Half of everybody calls bullshit on the idiots that brought them into the 15 douchebag things that just happened, including Encino Man (Fatality! courtesy, duh, Doc Bryan) and Captain America (whoever is within smacking distance). And I mean everybody, it's like this sexy orgy of insubordination. People you might not expect to see in this episode, much less taking part in the aforementioned orgy, spend the whole night being understandably freaked out and doctrinaire (Fick) or just straight-up lurking-under-a-truck freaked out (Brad) for the duration.
Let me tell you that the change in director is not that noticeable, but no amount of shirtless and/or pantsless Alexander Skarsgård -- while fucking awesome -- is equal to being without Iceman and Fick for even half an episode. Ray's genius and occasional acting are not enough.
Godfather is the totally grossest because he gives this fifty-year speech about how that H&S truck from last week had our "colors" on it, and that's the real screwby here. Um, that motherfucking truck also carried ammo like a bitch, not to mention everybody's FOOD. So yeah, it's so sad that we lost our flag. Everybody's like, "Well, without a flag, who do we know who we're fighting for?" You tell me. I would just like a food.
Ray goes buckwild on the Chaplain, and it is awesome. Evan is amazed but like, how can you be as smart as Brad and believe in God? Some faceless dude is like, "I still manage," but he really needs to read a BSG or Doctor Who recap before he decides for sure, because on that field either you believe or you don't. Existentialism is kind of gay. Speaking of gayness, Ray continues to be delightful.
Then we get to a thing that I was desperately hoping would take one episode at most, because it was so fucking fucked up in the book that it seemed to take half the pages. Basically, Alpha (Patterson, who we love, plus a bunch of dicks) are supposed to get this captured Marine out of Ah Shatra, while juggling CIA fuckers that look like aborted fetuses with clipboards trying to get all up in one's shit. And we're not even there, but, Jesus, I hate this part. I hate that it takes more than one episode to get there, is how much. I really wanted to do this in half an hour, not 90 miles over two episodes and about a hundred dead little kids. That's not war to me. I don't even know how to be all... whatever.
Okay, this is what this episode is like: Guy jumps out of a taxi all breathless and runs into the hospital. Attending ER doc says, "Right this way!" and they go up to the fourth floor, OB. And he waits for an hour, and finally one of the nurses says, "You can go right in, it's number four." So dude walks into room 4, and the bed's all freshly made, nothing on the nightstand, nobody in the room. Totally empty, with that smell. And he turns around and the doctor and three nurses are standing there, smiling. And he says, you know, "What the fuck is going on here?" And all the doctors and nurses pull off their masks, and they start laughing. And the main doctor says, "Your wife is dead! And your baby's a spastic!" And no matter how much he weeps, they keep laughing.
And we're barely halfway to the punchline. America is broken like a fucking shot to the head, bro. Fucking see you next week.
Everybody's still encamped at the airfield, waiting for the next thing. It is super tense because of all the insubordinate nonsense that went on last week, plus Trombley going nuts on those camels and children, and the fact that they're starving because Godfather decided that the Iraqis should blow up their food because he was in a hurry to conquer an abandoned airfield so that General Mattis would finally ask for his hand in gay marriage. Doc Bryan comes hopping down a hill while some Marines are making a guy recite lines from movies: Platoon, The Big Lebowski. Brad's on his back under a Humvee, pounding away at the grime on her undercarriage, hiding from everybody because he's freaking out about the consequences of Trombley's action. He's in his grave. Rudy comes to visit him under there and compliments him on working his deltoids. When he doesn't answer, Rudy crawls in beside him just to keep him company. "Brother, you need a friend?"
Rudy's not the only one who noticed how Iceman's gone glacial. Espera complains to the other team leaders. "It's jacked, Dog. We got the Iceman seriously tweaking out on us. The best fucking team leader in the Battalion, no offense..." Pappy nods, because Brad rules. "And we're losing him because some white boy accidentally on purpose tries to waste a hajji. Back in Nasiriyah, we seen Generals drop mad arty rounds on an unarmed civilian city. Must've killed thousands. And what about all those little smoking, burnt-up little hajji kids on the MSRs all hit by legit, called-in, officer-approved air strikes? Shit, we had a Battalion of doctors try to light our asses up. So fucking what? It's war, Dog." There's a whole theme running through the episode about cognitive dissonance, like, yes it's bad we killed a kid or two, but also, the ROE cleared it. "Back in Afghanistan, I thought y'all were the shit." Pappy and Kocher watch him talk. "Blowing up Taliban forts, taking out air batteries... All I heard about was his reputation, back in Afghanistan. I finally get on his team and he goes all weak titty on me?"
Trombley comes lugging water down to Manimal and Garza. "I brought some water if you want me to fill up your camelbaks. Figure I'd save you a trip over to H&S..." They ignore him and keep working. Ray's tone is heavy: "Yeah. No thanks, James." Trombley moves on. "Fucknuts thinks he can buy his way out of shooting those kid by getting us a drink of water," Manimal grunts, and Ray grins. "Yeah. I tell ya, Jacks, it's this new generation. In the opinion of this Marine, it's all that damn gangster rap and those video games that are desensitizing today's youth to violence." Manimal doesn't know the name of the movie he's in. He just looks at Ray, like I imagine he often does, and pretends to know what he means. "Yeah."