I mysteriously lost my notes on this ep, so I actually rewatched it, and typed my comments as it played.  And then my computer froze up and I lost everything I'd just written!  So now I'm going to try to wing it (I suspect Kraut sabotage, of course).

This is another of my favorite eps, mostly because of the way the kid brings out the interactions between the different cast members.

(DA!)--Who is this saucy wench that's snogging Saunders?  Of course, I'd have done the same, esp with the whole snatching-of-the-helmet bit.  How else to glimpse the tousled hair, eh?

Gilbert is quite compelling -- he gains my sympathy immediately.  I think it's those ultra-sad eyes, which remind me of Mel Ferrer in the movie "Lili."  And the determined mouth helps too.  Plus, he has lovely theme music.

I like the differences Saunders and Hanley have in their attitudes toward Gilbert.  Hanley is very irritated, while Saunders has more patience and understanding.  But  usually Saunders gets crabby when kids want to tag along with his squad -- is his reaction different this time because Hanley's really in charge?

How come Saunders has to go down the hill to rescue Gilbert?  There are other people closer to the kid.

(DA!)--Just watch Caje go skittering down that hill and pick up Gilbert without stopping!  Wow!

I like how the sympathetic Kraut gets his English and French mixed up.  This feels pretty realistic to me, because when I took German in college, my smattering of high school French kept popping into my head and confusing me.

This kid, Serge Prieur, is a pretty convincing actor.  Only once does he do something that seems like he did it because the director told him to, and not because it's natural.  This is when he's just plopped Hanley on the bed... he takes off Hanley's helmet and lays it on the pillow, then abruptly moves it to the bed.  I'm guessing this is so it will be in the same place as in earlier shots from a different angle.

The writers really do seem to delight in writing Doc to be stupid.  We're sneaking into this town, we don't want the Krauts to know we're here, and what does Doc do?  Walks into the house and starts calling for Hanley.  Why?  Gilbert TOLD them Hanley is under the bed!

And what is up with that banshee screech Saunders lets out before tossing his grenade?  Wouldn't the grenade itself have been enough of a signal for the other guys to toss theirs?  It just sounds silly.

I like the final touch of Gilbert putting the chocolate back into the dead Kraut's pocket.  It's a senseless act that brings out the senselessness of war.

 

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