McClung is in the shower, stripped down to his shorts like most of the other men. He catches the soap. Insert Oz joke here. Naturally, all the men whose fronts we can see are clad in their boxers, possibly because this is the only way to launder them; however, as we pan out of the shower, a big fat extra is buck naked (oooh, Buck naked...mmmm...) and filmed in profile. He's tucked his tackle, though, bless his portly ass. Outside the shower tent, Lipton hails Malarkey and whispers something urgent about Jackson, Wynn, Liebgott, Powers, and Webster. Crumpling slightly, Malarkey turns slowly and calls for 2nd Platoon to gather around him. "All right, I'm leading this patrol," Malarkey sighs, hands jammed deep into his pockets to hide his twitching middle fingers. He explains that Speirs wants Wynn, Grant, Liebgott, Jackson, Shifty Powers from 3rd platoon, and Webster; no one from 1st platoon got the call. "Is there anyone they don't want from 2nd?" Liebgott barks. "It's always 2nd platoon. I swear to God, if we were down to three guys they'd still want us for it." By now, Malarkey has turned and left the group; Liebgott follows once his diatribe is finished. Grant can't believe Malarkey must lead the patrol. "Christ, he only lost his five best friends," another guy cracks. "What the fuck's he got to live for?" The fans, friend. He's gonna live for the fans.
Cobb has been lurking this entire time, glaring fiercely at Webster. "Been a long time since your last shower, Professor?" he snarls. This makes Webster uncomfortable, and he walks toward the showers. Malarkey removes his shirt. Hello! Bet the Germans don't have guns like those. We cut inside the shower, where Malarkey stares at the ground while water pounds against the back of his neck. He doesn't move and wears a traumatized expression, as if he's reliving Belgium one more time. Finally, he closes his eyes, tips back his head and lets the water cleanse him of grime and agony.
Webster strolls back toward Hanks. "Guess I don't really need a shower," he says. Conspiratorially, Webster grabs Hanks and plants the idea that Malarkey deserves a break from the front lines; if Hanks offered to replace him on the patrol, the sergeant might be very grateful and pleased. "They want experience," frets Hanks. Webster counters that the other fourteen men have it in spades, and when Malarkey walks past, he nudges Hanks encouragingly. "[Hanks] wanted to experience combat before the war was over," Webster narrates, as he watches Hanks jog toward Malarkey. "Don Malarkey had been on the front lines every day Easy had seen action since D-Day. If it was possible for them to switch places for the patrol, it would be a small moment of justice as welcome as a hot shower and a fresh uniform." Again, things that the scene itself communicated amply. Maybe I'd feel more warmly toward the narration if the actor imbued it with more enthusiasm than, say, an oral report on the history of pulp in orange juice. Webster ominously portends that the decision was not Hanks's and Malarkey's alone.