Band of Brothers
The Breaking Point

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Heathen: A | 4 USERS: A+
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The Breaking Point

A Jeep plows through the snow and stops at Nixon's foxhole, waking up the decidedly hung over captain. The new arrival is a messenger, who hands Nixon a piece of paper and then flees the stench of whiskey, vomit, and morning breath that no doubt clouds the air around Nixon's foxhole like dirt clouds cling to Pigpen.

"Morning, sir," Nixon says jauntily to Winters, who is shaving and looks outstanding. Red hair against snow...mmm. I'm such a girl about this show. Nixon grins that a notice came from division, and he brandishes it dramatically. "Eviction notice?" Winters asks, dryly. Nixon is glowing. "I think I got something to help you with your leadership problem," he replies happily. Winters hopes against all reason that Dike has been transferred. "No, can't help you there," Nixon says. "But, division is plucking one officer from each regiment that served in the heroic defense of Bastogne and sending them back to the States for a three-day furlough, getting them out banging the drum for the war-bond drive, that sort of thing." Nixon grins that he's been plucked, and passes the notice to Winters, who is genuinely delighted for his pal but fails to see how his boyfriend's absence could possibly help him. "It doesn't. That's why I'm not going," Nixon announces. "I've been to the States. I grew up there. That's why I came to Europe. Just wish they'd told me there was a war on." Aw! Nixon's a boozehound and not cut out for combat, but he's committed to his friends and he's giving up the free ticket home and what if something happens to him now and I'm getting choked here and need to sit down. Winters is obviously appreciative of the sacrifice, as Nixon drives home the point that surely another man in the battalion could use a long trip back to the U.S.

Cut to the elated face of Lt. Peacock, who is being presented the pass and told it's some kind of honor. He's grinning, his eyes are moist, and he's genuinely thrilled. Everyone gathers around and tells him they're delighted for him, and that he's a great guy who deserves this high honor, and poor Peacock is so touched and feels so loved. How sad! He has no idea. "Thanks, guys, this really means a lot!" he chokes. Everyone offers three very low-key cheers for Peacock, lest the Germans hear them roar. This leaves Easy down one platoon leader; I assume they can slide in another officer somewhere, or they'll just do without since Peacock was sweet but barely capable anyway.

A filmmaker films Easy's men smiling and singing and toasting each other. The camera lens colors the surroundings, making everything look green and warm and rosy; then we see the man filming it and the stark contrast between the film and the harsh reality. This feels like a swipe at shallow war propaganda, and it's actually quite effective. "Remember to smile for the camera," the visiting Col. Sink says. "Got to keep morale up for the folks back home." Winters asks, "Why?" Sink shakes his head slightly. "Damned if I know," sighs the older officer. He then asks intelligence officer Nixon what awaits them in Foy. "At least one company from the 10th Panzergrenadiers dug in here," he answers, pointing to a spot on the map. "There's at least one 88 [machine gun], but we haven't been able to spot it." Nixon adds that there's a lot of artillery there as well, but Winters has spied something intriguing and takes his leave of the two men.

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Band of Brothers

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