Study Guide

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk Chapter 13

By Ben Fountain

Chapter 13

Raped by Angels

  • Billy is freaking out, because they have to do some drill, and Lodis is drunker than Cooter Brown.
  • Not only that, but Bravo has been split in two to sandwich the drum line and the United States Army Drill Team. Which probably won't help their cause.
  • Billy can't help but compare this to an actual battle. PTSD, anyone?
  • As the band starts to play, Destiny's Child joins in to lead the procession.
  • The halftime show is pure, elaborate chaos: there's five marching bands, drill teams, Bravo, ROTCs, and Destiny's Child…and then they add disco lights to make it one big "epileptic overload."
  • Then fireworks start going off, and all of a sudden, Lodis is smack-dab in the middle of a panic attack. Can you blame the guy, though?
  • Billy's busy trying not to hyperventilate.
  • The chaos has everything: gyrating half-naked women, fireworks, hundreds of drilling soldiers, more fireworks. Good luck not having a total mental breakdown, guys.
  • Somehow, the Bravos have all gathered backstage and are given the instructions to march down the stairs on stage to stand at attention on purple Xs. In front of Destiny's Child. Whoa.
  • The Bravos are still waiting when Beyoncé emerges backstage for a quick change and a sip of water.
  • Billy is entranced by Beyoncé, and then they even make eye contact. :::swoon:::
  • Billy's pushed onto the stage, and all of a sudden, he feels he would rather be back in Iraq. At least there he kind of knew what he was doing, and the whole world wasn't watching.
  • The Bravos are basically props for all the dancers to pole-dance on, and Billy hates the whole chaotic thing.
  • Sykes is sobbing up there on stage.
  • Destiny's Child pass Billy on their way up the stairs to backstage at the end of the show, and Billy doesn't even look at them.
  • Instead, Billy turns his face upwards to the sky, happily facing the sleet and stinging rain over the abomination of what he's just participated in.

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