Last time we gathered together in this space, I was writing something about Nixon's alcohol problem and Webster going off his rocker. A wily private named Janovec found a fine nude filly to ride until dawn, because for a moment, this was HBO's remedy for the Sex and the City hiatus. The final half of the episode dealt with concentration camps, a particularly difficult discovery for Joe Liebgott, who cried both for mankind and his faith. Hitler shot himself in the head and Easy Company got the call to head to Berchtesgaden.
July 1945. We're in Zell Am See, Austria -- a lovely mountainous area where sun glints off clear, placid water, lush green foliage swishes in the breeze, sound engineers lovingly play Assorted Bird Sounds II: The Call of the Titmouse, and hot redheaded men wear tight shorts with jaunty abandon. Dick Winters, embracing the glory of his thighs, strolls down a dirt path clad in navy trunks, a white undershirt, and a towel snaked around his neck. "It was more than three years since Lewis Nixon and I decided to join the paratroopers," he narrates. "More than a year since we'd first gone to war, not knowing what would happen to us, how long we'd be fighting, where we'd end up." Winters pauses on a ledge, staring out at the glorious view and ruminating aloud that he never thought their war experience would take them to such a paradise.
Nixon sneaks up behind Winters and jokes that he heard word of a redheaded Eskimo skulking around the neighborhood. Given the underlying man-love, maybe Nixon meant that as a secret euphemism. "Come to join me for a swim?" Winters asks cheerfully, which elicits a chuckle from the decidedly un-physical Nixon. A mail delivery brought Nixon there: it seems Winters met up with the regimental photographer, and traded him two Lugers for a collection of snapshots from as far back as Toccoa. Winters whips out one photo of himself and Nixon in their uniforms, flashing barely perceptible grins. I want it for my desk. "What do you think you'll do after this?" Nixon wonders. Winters straight-answers that he'll probably get some breakfast, but of course, Nixon was trying to paint a grander picture. Winters reveals that Col. Sink has discussed an Army career with him, but no decisions have been made. "I said I'd think about it," Winters clarifies noncommittally. Nixon raises his eyebrows a bit, then turns away and looks at the ground. He wants to grow old with Dick in a country cottage with two dogs, a vegetable garden full of carrots, and a collection of hugely hilarious penis statues painted to look like celebrities -- and nowhere, but nowhere, does the Army fit into the plan. Tentatively, he asks Winters what he thinks about New Jersey, because there's a job awaiting him at company in Nixon, NJ, called Nixon Nitration Works. "Oddly enough, I know the owners," Nixon snickers. "[They] expect me to make something of myself. Thought I'd drag you with me." The whole time, Nixon barely glances up at his boyfriend, afraid of his burgeoning passion and the warmth spreading in his Army-issue trousers. "Are you offering me a job?" Winters asks, twitching his face into the usual wry, knowing grin, the expression of which he is king. Nixon teases that it hinges on the interview, but based on Winters' résumé, a position with commensurate salary might just open up for him. Here, Winters and Nixon share a long look. The chemistry between them crackles louder and hotter than a blender in the bathtub, and fries me just as thoroughly. If I were a gay man, this scene might be my money shot. "I'll think about it," Winters says slowly. "I really appreciate it." And he does. Nixon awkwardly repeats that Winters should, indeed, give it some thought. "Yeah," Winters says. It's like they've already woken up in each other's sweaty clutches and aren't sure how to handle the subsequent feelings of neediness. Winters stands up and treats the camera to a close-up of his thigh and crotch, because he's totally toying with me. Strutting down the pier, Winters rips off his shirt and leaps into the water just as music crescendos behind him. Shirt. Off. Wet Winters. I have to stop recapping this scene now.