Well, this ep opens promisingly, with lots of actiony footage of Kraut artillery, Panzers... lots of excitement potential here! Billy takes a familiar-looking nosedive into a crater (you'd think he'd learn to be more careful around those!), and I always expect to enjoy the rest of the ep. Then I remember it gets draggy in the middle, although it does have some redeeming features, like good quotes and plenty of drooling opportunities.
Dearest Saunders, when will you learn? Saying, "Now wait a minute -- my men are beat" never convinces Hanley not to send you out on some horrible assignment. You should know that by now.
(Almost-DA!)--Doggone it, Saunders gets his helmet knocked off by a shell, but does he let the rain wet down his hair even a teeny bit? Noooooo, he whips that helmet right back in place. Doesn't he love me any more?
This ep has many wonderful lines, beginning with Kirby declaring: "Later? Listen, Custer, there ain't gonna be no later. The Indians are comin' over that hill."
I love the way the squad reacts when Saunders says he's going to leave them behind and take some random ENGs with him instead. They get pouty, but in a sweet way, with Littlejohn asking, "How come you aren't asking us?" Come on, Saunders, don't leave your guys behind! Especially when, as Billy points out, they're the only good soldiers in the whole platoon! (Although who is Billy, with his burnt chin straps, to point fingers at dented helmets?)
Oh, the joy on Doc's face when it stops raining! Doc, don't move to Seattle after the war, okay? I guarantee you won't like it.
Another great Kirby line: "You just tell him we had an acute attack of stupidity."
The kid looking for a face to kill kind of spooks and annoys me. And Saunders doesn't seem too friendly toward him either. Is he too old to bring out that fatherly protective side of Saunders? Although Sarge does shove him out of the line of fire when those Krauts in the village open up on us.
Yeah, right, Billy. Sure the radio's busted. You're just tired of carrying it! I'm onto you!
Caje doing a British accent is the funniest thing I've heard in ages! And he says something funny besides: "And maybe we really are little elves!"
I do like the noir-ish shadows falling over our faces while we're walking along the train platform. Nice bit of filming.
Don't you just love that funny mask Saunders dons when he's around most officers? He just morphs into Mr. Proper and hides his exasperation, surprise, or indignation quite well.
The British captain should have been a medic instead. He's very sweet and caring when he's with his wounded soldiers, but annoying the rest of the time.
Hey, Saunders, don't you think it's about time you lost that silly poncho? It's flopping all over the place... and besides, it's keeping you from getting wet, and we can't have that!
Okay, Captain Fuzzbrain, let me make this perfectly clear: the more you disagree with Saunders, the more stubborn you'll make him. He's already in clamped-down mode, and ordering him to remain here will only make him surly.
(DA!)--Then again, Saunders is sexy when he's surly, so go ahead! Irritate him! Get him so riled he'll start glaring, stomping, swaggering, glaring some more... and maybe he'll lose that poncho while he's at it!
And the award for Saaviest Ears goes to Kirby tonight, for being able to tell the difference between the sound of Kraut jackboots and GI boots on pavement.
(DA!)--You know, I don't think I've ever seen Saunders walk with his hands in his pockets this much before. It makes his saunter almost unrecognizable, but I kinda dig it anyway.
(DA!)--Off comes the helmet when Saunders gets debriefed, and isn't that hair behaving nicely today? Maybe it got a pay raise.
Oy, what a LOOK Doc gives off when Sanders gets yelled at!
Ahhhh, bagpipes. As Norman Rossington says to Sean Connery in The Longest Day, "Have you ever heard such a bleedin' racket in all your life?"
(DA!)--Mmmmmm. More hands-in-pockets sauntering from Saunders. AND leaning! With his shirt open a bit! Then more sauntering! Yes, folks, we now present The Long Saunter, for your drooling pleasure. Nothing but a tired Saunders walking down the station platform, looking around, slouching, and sending me sprawling on my swooning couch. More please!
But honestly, did someone tell Vic to put his hands in his pockets? Because I really don't remember him doing that very often before, and now he's doing it all the time in this episode and it looks kind of atypical. Or have I just somehow not noticed him doing this before?
Odd. It's usually Kirby who says things like, "Why doesn't the Sarge get us out of here?" and Caje who explains, "That captain is a Limey, but he's still a captain. Still gotta follow his orders." What's up with the role-reversal here? Did someone switch dialog tags accidentally?
Hoooooley Cabooses! When that Brit comes over and blames Saunders for getting Robin killed, watch Saunders spring to his feet and whip that coffee cup out of the way in less time than it takes me to drool! I think someone has been just itching for a way to let off steam, because Saunders is ready to rumble, and I mean now!
(DA!)--And my word, isn't Saunders hot when he goes into one of his cold, dangerous furies? He's got his collar flipped up, looking all hoodlum-ish again. And when he pulls his lips back from his teeth and snarls, "What'd you say"... Red alert! Red alert! Danger, Will Robinson!
Ahhhhh, thank you, Littlejohn, for saying the words that are engraved in my heart: "Love me, love my sergeant."
These British soldiers could take a few lessons from Saunders. When one of your pals gets wounded, don't call "Stretcher-bearer!" like little school-girls! Bellow "Medic!" like your buddy's life depends on it, for heaven's sake!
I must admit the Brits are uncannily accurate with those mortars. Every time they lob a round toward the halftrack, they pop that sucker right into a barrel and it goes poofing up into the air. Extraordinary.
Ohhh, to have a throwing arm like Saunders! Watch him just pop those grenades into a moving halftrack while running toward it on top of a train! Talk about accuracy!
(DA!)--Nice swing off the top of the train, Caje!
"Obstinate?" "Inventive?" Captain Fuzzbrain, you have no idea. Saunders is all that and soooo much more.
(DA!)--Mmm, Caje has gone all bearded and cheekbone-y by the end of part one!
Here we are in part two. We get a refresher on what happened last week, including Doc's nice leap down to help a wounded Brit, Saunders's enormous grenade-throwing talent, and Caje's beard.
Back to the boy with the alarming eyebrows and grisly obsession. Great.
Okay, honestly, the guys could just stand around doing funny British accents for a whole hour and I would be heartily amused. "Jolly good show, eh, Sarge?" "Sergeant, you were superlative!" Okay, now that Kirby and Littlejohn have joined Caje in the UASATGL club (Used A Silly Accent To Get Laughs!), it's Billy and Doc's turn, right? Please?
Um, Saunders, whaddaya mean, "Pride and principles don't apply in this war." Since when? You're the most principled person on this show!
(DA!)--Listen to Saunders go all husky-voiced when he warns, "Every time one of your men dies, you're gonna wonder if you were right." Swoon!
Littlejohn makes me giggle. Especially with this line: "You keep talking mean to me and I won't let you play with my grenades." Actually, he's not very nice to the British soldiers in this ep, but I'll forgive him.
(DA!)--Not all the droolage goes to Saunders and Caje in this ep; Doc looks positively edible when he's got his sleeves rolled up and his hair rumpled. And he even sticks his thumbs in his pockets while he watches the captain trying to explain why he's such a stupid fuzzbrain.
I'm telling you, the Brits have some uncanny mortar-marksmen. Now they're even getting their home-made mortar rounds to land inside barrels and boxes!
(DA!)--Oh yes! Caje! Got shot! Makes Saunders holler "Medic!" Only once, in a distracted way, but still! British soldiers, are you taking notes? This is how you call for medical assistance.
Um, I think Captain Fuzzbrain wanted to get shot. He's standing out in the open, no cover anywhere, taking potshots at the enemy with his dinky little pistol. I think he was tired of me calling him a silly name, tired of watching his men die, unwilling to admit that Saunders had been right all along. So he tries to commit suicide by Kraut. Too bad, Fuzzbrain, the ep's not over yet.
(DA!)--Doc is getting this sexy sleeve-rolling thing down to an art now! And he's leaning back, thumbs in his pockets once more. Niiiice.
Not the poncho again! No, please, not the poncho!
Who's doing that little voiceover thingie when day breaks? And why? We know Jerry softened you up good. Why tell us?
For an over-long, tedious ep, the ending actually feels abrupt. The Krauts surrender too easily, and it just feels contrived. They're cut off from their units? How convenient.
Don't look so pleased with yourself, Hanley! What have you done all episode long? Found your sister's killer? Lost your captain? Spent days in the rain? No. Stop being so cheerful. No wonder Saunders goes all glare-y when you leave.