The first part, as
usual, was terrific, and very, very funny. The second part was
kind of lackluster, but with no actual faults except that it didn't do
much of anything. I chose to rate this one by giving most of the
weight to the first part.
I didn't understand Indy's mission at the beginning, and even
by the end, it wasn't quite clear what he was doing. It's obvious
that the German soldiers are defecting, but the way he dodges across the
lines should make somebody suspicious. The German officer that Indy
speaks to before he crosses each time speaks as if he were an Allied soldier.
But that is a minor part of the story.
For Indy is in love with a beautiful Italian girl. But
in his long escapades across enemy lines, she has found another suitor.
Indy meets up with Ernest Hemmingway, in a hilarious scene where Indy pretends
that he doesn't understand English. Eventually they find themselves
in a bar together, and Indy tells Hemmingway his troubles. Hemmingway
urges Indy to one-up the guy, bring her more flowers than he does, etc.
So Indy takes his advice, and gets a kiss out of the girl when he tells
her that crossing enemy lines is very dangerous, and that he might be killed.
Finally, Indy is invited to her birthday party, by her mother.
Unfortunately, her father invited the other guy, and they meet at the door.
Indy is very shocked to find out that the other guy is none other than
And so the competition begins, and we barely get to see the girl
(and I doubt the guys get to see her much, either). This is the crux
of the episode, where they spy on each other, and try to get the best of
each other. In an very funny scene, Indy gets her a bird, then Hemmingway
buys her a cat, and the sounds in side the house are enough to indicate
what is happening. Then Indy gets her a dog, and with the crashing
furniture we know who has won this round!
Finally, the two guys come to a sort of truce. They decide
to ask her to choose between them. But when they arrive, she is in
her wedding dress, ready to marry an old childhood sweetheart.
But the competition doesn't end there; it becomes even more absurd!
They argue their way down the soldiers lines until they come under attack,
and both end up being wounded. They agree that they will never let
a woman come between them again, until they see their nurse...
Part two sees Indy transferred to Venice, where he recovers,
with the help of a good many nurses, who pepper him with kisses when he
is transferred to North Africa. He is to search for traitors who
have been giving French weapons to the native tribes, who intend to use
the war as an excuse to break free of French control.
Immediately, Indy is captured, but escapes (absurdly setting
his breath on fire and thus virtually the whole enemy encampment),
with documents giving the serial numbers of all the weapons that have come
to the rebels.
So Indy is sent to another North African city, disguised as an
escort for an American erotica novelist, who is touring. They begin
to fall in love, but each holds back because of the age difference.
It is a tragedy, because the ideals of society won't let them get involved
with each other. The message is spelled out in a neat scene where
she describes the constraints on society to the king she is visiting.
Of course, Indy finds the guns that are being smuggled, and confides
in the head of security that he knows how they were being smuggled.
Of course, that person is the one who has been smuggling the weapons all
along. There is a (fortunately) short chase scene, and then Indy
and the guard get into a sword fight with some fencing swords that happen
to be hanging on the wall. Indy almost loses, but at the last minute,
is able to shove the guard over a balcony, where he is killed.
There is another short sub-plot about an American journalist,
who discloses that he wants to write an all-out expository biography on
T.E. Lawrence. The author asks him how far he would go to expose
a person's life, and he responds that he would go as far as possible.
This must be the beginning of the paparazzi.
So the first part was terrific, and I've seen that one three
times now. The second part was lackluster, and seemed rushed, but
it is not quite bad enough to bring it too far down -but it was close.