is being deceived because the army officials are sending the weakest infantry to fight in the frontline. But his friend suggests him to believe that they can win and that it is not a suicide mission.

Later, as he gets his bleeding nail looked by Selim, Selim encourages him to find faith and believe in it. If not God, then the love that he has around him. He quotes Herta saying that, “Faith is a choice”. Soon after the fighting begins. Genec is unsure and terrified but this is when he starts reciting Hebrew prayers and gains courage to move forward.

Rio. On Madame Lowbeer’s requests, Addy visits a party where he meets Caroline. Later, they meet again for a date where Caroline tells Addy about her mother’s passing. Addy tells her that he’s Jewish and that his family is in Europe, dead or alive, he’s not quite sure. Caroline is a nice person though and she encourages him to introduce her to his family. Addy soon recovers from his grief and visits Madame Lowbeer, asking if he could use her piano and she’s delighted.

The Episode Review

There is quite a lot going on in this episode. While Genec reconnect with his faith amidst adversities, Addy finds courage to keep living and hope to, someday, find his family. Halina and Adam struggle with questions of life and duty, while we see how Felicia is stripped off her name and identity and how that affects her.

We are almost to the end of the story and We Were The Lucky Ones has managed to stay relevant and engaging. Although, we skip a lot of time and places but it does not get monotonous. However, there are details that have been skipped owing to the show being a miniseries with only 7 episodes. That saying, it still remains, nonetheless, a great watch.

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