Sunday, November 13, 2016

Foyle's War 3.2 - Enemy Fire

Plot: Sir Michael is being evicted from his manor, so it can be converted into a hospital for injured pilots. He's moving into one of the cottages on the estate and seems lost. So lost, his housekeeper Mrs. Roecastle fears he may take his own life. The doctor running the hospital, mr. jamieson, has his own problems, with Group Captain Smythe, a stuffy RAF officer, inspecting the set-up to decide whether its viable or not. He's certainly not in favor of there being beer in the wards, or the patients not being in dress uniforms. And Jamieson's assistant, Dr. Wrenn, seems to be having problems at home, as his wife is having an affair with Gordon Drake, a mechanic at the airfield Andrew flies from. Not a good mechanic mind you, he's a lazy, thieving, wife-beating, blackmailing, adulterous sack of crap who won't fix the canopy latch on Andrew's Spitfire. Which leads to Andrew chewing Gordon out on the tarmac. Which leads to Andrew being ordered to take a couple of days off by his commander. Which also leads to Andrew being passed over for a dangerous night mission, which is passed on to his wingman Greville Woods, who has to use Andrew's plane because his isn't ready.

Greville crashes on the way back in, can't get out of the cockpit (because the latch still doesn't work), and is burned all over his hands and face.

Foyle was already investigating the manor house because of some repeated acts of minor sabotage (and one close call when someone almost levered a gargoyle off the roof onto Group Captain Smythe's head), and now he's got a murder to deal with. Because Gordon Drake, who lives with his wife in a cottage on the grounds, is found dead on his front lawn, drowned. No lack of suspects this time. As an additional problem, Andrew goes AWOL after Gordon's murder, and Sam is stuck trying to help him through his increasingly desperate emotional and mental trauma.

Quote of the Episode: Foyle - 'Well, it seems half of Hastings had decided to do away with him at more or less the same time. You just happened to get there first.'

Does Foyle Go Fishing: Yes, but is dumping several pounds of morphine in the river the British version of chucking hand grenades or dynamite? Equally effective, but quieter?

Things Sam can do: Pull a vanishing act straight outta Batman's playbook.

Other: I laughed pretty hard when Sam used Foyle being distracted momentarily to disappear like that. She had mentioned she knew about Gordon, but said it was because she knew Greville and his girlfriend, Anne. Foyle had begun questioning her about whether she saw Andrew, and Sam decided it was time to get the hell out of Dodge.

I can't quite decide when he figured out she and Andrew were seeing each other. By the time he's heard from Wing Commander Turner that Andrew's missing, he seems to know, based on the look he gives Sam. He'd seen Sam dressed up for a night out early, and he noticed Andrew with lipstick on his cheek that evening. So maybe asking Sam about her social circle was a polite way of trying to get her to fess up.

Dr. Wrenn is the one who operated on Milner, and the one who encouraged him to take the job as Foyle's sergeant. That's good. Unfortunately, Wrenn decides to repeatedly try to use that as a lever, either to get Milner to investigate the sabotage, or when he gets indignant that Milner would question him as a suspect in Gordon's murder. Which is a shitty, if predictable response.

There's a whole thing about Wrenn's wife feeling neglected by him, but Wrenn being really intense about how important she is to him. I don't know if it ties into what Milner told Anne when he questioned her about Gordon's death and she admitted she didn't want to see Greville all burned up. Milner explained his situation, and insisted to her that Greville was still the same man as before, but not if she left him. Did Mrs. Wrenn think her husband had changed, when that wasn't the case? Or maybe it's the closest we'll get to an explanation for Jane Milner leaving. She thought Paul wasn't the same minus his leg. Which means he isn't the same since she left.

Or maybe Wrenn ties into the whole theme of people not understanding the strain the soldiers are operating under. That ties into Sir Michael's past, decisions he made which gave Gordon leverage over him. Obviously it ties into Andrew, who by the end of the episode has been transferred to a training unit to teach new young pilots. His commander, at least, recognizes the strain he's under, and rather than punish him for "lack of moral fiber", he gives him the maximum amount of time he can to get back to the airfield, then transfers him to a position where he can still be useful, but not be in frontline combat. And that comes up again with Jamieson and Smythe, where Smythe seems very of the old-school, criticizing a pilot for not sitting at attention (what the hell does that even mean? Sitting at attention), wanting to know why the patients aren't in dress pajamas. But when it's all said and done, when Jamieson explains his reasons, like that the dress pjs made the patients feel like prisoners, and had buttons some patients found impossible to manage, Smythe listens and accepts.

When we first see Foyle, he's visiting his wife's grave, and waiting for Andrew, who doesn't appear since he was on a mission. Foyle mentions to Sam that is wife has been gone 9 years now, which jibes with what we've heard previously. But definitely doesn't line up with Andrew telling Sam he was 8 when she passed. He'd have to be at least 13.

I did find it strange when they keep describing the acts of sabotage around the hospital as pranks. Some of it, sure, but someone putting disinfectant in milk doesn't sound like a prank. Seems like that would be something to avoid ingesting.

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