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Friday, April 24, 2020

Fauda 3: Blood, Tears, Humanity

Fauda 3 was somewhat different from the first two seasons, which were superb.  The new season shows us far less success from Doron's team.  Missions go wrong, lives are lost.  Blood and tears are shed, which make for some very memorable scenes.  The setbacks make for a more surprising, more realistic narrative.  I think I like this third season even more than the first two.

The scale, in terms of the terror the team combats, the foes they face and the victims they endeavor to save, is more personal and focused.  Lior Raz, the co-creator and writer has created a narrative that starts off on the razor's edge and never leaves it.  When you run a course like that, you're bound to get hurt, badly.  Raz plays the team leader and lead character Doron, with his customary of blend of power, passion, and, when needed, subtlety.  When Hila, a fine-looking high-powered intelligence officer, walks in the room, all the guys around the table hoot and applaud.  Doron eventually manages a small smile.  Of course, he's the one who gets to sleep with her.  (Ok, I promise no more spoilers.)

Doron's Achilles's heel is that, in addition to being a great fighter and strategist, he fancies himself a good psychologist or understander of human nature.  He truly believes he can develop rapport with people who, if they knew who he was, would see him as their mortal enemy.  Late in the season, Doron and Steve have a conversation, in which they both acknowledge that their weakness is rushing into dangerous situations.   They certainly both do this.  But Doron's deeper weakness is that he thinks he can manage people and situations which are far more beyond his control than he realizes.  Most of things that go wrong for the team in this breathtaking season are due to one version or another of that problem.

As indicated in the Hila introduction scene, there's humor of all kinds in this third season, just as there was in the first two.  In at least one scene with Gabi, it likely was unintentional.  I'm pretty sure I saw the same exact scene, with a guy on double crutches in back of Gabi in a hospital corridor, twice.  But, hey, you gotta save an expense whenever you can in a production these days.

The acting, as always, was outstanding. In addition to Raz as Doron, Doron Ben-David as Steve, Itzik Cohen as Gabi, Ala Dakka as Bashar, Khalifa Natour as Jihad, Boaz Konforty as Avichay, Yaakov Zada Daniel as Eli, Marina Maximilian Blumin as Hila, and Reef Neeman as Yaara were all excellent.   Fauda continues to be one of my favorite series, combining the flash danger of 24 with the kind of depth and humanity you don't see in many places on the screen.

See also Fauda: Beyond Homeland ... Fauda 2: Another Unforgettable Visit

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