By: Andrew Mitchell
After last night’s episode of the Iraq-based war drama, “Over There,” FX can surely claim to be the first TV network to depict the beheading of an journalist in primetime — and show his head on the floor.
The show, which started this summer and follows a squad of American soldiers through various missions in Iraq, has made a habit of tackling current stories like kidnappings, checkpoint shootings, and prisoner interrogations. In last week’s episode, an embedded video journalist was taken prisoner by insurgents. The journalist had sold footage of a firefight where a woman and child were killed. It was edited to implicate the American soldiers in the shootings.
Nevetheless, the retrieval of the journalist becomes top
priority for the squad.
The journalist is dressed in an orange jumpsuit and, in a video tape, is positioned between his captors in almost identical fashion to photos that have surfaced of real-life kidnappings.
As they close in on what has been identified as the position of the journalist and his captors, they don?t know whether to rush the building, guns blazing. But then they hear sounds of singing. After one of the squad members, a Syrian-American, identifies it as a “bad sign” (it can be the last step before a beheading), the squad rushes into the dingy room, and eliminate all of the captors, but not before the journalist is decapitated. His head is later shown a few feet from his body.
The scene is fast but incredibly graphic, not a surprise from the show which has hardly held back in other scenes of violence.