Band of Brothers
Bastogne

Episode Report Card
Heathen: B | 4 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
Bastogne

Roe sees a lone figure sprinting back from the patrol site. "We're pulling back, we made contact," Lt. Peacock gulps. "I gotta get to CP [command post]." Meanwhile, bullets rain around Julian, and Heffron tearfully screams that they must save him. Martin, cognizant that the shooting won't cease, finally gives the order to fall back. Babe is devastated, but shouts to his friend, "Hold on, look at me! Stay with us! Hold on! Don't move, we're coming back!" Finally, Julian lies alone on the snow, barely breathing, oozing blood, bullets still striking the snow around his body.

As the retreating men sprint toward Roe, someone goes down with a bullet to the back. Roe runs forward and helps drag the soldier to relative safety, tearing open the man's shirt and covering the messy wound with his hand until he can wrap a bandage around it. The patrolmen scatter and hide behind different trees, guns pointed toward the German line, poised to fire but not fully able to fight back because of the ammunition shortages and lack of artillery backup. They provoked, but couldn't follow through. Nixon appears and asks whether they hit the German line or the OP (a watch post); Martin confirms that it was indeed the line, although how they knew this is unclear. Either way, it's a maelstrom of gunfire. Babe screams that he has to go back and collect Julian, but no one lets him; someone else frets that they lost Peacock, but Nixon confirms that he's already back at CP. Nixon, vocally backed by Luz, demands that everyone fall back even further. Roe won't go until he has his patient fixed up and stuck with a morphine syrette; finally, they pick up the man and scamper away.

Depressed, the men sit and gather their wits. Martin impassively notifies Winters that they couldn't save Julian despite Babe's best efforts. Winters, arms crossed, stoically registers distress and then goes to sit with his men. That's such a lovely, Winters-like gesture, wanting to share in the emotions of his men because he doesn't want them feeling alone. Roe still sits apart, cradling his chocolate bar, just as I do every day.

So far, I like the conceit of seeing the conflict through Roe's eyes, since the way he appears next to wounded men without getting wounded himself is truly amazing. There is no room for flinching in the line of fire, and there is no escaping his job, no resting.

Nightfall. Roe runs alone. Peeking into a foxhole, he's disturbed to find it empty, and darts along the line looking for others. He sees Toye sitting on the lip of his hole, depressed. "Thanks for the boots," he says quietly. Roe wants to see Toye's problematic foot, so the man displays a foot that looks dipped in flour -- it's white and powdery, and decidedly abnormal-looking. He winces when Roe touches it. "It's trench foot, Toye," Roe informs him. "If it turns gangrene, you could lose it." Toye staunchly refuses to leave the line; acknowledging his drive with silent respect, Roe finally says, "Massage your feet, change your socks every day and dry the wet ones around your neck." Toye edgily says he's working on this; Roe pats Toye's leg and leaves, then spins around and asks if Heffron has passed. "No. Why?" Toye asks. "He ain't in his hole," Roe replies.

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Band of Brothers

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