Tanks!  Lots of tanks!  And danger music!  Oooh, this is gonna be an exciting ep, I can tell.  Although the opener looks not so much like a war movie as a cheesy 50s horror flick, what with Saunders darting about and the scary tanks grinding along.  Until Saunders plops down in the grass, that is, and goes all lurking-lion.  Then we know it's gonna be cool.

But sigh -- why must they inflict a voiceover on us?  This is not a documentary, this is not film noir, this is Combat!  Get over the voiceovers, already!

The episode uses some amazing aerial footage, doesn't it?  Especially that swooping closeup of Saunders, where we start out with the crow's-eye view and then zero in on our hero.  Nice.

I do have one question for The Powers That Be regarding this ep.  How come Saunders is never hitching rides when I drive down lonely country roads?  Huh?  Huh?  Huh?

(DA!)--Mmm, Saunders looks so sweet and worried when he announces his men are in that besieged city.  I think someone needs a hug!

What is it with Saunders and trucks and mud?  Honestly, if he gets into a truck, it's practically doomed to get stuck in mud. 

I have to say it again -- these aerial shots are awesome!  The war seems so much bigger all of a sudden.  And they emphasize this ep's theme of man vs. machine really well.  Instead of being personal and focused on the characters, the camera pulls back and makes us look at the big picture more.  Not that I'm complaining about Combat!'s usual focus on characters, I'm just saying it's a neat change.

(DA!)--Doesn't Saunders run beautifully?  So intense, so crouched, so determined, so manly-yet-graceful... I could watch him all day.  It's too bad they used Earl Parker in so many of the wide shots.  I know that's what a stunt double is for, but Vic Morrow is so much more fun to watch.  Sigh.  And yes, a devoted Saunders fan can tell the difference.  (Hint:  When running bent-over, Vic bends at the hips and Earl bends at the waist.)

Subtitles!  Hmm.  I think they're only giving us the good-parts version.  These Krauts seem to use several sentences to say, "turn left."

Why is it when you want Krauts to notice you, they refuse to give chase.  But if you're wounded and hiding, they'll stop to eat lunch practically in your lap?  Grr.  Uncooperative Krauts.

So, um, how exactly does Saunders get wounded?  The Krauts seem to have shot off half the heel of his boot, which I know must make running difficult, but I'm not sure how this translates to a wound.  Does he have an Achilles Heel?  Did he get a sprain from the impact?

How does Bobby Rydell keep his face and hair so clean while he's rolling around in the mud?  I'd look like the Normandy Mud Man by now.  Small children would flee screaming from my presence and run into pianos or something.

Hot diggety dog!  I knew Saunders was a good aim with a grenade, but to toss one while lying down and hit a phone that's being dragged by a tank... incredible!

Aren't the Krauts a little curious about why this one guy keeps tormenting them?  Or are they all, "Ho hum, another crazy American who thinks he can blow up a tank all by himself.  Anyone want to play some canasta after we cream him?"

Sigh.  Saunders should've stayed with the truck and sent Bobby Rydell out to mess with the tankers' minds.  Look how quickly he changes that tire!  We coulda been miles down the road by now.

Bobby Rydell tells Saunders, "One miserable truck driver in exchange for a hundred good fighting men.  Practice what you preach."  Ah, but what he doesn't know is that Saunders is perfectly capable of having his cake and eating it too.

I must mention how good Vic Morrow is at portraying the fact that Saunders is thinking.  It's subtle, it's believable, and yes, it's darned attractive.  (You knew I'd go there.)

Isn't it great how an episode with so little dialog and character development can still be so gripping?  We know little about Bobby Rydell's character -- we barely even learn his name -- and yet we're quite worried about him and understand why Saunders fights to save him.(DA!)--And the ep ends on a lovely note, with a pretty genuine grin from Saunders.  Call me pickled tink!

 

Return Home

More Scuttlebutt