"The night before the attack, I did something as a 1st Sergeant that I would never have imagined myself doing," he voice-overs. Given what's coming, he didn't need to elucidate this for us; we've known all along that he bucked the trend and never badmouthed his boss. Waiting outside Winters's shelter, Donnie lights a smoke. "Didn't figure you for a smoking man," Winters's voice says, followed out of the darkness by the man himself. "Neither did I," sighs Donnie with war-weary typicality. They make small talk about the stillness of Foy, and Donnie's strong confidence in Easy Company's ability to carry out its part in the plan. Donnie then gulps, looks at the ground, and does the one thing he's resisted. "On the other hand, I have no confidence in our CO, sir," he begins. Winters looks up, amazed. "Lt. Dike is an empty uniform, Captain. He's just...he's not there, sir." Winters opts for the literal response, pointing out that Dike will indeed be there tomorrow. "I understand he'll be there physically, but tomorrow's the real deal and he's going to have to lead those men," Donnie argues, calling into question Dike's decision-making skills under pressure and under fire. Donnie concludes by asserting that a lot of Easy Company men will die the next day under Dike's command. He's struggling to get this all out, clearly enjoying precisely none of it. Winters bites his lip and dismisses Donnie, who admits in voice-over that he knew Winters could do nothing to remove a well-connected CO, but he could stay silent no longer. He's far more generous than I am; I'd have been mouthing off like Gonorrhea. I don't fully understand why Winters, as the battalion XO, couldn't make some recommendation to have Dike removed; after all, he's the man's boss in both rank and title. But I refuse to doubt my hero; he wouldn't lie to me.
Morning dawns on Foy. Donnie isn't sure we quite get that Winters couldn't remove Dike from power based only on gut feelings, so he repeats it for out benefit and coughs up an anvil onto his shoe. Winters outlines the battle plan to Dike. The men must traverse an eighth of a mile of open field in order to reach Foy, but there's little cover on that short stretch, so speed is essential. Winters set up a group of light machine guns at either end of the field to provide covering fire. Item Company will lead the 3rd battalion toward Foy from the east to help draw attention away from Easy, and Dog Company will be in reserve, although Winters doubts Easy will need it. Dike nods and looks pensive, as though he's digesting this, although he's clearly more concerned with how far his wussy legs can carry him before he's considered a deserter. Winters sums up: get to Foy faster than the Germans can gear up the mortar and artillery fire. Speed, speed, speed. And, speed. "I'm relying on you," Winters hammers. "Get. It. Done." Dike meets his gaze, then yawns. Winters, pissed, kicks him in the nose, feeds him a box of bullets, then tickles Dike so fiercely that his mouth becomes a lethal weapon.