Combat Hospital Review: Illusions Shattered

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"Shifting Sands" threw friendships and loyalties into question, as Vans was left with a cold lesson in the realities of war.

He was naive. Then, I'm reminded that he really is just a kid. He wanted to visit the pyramids, and New Year's Eve in Times Square and the girl he met online in New Hampshire. And he couldn't comprehend that someone he trusted and grew up with could be Taliban. But this is a war and war changes people.

In the OR

I appreciated everyone's loyalty to Vans and how they spoke up to defend him, but I understood Col. Marks' position. Vans put himself in a bad spot when he lied to Rebecca so he could talk to his friend. Despite everyone's outrage, Marks would have been irresponsible not to detain Vans after that. The decisions about who to trust become a lot more difficult when you're the one in charge.

I knew the orphaned boy story was going to be a heartbreaker for somebody. Araf was just too darn cute. I couldn't believe they let the uncle take him without giving Will the opportunity to say goodbye. That was just cruel.

It was hard to review the story of the General with the blocked tear ducts. Anything about eye procedures makes me squeamish, so I could sympathize with the General but the constant screaming got old fast. I couldn't believe he just didn't request to be knocked out. God knows I would have begged for drugs.

I loved Simon in this story. He's this brilliant neurosurgeon who frequently acts like an overgrown kid and it's both annoying and part of his charm. He referred to the General as "the old bastard" in front of the man and mimicked Marks on his way out the door which made Pedersen snicker despite her best intentions. Simon simply didn't care.

I couldn't believe he did an ophthamological procedure with a paper clip. I couldn't watch. I could barely listen. The whole thing just made me queasy.

In the end, Vans' illusions were shattered. One friend was as good as dead, the other was the enemy and his hero worship of Marks was badly tarnished. He'll never view the world the same again. They don't say war is hell for nothing.


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
  • 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (16 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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I love this show! This episode was very well written. I also loved the episode with the wedding/marriage themes. That episode was really well written as well. Sad for Vans, an idealistic young man, having to face the realities of war. Simon is great. They make him do dislikable things, yet he is charming and funny and occasionally he does nice things. He is also right a lot - Simon was the only doctor agreeing with the nurses last episode to let the burned woman die in peace. The Colonel again was torn between trying to be a good officer and caring about his staff. The little boy was cute. i would have been good to keep him for a few more episodes and develop Will's character. The General eye problems were funny and added comic relief. It also deals with how do the lower ranks deal with having their superiors get sick and need help. Question: If pedersen and Rebecca are the same rank - major - why does Pedersen seem to get away with a lot more and why does the Colonel treat her better? Just wondering...


At least you only closed your eyes at the eye surgery. I changed the channel.