This is one of those superb episodes that is so serious, so well-crafted, that it provides very little scope for snarking. But I'll do my best. ;-) Fortunately, there are many other things that do bear mentioning....
This ep has a very deceptive intro, with lots of shelling and shooting and running -- you'd think this was gonna be an actiony adventure, not a tense strategy drama.
What's up with Sarge's helmet? The cover looks different than usual, kind of darker. Is it just dirty? Maybe he should take it into the shower.
Doc gives the greatest little cackle when he waves that bar of French soap at Barnarbo.
(DA!)--Holy mackerel! Anyone who doubts our guys are eye candy just has to watch this ep's shower scene. Caje goes shirtless instantly, much to every female's joy. Saunders, on the other hand, does this frustrating little striptease, whipping off his coat and web belt, then taking his time with his shirt. Next he unbuckles his belt, then switches to undoing his boots instead. Sigh. Oh well, he makes up for it in a little while....
But must we spend so much time with that clown Barnarbo when we have presumably nekkid squaddies in the next room? Cut to the beefcake, Ted Post!
Barnarbo's death is pretty shocking, although I'm never terribly sad to see him go -- he talked way too much and got annoying after a few minutes. Not that that's any justification for killing him, but I don't miss him.
Okay, the business with squirting and tossing the soap to each other is funny, but nothing beats Saunders shaking out his hair like a wet puppy, loosing some genuine grins, and doing that unbelievably silly raspberry thing with his lips! I'm laughing aloud just remembering it!
(DA!)--Alas, the fun ends all too soon, courtesy of our latest nemeses, but not before we actually get to see Sgt. Saunders In His Boxers!!! I'm sorry, but that alone makes this ep a series high point in my drool-saturated opinion. Okay, no man has truly attractive legs (and I can't think of anyone ever who has attractive knees), but Vic Morrow had nothing to be ashamed of, that's for sure.
When the Krauts make their presence known, Doc has a marvelous shocked expression, while Caje is more getting angry -- very in character for both of them. And Saunders has, of course, gone all silent and calculating already.
(DA!)--Oh look! Barefoot Saunders! Mmm! AND he's angry! Can he get any sexier? Wet hair, bare feet, angry eyes... AND his shirt's not buttoned at all OR tucked in! Swoooooooooooooooooooooooon!
I do love that Motor Pool sergeant. He has great lines, like, "Don't give me tribulation, boy," and, "That song you got in your voice -- where you from, boy?" He's quite loveable, and I wish he'd be a recurring character.
Now we enter the portion of the episode in which Doc valiantly battles hordes of Red Tape. I love how Conlan plays this, like we can see the wheels turning in Doc's head as he invents story after story to try to get the truck that will save Saunders and Caje.
You know, if I were Aptmeyer and Ecktmann, I'd change into those American uniforms right away, rather than parading around in front of those big windows and chancing that someone will wander past, glance in, and see two mean Krauts in their uniforms.
Oh my goodness, my stars and garters, there are Other Soldiers in this Army! And they get to take care of a sniper, instead of First Squad? Will wonders never cease?
Um, Caje gets knocked unconscious from a blow to the stomach? Or does he bonk his head on the floor and I just don't notice?
And now we're off on our merry truck ride to the finale -- way to go, Doc, wrecking the ambulance to try to escape! That's a very gutsy move. Too bad it doesn't quite work.
This whole ep is really a fascinating character study about a man who's sworn not to kill or do violence who is forced with the choice of either breaking that vow or seeing people he cares about get killed. The tension inside Doc mounts ever higher throughout the episode until finally he is forced to do something he probably thought he would never do. I really wish this ep had either a sequel or a longer denouement, so we could see more about Doc coming to grips with what he's done. Saunders does the best he can, with his plea for help with his wound, but I don't think Doc's going to be brought back to normal quite that easily.
And what happens to Caje? We get Saunders patched up and then that's it -- is Caje just left leaning against his tree forever? Presumably not, since he's in the next ep, but still.