02x24

Unfurling the Flagg

This final episode of season 2 marks the first appearance of Colonel Flagg - that is, when he’s not masquerading as Captain Halloran like he was in ’Deal Me Out’, or anyone else for that matter.

Hawk’s wardrobe seems to have taken on a distinctly summery feel in the opener of this episode. He seems to be stealing Trapper's movie look with his Hawaiian shirt and Stetson combo. Not sure if maybe this is to emphasise his unorthodox approach to army life and give Flagg something to turn his nose up at. He has, however, changed his socks.

If Colonel Flagg was hoping to maintain the illusion of just being a regular Joe, he certainly doesn’t go about it very well. His stripper-gram and invincible man act certainly gets Margaret’s attention. I’m surprised he doesn’t go so far performing other acts of superhuman endurance, such as lying down on a bed of hypodermics or eating the food from the mess tent.

He also reveals all of his pseudonyms to Colonel Blake upon his arrival in the CO’s office, which seems a little silly if he’s here on intelligence-garnering purposes - which we assume he is, as the big-nobs up top could always use a little more of that. But maybe I give Flagg too much credit - maybe he’s actually here to play a big game of “look at all the IDs I got”. I bet Flagg’s the kind of low-life fibber who uses more than one email address to get ‘one per person’ money off coupons twice over!

News of the Colonel’s true identity set’s Margaret’s heart (and Frank’s Stars and Stripes) all a-flutter. I’m not entirely sure why. Flagg’s activities during the war seem to involve far less brave, patriotic subterfuge deep behind enemy lines and an awful lot of parading round allied units in lots of different costumes and nabbing himself an extra free coffee in the Tokyo Starbucks by calling himself Louise.

Did the writers of this show have  bit of a thing for that name, by the way? Both Trapper and Frank have wives called Louise. Seems one hell of a coincidence for two main characters? Unless I’ve got it all wrong and they are in fact married to the same woman, and their rivalry is all a case of jealousy over their bigamist wife?

Trapper’s old friend Vinnie from the CID turns up to blow the whistle on Flagg. He has as many badges as Flagg does store discount cards. I’m slightly confused as to why the CID are investigating the CIA. I’m sure there was an explanation somewhere but I didn’t understand half the words. Why investigate your own men? What’s the difference between the CIA and the CID anyway? And who exactly are the CIC? And what is that thing that Hawkeye is chewing throughout this episode?

So Vinnie/Stoner/Strauss is investigating to find out whatever it is Flagg is investigating. If he finds out I sure hope he tells me, because I can’t tell what’s going on, or who anyone is any more. All I know is that Queen Victoria has given Mary’s little lamb fleas, and the lamb may in fact be a dog. The name and rank of either the lamb or the dog are unknown at this point, but I’m fairly certain they both have more than one.

Radar: I think I understand.
Trapper: Then you’re the only one.

So Mary decides that Frank warrants investigation and decides to sneak a peak at his files. Meanwhile Flagg is buying Frank and Margaret drinks at the O.C. so either he thinks the same thing, or he thinks they’re wonderful stand-up citizens who he genuinely trusts with the information that he’s from the CIA. Or the CID. Or maybe one of his discounts came with a minimum purchase requirement so he had to make friends with someone to make up the numbers.

So both Mary and Victoria are investigating Frank, so the boys pull a couple of switcheroos with his file to make life interesting. Now Frank is both a Communist and a fascist, and Radar is Marlene Dietrich. I think maybe his teddy bear is Mary’s little lamb, but this cannot be confirmed at this stage.

Considering how officious and scary Flagg is in later episodes, I’m really kind of surprised the boys manage to get away with this one. As it is pointed out once they fess up, they could get ten years.

Fortunately, in a get-out device harking back to the pilot, the sound of approaching choppers heralds a fresh influx of wounded, and our boys are saved by the Bell 47.

Maya, are we important?

I think It’s very interesting when Cory asks “Are we important?” and Maya answers while pointing:

Riley- Yes!

Smackle - No.

Farkle - No.

Lucas - You think so, but no.

Zay - No.

Some other random students - No.

*Maya points at herself* - Eh…


It contains a lot of interesting subtext: 

It’s a comeback to the extraordinary relationship of the girls once more and how the triangle was solved because Maya “picked Riley”.

Also, is a reminder of how Maya thinks that she doesn’t deserve better and is not important. “I would never bug Him about me.” (02x24)

And when she laughs a little when she says Lucas that ‘thinks so but no’ in a teasing way and he just frowns his forehead. Maya could only said ‘no’ to Lucas as she did for the rest, but I believe the writers wanted to leave a little something there just to remind us to keep our eyes opened.