Cut to more absolutely breathtaking scenery. The battalion trucks peacefully drive past towns bathed in a golden glow, with majestic mountains poking above pristine valley lakes. Everything is clean, devoid of rubble, merry; even the villagers wave excited salutations. "Wonder if they'll make us run up those, or ski down them," Talbert jokes, recalling the Currahee days. Oh, and he's talking about the mountains, not the village women. It occurs to me that I should clarify that point. The men grin like heroes -- which they are, naturally -- and bask in the warm welcome they receive. "I think the war is over!" Malarkey cheers, looping his arms around two comrades' necks. Three shepherd girls wiggle their chests and coo.
Nixon completes a very macho ascent of some Austrian stairs and notes, "We'll be comfortable here." He's referring to a multi-storey building on the water -- a stunning location for their battalion headquarters and a stark contrast to the broken buildings Easy used in "The Last Patrol," at which time the simple fact of a roof and some walls seemed like Earth's greatest paradise.
Inside an ornate room, two high-ranking German officers stand opposite a seated Winters; one table separates them. Yes, it's time for our favorite segment -- the one in which opposite sides of the conflict see something human in each other and make forced, awkward comments about What Will Happen Next in their not-so-dissimilar lives. You've seen this type of segment before. It's everywhere. I saw it at the grocery store last week buying Hamburger Helper and some Midol. "I wonder what will happen to us, to people like you and me, when there are finally no more wars to occupy us," Herr Moralizer intones thickly. Winters regards him silently, then orders Herr Moralizer to have his men collect all their weapons and deposit them at the village's church, school, and airfield. Stony-eyed, Herr Moralizer whips out his sidearm and chokes, "Please accept this as my formal surrender, Major. It is better than to lay it on the desk of a clerk." Winters decides not to deprive the man of his weapon, which ignites a respectful glow in the eyes of the German colonel. The men salute each other.