The Rat Patrol

Season 1 Episode 14

The Dare-Devil Rescue Raid

Aired Monday 8:30 PM Dec 12, 1966 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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  • The Daredevil Rescue Raid

    Episode 14 begins with the often-used "Rats attacking German armor convoy" stinger. Luckily, no one gets hurt or captured this time, and even the jeeps make it unscathed. But, the Rats do have a reason for convoy-raiding this time around: they're behind enemy lines and trying to keep the Germans away from a landing site.

    Moffitt's father is being delivered by airplane; he has knowledge of an ancient Roman road that cuts through the mountains, a road that has since been lost. It seems this road is needed for Battalion (which battalion?) to move supplies along. As the Rats wait at the rendezvous point, the issue is discussed further. "Who came up with this idea? It's a real dilly, " Hitch mutters. Moffitt explains that his father found reference to the road in a manuscript discovered by Trishendorf in the monastery at Mt. Sobel. Then there's a strange moment at the end of the scene when everyone exclaims "Trishendorf?" in a sarcastic way, everyone laughs, and then Troy says "aw, let's shake it". I'm not sure what the injoke is here, or if it was just an adlib left in.

    Soon, the airplane is seen coming. Suddenly, German antiaircraft fire opens up (nice stock footage of 88mms, although B&W) and the burning aircraft streaks behind a nearby dune and explodes. Naturally, Moffitt is quite upset, since his father was onboard the destroyed airplane. He wants to immediately go to the crash site and check on his father. Amazingly, Troy refuses, giving various excuses. The lamest excuse he gives is that the crash site is hours away and they don't have time, but we can see the plane crashed nearby and would take just a few minutes to get to by jeep. Troy claims that they should carry on with the mission--but how can they find the road without Moffitt's father? Moffitt's father IS the mission, and Troy apparently realizes that after his fit, and agrees to examine the crash site. They find the wreckage of the airplane--there is a burned body in the cockpit, but it's not Moffitt's father. Again, Troy refuses to look around for Moffitt's father, though there are plenty of clues that he is still alive, including the body of an Arab and horse tracks that lead away. Moffitt wants to go to the nearby village of Sidi Bel Zir to look for him, but Troy refuses. There's no time for that, according to Troy, yet Troy gives them time to bury the bodies at the crash site; he even threatens to shoot Moffitt if he tries to drive to the village. While Tully and Moffitt are burying the bodies, Hitch and Troy scout around the area for Germans. Yep, the Jerries are out there, as they should be since this is taking place behind enemy lines. But the surprising thing is the conversation between the two: Troy reveals that he knows what it's like to lose a father. He doesn't go into detail about it, but we see that Troy has some serious issues of his own that need to be dealt with. Troy and Hitch return to the crash site, and Tully smuggly tells Troy that Moffitt has taken the Arab clothing and set off towards the village on foot. Then, the cool narrator informs us that Moffitt has met a Bedouin who relates that a bartender in a local cafe has knowledge of a captured Englishman; how someone wandering in the desert knows this much so soon is a mystery. But Moffitt goes into the village, and right to the cafe (note the dog in the cafe, we'll see it again in a later episode). He even knows whom to speak to, a person named Jawell. Unfortunately, Jawell is dead drunk in a back room with an Arab bargirl. Moffitt yanks him around and pours a bottle of liqour on him, but he won't wake up. He tries to talk to the Arab girl, promising her that he won't hurt her, even though she just witnessed him slapping Jawell around. She tells him that Jawell saw the plane crash and sold the survivor to the germans for gold, but then a German officer arrives, requests her "services", and they go off together. Somehow, Moffitt has managed to find out where his father is being held, and acquires a German uniform by utilizing his palm-of-death assume the Arab girl arranges all of this, since he tenderly asked her to choose sides before she went off with the officer. Anyway, Moffitt gets into the building where his father is held by carrying a tray of food and bluffing the guard. After pleasantries are exchanged (I think this episode had an influence on "Indiana Jones and Last Crusade"--it's easy to imagine Sean Connery as Moffitt's father here!), they wait for the guard to enter the room and meet Moffitt's instantly-paralyzing open palm technique. They hop into the back of a junk-laden truck, but the Germans are alerted (by the various incapacitated Germans left here and there, I imagine--doesn't Moffitt know he's supposed to stuff them in a well or something?) They're quickly discovered in the back of the truck, but Moffit Jackie-Chans the approaching Germans by flinging deadly barrel lids at them. Just then, the other Rats' jeeps burst into the village, lays waste to the stunned Germans, and make their getaway. The epsiode ends with the Rats and Moffitt's father standing on a small stretch of the ancient road, and they leave him as he waits for an airplane to pick him up. I guess the issue of moving millions of tons of sand dunes to access the road is a problem left for Battalion's engineers. Mission accomplished! Overall, a good and enjoyable episode. It leaves me with several questions though. How did Moffitt's father survive the blazing plane crash without even a scratch? Why is the rendezvous point behind enemy lines, wouldn't it be safer to have Moffitt's father flown into HQ and then taken out to look for the ancient road? Why does Battalion need a supply route behind German lines anyway, couldn't they wait until they capture the territory and then find the old road? And doesn't morale seem to be dropping for the Rats, with Troy threatening to shoot Moffitt, and also Tully and Moffitt disobeying orders? Well, this is what makes The Rat Patrol such a fun show to watch: lots of action, and a lot of things to think about afterwards.
  • Tully actually speaks!

    I don't have much to add to the current review of this episode, other than it tends to be one of my favorites because yes, it contains some "special" Tully moments.
    What's amazing is that Tully has about 6 lines to say, in a row no less! Poor guy must have had to stay up all night memorizing those so he wouldn't forget.
    This episode is also interesting because for the first time, not everyone is so willing to do exactly like Troy says. Even faithful companion Hitch lets off a few lines that indicate he's not agreeing totally with sarge.
    This all starts after everyone sees the plane go down and crash. Moffitt, of course, can't get out there fast enough, but Troy seems to think it would all be a waste of time. Hitch finally pops in and says "I don't have any appointments" and Tully lets everyone know hillbillys from Kentucky can read. Seems like Moffitt gave him a copy of his father's book on anthropology and Tully thinks the guy might be able to survive a plane crash, or at least it's worth a look-see.
    Well, since Troy is outnumbered here, he finally gives in and they all go out to the crash site. Once there, Troy gets all difficult again when he dismisses every possibility Moffitt throws at him as to why his father might still be alive. Tully subtly tries to help Moffitt and tells Troy he doesn't "know of a horse that can outrun a jeep in sand" but Troy just gives him a dirty look and tells him to start digging. Both Tully and Hitch give quick disgusted hand and arm movements and start digging. Moffitt is tired of asking. He starts to climb in a jeep but Troy tells him he'll shoot him as a deserter. Moffitt gives him one of those, well "eat s--t and die" looks, which for a "proper English gentlemen" is quite out of character.
    When Troy and Hitch return from a recon patrol, Tully is waiting by the jeep, looking very, very good. When Troy starts in on him because he realizes Moffitt has left, Tully stands his ground and turns Troy's own orders against him, "You said if he came near this jeep to shoot him. I was in this jeep all the time...he never came close to it."
    Now, I've never been in the military, but I would think if a private said that to a sergeant, his teeth wouldn't be the only things he'd be picking up off of the ground. (By the way, nice chest shots of Tully here).
    Well, in the end, they find Moffitt's father, the 2,000 year old Roman road, and God knows what else. As Moffitt and Tully get in their jeep to drive off into the sunset, Troy is sure giving them one of those, "you know, we're all going to have a nice talk later on" looks.