So, everybody lived through last week's assault and now they're back to freaking out constantly about getting back into the action. Bravo keeps going, but they get stuck at a roadside watching as the ROE degrades further and further. An RCT unit, operating off randomly bad intel, starts blowing up a small hamlet, and totally ignore Iceman and Nate's explanations in favor of wholesale slaughter.
Then the Company heads to Ar Rifa, where Encino Man awesomely surpasses last week's Bones-level dumbness by a factor of ten when he calls in an artillery strike on top of his own men in order to stop an imaginary team of bad guys. Fick gets physical, a little bit, trying to stop him from calling it in, but lets it slide once he realizes that Encino Man's too dumb to even order it right. So on the one hand, Fick's insubordination is now a matter of record, which is bad, but Encino Man failed in blowing up the entire Company, which is good.
Also acting wonderfully freaky is Captain America, who is now looting the bodies of everybody he kills for souvenirs and is still busily imagining all kinds of crazy nonexistent shit. Godfather once again ignores sensible strategy and pushes his men to attack an abandoned Republican Army airstrip, in order to kiss General Mattis's ass some more. They easily take the field, but the casualties include a camel and a little boy, whose mother brings him to Doc Bryan for care. Unable to get the Battalion to allow him to evacuate the kid, with the clock ticking, Doc Bryan decides to tend his wounds outside Ferrando's tent, thinking that maybe watching a child die will snap him out of his weird bureaucratic grooming standard fantasy. The answer is no, but he acquits himself well as far as the logistics of why the kid needs to die.
Brad is embarrassed enough that he very nearly apologizes to Evan for even being in the service, and runs off to cry about how stupid and frustrating it is dealing with his superiors, who are becoming more horrible each day that passes. This episode is like if you put the book in a juicer and squeezed out everything that can and should piss you off about the war and about people and made it into a delicious anger smoothie. Sometimes there's just no good to be had.
Everybody's running around getting ready for the next thing even though they don't know what the next thing is going to be. The sunrise or sunset in the opening crane shot is lovely. The visual language of this show is so evocative, because you can't exactly go directly to the jittery Black Hawk Down place, but you can't really do like a romance with it either, so they just mix it up in the coolest way, like the whole sunset speech from Godfather last week: totally inspiring in the eyeballs, fake inspiring in the earholes, and then a kind of dread.
Everybody calls everything a donkey dick like a billion times and Dirty Earl can be heard claiming that he can fix "anything from a screen door to a broken heart." That's poetic. Especially because they don't have screen doors here. They barely have door doors here. Brad's harassing Trombley about his biology, once again: "Trombley, did you eat? You hydrated? Defecated?" Trombley has not yet defecated. As Casey Kasem oilslicks his disgusting slugtrail self toward them, Ray bitches about something breaking. Brad begs Trombley to shit before they get on the road.
"Outstanding job yesterday, gentlemen," smarms Casey Kasem. Brad's like, "Can I help you? To suck my cock?" Casey Kasem gets that look they get when they think they're being lofty and kinglike, aka the worst fucking thing you ever wanted to smash into a billion places, and wheezes, "Sergeant, yesterday we had a trial by fire. I want you to know, Brad, that I'm here for you and your men. Are there any combat stress reactions anyone needs to talk about? Remember, I'm the certified combat stress instructor." Meanwhile, ironically enough, Walt's freaking out over his broken gun, giving Brad the usual entrée to point out to Casey Kasem that he is a rancid blumpkin of a person.
"No, we're good, Gunny. But we would be a lot better if you were getting us the gun lube and batteries we need. That might do it for my combat stress." Just the slightest Iceman tone in there where you couldn't actually accuse him of being an asshole -- after all, it's true, I mean, he's saying the sky's blue, basically -- but this being their eighty-fifth conversation about Casey Kasem's fucking inability to do the one thing he's tasked with, it's kind of implied. Walt's like, "My combat stress too. Ass." Casey Kasem runs off without even saying anything, because what do you say? "Yep, there it is. The eighty-fifth time did the trick. I have finally realized what a skidmark I am. Here are your batteries. And some chocolate." He passes by Whisky Tango Chaffin, and they engage in asshole chat.