Bull Randleman, Liebgott, Shifty, Perconte, and Malarkey -- among others -- fan out in the forest, ever so slowly creeping forward with guns raised. Perconte crouches nervously. "What are you crouching for, Perco?" Liebgott teases. "Think the deer's gonna shoot back?" Apparently, they're hunting for some dinner. Bull crabs that they should shut up and let Shifty shoot something tasty; in retaliation, Liebgott suggests that they kill Bull and feed the company for a week. The sight of an enormous buck silences the group, especially once Shifty aims his rifle and delicately massages the trigger. But the deer escapes, and provides fodder for a few barbs about how the Army should be thrilled to get rid of Shifty. "Seems they want me to stay around awhile," Shifty says sadly in his gentle Virginia accent. He needs fifteen more points before qualifying to return home. Malarkey is stunned. "Jesus Christ," he breathes. "I thought I had it bad!" Shifty explains that he never got injured, and thus never got a Purple Heart. Funny how his good fortune to skirt injury has become a liability.
Speirs runs Easy Company through a few drills, barking orders in a raspy tone that some voice coach decided is exactly the way military men should speak. It's called "Constipation of the Diaphragm." Speirs finally shares that, because so many veterans lack the eighty-five points required for a discharge, General Taylor has authorized a lottery. Each company will draw one name, and that lucky soldier gets to leave immediately, and with honor. Welsh makes a big show of the drawing while guys like Talbert and Bull hold their breath. "Come on," a guy mumbles, tense. "The winner is...Sgt. Darrell C. Powerrrrrrrrrs," intones Speirs. Bashfully, Shifty hangs his head and blushes. The gang applauds enthusiastically. "That's how it's done, Shifty," Luz cheers. Aw, they're all so happy for him. It's very sweet. I need a hug.
Sgt. Grant congratulates Shifty, but his glee is short-lived, because Speirs then taps his platoon as the crossroads guards for the night. He confirms that the 101st will indeed ship out to Japan eventually, so the requisite training will commence at 0600 hours. One by one, happy expressions fade. In what may be an unprecedented event on cable television, several smiles literally turn completely upside-down. Webster's more cheesed than the state of Wisconsin. Malarkey and his oddly flesh-colored lips look very dismayed.
While Winters hunches over a balcony table and pretends to work very hard, Shifty approaches for a final soft, Southern goodbye. "You know, you was...you was...well, it's been a long time," shy Shifty sputters. Winters nods. We're yanked out of the moment in a poorly chosen edit, swapping instead to a long shot showing that the balcony on which they stand juts out over the cerulean water. It's critical to know that Shifty left on a pretty day in a lovely town -- otherwise, his story wouldn't be complete, and some bonehead like Webster wouldn't be able to write the seminal Ode to Brotherhood, "The Water was Calm When Shifty Buggered Off." Winters politely asks whether Shifty has everything he needs. Small talk ensues. It's all very uncomfortable. No one would accuse Winters of smooth conversation. "Back home, in Virginia," begins Shifty. "Well, I just don't rightly know how I'm gonna explain all this." Winters remains silent, courteously jacking up the discomfort level to notches heretofore un-notched by mankind. "See, I've...I've seen....I've seen..." Shifty tries again, but can't quite get the words out; it seems like he's trying to find the words to describe the intensity of his year in World War II, coupled with a reluctance to leave the only people in the world who truly understand what he endured. It's also possible that he's loath to explain the easy circumstances of his discharge. Winters smiles gently and says, "You're a helluva fine soldier, Shifty. There's nothing more to explain." They salute. And as the adorable, timid Virginia boy strolls out of sight for good, Winters informs us that Shifty's departing truck was hit head-on by a corporal driving drunk. Shifty broke his pelvis and arm, and suffered a concussion, surviving but spending the next few months in a handful of hospitals. These guys cannot win. They're like a company of Ziggys.