It's hard for me to even talk about the content of this ep with any kind of analytic distance because it's all been overshadowed by the final scene.
I was in the military, the Israeli Defense Force, and it screwed me over.
Not to mention screwed me up.
The scene that triggered me in a way I hadn't been triggered in two years.
When I say the military screwed me up, I mean that I spent a month and a half in a situation room, similar in structure (though nowhere as fancy) as the Navy Intel the civilians just happen to invited to, watching drone footage and seeing a man explode to smithereens, while my fellow soldiers clapped and were oh so very smug.
You could say I went slightly crazy after that happened. And wouldn't you know, six months after the war I was diagnosed with a mild case of PTSD. Mild, because I could function "normally", my anxiety didn't cripple me, my hyper awareness didn't give me agoraphobia and my flashbacks were few and far between.
The screens, the night vision, the smug expressions of everyone's face (except Danny's) were all too much and my anxiety sky rocketed really fast.
So here I am, in my bed room, my eyes leaking a broken tap and I fucking hate Hawaii Five-0
The only thing that made me say "I'll watch this next week", after I spent an hour or so curled up in my bed talking to a friend on chat and calling another, was the fact that Danny, as he watched the fucking nightmare in night vision and gunfire, was freaked out.
On a more coherent level, I'm really not keen on the narrative of American Military might mowing down brown criminals.
Militarism is a destructive ideology and Hawaii Five-0, who has always been neutral when it came to politics, is taking a right turn here in a way I find extremely distressing.
Not to mention triggering.
Steve being morally ambiguous is fine, the military is often like that, my work with Air Force intelligence during my service has probably enabled the death of far too many people, but I don't think about that.
I think about the war I served and actually saw men die in – suffice to say my politics took a radical left turn after that.
I don't want to see my politics reflected back at me, that's boring, but must I have this fucking Freudian fetish of Military = Good?
One of the symptoms of my PTSD is rage. Like uncontrollable rage. My heart has been beating double time since this morning and it feels like my brain is trying to crack my skull wide open.
I am fucking pissed at them for showing operations like that noble and good and mighty. They are not. They are dark, murky, morally ambiguous at best if not downright evil.
When I saw that man die, five years ago, he was blown up by a drone; I was on comms with those pilots twelve hours a day. I spent four shifts in a row listening in to Pilot School drop outs, writing down and shouting out co-ordinates until my throat was raw.
Situation rooms are only calm when something explodes and then they are a flurry of activity.
Two years of not much more than hyper awareness and spikes of anger and now I feel like I want to trash my room and destroy everything.
Thank god Danny, at least, had the decency to look askance at what he was seeing.