Band of Brothers
Why We Fight

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Heathen: B+ | 4 USERS: A+
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Why We Fight

Outside, Nixon delivers a current-events briefing to some assembled Easy Company men. He talks about a charity drive in the U.S. to help aid European families who've been displaced because of the chaos, reading a plea for soldiers to write home and encourage their own families to be generous. Very sneaky. Nixon scans the list. "I'm sure you'll be happy to know Oklahoma! is still playing on Broadway," he notes wryly. Luz jovially gets the guys to sing one of the show's songs, then cuts everyone off so that the young replacement, O'Keefe, sings the last line alone -- and hits a high note. "O'Keefe, you sitting on your bayonet, there?" they tease. Aw, O'Keefe looks primed to drop through the Earth. He tries to be a good sport, but he'd clearly rather romance his bayonet than repeat this experience. Nixon blahs about Rita Hayworth getting married, then finds an item about news that German resistance in the Ruhr is crumbling. "The boys in the 17th Airborne did okay after all," Nixon muses. Luz pshaws this. "We'd be in Berlin right now, sir, if it was us instead of them," he blusters.

Later, O'Keefe and Perconte stroll from town to the observation post, the former impatiently wondering when they'll jump into Berlin so that he can see some real action. That does strike me as slightly insensitive, given that O'Keefe is talking to a guy that endured some of the most hellish action of all -- and I'm not talking about sex with Marilyn Manson. "What, you in a rush?" snaps Perconte. "Wanna go home and get a Congressional Medal of Honor, or something?" O'Keefe looks startled. "No, just thought I'd ask," he mutters. Perconte snipes that O'Keefe should probably stop thinking. "Damn replacements," he growls, speeding up to walk ahead of O'Keefe.

Garcia and Hashey are psyched that Perconte and O'Keefe are relieving them. Besides some light artillery fire from the German side at dawn, there isn't much happening at the OP. Hashey tosses Perconte a book to read. "Any sex in it?" he asks, interestedly. Um, no. As he curls up with it, we see the title, and it's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. And unless two trees mate in graphic detail to produce the scrappy little titular sapling, I'm pretty sure Perconte won't be getting off on the novel. O'Keefe clumsily moves around and bumps into anything metal, totally uncoordinated and making a ruckus. This irritates Perconte who himself has never made nor caused a ruckus of any sort. "O'Brien, relax, would ya?" he groans. O'Keefe quietly corrects him on the name. "Patrick O'Keefe," he says. "My friends call me Paddy." And Perconte will henceforth call you O'Deadmeat. Perconte picks up the book again, but gets distracted anew by O'Keefe's attempts to load the machine gun, and his amusing insistence on peering through the sights in anticipation of heavy combat. He begins to whistle "She'll be Coming 'Round the Mountain," which irritates Perconte further and certainly doesn't help take his mind off sex. "O'Brien, shut up!" Perconte barks. "I told you, it's O'Keefe," snaps the young private. Perconte loses it, bitching that no one knows his name because no one cares enough to remember it -- too many O'Replacements show up anxious for action, eager to prove themselves and begging for fights without understanding how grueling and gruesome war really is. They replace Toccoa men -- original Easy Company members -- who died because they were forced to compensate for ill-prepared rookies, Perconte insists. "Two days later, there they are, blood and guts hanging out, screaming for a medic," he sneers. O'Keefe wants to cry, I think. "Do you understand that this is the best part of fucking war I've seen?" Perconte rages, explaining that hot food, showers, a bed, and toilet paper constitutes luxury that borders on overindulgence. He yells at O'Keefe to quit blathering about war action. O'Keefe hangs his head, smarting like a kicked puppy. Didn't we tread this ground in episode four? And didn't we get it then? Didn't The Point try to buy me a drink and cop a feel? Perconte, overcome with guilt at his outburst, positions himself next to O'Keefe and shares another hard-luck story, but in a more genial tone. "It's been two years since I seen home [sic]," he says quietly. "Two years. This fuckin' war."

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Band of Brothers

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