HBO’s We Are Who We Are: Right Here, Right Now #7 (Episode 7) Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
On this week’s episode of HBO’s We Are Who We Are, Right Here, Right Now #7, grief and despair consumes and send the base into chaos after a major tragedy rocks the entire base.
Just as I expected with Craig’s (Corey Knight) squad being deployed before they were fully prepared and Sarah (Chloe Sevigny) receiving a phone call that clearly shook her, Craig’s battalion has faced casualties after an IED explosion and he is among those casualties. The father-figure and main stabilizer of the group is now dead and it’s truly a tragic moment that turns all of the vibrant vibes of the series in much more melancholily ones. It’s even more tragic with how Guadagnino captures it with us finding out from Sarah’s notes before any of the rest of them do. The scene of Cate (Jordan Kristine Seamon) and Fraser (Jack Dylan Grazer) in class together truly feels like watching their last shred of innocence before the news of Craig’s death threatens to rip them to shreds. The second Britney (Francesca Scorsese) walks into the gym and it suddenly hits everyone as Guadagnino flashes to everyone silently praying across the base, your heart immediately sinks, and reality starts to set in for everyone.
As expected, the students have their classes canceled, but are forced to attend grief counseling instead where a major divide in thought starts to occur. Stricken by grief some students open up about how they hope that the soldiers brutally torture the Afghanis for killing Craig and two other soldiers while another students says that that’s just what happen in war and in invading other countries. It’s an interesting debate that really consumes the room and ultimately disrupts some relationships when Fraser opens his mouth. Fraser begins to tell everyone how soldiers’ coffins are often filled with rocks and body parts since they can’t always find all of them after an explosion. It’s a very gruesome and tone-deaf explanation that not only puts off Cate, who is a total wreck, but sadly makes sense for Fraser given how disconnected and pessimistic he is.
Listen, part of me understands where both Fraser and the kid talking about this just being what happens when you invade other countries since it’s the logical way of viewing things. I mean these soldiers are expected to go to war to fight, kill, and possibly even die to protect and uphold the values of the country they represent and that doesn’t come without a hefty or unexpected price. Truth be told, most of their names often get forgotten in war and those that ship them off and they just become another number in the causality report. It’s an unfortunate truth of war that this episode fleshes out really well as we see different reactions to Craig’s death and Sarah’s decision to send the group throughout the episode. However, there’s a time and a place for this kind of view/discussion and this certainly isn’t it. Now, while I don’t agree with the students who say that the soldiers should put in some extra torture time to avenge their fallen brethren since an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind, also it’s just horrible, there’s a great deal of grief that’s hard not to empathize with – especially within the friend group.
While Fraser doesn’t really harbor many feelings or much of a reaction to Craig’s death, the entire base and the series’ main friend group is in total shambles. Jenny (Faith Alabi) ends up questioning how capable she is as a parent and ends her secret relationship with Maggie (Alice Braga) in order to keep a better eye on her kids and be a better mother. Sarah clearly looks shook by this whole thing, but it’s more because of how it affects her professionally rather than for any kind of emotional reasoning – something that Richard (Kid Cudi) quickly picks up on. During a ceremony meant to commemorate Craig and the fallen soldiers, Richard’s insubordinate behavior finally gets loud enough for everyone to hear as he drunkenly berates Sarah in front of everyone and is forced to be taken home. What happens within the friend group is totally destructive as they all bounce around different stages of grief – ranging from heartbreaking depression to horrific anger.
Although most of their anger is silent at first, the major hole that’s now left in their hearts with Craig’s death speaks volumes with how distraught and broken they look. Valentina (Beatrice Barichella) especially looks devastated and I immensely empathized with and respected how she didn’t stand at attention or for the national anthems at the ceremony. Truthfully, it doesn’t matter what anyone says about Craig dying for honor, as a hero, or for a greater cause, she’s just become a widow at nineteen and has now lost the love of her life and no amount of honors or strong words are going to fix that. The rest of the group divulges into even more destructive behavior as they return to the house where Craig and Valentina’s wedding party was held to now hold a wake for him. It’s legitimately crazy to return to a place that was so freeing and positive and now see it in such a depressing and negative light.
Aside from Enrico (Sebastiano Pigazzi) actually having an emotional moment where he talks about how Craig leaving makes this place seem worse that sheds the party animal persona he’s been known for, we basically watch the rest of the group slowly break down overtime. With a lot of drinking and a lot of crying, the group lets out their feelings of grief in a bunch of different ways, but ultimately leaves you on edge as things get violent. Earlier on, Danny (Spence Moore II) was shown to be letting his anger out through smashing as well as consoling Valentina in a way that crosses some relationship boundaries, in my opinion, but caught some flak from Britney for displaying his anger in such a vicious manner. However, both of them eventually start smashing things in the house to let their emotions out and it’s really a grisly sight to see that shows how broken they’ve become and leaves you worried that their anger could turn towards each other. It doesn’t though and seeing the group come together and still stand by one another is incredibly sweet and speaks to how strongly tied they are. The biggest thing that comes out of this other than Sam (Benjamin L. Taylor II) is an incredibly powerful moment from Danny as he commits to learning Muslim beliefs by praying in the garage when he gets home. It’s one of the only peaceful moments in this episode and signifies his rebellion against Richard’s dominant persona and will be interesting to see play out next week if its brought up.
Fraser, however, won’t likely be a part of it since he’s forbid from following them to the house since they all blame Sarah for sending Craig to his death. Thus, not really feeling much for Craig being gone, he attempts to take another stab at getting Jonathan (Tom Mercier) to notice him. Looking for his affections, Fraser heads to his apartment and finds him to be there with his “friend” Marta (Brixhilda Shqalsi) and things take an unexpected turn. With all of the wine out, bedsheets and clothes everywhere, and the overall demeanor of the two, there was definitely some sensual/sexual fun going on before Fraser walked in but it looks like they want him to join in on their fun. It’s a sequence that seems like it offers a lot of answers on Jonathan’s sexuality as possibly being bi-sexual or even pansexual with him making out with Marta and getting his hands on Fraser’s pants. However, it also leaves some more questions are Fraser suddenly leaves. Is Fraser now not really sure how to feel? Did he just not feel comfortable with his fantasies coming into reality? Does Jonathan really have feelings for Fraser or was his slight advance just something in the moment? We’re still short on answers and the only thing we get is Fraser attempting to drown his sorrows with alcohol like Cate and the rest of the group.
Watching Fraser attempt to drink himself to death by chugging a whole bottle of what I assume was whiskey is legitimately horrifying to watch and actually made me a little nauseous. When Maggie and Sarah eventually find him, he questions them about his dad and Maggie sheds some light on him being an airport mechanic leading him to go into her arms instead of Sarah’s. Truthfully, Sarah’s new position isn’t getting her much praise from anyone and her choices as well as Richard’s outburst lead her to have to make a tough choice. Although she asks Maggie about moving off base, Maggie suggest that something has to be done about Richard – especially because she says that Cate is not a good influence on Fraser. Now, I don’t know if it’s influenced by the relationship between Maggie and Jenny, which Sarah knew about the whole time, is done, but it’s a little odd to me that Maggie would say that about Cate. Regardless, it looks like some big decisions are about to made that are going to change everything within the base and the dynamics of the characters.
As the show’s sense of tranquil stability is ripped away as a terrible loss rocks the entire base, We Are Who We Are delivers its most emotionally gripping and impactful episode yet as everyone becomes consumed by grief and causes major rifts that lead to some dire decisions in next week’s finale.