I watched it first with the commentary, then again without tonight. I kind of liked watching it without hearing the actual dialogue (when hearing the commentary), because I could focus more on the actors's expressions and body language. They're all so superb. The things Vic Morrow can do with the blink of his eyes or the angle he tilts his head -- and what Hanley can do with a drawn-eyebrows glare!
(DA!)--The ep starts with a voice-over, which I don't usually like, but as it's Vic doing the voiceover, I'm not sad. I could listen to his voice all day long!
(DA!)--Look at those guys shlumping down that road! All tired and sweaty, just swinging along....
(DA!)--I think I've died and gone to "C!" heaven! Saunders is actually shirtless! And not only that, he's having water dumped all over him! Can I please help shampoo his hair?
Right, on to things like plot and characters and acting (taking deep, calming breaths). Tab Hunter annoys me. He always looks uncomfortable in this episode, like his underwear is a size too small or there's a stone in his boot.
But forget him, because we've got Billy Nelson in the squad at last! Finally, some comedy that's not heavy-handed and over-droll! Ahhhh, I look forward to many wonderful Billy/Littlejohn spats to come.
Saunders actually states his whole mission in life in this ep: "I just want to keep him alive". That's his whole thing, isn't it? Keeping his squad alive.
(DA!)--But I'm gonna die if he keeps wandering around in that wife-beater! Rrrrrow!
(DA!)--Also, Caje in a wife-beater! Look at the muscles on that guy! Whoooooo, good thing there aren't many more shots of shirtless and nearly-shirtless guys in this ep, or all the males reading this posting would just have to delete it without reading any further.
(DA!)--Okay, one last thing. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: is there anything so wonderful as Saunders hollering "Medic!" with all that dreadful urgency?
I don't think Saunders ever sleeps. He's right there, totally awake, when Del Packer wakes up. Of course, with Billy and Littlejohn chattering away, it's probably not surprising.
(DA!)--I really need to mention that Saunders should never ever tuck in his shirt ever again. Can't we just lounge about with it untucked, smoking cigarettes and communing about the shortness of life forever?
When Billy gets shot, Saunders lashes out at Packer, but I think he's actually mad at himself. He's the one responsible for keeping the squad alive (his main mission in life, after all) and he trusted Packer with a job that Packer screwed up on, which led to Billy getting wounded. Don't worry, Sarge, I promise Billy doesn't die! Not really!
My suspicions are confirmed when Hanley draws out the truth from Saunders: that Saunders thinks he's to blame for Packer freezing. C'mon, Sarge, the guy's underwear is too tight and there's a stone in his boot, what do you expect from him?
Eventually Packer "redeems" himself by crawling up to the front lines without getting at all dirty, and offering to help Saunders go do something important. I still just can't connect with his character though.
And at the very end, we're rewarded with a smile from Saunders, which means this disc ends with warm fuzzies all around :-)