The scene opens, and there we see what we call the Signature Altman Cat. So far so good; I like cats, and this one is cute. Then a door opens, and in pokes a weapon of some sort... I figure it's a Thompson, since I know the ep is about Saunders. But then, be still my twitterpated heart, here is Saunders himself! And a bit of narration as well!
(DA!)--Ahhh, that voice. He shoulda read books on tape.
He says, "That's where the danger is, in the quiet." Then he makes a bunch of noise, kicking down a door and generally acting very manly. I guess if he makes enough noise, the danger will go away.
So he tries to listen to his record. But the wise Signature Altman Cat thinks this is a bad idea. Saunders admits it's too risky. But too bad! One slip-up, and you're a goner on this show. Next thing we know, he's sitting in some dumpy truck with a bunch of other noisemakers.
Next we meet the "fallen woman of the day," Annette. She's a little worn around the edges, and quite believable. She looks cross and hungry and tired, and who wouldn't? Our truck-driving friend gets captured, then shot off-camera. I like that we didn't see him die. Believable and subtle and doesn't anger the censors.
(DA!)--eventually, we arrive at a tobacco shop. Saunders is now wearing civilian clothes, and somehow they make him look like a sexy young jd. Seriously, his shirt collar is open, the coat collar is turned up, and he's got his hands shoved in his pockets -- Vic looks more like his character Artie West in "Blackboard Jungle" than our dear Saunders. And it's a good look for him, I'm telling you! He should put his hands in his pockets more often. Does wonderful things for him.
But I digress. The tobacco guy tells Annette to take one escaped POW, which made me start chanting "Take the hot one! Take the hot one!" Which, of course, she does (wise woman). They get to her apt, and she gets very bossy. I think Saunders is amused by her orders and petulant pointing, although eventually he gets tired of it. But he plays nice.
Then Kurt arrives. Annette really likes him. Her hands linger on his coat all the time. When he says, "Almost I had some soap," I like him too. At one point Annette does look from the nylons to him to the nylons like she wants to strangle him with them, but then again she may just want to gag him... he talks a LOT.
Eventually, Kurt leaves. We get to see Saunders in what I like to call a "musketeer" shirt. Or a pirate shirt. Very swashbuckly, at any rate. Someone give him tall boots and a sword! He charms his way out of the maid's room, and leans against the window.
(DA!)--Ah yes, he l-e-a-n-s (see "While You Were Sleeping" if you need clarification).
These intervening scenes between Annette and Saunders get a bit syrupy... if a fanfic writer around here tried to get that sweet, they'd probably be sent on KP. BUT once Saunders hears his mom on that fateful record, we forget the canned niceness. He's shy. He gets fidgety. This is probably the first time he's heard his mom's voice in years, and he doesn't want to share her with this stupid French chick. We get some deeelicious close-ups. He chokes up a bit, can't quite speak when Annette asks if he wants to hear the other side. Then when Louise comes on, he brightens, laughs. We get to see him smile! (This is like a Christmas present to many of us, as we rarely see him smile). Then Louise uses a nickname, "Goon," for him, and he bites his lower lip. Subtle, charming, and if I wasn't his already, I would be after that. He and Annette try to make nice and dance, but that old hard-headed sergeant in him just won't stay quiet, and he starts pumping her for info.
Kurt comes back. He's angry. He's depressed. He's loud. He does nothing but talk, talk, talk about how nobody does anything but talk, talk, talk. Then he looks at the record player. Hey, that's always my concern when I'm at a paramour's apt -- what are they listening to? He seems pretty suspicious, for all his earlier protestations of trusting her. But she uses her feminine wiles and quiets him.
(DA!)--And now, it's morning. Oh, to be a coffee cup, cradled in Saunders' hand!
Then it's night again. Saunders is talking to the phone, and it's really funny. Vic does a lovely job in this bit, acting all surprised when the phone obeys and shuts up. But then he tucks in his shirt :-( and puts on the jacket again :-)
After the demonstration of fisticuffs, I'm quite fed up with Annette--she wants to stay with stupid dead Kurt when Saunders offers she can come with him? I give up on her.
At the bridge, Annette says she can't swim. I think she just doesn't want to get wet. I'm reminded of the cat at the beginning. I think I could go somewhere with this analogy, but this is getting really long as it is. She does come through with the knife at the end of the fight on the bridge, but she coulda been quicker about it.
(DA!)--Later, in the woods, Saunders l-e-a-n-s again, this time against a tree, and with one hand in his pocket. Mmmmmmm. Can I have a full-size poster of that, please?
I like the ending, when he's back with the guys, and he starts to give them the kind of tall-tale they want, full of willing women and Parisian panache. But he stops, and I like that he stops.