Series One, Episode Six (Island at War)

Series One, Episode Six (Island at War)

Series One, Episode Six is the sixth and final episode of the first series of the television drama "Island at War".

Plot summary

June is singing for a mixed crowd at the "50/50 Club" which turns ugly when Captain Muller switches places with her regular piano accompanist. "Jerrybag! Jerry bag!" taunts one, throwing a glass that cuts her cheek. The soldiers drag him into the alley where Leutnant Walker pistol-whips him unconscious. With the blood still on his hands, he sits with June and implores her to disclose Hannah/Zelda's location so he can help her assume a new identity. Meanwhile Angelique's feelings have won over her nervousness about sleeping with the enemy and she and Bernhardt rendezvous in Hanna/Zelda's flat. When Angelique, facing him in bed afterwards says, "I love you", Bernhardt looks hurt for a moment before replying, "I wanted to say 'I love you' first." June finds them together, after she ducks in to avoid the derision of islanders who recognized her in the street. Angelique confesses to her sister, "I'm a Jerry Bag".

Sheldon accidentally discovers Hannah/Zelda in Cassie's attic hideaway and she explains her predicament: be Walker's consort or face denunciation/deportation, Sheldon offers to smuggle her to England with Phillip. Wilf Jonas having agreed to assist the plot, must find a way to get his fishing boat out of the harbor "without an escort". Cassie disabuses Oberwachtmeister Wimmel of any romantic delusions regarding their liaison, "It will always be sex, never love", and he replies, "You talk like a man." She continues matter-of-factly, "The thought of even touching you repels me ...." (the composition of the frame in this scene juxtaposes Wimmel with a hanging portrait of Hitler and a swastika banner) "It's the same with any hunger - one might even eat a rat if one were starved."

Senator Dorr's attitude undergoes a [ sea-change] : he expresses a profound hatred of the Germans to Felicity, goes to the La Salles and admits authorship of the plan that got their son shot as a spy, and he gives Phillip intelligence about the strength and composition of German forces on the island and their plans to fortify it. Meanwhile Collin Jonas and his friend Ronald encounter an officer, who drunk and disillusioned, sells his P08 Parabellum for the £5 note Collin got from his uncle, Sheldon Leveque. Back at the docks Oberwachtmeister Wimmel, having signed on ostensibly for a fishing excursion to Nailing Bay, finds Wilf stocking extra petrol (for the presumptive channel crossing) and is amazed by "so much fuel, so much fuel". As Wilf dissembles, "This old trap's a thirsty lady" attentive viewers may note the specific containers he is using and the unspoken visual pun: "Jerrycans! Jerrycans!".

The game is afoot as all principles are converging on Nailing Bay where Wilf and Wimmel, aboard the 'Little Mary' have lain at anchor all afternoon but caught only one garfish between them. Sheldon, en route with Hannah/Zelda in his truck improvises cleverly to pass her through a checkpoint without identification papers. When Felicity discovers that Phillip has in fact left for England she is "far more than upset" at James for keeping her in the dark: "You bloody little boys in your bloody war! You [carry on] with such nobility and stoicism - never howl your anguish, never weep, never wail! Just go on and on hurting each other..."

Things go wrong with the carefully orchestrated plan when Collin and Ronald, having hiked overland, arrive at Nailing Bay, within a few minutes of Sheldon bringing Phillip and Hannah. Wimmel and Jonas, have given up on fishing and are paddling ashore after the motor fails to start. The boys misinterpret Wimmel's posture and gestures with the rifle as an impending execution and shoot at him from the rocks with the pistol. Wimmel makes it to the road and commandeers Sheldon's truck to take Wilf to the barracks prison.

That evening the Baron finds Felicity alone with her thoughts on the porch at 'Sous Les Chenes'. Rheingarten has just learned that his youngest son, 'Manfred' in the Luftwaffe, was shot down over the Channel and wonders that the same stars that are shining on [Phillip] are also shining for his wife back home who, not having yet received the news, is "choosing a star for our son." When Felicity reminds him that Mrs. La Salle will never again choose a star for Eugene, he explains, "One only does what one believes is right. In war one has only the "moment of decision". If I believed it to be right, then it was right. Whoever shot done my son was right." Their shared grief and mutual sympathies linger, complementing the Baron's literate imagery.

Aboard the 'Little Mary' Phillip and Hannah are trying to start the motor but are intercepted by a German cutter before the ignition catches. Hannah jumps overboard seconds before she can spotted by the searchlights but Phillip is taken with the photographs. The Baron visits him in his cell:

"There was a day, you might remember, at the garden wall, when the Senator's wife and you and I, shared a time together. I had the sense that both she and I thought of you as our son, the son both she and I were missing. Oh, Mr. Brotherson, we have talked a lot, I have genuinely enjoyed your company, we have built walls together ... and now we have to shoot you."

Realizing that Felicity Dorr is somehow involved, he visits her to personally deliver the news of 'Mr. Brotherson's' capture and fate, "There can be only one outcome, as you know." Deducing the mother-son relationship from her reaction he accuses her of providing the information that James had actually given him. Her outburst would speak for all mothers:

"I had [no information] to give! I wasn't interested in information, I wanted "him" ... here and out of this hateful war. I wanted him safe!" Then softening her tone, "I've been sick with worry, imagining him in France, imagining him wounded ... suddenly he's here and the relief... Now there's this stupid damn spies ... he's not a spy, he's just some fool they sent over"
"I've been blind," responds the Baron, "I've so enjoyed him ... youth and life, the son we both lacked." Felicity sheds the last tattered remnants of her dignity and desperately offers Rheingarten her body, her life, anything to spare her son. "It is very extraordinary," he replies, "that I should lose my son the day before yours." Sobbing uncontrollably Felicity cries,
."No, no, you've still got one son, I won't have any. I'm begging you please ... It's right. You said so yourself, if you believe it's right, then it's right. Believe it Baron, believe it!"

Hanna, having survived the plunge into the icy channel waters and swam ashore, furtively hurries past her old flat when she sees June entering. Inside Leutnant Walker is waiting upstairs having just realized that the shop-keeper Cassie is the sisters' mother. He then goes to store, arriving seconds after Hannah who is back in the attic and warns Cassie, "I know that you know Zelda Kay, so I will keep looking here. Au revoir, Mrs. Smythe." (see discussion page)

In the Baron's penultimate scene he is repelled by Oberleutnant Flach's suggestion that they just "shoot [Phillip] and have done with it" (i.e. without a court-martial). He orders him instead sent to France as a prisoner of war, along with his father, and Wilf. On the docks Kathleen Jonas says goodbye to her husband. Senator Dorr realizing that the Baron's change of heart is due to his wife's efforts forgives Felicity for "whatever it took" to spare Phillip's life. When Phillip arrives she addresses him as 'Mr. Brotherson' and the ferry departs for Normandy.

Back at 'Sous Les Chenes' the Baron accepts Felicity's thanks with "I've grown sickened, Mrs. Dorr, by the deaths of young men". Angelique comes to Bernhardt and they watch the sunset together.


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