Women At War – Season 1 Episode 1 Recap & Review

Episode 1

Episode 1 of Women At War begins with a glimpse of soldiers marching their way, and the setting and dialogue imply that a war is taking place.

As the authorities are desperately looking for Suzanne, there is a security check for vehicles entering Saint Paulin. We see a woman attempting to travel but she is stopped by two soldiers who inquire about her whereabouts and what she’s doing near the battlefront. The two soldiers let her pass after she tells them that her name is on the list, as they assume she’s a whore.

Following that, another woman named Jeanne attempts to pass through and is stopped by the same two policemen. The cop demands to see her papers and inquires as to why she is traveling to the Battlefront. The woman reasons that she is going to get her mother because she cannot leave her mother alone.

One cop asks the woman if she knows Suzanne Faure, and the woman says no. Suzanne is able to conceal herself inside the truck’s hidden cabinet, but the cop quickly finds her. Jeanne assists Suzanne in escaping before the police can catch them.

When Marguerite finds a girl named Lisette wandering the streets by herself, she ends up giving her a lift and decides to drop her at the convent. As the girl runs towards the convent, we notice that it has been repurposed into a hospital for injured soldiers. The girl inquires about Sister Agnes and then proceeds in the direction she was told she would find her.

While Sister Agnes is conversing with a military Major in the church, the girl finds her. The Major apologizes for the inconvenience he has caused the nun and explains that they need the convent to care for injured soldiers. In addition to telling him not to apologize, the nun reassures him that she is aware of the challenging situation.

Once Sr Agnes finds the little girl Lisette, she takes her away from the injured soldiers in an attempt to shield her from the effects of the war. The two of them talk in a secluded corridor, and the nun tells the girl that she can’t stay near the frontlines because it’s dangerous.

She then orders Lisette to stay at the convent. She thereafter tells Lisette that if she doesn’t come to the convent willingly the following day, she’ll go and get her herself. She asks Lisette to promise to tell her mother about what the nun told her, and the little girl agrees.

Marguerite enters a brothel in search of some way to earn money. She has no other option but to move to Saint Paulin because Paris was far too expensive for her and also because many soldiers were living there.

When she catches the brothel owner’s eye, he removes another prostitute to make space for Marguerite. Marguerite enters the room and sees the blood-stained sheets. According to Juliette, Maria caused them problems and that is why she was fired. Marguerite was shown around the brothel by Juliette, who asked her to be careful.

In the forest, Suzanne and Jeanne had been taking cover. However, Suzanne wished for Jeanne to avoid danger. Jeanne stood up for Suzanne as she assisted women who experienced injustice. Given that Suzanne didn’t even know her name, it is pretty obvious that the two had just recently met.

Jeanne and Suzanne had been making their way to Switzerland to get away. Sadly, they were being pursued by officer Louis Compoing. Officer Louis begins shooting towards them, seriously injuring Jeanne.

Mr. Dewitt is about to head for the front lines when he discovers that his employees no longer want to work for him because they haven’t received their exemption documents. These are important because it was possible that these men could be sentenced to death by the firing squad. Mr. Dewitt was hoping that his wife Caroline would embrace his responsibilities.

The employees, however, had reservations about a female leader. Additionally, Eleonore, Dewitt’s mom, was strongly opposed to his idea, but he was able to persuade her. Moreover, despite Mr. Dewitt’s best efforts, the pair’s daughter Madeleine didn’t want him to go to war.

The employees were coerced into serving their nation on the front lines when Ministry of War officials showed up the next day and entered the factory. They ignored Caroline’s attempts to stop them, despite her best efforts.

Being a woman have become difficult for Caroline because no one in the factory has faith in her capacity to lead. Dewitt was also taken advantage of by the Ministry of War as they had initially pledged to give him exemption documents for the employees in his factory but didn’t keep their word after he left for the front lines.

Marguerite attempted to gather data from her clients at the brothel. Neither one of them provided any information when she asked where the army quarters were located. She was fortunate to come across a soldier who was able to give her the location and she discovered that it was fairly close to the whorehouse.

Due to Jeanne’s severe injuries and significant blood loss, Suzanne and Jeanne head towards Lisette’s home. Considering Suzanne was a medical professional, she’s compelled to clean and bandage the wound as she has experience in doing so.

Suzanne robs the church of medication and is able to flee thereafter. However, before Suzanne can provide aid, German soldiers storm Lisette’s home and murder everyone inside, notably Jeanne.

Agnes is aware of the possibility of this incident, and she wants Lisette’s mom to comprehend the gravity of the circumstance and go with her to the convent. Agnes immediately travels to Lisette’s house to pick them up, but instead she runs into Suzanne. Suzanne gives a false account of who she is and claims to be Jeanne Charrier.

Marguerite has been keeping tabs on the military base. After a few days, she runs into Caroline. We learn that Marguerite and Caroline were acquainted and that Marguerite has a hard time believing that Caroline was still alive.

When Officer Louis shows up at Lisette’s home to examine the bodies, the military officers discovered Suzanne’s ID. They thought she had passed away, but Louis discovers Jeanne’s body and hurries to trace Suzanne.

The members of the military question him about his actions and Louis admits that Suzanne was to blame for his wife’s death.

The Episode Review

Women At War’s first episode gives viewers a general overview of the impact of the war. Everything had its roots in the year 1914 when France had already been involved in a war for a little more than just a month.

Initially, there’d been optimism that the battle would be brief, but unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Furthermore, to prevent the German army from trying to invade Paris, the French army engaged in combat with the adversaries at Saint Paulin, Vosges.

Things started to get real once the breadwinners of the household left for the war. Following that, it was up to the women to manage both their personal and work lives.

The very first episode presents Suzanne Faure, who’d been suspected of being a murderer by the police, Mother Agnes, the champion of a convent located in Saint Paulin, Caroline, Mr. Dewitt’s wife, and Marguerite, who worked as a prostitute.

The show’s approach is quite intriguing as it chooses a fascinating route. War and soldiers have been the focus of many tv shows and movies, but it is interesting to see things from the perspective of the wives of these men instead.

The first episode features a variety of perplexing mysteries in which the four women got intertwined in rather confusing riddles of their personal lives. An understanding of these women’s futures is likely to be revealed in the upcoming episodes so we’ll have to wait and see what’s coming up.

Next Episode

You can read our full season review for Women At War Season 1 here!

  • Episode Rating

4 thoughts on “Women At War – Season 1 Episode 1 Recap & Review”

  1. I started out really liking this show. But felt that it sorta jumped the shark in Episode 5.

    The show started out with fairly realistic and believable historical depictions. The French army really did fight a desperate campaign in the Vosges mountains in 1914. The uniforms, equipment, etc. are reasonably correct. And we’ll all permit a little dramatic license in a good drama.

    But by episode 5 the show started going to absurd extremes. There is a ridiculous subplot involving a guy flying his monoplane back and forth across enemy lines that strains credulity. Too many dramatic incidents occur simultaneously. eg.: In one episode, a woman rescues a child from German soldiers at gunpoint, and immediately drives the (now orphaned) child in her ambulance back to the hospital where she miraculously saves her love interest/doctor, while simultaneously being arrested by the cop who has been pursuing her for a crime she did/didn’t commit. And so much more.

    An overall good show that really would have benefitted from some serious editing in the writer’s room.

Leave a comment