At that moment, Welsh bellows for his platoon to gather, because Easy is moving out immediately. "It'll be dark soon," he shares. "I want light-and-noise discipline from now on. No talking, no smoking, and no..." and here, I swear he says, "No playing grab-the-fanny with the man in front of you, Luz." That sounds like a pretty great party game, sort of the sexual version of "pin the tail on the donkey." But it's possible Welsh said something about not snagging graft; it was hard to tell. The plan is to take the French village of Carentan. The infantry that landed on Utah and Omaha beaches need a way to link up and proceed as a united front, and Carentan is the most convenient way to connect the dots. "If we fail, the army's stuck on the sands," Welsh intones. "General Taylor is sending the whole division." The chap named Luz, imp that he is, grins and imitates the good General when he says, "Just give me three days and three nights of hard fighting, and you will be relieved!" Everyone laughs. A skinny Spike Jonze type named Hoobler volunteers to be the lead scout; Welsh welcomes Blithe and then orders 1st Platoon to lead the way and says the other two will follow. "Remember, boys," Luz imitates Gen. Taylor. "Flies spread disease...so keep yours closed!" The platoon cracks up again, but Blithe maintains his nervous and cheerless disposition, with a new fear of plagues in his privates.
Easy Company trudges through a body of water, surrounded by blazing wreckage and dead bodies. Gunshots are so occasional that they sound like firecrackers. A royal-blue darkness has settled; the red flames and blue sky almost look patriotic. Perconte passes a dead German whose arm is aloft from rigor mortis, and he removes the man's watch with a thief's finesse. "Don't wake Jerry," someone cackles. Blithe stares at the cadaver's now-naked wrist and looks very sad. Blithe and his inappropriate name, if this blow to my noggin is to be believed, personifies this week's theme of "fear." Sesame Street would be so proud of this show.
Hoobler stops in his tracks and announces that Fox Company has disappeared. "Again?" complains Welsh, who walks away. "We lost Fox Company," Hoobler tells Perconte. "Again?" Perconte sighs. He turns around to send the information down the line, but Welsh appears first and sends him to get Winters, while Blithe and Hoobler run ahead to find Fox. We cut away to a Soldiers In Silhouette shot, then back to Welsh, who smokes vigorously as Winters approaches. Winters is tasty. It's nice to see him. Welsh says he's got men out there looking. Nixon trots over and says, "Why are we stopped?" Sighing with irritation, Winters says, "This is about officers crapping out on their training, Nix." And the book confirms this. Fox neglected to move at a pace that ensured Easy remained within; for example, Fox would be so eager to move along that, when its men cleared difficult areas of the trek, the entire company would zoom forward and forget to wait for the other companies to clear those same obstacles. Impatient, Winters suggests they just keep going, and Welsh slaps a mosquito on his neck.