Sunday, October 02, 2016

Foyle's War 1.4 - Eagle Day

Plot: During an air raid, the home of one Joyce Davies is destroyed, with her husband Graham inside. Curiously though, Graham was already dead when it happened, because he'd been stabbed. And while it's quickly clear Joyce has been having an affair, this provides her a solid alibi. Plus, a member of the local Home Guard recalls a man approaching him on the street that night and asking for Graham's house. Perhaps the necklace the victim has clenched in his hand is the key, or maybe it was Graham's job transporting priceless pieces of art from a collection into a safe spot in the countryside. His employer, Austin Carmichael, doesn't think so, but since when can you trust a dead man's boss? And what does the elderly couple in the nearby village have to do with it all?

On a happier note, Andrew is home from training, and he's been posted to a base nearby. He's going to help discover the gaps in Britain radar net by doing low-level and night flying exercises, and he'll get to live at home while doing so. Once Andrew learns what he'll be doing (and that he gets to fly a Spitfire to do it), he's quite excited, but he quickly notices a curious air around the base. While he and one of the radar operators, Anne Roberts, hit it off immediately, Anne keeps tiptoeing around something that happened concerning another of the operators there, a Lucy.

But Andrew has problems of his own, and I'm not talking about the poor first impression he made on Sam. The friend who gave him a lift home, Bruce Leighton-Morris is being investigated by Special Branch, which means Andrew's being investigated. His C.O., Keller, and the commander of the base, Alastair Graeme, are not too pleased once they realize Andrew's dad is a Detective Chief Superintendent, and one with a reputation no less. And that's going to make it hard for even Foyle to protect him.

And on top of all that, Sam's father the vicar has come to town to try and convince, nay, order, Sam to come home. Listen old man, I promised the courts I wouldn't punch a holy man again, but you're testing me.

Quote of the Episode: Foyle - 'Why have you brought us to shelter in a fuel dump, Andrew?'

Does Foyle go fishing? Nope. There is no time for recreational activities this week.

Things Sam can't do: Flirt convincingly, apparently. She tries chatting up Graeme, and gets swiftly figured out, and he even gropes her as a final insult.

Other: I really wanted to use Sam's line to Andrew when he immediately tries charming her: 'I see you don't hold back. You've obviously been well-trained by the RAF.' Her continued unwillingness to take crap from guys who think they're smooth is a real joy. And it puts on Andrew on his heels and on the defensive right off the bat. One thing that becomes clear in this issue is Andrew doesn't think when it comes to women, not beyond his next one-liner at any rate. It turns, "there was this girl. . ." is the default explanation for anything Andrew does that's off questionable intelligence. Certainly he lacks his father's ability to be discreet, to rebuke someone without directly saying it. Although he uses "Wizard!" as a one-word phrase to describe how quickly the Spitfire climbs (as in, you gain altitude like magic), and I thought that was a pretty nifty phrase.

Anyway, the quote. I was planning to use that one, but I couldn't pass up that Foyle quote from the end of the episode. The context makes it so it tickles me too much.

This is Sam's first attempt at trying to go undercover to help Foyle, but it definitely won't be the last. Unfortunately, most of them don't go much better than this one, although they tend to involve less sexual harassment and more threats against her life. Throughout the series, I keep wondering why Foyle doesn't take a little time to coach Sam, since he keeps letting her help like this.

Still, it's a disheartening scene, and not just because Graeme so easily sees through her act and humiliates her. It's Sam's last-ditch shot to do something "important", something to prove to her father that her work here has worth. The old man doesn't think driving a police officer around is all that important, although he then contradicts that by commenting on the fact she's getting mixed up in all these murders. Solving murders isn't important? But of course he doesn't feel she's performing a vital role, never mind that a) Foyle doesn't drive, and b) Milner can't drive yet, and c) there's such a shortage of drivers, which is what necessitated Sam being transferred from the MTC in the first place.

But of course the whole thing is just an excuse to drag her back under his control because he's worried she'll develop "loose morals" and start sleeping around or something. And her mother isn't well, and he needs help caring for her. Well shit vicar, isn't that what your "flock" is for? Aren't you supposed to be inspiring your community to feats of compassion and charity, like helping an older man care for his sickly wife? Really slacking off there, old man.

The guy keeping an eye on Bruce and Andrew is Henderson, Special Branch, and even just from the way he says "Special Branch", you can tell he's smug shit. Just expects people to fall down and be bulldozed by him and his stupid badge. Blech. I was very happy that when he asked Andrew to get in the car, Andrew refused and at least forced Henderson to put him under arrest. Which Henderson was only to willing to do, but at least make him do it openly, don't let him pretend to be friendly when he's really a douche.

Graeme is played by Roger Allam, who I recognized as Royalton from the Wachowskis' Speed Racer film. He's been in lots of other things, he even played Walt Disney in RKO 281, the HBO film about Orson Welles trying to get Citizen Kane made my dad enjoys so much, but that's what I recognized him from right off.

When Andrew takes Anne out for a picnic - wasting no time - he brings along ginger beer. That's a thing? It sounds vile, although I am admittedly not much of a fan of ginger, and even less so of beer. And I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. Alex is a big fan of that cinnamon whiskey stuff, so why not ginger beer.

Early in the episode, Andrew and his father have a brief conversation about Foyle's service in the First World War, which is something I was curious about after last week's episode, when Raymond Brooks went on at length about his experiences as Passchendaele. So Foyle volunteered, went in as a private, and came out as what he says was called 'a temporary officer and gentleman'. Andrew asks if he killed people, and it's about then Sam knocks on the door. Foyle, not one to keep people waiting, ignores it to mull over his answer, then responds. I wonder if he was reluctantly pulling those memories back up, or if thinking about it was making him face the possibilities of losing Andrew more bluntly than he allowed himself normally. But I like how they did it, because my first thought was Foyle was going to use Sam's arrival to dodge the question, but he doesn't. He thinks it's important to give Andrew something.

On a somewhat different note, we learn in this episode Mrs. Foyle has been dead for 8 years, and even Andrew thinks his father should perhaps start looking for someone else. Foyle doesn't seem terribly interested, and in fact, pointedly changes the subject back to finding out what Andrew is allowed to tell him about his work (not a lot).

1 comment:

Kelvin Green said...

Ginger beer is beer in the same way root beer is beer. It's not quite the same as ginger ale, either.

If you don't like ginger, I suppose it doesn't matter what it is!