This is one of my new favorite episodes.  I have old favorites, which are eps I fell in love with when I was a kid and still love now, and then there are new favorites that I'm just discovering as I watch the dvds.

Anyway, I wonder if anyone has ever counted how many eps open with footage of an artillery barrage... there seem to be quite a few.

During the first scene, poor Saunders sits in a patch of long grass that keeps poking him in the ear and cheek.  I want to grab some pruning sheers and trim the grass a little so it won't keep bugging him like that.

Great Saunders/Hanley exchange at the beginning:  "How many we lose this time, Lieutenant?"  "They're still counting."  Ouch. 

Also, when Hanley says, "If one of us makes it, the mission'll be a success," Kirby gives a lovely "oh great, it's gonna be one of those days" expression as follow up.

What a nice person Caje is, sharing his cigarette with today's ENG.

Poor Saunders is simply having a bad foliage day!  Now a branch the ENG brushes past whips back and belts Sarge in the face.  What'd he do, anger the plant gods?  Or the director?

Oh puhleeze, the ENG was with Saunders and Caje and Kirby up on that hill earlier -- this can't be the first dead body he's ever seen.  Especially since, from the way Saunders and Hanley were talking earlier, other ENGs have been dying by the droves.

(DA!)--About seven minutes into this ep, Saunders gives the most wonderful look up at the camera.  Lurve those eyes.  I think I'll just pause the ep right there for a while....

This director sure does love his ultra-closeups, doesn't he?  We get a pretty good idea of the thread count in Saunders' and the ENG's clothes as they crawl toward the German machine gun nest.  I guess this is so we can verify the authenticity of the costuming.

Wow, this New Guy truly was Expendable!  He barely lasted ten minutes!

And this ep's Goofiest Look award goes to Saunders just before he topples backward down the hill....

(DA!)--How lovely!  Not only is there water in this abandoned mine, all ready for Saunders to flop in and get sopping wet, but there's nice fresh dirt for him to roll in so he can get good and muddy too!

Nice noir-ish menacing shadow advancing on Saunders in the cave.  The music might be a tad overdone, though.  This isn't "Night Patrol," after all.

Saunders wakes up and asks, "Did you build this fire?"  No, darling, you built it while you were unconscious.  Sigh.  Just how hard did he hit his head, anyway?

Speaking of Saunders, I just have to mention what lovely "I'm trying to hide my pain and fear" acting he does in this episode!

Will we ever meet up with a musician who is good at being a soldier?  Why are they all either inept or annoying or overly sensitive?  Hmph.

(DA!)--Saunders is very adorable, and I love him.  Just in case you didn't know that.  He's very hot when he's telling Hans he knows Hans is a deserter.  All shadowy and intense, so very persuasive.

You know, this Hans fellow is odd.  He wants to desert, but he doesn't want Saunders to think he's a traitor.  Poor man has some serious issues to work out.  Good thing he's got Saunders there to help!

And here comes the Truly Evil Kraut Sergeant.  Nice fit of maniacal laughter he has.  Quite scary, really.  But not nearly so scary as when Saunders is just lying on the ground waiting for what will happen to him next.  He's so rarely helpless that when he is even only somewhat incapacitated, I get very worried.  And when the Truly Evil Kraut Sergeant jerks Saunders' injured leg around -- OW!  Vic Morrow does some amazing understated acting there, writhing a bit and giving this little squelched cry.  A quiet little moment of brilliance that's all too easy to overlook.

Ahhh, the mind games Saunders plays with Hans!  He switches from sympathetic to conscientious, stubborn to pliable, trying every approach to see what Hans responds to.  Like me poking my brother in the head and the arm and the knee to see which makes him howl loudest.  Poke poke poke.

Anyone else wanna use part of Saunders' line, "They're shooting at shadows," as a title for some fanfic?

Wow.  Even faced with being buried alive, Saunders won't ease up on Hans.  "You should have made a stand, Hans.  Now it's too late."  That's one determined sergeant we have!

(DA!)--And those are some lovely eyes our determined sergeant has!  They get some great moments in this ep, too.

Um, those Kraut helmets are lousy.  When Saunders smacks one Kraut on the helmet with a stick of wood, that Kraut is down for the count.  If you hit one of our guys in the helmet like that, they'd still be swingin'.

(DA!)--Honestly, Saunders could just lie around on my floor pointing guns all day long, and I wouldn't mind a bit.  Hubba hubba!

Hooray for the random cavalry arriving!  And I totally forgot that Hans actually lives through all this.  I could swear I remembered him dying at the end.  Must be getting him confused with some other Kraut named Hans. 

 

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