Once upon a time during the second world war in North
Africa there was a sweet brave pretty French girl.
[SC: Oh boy, a fairy tale!]
The episode opens with Felicia and her Papa at a small
church cemetery with flowers for dearly departed Mama. Papa is
worried about his work and his daughter.
[SC: At least Mama's been
spared the German occupation and Papa's occupation. He's a
hangman. Now, if only Papa could get work in town. But there probably
isn't much call for his skills there. What could Felicia imagine that
her father does for a living? Whatever it is that Papa tells her, it
isn't that he is the hangman at the German camp.]
[SC: Keep an eye on the
passage of time in this episode. It
goes out of skew.].
Felicia declines the invitation from her father and
fortuitously Papa hurries off, leaving a feverish-looking Felicia to
do whatever it is she has to do that day. In this case, it
appears it is to go into the church to meet Troy in disguise and
sporting the mandatory French beret in order to look suitably French.
[SC: Was Moffitt too tall for
the role of Frenchman? He already has his own beret and we soon
learn he could
say "Levez les mains!" if he were caught. But that
probably wouldn't impress the Germans a whole lot under the
circumstances, would it. Apparently we shouldn't think too hard about
what would happen if Troy were caught, and how hard it would be for
him to convince anyone he's French - given he doesn't speak the language.]
"Do you have it?"
microfilm is behind the mirror."
Troy sits next to Felicia in the otherwise empty
church and gives her a typically Rat Patrol complex password: "Do
you have it?"
[SC: "Have what?"
sweetly with an innocent smile on her face. "A merry widow?"]
[Ed: Now, stop that, SC.
We'll have none of that here.]
And Felicia gives it to him. The locket with the
microfilm, that is. She doesn't know what it is all about but
Troy decides to tell her something about what might be on the
microfilm in the locket (something about infrared bombing or
something suitably technical).
[SC: Do you think was that
Then Troy looks out one window of the church and tells
her that it looks clear for her to leave so she does, only to be
nabbed immediately by the German soldiers just outside the door.
[SC: How did Troy miss seeing
the Germans out there? There must have been almost a half dozen
in full uniform standing out in the open. Perhaps he missed the
lesson at agent's school about looking in all directions before
declaring it safe'. That must be it.]
Sergeant, an exposure of classified information rattling under my
nose is very uncomfortable to me."
Troy does a bit of tricky escape dancing but the
German's don't care for his steps and they clunk him on the head,
knocking him down, and the precious locket falls unseen into an open
grave nearby. The Germans have got both Troy and Felicia and
immediately whisk them off to a nearish German camp where Dietrich is
[SC: Do you suppose this is a
promotion for Dietrich? Not for long, I'm guessing. By
the end of the episode he's probably in the figurative dog
house...again. Say, that German compound looks awfully familiar
although dressed up with palms.
Seen in The Do Re Mi Raid and Hickory Dickory Raid maybe?]
When Troy and Felicia arrive at the German camp, they
get to see the hangman using the hanging scaffold. The hangman
(Felicia's Papa) isn't a man who enjoys his work, especially once he
knows he will likely be expected to hang his own daughter.
"I want that
for laughing, Sergeant, but you remind me of a man leaping off a
bridge, smiling as he falls - just to show how brave he is."
"What is this
world coming to?"
surprise me tomorrow, will you? Show up sober."
excitement in two hours was a hearse."
One of Dietrich's big scenes. Dietrich is most
keen on getting the microfilm from Troy and even gets a bit red in
the face over it. "I want that film, man!" But
Troy is running true to character and being a tad recalcitrant on the
whole film thing. He doesn't seem really bothered by the
fact that Dietrich is uncomfortable about the classified information
having gone missing on his watch. In any case Troy refuses to
cooperate despite the fact that it means he will be hung the next day.
[SC: Dietrich said he'd hang
next day. That
could be important. Ever notice how Troy gets himself into terrible
messes whenever he goes on his own to collect information?
Something similar happened when he went into a neutral town (where a
shoeshine boy became a nuisance) to collect aerial photos.]
Next Dietrich scene [Ed
note: Suncompass only saw this scene once and had to have it all
explained to her. Wonder if she got it straight.].
Dietrich and Troy are still busy discussing the microfilm or lack
thereof. Troy is still being difficult and Dietrich is still
upset, but getting a grip on his anger. Dietrich even manages
to give a little bitter laugh at Troy being difficult, and makes a
comment about Troy cutting off his nose to spite his
face....hmmm...he doesn't use quite that analogy but essentially the
same idea. Smile and be difficult all you like now, Troy,
for tomorrow you hang for nothing,' is what it boils down to.
Troy, still being difficult, is taken away to his cell.
Into Dietrich's office comes Papa, the hangman, for a
few words from his boss, Dietrich, who is in a rather despondent mood.
[SC: Dietrich usually is
after meeting with Troy].
Despite Dietrich's foul mood he is complimentary -
mostly - of the hangman's work. "Good job, hangman.
There's an art to hanging. No one appreciates it or us.
What is the world coming to? You get to hang a woman in the morning.
And by the way, don't come to work drunk."
Troy meanwhile stands in his cell watching more
scaffold testing through the bars of his window while Felicia in
another cell becomes more sick and collapses.
Once again back with the other Rat Patrol lads, they
are still waiting for Troy to return with the microfilm. We see that
someone other than Tully fills out the patrol foursome this time.
Apparently the new fellow, Bo, is a frustrated barber in civilian
life or he lied about his prowess with a straight razor because Hitch
allows him to take just such a dangerous instrument to his lovely
face for a shave.
[SC: And Hitch comes to
regret this rash trust.]
[Ed: The management refuses
to accept responsibility for bad puns made on the premises.].
"I guess I
come a little too close."
Moffitt, meanwhile, is so appalled at Bo's ineptitude
at shaving that he takes possession of Bo's straight razor and won't
give it back.
[SC: Maybe he was afraid Bo
might take it to his lovely face and shave him too.]
There is a discussion amongst Moffitt, Hitch and Bo
about where Troy is, for he is over an hour late and the only
excitement they've had in two hours is a hearse passing by.
They seem bored.
[SC: Anyone knows that a
hearse comes nowhere near
to the entertainment value of Troy.]
Back at Troy's cell he's antsy for a cigarette so he
bums one from the German soldier on guard.
[SC: Who said Troy couldn't
speak German? He knows zigarette'. And notice that Troy
still has his shoulder holster on! Maybe you don't worry
about someone hanging themselves in their cell when they will
be hung in the morning?]
Papa, the hangman, shows up to see Troy in his cell.
[SC: Papa probably came
straight from Dietrich's office but that pep talk Dietrich gave him
doesn't look to have cheered him up. Dietrich might need a refresher
course in effective management techniques.]
Papa begs Troy to help save his daughter. Although
this won't really help save Felicia, Troy, after assuring himself
that Papa is indeed trustworthy, tells him where he can find the
locket with the microfilm in it so Papa can get it to the Rat Patrol
lads. The guard, who a moment earlier pretended not to understand
English, clearly understands English spoken in hushed tones in the
next room and reports all he hears about the locket and its
whereabouts to his superior (Pohl).
Papa goes to the cemetery and has just dug up the
locket when a German officer appears holding a gun on Papa and
demanding the locket. But Papa is a game fellow and takes on
the armed officer.
[SC: Why didn't the officer
take someone along with him in case he needed help getting the locket
[Ed: Because that would have
ruined the rest of the episode, SC.].
Papa's feistiness is admirable but it gets Papa
seriously shot. He doesn't give up though and manages to get
away in his old black car with the valuable locket. He finds
the rest of the patrol who are still fretting over Troy's absence.
time for him to do all the spadework."
- Lt. Pohl
[SC: How did Papa know where
the rest of the patrol is waiting? Troy must have told him. But
if so, then the Germans heard
where they were too. One guesses
then, that no one bothered to tell Dietrich or he'd have sent men to
capture the rest of the patrol, don't you think? Dietrich's not an
idiot. If he's been paying attention he'd
know the others would be plotting to free Troy, and surely Dietrich
would try to catch them first.]
Papa leaks a lot of blood - his shirt is rather red
with it - but he gives Moffitt the locket, tells him where to find
Troy, and that he was to hang Troy this morning' at the
German camp. Then he promptly dies.
[SC: This morning?!
Papa was to hang Troy this morning? Time has suddenly gone out
of skew. Is Papa confused? Did he dig
all night in
shifty officer gave Papa only 30 minutes for spadework.
Is this artistic license or did the editing staff get the bits of
film in the wrong order? Being
cynical, Suncompass expects it was the latter.]
Back at the German camp a kindly doctor arrives to see
sick Felicia and diagnose her with malaria, then ooo and ahhh about
how young she is. She's only a child. Dietrich tells the doctor
that the child will be hanged the next day. Too young to hang.
What a complete and total waste. Tsk tsk. Bad Troy not to
Troy....Alem Amzah...I was to hang him this morning."
- Gaspar (Papa)
complete total waste."
Meanwhile back with the lads and Papa's body ...Oho!
What's this in the back seat of Papa's car? A black hood with
eye holes in it. Just the thing needed to free Troy. A plot is
Next scene: In broad daylight Moffitt tinkers under
the car hood pretending to be having car trouble.
[SC: We know from another
mission that he can change a lightbulb if he has to, but can he
repoint the spark plugs?]
"Do you think
maybe we could blitz him out?"
Moffitt's ploy halts the hearse on its way to the
German camp. This is where Moffitt gets to show off his skills
in French and then give Hitch instructions to hide the jeep, tie the
two Frenchmen up and leave them water.
[SC: How can they drink it if
they are all tied up? Can you imagine how hot those black suits they
are all wearing might be?]
Moffitt tells Bo and Hitch to follow him in an
hour. He's wearing Papa's black suit so we can guess where he
might be going.
[SC: Papa is about as tall as
Troy so are those
pants a comfortable fit for Moffitt?].
Moffitt drives off in the sun in Papa's black car with
the blood spots on the upholstery.
[SC: hot hot hot! ick ick ick!].
think you're padding your part, Captain?"
Meanwhile back at the German camp: Troy is taken to
Felicia's cell to discuss the microfilm situation. Poor Felicia isn't
feeling well but even with Dietrich's and the doctor's prodding she's
a game little thing and refuses to give up the microfilm location
[SC: Aha! So the guard didn't
tell Dietrich that one of the officers was getting the microfilm
buried in the grave. So much for devotion to one's commanding
officer. Poor Dietrich. Conniving ambitious underlings].
Troy is willing to go along with whatever Felicia
decides about the microfilm, so Dietrich tells him he has until
daylight to change his mind and give up the location of the microfilm.
[SC: Hang on to your horses,
Nelly belle! It
night or approaching night in that scene.
But Moffitt just left in Papa's car on the way to the German camp
and it was broad
Sergeant! I don't know what they want out of you, but is it worth
snuffing out two lives?"
- kindly doctor
give you until daylight to change your mind."
Next scene: The sun comes up (or goes down).
[SC: Nice touch,
of the sun, don't you think? Maybe they knew we would
be all confused by the way time was unfolding and refolding and
included that sunrise (or sunset) just to get time
back on track.]
Moffitt arrives in daylight at the camp in Papa's car
to do the morning hanging.
[SC: Bravo! Finally he
arrives! But where has he been all night? Just driving
around for fun because Bo won't ever let him drive? In town
enjoying the sites? Getting lost on the back roads around the
camp because he won't ask for directions? Just where has he
been all night?]
Next scene: The stage is set. Dietrich has grimly met
his prisoners one last time; Troy and Felicia are prepared for the
final act, and drooping.
[SC: Felicia's drooping. Troy
The prisoners are led up the stairs to the nooses, the
hangman (Moffitt) has arrived in Papa's white shirt (sans
blood stains) and full black suit, complete with hood, and is waiting
for them at the top of the stairs. Dietrich watches out the
window as the hearse arrives with exquisite timing and bearing Hitch
and Bo in their borrowed' black suits.
From his pocket, Moffitt pulls the straight razor he
took away from Bo and uses it to cut Troy's bonds, slipping him a
revolver too. Troy gets the message: 'This isn't the usual
hangman we have here. Good old Papa must have come through.' Moffitt
turns and scoops up Felicia while the others, looking all the world
like gangsters, blast away at the surprised Germans. No one
seems more surprised than Dietrich.
[SC: Really, Dietrich, didn't
you suspect anything? Obviously Dietrich hasn't been paying attention
for the last 50 or so missions. I think they all look
like gansters as they make their escape.]
Molotov cocktails hidden in the hearse finish up the
job as the Rat Patrol and Felicia pile into it and tear out of the
compound. Dietrich dives for cover.
Final scene: Troy bids the sick Felicia farewell as
she is taken away in an ambulance. He displays great
sensitivity in not telling her what her Papa really did for a living.
Instead he implies that her father's job was being a hero.
Troy appears amused at the razor cuts on Hitch's face
[SC: Probably after his close shave
almost anything would amuse him.]
They then all pile into the jeeps and drive off.
Another mission successful!
[SC: And they all lived
happily ever after!]