Donnie then answers my question, partly. He claims he doesn't know whether he believed the PR he just spewed, but "as company 1st sergeant, it was my job, not to protect Dike but to protect the integrity of the company." I'll buy that.
Winters and Nixon huddle up in their love shack and commence pillow talk. Winters deadpans that Dike's big problem is that he's another arrogant rich jerk from Yale. Nixon laughs, so I take it he is one such jerk and Winters is just yanking his chain with gentle man-love. Winters feels powerless, unable to jettison Dike just because of something so nebulous as a bad feeling. But the bigger problem: "Who would I put in his place?" Winters muses. "Lt. Shames?" We flash to an intense man screaming himself blue, eyes bugging out from the effort. "Both of you little crapheads did not listen to a word I said during that briefing, did you?" his forehead throbs, venom and saliva flying from his rabid mouth. "Shames has seen too many war movies and thinks he has to yell all the time," Winters notes. The Spanks team didn't notice that self-referential humor went out when Scream 3 tanked. Back to Winters, who says that Lt. Peacock -- another platoon leader -- is also a possibility. "Bless him, no one tries harder, but he's not cut out to take men into combat," Winters observes as we see Peacock confusedly staring at a map and trying to determine his platoon's position. We saw his uncertainty in action in "Bastogne," when he took a patrol group on a mission toward the German line and it ended in disaster and the death of replacement Pvt. Julian. Winters can't promote him to CO when Peacock struggles with commanding a platoon. Nixon pipes up that Buck Compton is an obvious choice, what with his swagger and his hotness. Nixon's reasons aren't quite those, but I know they were lingering in the back of his mind. "He's the only real choice," Winters agrees. "Buck's a real combat leader, but you know, I want Easy Company to have at least one experienced platoon leader." Still, he laments, it's a moot point because Dike is there for the duration. "Well, we all know who you'd like to have run Easy, but the trouble is, it's not your job anymore, Dick," Nixon reminds him kindly, massaging his friend's troubled thigh. Well, he might've been. Winters worries silently.
"We all agreed Buck Compton would've been the best choice to run Easy if Winters had been able to get rid of Dike," Donnie narrates. "But to be honest, Buck wasn't the same soldier...since he got shot in Holland. He was more serious somehow." Yeah, because he got shot in the ass and then dumped on it. There's no justice. No one man could be that strapping, I guess, without being fated for a fall. Buck, perched in a foxhole with Heffron and Gonorrhea, can't believe Hoobler had a loaded Luger in his pants. I feel like I've written an awful lot today about the contents of Hoobler's pants. "Don't you two do something stupid like that, all right?" Buck demands. "You, Wild Bill, I've invested too much goddamn time shaping you into something useful." Gonorrhea laughs affectionately. Yeah, G-Spot, I love him too. "If you do something crazy, get yourself knocked out of this thing..." Buck warns. "I know, you'll kill me," interrupts a grinning Gonorrhea. "Even if you're dead, I'll still kill you," Compton finishes. His warning complete, Compton stares joy-free at his friends, then leaves to go spread a little gloom and doom wherever sunshine threatens to sparkle. Heffron watches his departure. "Crazy Joe McClosky," he says. Gonorrhea figures Babe has finally gone nuts. Heffron clarifies that Crazy Joe is a Philly denizen (both these men call that city their home) who hung out in front of Delancey's and stared at people silently. "Buck reminds me of him now," Heffron says. Gonorrhea, stunned, can't fathom Heffron's assertion that Buck is loony. Upset, Heffron backs off a bit, then changes his mind. "Come on, you've seen him!" he insists. "He's all wound up like spring!" Gonorrhea flatly states that his friend is fine. "It wasn't getting shot that got him," he says, quietly. "It was being in that hospital. I've been there, okay? It ain't pretty....You saw, once he was up moving around he was his old self again. I'm telling you, Buck Compton's fine." The Jinx Fairy plops down next to me and shows me her ass, which now has Buck Compton's name tattooed across it. But, since we're just getting started and she's clearly got time to kill, I pass her twenty bucks for a beer run.