As seems usual with
these episodes these days, I thoroughly enjoyed the first part, while
the second part didn't do much of anything for me. Indy's escapade
in Turkey shows his desperation to end the war, and his inability to
trust others, while his trip into Transylvania starts his journey into
believing other cultures' magic is real.
The first part does, unfortunately, fall into several traps,
which are telegraphed well in advance. We know who the double-agent
is, and we know his fiancée will be killed. That's typical
in the mystery genre, where the main character cannot have a love interest
for too long. And when he proposes, we know that she's going to die.
The story for the first part is simple. Indy has tried
to make peace between France and Austria, and others, I'm sure. Now
he is trying to do it with Turkey. But the French are not really
interested in peace for the sake of peace. They want terms, and territory
returned. And just like with the Austrians, the terms are outrageous.
As Indy points out at the end, they don't seem to know what they are doing.
Yet they are pleased with the operation. I can't figure out how.
But peace is a minor part, because the letter with the terms
is intercepted. Everything points to a leak in Indy's department.
He orders everybody to stay put and stay low, but they ignore it, and each
tries to get the terms from him, putting each at risk. But we already
saw Indy's closest friend keep the time and place of delivery, kill the
person who tried to warn Indy about a double-agent, and look through his
clothing and desk after he was shot. It sort of keeps the tension
The third part of this story is Indy's American girlfriend.
He's posing as a Swedish journalist, and he keeps the disguise on even
after he proposes to her. Doesn't Indy realize by now what kind of
trouble he can get into by lying to her? Of course she finds out,
and hates him, and cannot trust him. But in the end she returns to
him, wanting him anyway, and gets killed in the climax.
Indy is disillusioned, and is thus reassigned. An American
division wants him, because he is one of theirs, and because he speaks
28 languages! The banter between him and his superior, who speaks
32 languages, is great.
They are sent to Transylvania to investigate the disappearance
of spies looking into a rogue Romanian general. They encounter German,
American, British and French infantry laughing and drinking together.
I immediately drew the conclusion that they were under the influence of
this general and his sorcery.
The castle where they think they'll meet the general is deserted,
and seems haunted. Indy may have experienced the magical properties
from the underworld in his 9-year-old days, but this is the first time
it is addressed as a teen. And it leads in well to Temple
of Doom, where he meets the underworld in legions.
Blood pooling from the ceiling, frozen and burning door handles,
his superior reduced to charred feet and ankles (this part was amusing,
rather than horrifying, as I thought it was meant to be), and other things
awaken disbelief to Indy.
There is another double-agent in this group, who is recognized
by one of the missing agents, and is subsequently shot. But these
missing agents have been turned into something else. They are inhabited
by underworld beasts. After being shot, or stabbed, they can walk
again. The Romanian general is inhabited by the spirit of Dracula,
and he takes pleasure in torturing his victims, impaling them on stakes,
and drinking their blood.
Indy and one of his comrades escape, barely. They toss
Dracula off a rampart to the tower, where he falls unconscious long enough
that they can drag him to a crossroads, and drive a stake through his heart.
I have no problem with the stake or the crossroads, but for the general
to remain unconscious for exactly long enough for them to do this is another
Indy does mostly reacting in this episode. He reacts to
the double agent in his midst rather poorly, but he has been betrayed so
often that it makes sense. He withdraws into himself, and waits for
orders. Then he drags his love into the mess inadvertently.
In the second part, he observes the haunted castle, and reacts to the many hauntings. He learns about the "undead", which is the most important
part of this chapter, I think.