The Unit

Wed Jan 2, 2008

I’ve watched almost all of the first season of this David Mamet creation over the last couple of days, and today in the public library, I noticed that the volume it is based on, Eric L. Haney’s Inside Delta Force, was held. Unable to resist, I’ve been reading it.

The thing that’s left me head-scratching in particular is that Haney writes about (and gives a picture of) a letter written in Farsi on Royal Saudi letterhead to be carried by all operators in the aborted hostage rescue, asking the putative Iranian readers (as good Muslims) to render assistance. Haney writes that they knew the helicopters were going to fail, because of Navy turfmongering and Carter’s military frugality, and intended to make it to the Soviet border to surrender themselves.

The show has a none-too subtle exoteric Straussian ethos, I think, though the “SERE” episode may have tried to reverse course on that a bit. I also don’t approve of wantonly evacuating Atlanta as throwaway plot point, as if it’s just another thing to do. But it’s entertaining. I think it’s worth comparing Mamet’s views on masculinity to the Adorno-Horkheimer piece on Odysseus. (The episode where the Mexican drug czar’s family is rescued has what is I think the most glaring plot hole in recent memory, unless I badly missed something–Nimrod is sent into the wilderness well before anyone has any idea what he’s hunting, and that couldn’t have been a coincidence, could it?)

UPDATE:

I watched the final episode of the first season, which managed to combine some freedom-kissing frogbashing with the most improbable plot yet. It was fairly stomach-churning.