- Guest Stars: James Purcell (CIA operative- Jim Doyle), Stephen Bogardus, Richard Brestoff (Major Darling), Larry Poindexter, Allen Williams, Ben Rawnsley and Melora Harden (Christine Pierson).
- Story by: Dennis Cooper and Elia Katz
- Directed by: Stephen L Posey
Zeke supervises as several of his men are hauling materials into one of the barracks. They complain to Zeke, good-naturedly, that they don’t understand why they are building classrooms. Anderson explains that it’s to help them re-adjust back to the real world when they go home, but the two young men laugh it off and tease Zeke. They ask if he’s going to take the classes, too.
Christine Pearson emerges and Zeke chases her down, telling her he needs to speak with her. He’s hesitant and unsure when he says he has to talk to her. She realizes immediately what the problem is and asks him if he wants out of her classes. He’s torn and unsure. He explains that he’s reading about different times and places, and then he goes out to the field and there are no other places. Christine asks if he’s feeling distracted and Zeke confirms that, saying that he’s thinking things and feeling things that have nothing to do with the war. And he wonders if he’s being fair to the men who are counting on him to protect them. Christine tells him that he has to decide that for himself. But she knows one thing, that attendance has tripled since he started to come to class. And that is because she feels they respect and admire Zeke. That if Sergeant Zeke Anderson can do it, maybe they can, too. Zeke is a bit embarrassed as she asks him if she can be just a bit selfish and have him stay on a little longer so she can continue to reach these young men. Zeke agrees, still uncomfortable and ducking his head.
At the wire service, Alex is reading a letter from her girlfriend who just recently got married. Her friend goes on about how nice it is, that she wished that Alex had been there. She finishes up saying that Barbados is a wonderful place for a honeymoon and to keep it in mind. There is a wedding photo of her friend with her new husband attached to the letter.
Alex’s boss then comes slamming into the office, breaking across Alex’s thoughts, complaining to her that she left the heart out of her most recent story. He drops the papers on her desk, disgusted. Alex replies that there is plenty of story there about the Army buying $1000 spare tires and getting uniforms with one leg. She feels there is plenty there for an expos� without adding what Colonel Brinker didn’t mean to say to her.
Her boss comes right back at her, telling her that when she gets an interview with a full bird colonel, anything he says to her that he specifically didn’t say was off the record is ON the record. Alex replies, not when the full bird colonel drinks like a fish. She reminds her boss that she’s put her butt on the line plenty of times for a story, but not this time. He takes a cheap shot at her and tells her that ever since she’d started sleeping with that lieutenant, she’d been leaving her objectivity between the sheets.
Alex quietly informs him that he is wrong. That it may come as a shock to him, but the VC have people who can read English, too. And if they were to find out that the new NBQ radar is not working properly, they would be shelling our bases and that was not her idea of her journalistic obligations. Her boss tells her she wrote it her way, now he would write it the right way before he sent it out over the wire. Alex says fine, but a Captain Palmer was on his way over to explain just how seriously the Army considered the matter. And that she supposed she should send Palmer to him instead.
Miffed, he glares at Alex and then snatches the letter off her desk, asking her what she’s been looking at all morning. She gets up, trying to get the letter back, telling him it’s none of his damn business. She explains it was from her friend who had just got married. Her boss takes another crack at her, telling her that from the look on her face, he thought someone had just died. Alex gets her back up a bit and says she resents that and that she was really happy for her friend. Her boss smirks and walks away, telling Alex she could have fooled him.
Back at the barracks, an old friend of Zeke’s approaches, teasing him about standing in the shade while everyone else was sweating in the sun. Delighted, Zeke recognizes his friend, Jim Doyle, a man he used to serve with back at Ladybird but who had gone home. Zeke wants to know why he’s here and Doyle tells him he’s waiting for his classroom to be set up. Zeke wants to know if he’s a teacher now, and Doyle explains not exactly. That things have changed a great deal since the two of them had seen each other last. He flashes a fancy watch at Zeke and tells him that he’s there to show Zeke and his men some alternatives and how to get the good life. Zeke is curious, saying he’s always open for suggestions as you can’t work for Uncle all your life. Doyle tells him it is Uncle, just a different branch. Zeke is suddenly cautious, and asks if it’s the CIA. Doyle tells him it is, and it isn’t. That he works for Air America, and that officially, he works as a mercenary- that’s if they get caught. He explains to Zeke it’s complicated. Zeke says he doesn’t want to know, as long as Doyle is happy. Doyle tells him he is, and that they are looking for guys like Zeke. Before Zeke can reply, Myron appears, calling to him and telling him they have to go and see Major Darling.
The two men bid goodbye and Zeke trots off to catch up to the L-T. Teasing, the two men easy with each other, Zeke asks Myron if Darling is going to give them some medals. Myron smiles and tells him no, that he thinks it has to do with Navy commandos. Zeke is instantly curious, and wants to know if Myron has ever worked with SEALs before. Myron says the only thing he knows about them is that they are supposed to be the Navy’s equivalent of the Special Forces. But they are supposed to be tough. Zeke said he had helped out on one of their missions once. When they weren’t in the field, they were doing a couple hundred push-ups or lugging telephone poles around. Myron asks if they are as tough as they claim and Zeke tells him that only one in five make it through the training.
Zeke explains how they make the men stay in the water on the verge of hypothermia and then drag them onto the beach in front of a huge fire, but just out of reach of the heat. Myron pauses as they are about to step into Darling’s office and then tells Zeke that maybe he’s not tough enough on their guys.
Darling explains that a chopper went down in the river, pointing out the possible locations. And that all on board are dead. Myron asks what’s on the chopper that’s so important. Darling explains it was a Navy courier ship and that there’s an Intelligence packet they need to retrieve. Darling tells them that the man next to him is Lieutenant Ross, a Navy SEAL, and his concern is that packet. And that Goldman’s and Anderson’s job is to guide Ross to that downed ship.
Ross tells Darling he will take over the briefing now. He explains that the area they are going into has been under enemy control for the last six weeks and that a small party has the best chance. Anderson asks, isn’t it unusual for the Army to work with the Navy under these circumstances. Ross tells him, in no uncertain terms, that Goldman and Anderson aren’t working with him, but FOR him. That the only reason they are there is because they know the area. And that HE is in absolute command. Darling steps up and says he couldn’t have said it better, Myron sliding him a dark look.
Alex is trying to type a story, but with little success. Annoyed, she rips the paper from the typewriter, balls it up and tosses it where a man who’s approaching catches it. He gets Alex’s attention and informs her that he is Palmer from the Joint Intelligence Office. She tells him they can talk about it over lunch. But as she gets ready to leave, Palmer starts to tell her that although the Joint Intelligence Office likes to cooperate with the press, they have some concerns. Alex cuts him off and tells him that she is not using the information she got from the colonel. Palmer is a bit startled as she then explains that it’s not because she’s afraid of the Army. If it was something she wanted to use, she would and all the “thumbscrews” in the world wouldn’t change that.
Outside, as the two walk, Palmer asks why she is not writing the story. She explains that she did write the story, about how the Pentagon overpays for unreliable equipment. But the fact that our radar isn’t working was a bit much to give Charlie for the price of a newspaper.
Palmer is clearly relieved and tells her so. And that if more reporters were like Alex, he’d be out of work. The two continue to walk as he explains that his job isn’t all that exciting, that he mostly puts pins in maps. Alex tells him that she feels what Intelligence does is very important and that the men in the field need that to survive. And that she wished a friend of hers would come out of the field and get a job in Intelligence. Palmer tells her he’d like to repay her for not running the story, and tells her about an Embassy party being held the next day. There would be a lot of VIPs and brass and he might be able to steer her to a few stories, to make up for the one she gave up. Alex is instantly intrigued and flattered and tells Palmer she would like to go.
That evening, Anderson and Doyle are at the Base Club, drinking a few beers as Doyle tries to convince Zeke how wonderful it is to work for the Company. No more fighting with your hands behind your back. Zeke agrees, saying that would be something. And tells Doyle it would be nice to keep the real estate they fought for instead of giving it back every night. Doyle wants to know what Zeke’s plans are after his tour finishes and Zeke shakes his head, telling him that keeps changing. That he’d taken Binion’s body back home and saw that things are not what they were when he’d left the States a few years ago. He tells Doyle that what he’s good at is shooting, reloading, shooting and reloading. That he now wonders if he’s even equipped to go back to the States, and what would he do. Doyle feeds into his insecurities, telling Zeke how after three tours he went back to the States and packed boxes for some punk kid with a business degree. Zeke admits that would be very hard to swallow. Doyle assures him he doesn’t have to, tells Zeke that he could be doing very well for the Company. That he makes $5000 a month. Zeke shakes his head, not really sure what to think, but tells Doyle he has to go get some sleep. Doyle tells him that he gave Zeke something to think about, and Zeke agrees with a smile, saying that Doyle always gave him something to think about.
Alex is in Myron’s bed, trying to talk to him as he’s preparing his gear for the mission in the morning. She’s upset and clearly whining. She tells Myron to rethink what he’s doing. Myron is distracted and edgy as he continues to get his gear together. Annoyed, he tells Alex that her girlfriend gets married and now Alex is thinking of rose covered cottages and wants him out of the field. She tells him that it has nothing to do with a rose covered cottage. That she worries every time he goes out in the field. She tells him it’s hard, wondering if he’s going to come back wounded, or come back at all. Myron continues with what he’s doing, barely sparing her a glance as he tells her that it’s what he does, what he was trained do to.
She starts to really push, telling him that it’s awful, but she sometimes wishes he would get hurt so he couldn’t go back out there. Myron gets up from the bed, still gathering things, still organizing. He tells her he understands that this is hard on her, but he has a job to do and he can’t just quit. Alex is relentless and reminds him he also has a relationship. Myron has his back to her as she tells him she doesn’t expect him to give up the Army. He already has more combat time than most officers, she suggests he come out of the field and sit at a desk for a while. Myron says nothing, clearly shutting her out. Alex, hurt, tells him he’s ignoring her.
Myron agrees and tells her that he has a three-man insertion in the morning and that he knows she’s worried, but then so is he. Alex doesn’t understand what he is saying and continues to push. She asks him about Intelligence, would he consider it? That it’s important work and she was in a good position to help him get there. It’s too much and she pushes Myron too far. In a flash of temper, Myron slams the dresser he is standing beside and snaps at Alex that can’t they discuss this another time? He has to leave at first light and the only thing he wants to worry about is the guys who are covering his butt, so could they please just table it for now?
Alex starts to pout but still doesn’t quite give up. She tells him fine, as long as he knows she’s serious. He snipes back that he’s figured that out.
Alex turns away from him, lighting a cigarette as she sulks. She decides to pull out all the stops and whines at him that she can’t do it any more. No more checking in on him every three hours or meeting him at the helipad. She wants a change and she needs a change. Myron finally just says he understands, but Alex snaps back, “No more.”
In the early morning, Zeke and Myron are waiting at the Huey, in gear and with paint smeared on their faces as Ross approaches, dressed in black. Zeke asks, what’s with the black pajamas? Ross tells him it confuses the VC, buys him a few extra seconds. He then produces a syringe and tells Goldman and Anderson what it’s for, the two men just staring at him. He tells them to keep the syringes accessible at all times. If they are about to be captured, they are to inject themselves with it and it will keep them incoherent for 24 hours. That gives Command enough time to change things before the VC can interrogate them. Zeke wants to know what’s in the syringes and Ross tells him it’s mostly morphine. Unless Command deems the information too important, then it’s what they call a “hot shot”, which would kill.
Myron slides a glance at Zeke and tells Ross that’s impressive, but he’ll muddle through without it. Ross hands it to him and Anderson and tells him it’s SOP on all SEAL missions. And this is a SEAL mission. As they get on the chopper, Ross tells them that they radio in every three hours. If they miss a call in, they are to get to the pickup. Myron asks what happens if they miss the pickup. Ross looks back over his shoulder and tells him that’s what the needles are for.
While Goldman, Zeke and Ross, who has the radio, work their way through the jungle, Johnny catches up with Alex back at base. He tells her he had heard that Goldman had caught a tough mission. Alex is surprised, asking how Johnny knows about this? That it was supposed to be “hush-hush.” Johnny tells her all the chopper jocks know about it and Alex gets miffed and starts to walk along saying that she’s sure the Army knows what it’s doing, which is more than she can say for herself.
Johnny just shrugs it off and tells her that she’s just upset because Myron is out with the bad guys, but everything would be okay. He asks if she wants to go to the Rec-hall, as they are showing “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon,” but Alex tells him no, she has other plans. That she was going to an Embassy party. Johnny tells her he had heard about that and that she could always call the Commo Center to check up on Myron and see how he’s doing. Alex tells Johnny no, that she won’t, and leaves. Johnny is a bit stunned.
Out in the jungle, Ross, Goldman and Anderson are slowly making their way along toward the objective when Ross spots a VC. He takes immediate action, killing the man and several others seated nearby before Goldman and Anderson have a chance to realize what happened. After a startled silence, Myron and Zeke get back to their feet and follow Ross into the next clearing. Both men immediately start to check the bodies, Myron looking for papers and anything else that might help. Ross tells him to forget it but Myron replies that they are out in the field every day and if these guys have something on them that will help, he wants it. Ross again tells him to forget it, making it clear he’s in charge.
At Tan Son Nhut, Alex and Christine Pierson are walking together toward Christine’s classroom. Alex explains that she will return the book she borrowed when Christine realizes that chairs are being taken from her classroom into Doyle’s next door. She wants to know what’s going on, and Doyle explains that he’s expecting a large turnout tonight and he hopes she doesn’t mind. She tells him that she doesn’t want her students sitting on the floor just so he can make his pitch to more willing ears. He informs her that he’s trying to steer them to a better future.
Frustrated, she tells him that’s some future- play on their fears and turn them into mercenaries. Doyle takes his shot, asking what she and her colleagues are offering- doily making and poems? He’s not surprised they aren’t lining up for her class. Then he quietly tells the soldiers moving the chairs to put them back in Ms. Pierson’s room. After Doyle walks away, Alex notes sarcastically, what a sweet guy. But Christine tells her that he’s right. That most of these men never even had a job before coming over and when Doyle tells them about the money they could make, he’s got them. And they close themselves off to anything else.
Back in the jungle, Ross decides to string up one of the dead VC from an overhanging branch. Myron walks up, wanting to know what he’s doing and Ross tells him it “keeps them up nights.” And wants Myron to help hold up the body. Myron is a bit horrified and tells Ross that if they do that, they’ll have every Charlie in the neighborhood after them. Coldly, Ross turns to Myron and tells him to hold the body. Resigned, Myron slings his rifle over his shoulder and helps Ross to tie the body up to the tree limb as Zeke arrives.
But as Myron reaches over the limb to finish securing the rope, he yelps in pain and jumps back. Using the butt of his rifle, Zeke immediately knocks down and kills a nasty large black scorpion as Ross looks at Myron’s arm. Ross tells Myron to make his own way back to the LZ, but Myron refuses. Even Zeke agrees, saying the scorpion got Myron pretty good, but Myron tells them he’s going anyway. Ross tells him that if it slows him down, he’ll be left behind.
At the cocktail party, Alex speaks to a two-star general who can’t thank her enough for NOT running the story she got from the drunk colonel. She assures him that it’s okay. General Phelps then tells her that the Chief of Staff was coming over next month and he would make it possible for her to have an exclusive interview as a show of his appreciation for what she did. He is then called away and Alex tells Palmer that everyone is being so nice to her and that she might feel compromised. Palmer assures her that no obligation is implied, it’s just that they’re thankful she didn’t run the story.
Alex decides to ask how hard it would be for someone to get transferred into Intelligence. Palmer tells her it’s difficult to get a branch transfer from another unit, that there’s a lot of paperwork. But if the paperwork were to come from an influential person such as herself, it would certainly help. Alex smiles and assures Palmer that she is NOT influential, but Palmer tells her it doesn’t hurt to have General Phelps in her corner. And that he’ll be in trouble if he doesn’t get her a drink right away. He steers her toward the bar, and as they wait for their drinks, she spots a VIP she’s been trying to interview for months. Palmer offers to get her next to him by taking her out on the dance floor.
On the mission, Myron is struggling with the poison from the scorpion bite. He’s ripped his sleeve off and is tying his arm off above the wound. He pauses and takes a drink, shaking as Ross pushes past him. After another sip, he throws up and Zeke comes up behind him, concerned. He warns Goldman that if he stays still, the poison won’t spread as fast. But Myron is determined to gut it out and tells Zeke he’s all right and to keep going.
They continue through the jungle, following Ross until they finally reach the river and find the downed helicopter. Leaving Myron on the bank with the radio to keep watch, Ross and Anderson wade through the river to get to the downed helicopter. There is a body hanging out and Zeke starts to check it over, but Ross quickly orders him to leave it be. Zeke pushes back, saying they should at least hide the body, that they can’t leave the boy out there. Ross is adamant, ordering Zeke to leave the body before he climbs inside the ruined airframe.
Ross emerges a few moments later with the briefcase. But as he emerges, he’s shot and the briefcase falls into the water. Zeke ducks down for cover. Myron watches as the briefcase starts to float by and then makes the decision to go after it. Leaving his rifle and the radio behind, he lunges out and into the river, diving for the briefcase under fire. Zeke realizes what Goldman has done and immediately stands up, providing cover fire before he turns and runs after Myron, who’s now scrambling for the far bank. Both men get there, still under fire and Myron tells Zeke they need the radio. But Anderson tells him there’s no time and the two make a run for it into the jungle, several NVA right behind them.
They pause in a small clearing, Anderson telling Goldman they need to slow up the NVA. Goldman tells him to set the claymores and waits, holding Zeke’s rifle as he guards the briefcase and watches Anderson set the charges. Once the claymores are set, the two men take off again, moving deeper into the jungle.
But Myron is struggling and he pulls up, out of breath and sick. Zeke asks him if he’s all right just as the claymores explode behind them. Myron tells him no, shaking his head. Zeke says they bought more time and Myron hopes they did as they set off again.
They wade across the water, Myron falling and Zeke hauling him up and dragging him the rest of the way to the bank where Myron collapses, shaking and sick. He tells Anderson that it’s useless and they aren’t going to make the LZ. Zeke says they have plenty of time, but Myron tells him his watch is broken and they have less than two hours. And he’s not going to make it. He tells Zeke to take the briefcase and get to the LZ, send back help. But before he can finish, Anderson shushes him and then disappears back into the jungle, leaving Myron behind for several long moments.
Zeke spots several NVA just on the other side of the river and slips back to Goldman. He tells Goldman there are six NVA right behind them. Myron tells him that he can’t outrun them, so he’ll stay behind and draw their fire so that Zeke can get away. Zeke tells him no, that he’ll stay and that Myron should go ahead. He tells Myron he’ll catch up to him, but don’t wait up. The two pause, Myron telling him good luck, and Zeke smiles and tells him the same before going back to the river bank, leaving Myron behind, armed with his pistol.
Upon reaching the river, Zeke immediately draws the NVAs’ fire and dives for cover. During the firefight, he changes clips. He jumps up, getting ready to return fire and realizes his rifle is jammed. In the meantime, one of the NVA has snuck in behind him. Zeke tries to clear the jammed rifle when he spots the NVA, who has a clear shot at him. But Goldman, who hadn’t left as he was supposed to, kills the NVA, saving Zeke’s life. But now Myron’s drawn fire and ducks back into the jungle. As an NVA races past Anderson to get to Goldman, Zeke tackles him and the two tumble into the water, wrestling. There is a struggle for a knife as Goldman quickly tries to reload. In the end, Zeke manages to get it and kill the NVA. He struggles to his feet, fishing his rifle out of the water and accepts Goldman’s hand to get up the bank. The two take off again, knowing they can’t linger.
At the cocktail party with Palmer, Alex is having a wonderful time as she gets a bit tipsy and dances with Palmer. She tells him that it’s hard to believe a war is going on as she takes a fresh drink and continues to dance and hang on him. He tells her that he’s been trying to figure her out as she giggles and sips her drink and then he kisses her. As the two continue to dance, he spots Major Newton and tells her he’ll be right back.
Alex finds a spot to relax, leaning up against a tree as she watches the dancers and the party. Johnny McKay arrives and informs several other men that “they haven’t broken squelch in three hours,” and Alex overhears him. McKay is clearly worried and she immediately comes over, demanding to know if they’re talking about Myron. McKay hesitates, but Alex again demands to know and Johnny finally tells her that Zeke and Myron had missed their last two check-ins.
Stunned, Alex walks off in a daze. One of McKay’s buddies tells him he’d better go get her as she aimlessly walks past people, bumping into them as she walks away. Palmer finds her, pensive and unhappy as she stands behind a tree. She tells him that she needs to leave now, but he doesn’t want her to go. She tells him that two of her friends who went out that morning had missed their last few radio contacts, but he blows it off with a smile, saying radios go on the fritz all the time and not to worry about it. He starts to drag her back to the dance floor, but she tells him again that she really needs to go. He’s not listening to her, starting to get a bit pushy as she tells him she wants to go. McKay arrives, trying to distract Palmer, telling him that the general wants to see him. Palmer gets aggravated and takes a swing at Johnny, who easily blocks the punch and shoves back. He then grabs Alex’s hand and the two leave the party in a hurry.
Somehow, Anderson and Goldman make it to the LZ where they wait until they see the slick come in over the trees. The two make a run to the clearing, but their luck runs out and they get pinned down between the Huey and the NVA, who’ve finally caught up to them. Anderson tells Goldman to go, that he’ll cover him. Myron hesitates, but Zeke assures him he’ll be right behind him.
Goldman makes it to the Huey. But as he’s turning, yelling that they need to wait for his sergeant, he’s yanked inside and pushed down, the slick taking off immediately and leaving Anderson behind. Anderson looks up in time to realize he’s on his own before turning back to continue firing at the NVA.
On the slick, Goldman is angry and frightened, demanding they go back and get Anderson. He’s told they can’t, it’s orders, but Myron tells them they can’t just leave Anderson behind. When it’s clear they won’t turn back, Myron snatches the briefcase and holds it out, threatening to toss it if they don’t go back and get his sergeant. He’s warned he could be court-martialed, but Myron is adamant- go back and get his sergeant or he would toss out the briefcase.
Zeke is still pinned down, but alive when the Huey returns and lands in the clearing. Tossing a grenade, Zeke scrambles to his feet and runs for the chopper, Goldman yelling encouragement to him. With Anderson now safely aboard, they take off once again.
Now safely back at Tan Son Nhut, Goldman and Anderson are greeted by another man named Barnes. He tells Goldman that he’ll be debriefing them and that he would take the briefcase. Myron tells him, like hell he will, and gives it to Anderson to take to Major Darling personally. He then hands Barnes the needle that Ross had given them just before the mission, and tells him that he can give it back to the Navy SEALs with his compliments.
Without ceremony, Anderson drops the briefcase in the middle of Major Darling’s desk, informing him it’s the courier briefcase off the chopper. Barnes told Darling that they insisted on bringing it to him themselves. Anderson also tells Darling that in regard to what Lieutenant Goldman did during the extraction, they wouldn’t even have the briefcase if Goldman hadn’t jumped up under fire and retrieved the case.
Darling is a bit perplexed and looks at Barnes, asking if anyone had told Goldman and Anderson. Barnes said no, that besides them, only Ross knew. Anderson is confused, and wants to know what they weren’t told. Darling explains that the real documents were on an observation plane shot down more than 30 miles away. But since the helicopter went down at the same time, it made a perfect decoy.
Zeke is agitated, saying they were sent out for nothing? Darling glares at him and tells him they were sent out there on orders. That MI was concerned the enemy was monitoring their activities and they needed the decoy. Ross was supposed to tell them.
Upset, Anderson tells him that Ross is dead and that Darling is their commanding officer, why didn’t he tell them. Darling has no sympathy and tells Anderson that Ross was in charge of the mission. And warns Anderson to watch his tone, that he has orders just like Anderson does. Zeke wants to know about the unwritten order that says you’re always supposed to take care of your own people? Darling tells him they did a good job, and not to make it difficult for him to recognize that fact. And suggests Anderson get out and cool off.
Meanwhile, McKay is helping Alex to sober up. She tells him she feels like a fool. McKay tells her not to worry about it, that he understands it’s no picnic to wait for Myron to come home from the field all the time. Alex asks if Johnny will get in trouble for hitting a captain, but Johnny brushes it off and says not to worry about it. She thanks Johnny for being there, and that if Palmer gives him any trouble, to let her know.
At the Dispensary, Myron tells Zeke that Major Darling is not his favorite person, either. But if the Army wants them to risk their butts to get a briefcase with nothing in it, that’s their job. And that they should be happy doing it. Zeke is not happy, though, and tells Myron as much. Myron then tells him that he was glad that Anderson was out there with him, that he wouldn’t have wanted anyone else. Anderson tells him he appreciates the compliment, but that he feels he’s maybe been out there too long- that maybe he’s losing his edge.
Goldman tells him he hadn’t noticed that. Anderson tells him he does what he’s trained to do- to get in, get out and kill a lot of people.
Goldman adds, “And save soldiers’ lives.” That he’d been trained to do that, too, and that he was damned good at it. That Myron wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for Anderson. Zeke asks Goldman if he ever wonders what good all this training was going to do them when they got back to the Real World. Myron assures Zeke that he’s gonna find something, and that he’ll be first-rate at it.
Alex arrives and Zeke stands up to leave. But before he goes, Myron tells him once again that Zeke would find something. Alex sits on the edge of the bed, asking how Myron is doing. He kisses her, telling her it’s just a bug bite and he’ll be fine. She’s not quite looking at him, though. She tells him that’s good, but she’s upset and Myron can see it. He asks her what’s wrong and she hedges, saying it could wait and it wasn’t the place. But Myron gently coaxes her, wanting to know what has her so upset.
She finally tells him that she picked the wrong mission to stop caring about him. Myron is a bit startled, saying that she thinks he doesn’t hear her. She tells him it’s not his fault- that she’s asking for something he couldn’t give her. He isn’t going to give up combat and she is foolish to ever think he would. Myron tries to assure her that it’s not true, that he’ll get a cush gig. But not just yet, that he needs to finish out his tour first. Alex isn’t sure he’ll survive it.
Myron tries to explain to her that when he’d first got there, he was afraid like everyone else. And that he didn’t know if he should be out in the field. But he feels he’s gotten pretty good at it and that sometimes that helps to save his men’s lives. It’s important to him. However, Alex can’t understand. She tells him she’s glad it’s important to him and that she hopes he doesn’t get his head shot off doing it. For his sake, because she can’t do it anymore, can’t be there anymore for him. She starts to cry and Myron tries to talk to her, but she tells him she just can’t do it. That every time he goes out there, she feels her whole world could come apart and it’s tearing her up inside. And she can’t live like that. She doesn’t blame him- she understands how he feels about his job, she feels the same way about hers. But she can’t do it any more. She won’t do it anymore.
Sadly, she tells him she’s glad he’s okay. Still teary, she kisses him and leaves, not looking back.
When Anderson shows up that evening for class, Doyle excitedly pulls him aside. He tells Zeke he heard he was dynamite out there and that his people have their eye on Anderson. That he’s a hot commodity. Then Doyle brings Zeke over to the door, starting to lead him into his classroom filled with soldiers. Doyle is proud and tells Zeke he’s saved him a seat right up front. But Zeke tells him he’s there for the English class across the hall.
Doyle is not impressed, teasing him about the book he’s reading and asking what this is supposed to do, help him back in the World? Zeke says he doesn’t know, but he’s getting college credit for it. He then asks Doyle what he’s gonna do when there is no more war. Doyle quickly says there will always be war, and that there will always be a need for people like them. Zeke says he remembers reading about men pounding their swords into plowshares and that there would be no more war. That it’s something for Doyle to think about. Zeke starts to walk away from Doyle who tells him it’s never gonna happen. There will always be people killing people. His final words make Zeke pause- “You’re a warrior, Zeke, that’s your life.”
Zeke doesn’t look back as he finally walks away.
Worth another look:
Anderson and Goldman finally make it to the LZ for their pickup. But when they start to run for the slick, they are ambushed by the NVA, pinning both men down before they can get to the Huey. Anderson tells Goldman to go, that he’ll cover him. Goldman is reluctant, but Anderson assures him he’ll be right behind. But when Myron gets to the Huey, he’s yanked inside despite his protests to wait for his sergeant. The slick immediately gets in the air, leaving Anderson behind against impossible odds. While on the way back to the base, Goldman is furious, demanding they go back for Anderson. He’s told they can’t, that is their orders. Desperate, Myron grabs the briefcase and threatens to toss it out if they don’t go back immediately and get his sergeant. With their hand forced, the crew returns to the LZ to find Anderson still there alive. After tossing a grenade at the advancing NVA, Zeke makes a run for the slick, Goldman shouting encouragement to him.
- Mercy, Mercy, Mercy – The Buckinghams. When Zeke and Doyle are talking in the bar the night before Zeke and Myron go out on the mission.
- Run Through the Jungle – Creedence Clearwater Revival. During the chopper ride out on the SEAL mission and continuing through the rest of the scene as Ross, Goldman and Anderson move through the jungle.
- Theme from “A Summer Place” – Percy Faith and his Orchestra. At the embassy party as Alex talks to General Phelps.
- Our Day Will Come – Ruby and the Romantics. As Alex dances with Captain Palmer and when she finds out from Johnny that Goldman and Anderson have missed two radio check ins.