Study Guide

Platoon Scene 3

Scene 3

Scene 3

  • A helicopter is flying, approaching the edge of a cliff or ridge. The same group of guys as before is clearing a landing zone (LZ).
  • The helicopter lands, and a bunch run over and help unload some boxes. It's dusty, dry, and hot.
  • The scene shifts and we see the soldiers going about their business: one shaves, another sets a booby trap, two African American guys joke around.
  • Taylor is digging a foxhole, and starts narrating: "That's what this place feels like, Hell," he says.
  • He continues narrating, telling us that the experienced soldiers don't care for the new guys. They don't want to even know their names. It also sounds like Taylor may have voluntarily signed up to go to Vietnam.
  • Barnes and O'Neill approach. Elias, Warren, and Lt. Wolfe are already there.
  • Barnes informs that there was an incident a few clicks north. O'Neill elaborates. A patrol needs to go out that night on "ambush."
  • Time out: wanna know what night ambush patrol was really like? Look no further.
  • Barnes orders Elias' squad to go. A few guys from Warren's squad will go as well.
  • Elias is really irritated. It's technically O'Neill's turn, but O'Neill will have none of it. The new guys—the "fresh meat"—are in Elias' squad.
  • Barnes reiterates his orders, and then—surprise—tells O'Neill that he has to go with Elias. O'Neill is not happy about it.
  • The group breaks up, and Wolfe runs after Barnes. He says that in front of the men he needs to give the orders. He's the boss.
  • Barnes looks at him long and hard, and then says "yes sir." We don't believe him for a second.
  • Wolfe is a lieutenant, a commissioned officer. Barnes is a sergeant, a.k.a. an enlisted guy. Wolfe outranks him no matter what.
  • Clearly, however, Wolfe is a little weak-willed, and these are Barnes' guys.
  • He's the alpha.

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