Previously, in “War Sailor,” episode 2, we saw a great deal of deaths, including Hanna and Aksel’s, from the torpedo explosion on the ship they were on board. Even though the blast claimed Hanna’s life, Aksel survived and lost a leg, but he couldn’t bear the pain. Alfred gave him a lethal dose of morphine to set him free of his suffering. Alfred also killed the new sailor, who became aggressive after watching Aksel die. On an isolated raft in the middle of the ocean, only Sigbjorn and Alfred remained alive.
Meanwhile, a huge explosion in Bergen destroyed the house where Cecilia and her children were residing. However, Sigbjorn and Alfred were rescued by a ship and sent to a hospital in Canada. There, a few days later, Alfred received a telegram informing him of the awful death of his family. Alfred left the hospital early the next morning after experiencing a tremendous shock that was difficult for him to process. He left a note for his friend Sigbjorn, requesting that he stop looking for him.
How Did Cecila And Her Children Survive?
“War Sailor” Episode 3 opens with the revelation that Alfred’s family is very much alive. They had immediately relocated to a cottage in the woods just before the explosion. The landlord, however, lost his life as a result of the bombing. In the hospital in Canada, Sigbjorn recovered from his injuries and returned to Bergen after Alfred went missing. He gathered information on Cecilia and her children and tracked them down. He was relieved and glad to find them alive, but he recognized that Cecilia and her children had moved on from the ordeal.
Cecilia was also shocked to find Sigbjorn alive, which gave her hope that Alfred was still alive somewhere, but she didn’t want to know what had happened to him. She could be harboring resentment for her husband because Alfred hadn’t visited his family in years despite having had the option to leave the ship and return. Therefore, Cecilia’s eagerness to know about Alfred may have been diminished by the length of her wait. She welcomed Sigbjorn and allowed him to stay at her place as long as he desired, but Sigbjorn made it clear that he would stay only until he found a job. William, one of Cecilia’s two children, had been working in a factory where Sigbjorn worked for a few days. One day, while at work, he ran into Kjell, who had escaped the Frostenack before it exploded. He had started a family and was now content with his life. Yet he also bemoaned Alfred’s absence.
Sigbjorn, who was taking good care of Alfred’s family, never intended to take over; instead, once Alfred disappeared, he contacted the British embassy to ask for help in finding him. When settling down at Cecilia’s place, we observe Sigbjorn develop an inescapable sexual tension with Cecilia. Some shame and agony were mixed in with the tension, but it was unavoidable for both of them. Even though the attraction between them was obvious from the very beginning, Sigbjorn never crossed his boundary. He did the same this time, but Cecilia made the first move to help the relationship progress. Both of them grew close to one another, but they were haunted by the thought that Alfred might still be alive.
Cecilia, however, believed that she deserved to be content in her life and to have her needs met as well. She was a woman who had spent her entire life waiting for her man to return home. She’d raised her children on her own, and now that the war had separated her from her husband, she wasn’t even sure whether he was still alive. Thus, in order to move on from her grief, she did what her heart demanded. The same can be said about Sigbjorn, who previously lived without a family and only had Alfred to call his own. He might have realized Alfred’s action was selfish the morning he found out he had abandoned him. Yet Sigbjorn forgave him, given how devastated Alfred had been after learning of his family’s death.
Was Alfred Still Alive? Where Did Sigbjorn Find Him?
Meanwhile, Sigbjorn got a letter informing him that the embassy had discovered Alfred in Singapore. He first concealed the letter from Cecilia but soon recognized that he couldn’t be taking over Alfred’s place in his family’s life. He bid Cecilia goodbye and told her he’d bring Alfred home. Earlier in episode 1, we saw that in 1940, before leaving with the merchant navy, he had vowed to Cecilia that he would bring Alfred home; thus, he committed to keeping his word. Sigbjorn ultimately discovered Alfred alive in Singapore. After recognizing Sigbjorn and learning that his family was still alive, Alfred decided to seek treatment. Following his complete recovery, Alfred requested Sigbjorn to accompany him, but Sigbjorn declined. He allowed Alfred to go alone because he didn’t want to make things awkward.
As Alfred arrived at his house, he saw that all of his children—including Olav the youngest—had grown up. Yet even though he returned, he nonetheless felt out of place in the house. Despite the fact that Cecilia was relieved to see Alfred alive, she couldn’t help but believe that her feelings for him had changed. She may have already made up her mind about moving in with Sigbjorn, but now that Alfred is back, she will have to rethink everything. In addition, she also felt guilty for becoming attached to Sigbjorn at that time. Olav, Alfred’s little son, felt Alfred was a stranger since he had looked up to Sigbjorn as his father. Olav’s lack of interest in Alfred angered him. Alfred could understandably see how Sigbjorn had integrated himself into the family in his absence, and he knew he couldn’t deny that reality. Yet he couldn’t despise Sigbjorn for that since he could have never made it home if it weren’t for Sigbjorn. But returning home did not seem worthwhile to him.
Alfred also attempted to move on, and he went to his employer to request the payment that was his due, having completed the shipment, but because Falkanger was also blown up, the British traders did not bother giving the sailors their full salaries. Alfred realized that the years he had invested aboard the ship had been in vain. His entire life would have gone down a different path if he had declined this offer and stayed at home. Yeah, there would have been a crisis to provide for his family, but at least he would be content in his life.
By 1972, a lot of years had passed, and this family had gotten bigger. Maggie married and went on to become a teacher, and she had a son. Olav was attending a university while William had secured a job in the oil industry. Both Alfred and Cecilia grew wrinkled, but it appeared that the gap that had grown between them was still present. They had given each other sufficient distance. Meanwhile, in the midst of Alfred’s birthday celebration, a gift had come. It was Sigbjorn, who returned to pay a visit to his friend.
After welcoming Sigbjorn, Cecilia moved to the kitchen to avoid any embarrassing situations, leaving the two closest friends alone. Sigbjorn discussed his life and how he had been a seaman his entire life. But there was nothing left to say to further the discussion. While reading each other’s facial expressions, the two of them stayed mute. They didn’t say anything, but their mutual silence had a lot to say and a lot to ask each other. As soon as Sigbjorn realized that Alfred was aware of what he had been hiding from him, he stood up and said farewell to his friend. He peeked towards the kitchen area before turning to go, and Cecilia did the same. Through glass doors, they exchanged glances before Sigbjorn walked away. In preparation for blowing out the candles, Cecilia and Maggie presented the cake to Alfred.
The third episode of “War Sailor” no longer feels like a war-drama; instead, it discusses the ongoing internal turmoil that human beings go through. The drama also addresses the harmony and compassion that may be the only means of keeping the conflict from engulfing humanity. In the portrayal of Sigbjorn, we are given an unheard-of example of a loyal friend who was willing to set aside all worldly desires for the sake of promise, love, and friendship. Many of these wonderful qualities of “War Sailor” would not be believable without the magnificent plotline and excellent performers.
I would rank Kristoffer Joner’s performance as Alfred Garnes one of my favorites from the previous year. His addition to the series elevated it to the level of art in which the audience would be willing to invest their time. Finally, “War Sailor” demonstrates that history encompasses not only wars and their sociopolitical components but also the finer stories of humanity, spanning the lives of individuals suffering in those situations, including their agony, suffering, and internal struggles. “War Sailor ” illustrates that history admirably.