Hey, cool! Another ep that opens on Saunders. This time he's just walking around, not engaging in a furious firefight, but I don't mind. After all, almost any shot of Saunders is a good shot, right?
(DA!)--I say, Hanley's looking all freshly scrubbed and studly today!
This ep has some wonderful moments for Saunders and Hanley, the kind that we used to get a lot of in season one, but have been getting rarer as the series marches on. The first one is that little understanding nod Hanley gives Saunders when the sergeant says he wants to go see Howie Parker. They exchange great understanding looks too.
Hey, Lt. Collins, don't you refer to Saunders as Hanley's "boy!" Them's fightin' words, you hear? Shall we start calling Sgt. O'Neill your boy? How'd'ja like them apples, huh?
Whoa, I need to settle down a little -- this Lt. Collins is getting me all riled up, and we're not even through the teaser yet! Time for a couple deep breaths and calming thoughts....
So is it just me, or does the ambulance that drops Saunders at the hospital tent sound like it's powered by chickens? I'm just sayin'!
Saunders always acts very respectful and a little uncomfortable in hospital tents, have you noticed? He takes his helmet off right away and is very, "Yes sir, no sir," to the doctors, and he fidgets a lot. Gets that hunchy look like he's trying to hide. Some nice acting on Vic Morrow's part.
(DA!)--And some nice leeeaning when he's told Howie Parker is dead. He goes more retrospective than broody, but it's still a great moment.
I want Saunders to be my sergeant if I'm ever mortally wounded. He gets so earnest when he tells not-quite-dead-yet Howie that everything will be okay. You get the feeling he really believes it, he's not just saying that to be nice. Sigh.
Don't you love how worried Kirby is about Saunders' prospective court-martial? He's been through that himself, and you can see he's trying to put on a brave face, but the concern keeps showing through. Gotta love Kirby!
And gotta love Hanley -- is the way he bites off the word "calmly" the greatest or what? Totally puts Lt. Collins in his place. Which makes me laugh, since Lt. Collins is his equal in rank. But not in brains or beauty!
Which reminds me, let's all join in a rousing chorus of "Our lieutenant is taller than your lieutenant!" Great morale booster.
Okay, I'm trying to be fair to O'Neill, and see him as someone who's just doing his job, but anyone who calls Saunders 'stupid' is not destined to be my best pal. Remember that, if you ever decide you want to be my best pal, okay?
Holy great bazooka shot, Littlejohn! How come they won't let you fire that baby in "Hills are for Heroes" -- you'd have killed the bunker in no time! Excellent work, buddy.
Okay, Lt. Collins does get one thing right: Sgt. Saunders is dangerous. (Insert swoon here.)
Don't you love Saunders when he asks Hanley if he has to stay here for this? He's so angry, he's bouncing. And then Hanley shows a little temper of his own, firing off "No!" out of the side of his mouth. And then he switches gears instantly, going all warm and personal with, "But I think you should." That is a scene worth rewinding.
(DA!)--As is the following shot of Saunders stomping up the stairs. Yes, ladies and gerbils, I said Stomping Up Stairs. I did indeed. It doesn't get much better than that, does it?
Three cheers for Hanley, using his height and charm to their best advantage and talking Collins into letting him go calm Saunders down. Atta boy.
But Collins, I insist you stop calling Saunders Hanley's "boy" right now! I mean, honestly, Saunders obviously has a few years on your little pal O'Neill, so I think it's ageist and unfair for starters. And it's nice to know you realize they're buddies, but this is just going a bit far. I'm resenting every one of the insinuations you're making with that word, and I'm sure Hanley and Saunders are too, they're just too polite to mention it. Well I've had it up to here with politeness! You stop it right now or I will... I will... I will give you some sort of horrible nickname and no one will ever be able to watch this ep again without thinking of it when they see you! So shut up! You just shut up!
Whooooooooooooooo, there I go again, getting all worked up. Time for a little visit to my happy place, I think. Or I could just rewind the Saunders-Walks-Up-Stairs scene again... which might just be my new happy place, I tell you what.
But I digress. And that's a bad thing, because up next is my very most favorite scene in this whole lovely episode. I can't even describe how perfect this little scene is, you just have to watch it for yourself. The best part, as far as I'm concerned, is Saunders saying, "And I'm dangerous." His voice goes all crumbly and sad, like he regrets that this is how people see him. And like he believes it himself. This is one powerful scene, folks, with Rick Jason and Vic Morrow at their best, all understated dialog and meaningful glances. Shiver.
(DA!)--And who else has ever looked that sexy when flipping a cigarette butt over a bridge toward a camera? Huh? No one else that I've ever seen.
Have you noticed that Hanley likes to put his hands in his jacket pockets while he walks?
(DA!)--Don't Kirby and Caje look lurky and lunchable when we return to the informal, naked-statue-ridden courtroom?Time for three more cheers! This time for Kirby stepping up in Saunders' defense. His "Now wait a minute... sir" is a perfect blend of anger, frustration, and worry.
(DA!)--Saints preserve us! Caje is getting hotter by the second in this ep! He was looking nice before, but now he's got his collar flipped up, his sleeves rolled, his shirt unbuttoned, a scruffy two-day (two-hour?) shadow, and worried puppy eyes! I'm melting! I'm melting!
(DA!)--Oh, and I advise you to watch the guys crawling under that tripwire at least three times, because you can get a lot of useful pointers on how to make yourself as small as possible and... oh, you know why you should watch it three times. Just do it.
(DA!)--Be still my fluttering heart! Hanley favors us with the sweetest little smile when he sees Saunders return. Man, that one's almost enough to convert me.
(DA!)--Don't miss Saunders hooking his thumb into his holster! He's not in the foreground at this point, but he's certainly the center of my attention.
I have to grin when Saunders tells his story to Hanley. Not to Collins or O'Neill, but to Hanley. Nice subtle little "nyah-nyah" moment.
(DA!)--And by the time Saunders finishes his flashback sequence, he's got his shirt unbuttoned too. Swoon! He's got fire in his eye, he's pacing around and leaning on chairs... double swoon! And then when he puts one knee up and gets all fierce while telling Collins he's gonna keep his men -- look out! That thud you heard was me missing my swooning couch entirely and landing on the floor. And not caring. I can see him just as well from down here. In fact, it's probably a good idea to just stay on the floor, because a second or two later, Saunders turns his back and goes all broody, and we get some great footage of the back of his neck, which is so inexplicably attractive. Swoon and swoon again, for sure.
And our episode ends with a nice little soliloquy from Hanley about the nature of war and leadership and caring. And he offers to buy Collins a drink just to show he doesn't hold any grudges. Whatta guy!