Sunday, January 01, 2017

Foyle's War 5.1 - Plan of Attack

Plot: In this episode, Foyle teaches us about how you can bits of glass from bombed out windows as an attractive lure for fish. It's an hour and a half of him searching for pieces, scraping them into desired shapes, and gluing them to bits of stuffing from an old pillow he hasn't bothered to patch.

It's April of '44, so Foyle's been retired for over a year. He's keeping somewhat busy dictating his memoirs of the work of the Hastings police during the war, though as Sam points out, he isn't there for the end. Which is too bad, because in his absence, the department is falling apart. His replacement, D.C.S. Meredith, is just going through the motions. Milner is doing his best to carry on, but even he's getting ready to transfer. In the meantime, he's busy with a Mr. Burton, who has been paying people in several branches of the service to authorize deliveries by his lorries, deliveries that were not made. The next thing you know, someone tries to run Milner over as he leaves the pub one night.

Over at Beverly Lodge, there's a lot going it. It's one of the places where aerial photographs of Germany are used to make maps for bombing missions. Henry Scott is in a moral crisis over his part in the deaths of thousands of Germans. His pastor, a Father Keppler, tries to argue for the necessity of it to end the war, but Henry's turmoil is not eased. Jane is worried about Henry, and fending off the snide advances of Adam Everitt. Everitt is terrible at his job, but carries himself with the air of someone with inexplicable job security, which Henry knows has something to do with Adam's Uncle Bill, and Wing Commander Foster, who runs Beverly Lodge. And there's the newest addition, Waterlow, who seems to always be snooping around.

It isn't long before Henry turns up dead, seemingly having lynched himself in the woods, after getting in a state over something he saw, or didn't see, in an aerial photo of Stuttgart. Milner immediately recognizes it's meant to look like suicide, but wasn't. Milner has hardly begun asking questions before Meredith is shot as they leave the station one night. Mr. Burton denies any knowledge, but whether he's guilty or not, this is a situation dire enough for Assistant Commissioner Parkins to come groveling before Foyle, asking him to step back in at least long enough to find Meredith's killer. Well, it gave Foyle an excuse to not attend any more of those ecumenical conferences with Sam's Uncle Aubrey.

Quote of the Episode: Foyle - 'God is not on your side. Are you surprised?'

Does Foyle go fishing? No.

Things Sam can do: Work in a cartographic library. Break the Official Secrets Act without blinking an eye. Write in shorthand. However, she can't read her own shorthand, and she's a lousy typist.

Other: I almost went with a line Henry delivered to Jane early on for Quote of the Episode, but Foyle's line reminds me of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, and that is always going to be a tiebreaker.

No sign of Lydia or Jimmy. I guess she'd gotten to a better situation over the past year, with Jimmy out of his state of shock.

Sam overhears Adam and Jane talking at one point, but isn't discreet enough and is noticed. That evening, as she's leaving, Adam tries intimidating her into not mentioning what she heard. What's great is Sam isn't intimidated in the slightest. She's more confused, trying to figure out why this guy is making vague threats to her over what she heard. And then she tells him she'd forgotten it, but if it means so much he felt the need to try this, she's going to tell everyone she can, and rides off. I continue to to love Sam's ability to take zero crap from stupid guys.

Uncle Aubrey is back for the first time since episode 3.1, "The French Drop". He's hear because a Bishop Wood is trying to convince the members of the Church to call for an end to the idea of "unconditional surrender", and instead work on a negotiated peace. Aubrey was in agreement with him, but after speaking with Mr. Meredith's widow, he changed his mind. Not that he decided they need to kill all Germans, rather her (understandable) hatred for the Germans convinced him that trying to push people to forgive was the wrong move.

I appreciated how Parkins, when he tells Foyle about Meredith, mentions that Milner is OK. I doubt Parkins cares (although he acknowledges Milner is more than capable), but he knows Foyle would care. Of course, he's trying to sell Foyle on returning to the force, so he's got to butter him up like a Sunday biscuit, to borrow from Sherman Potter. I was surprised Parkins described the murder of a senior police officer as unprecedented. While I understand England is not the shooting gallery the United States is, I would have figured for sure that some high-ranking officers of the law would have been killed previously. From that I can only conclude they were all corrupt and so there was no need for the criminal element to kill them. I'm joking, I'm joking.

Bishop Wood decrying the loss of 'German cultural centers', reminded me unpleasantly of the U.S. trying really hard not to bomb any famous pieces of Italian architecture, while not worrying much about bombing Italian citizens. Gotta protect those paintings!

With Sam, Milner, and Foyle scattered about for most of the episode, Sergeant Brooke gets somewhat more screentime. He has to play sort of the Watson to Milner's Holmes, and once Foyle comes back, his Sam, both in that he's Foyle's driver and he's the one who speaks out of turn at times. And beyond that, he's the one who's been there previously and can opine on the declining state of things at the station. Milner could, but is largely too hidebound. So Brooke plays a proxy for the audience, who want their core three characters back together, livening up the place and solving crimes.

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