Study Guide

Platoon Scene 5

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Scene 5

Scene 5

  • It's nighttime in the jungle, and it's raining. The troops walk by an old statue. Taylor starts narrating again, talking about his reasons for coming to Vietnam.
  • He wanted to serve his country, just like his grandfather did in the First World War, his dad in the Second.
  • He doesn't want to become like his parents, doesn't want their life.
  • He describes the guys in Vietnam with him. They are at the "bottom of the barrel." They're unwanted. They come from towns nobody's ever heard of. They're grunts.
  • The camera pans across the faces of the different guys on patrol, sitting in the rain.
  • Soon, Tex (David Neidorf) crawls through the rain to Taylor. It's his (Taylor's) turn to be on lookout.
  • He makes sure Taylor knows how to work the Claymores, and he warns him not to fall asleep.
  • After a while, Taylor checks his watch. It's Junior's (Reggie Johnson) shift. Taylor wakes him and tells him so before going to sleep.
  • Junior, already groggy, falls asleep during his watch.
  • Later in the night Taylor bolts up in the middle of the night, and notices that Junior's no longer awake. Uh oh.
  • Taylor watches through a gap in the trees. After a short while, he sees an enemy soldier's silhouette appear. Soon, others follow.
  • Taylor's weapons are out of reach. Just as the enemy is upon him, several mines explode, and the jungle erupts into a gunfight.
  • In the chaos, Taylor is able to get to his Claymores, but he can't get it working. Another soldier screams at him to turn the safety off (which he had been told to do earlier).
  • O'Neill throws a grenade, and what's left of the enemy retreats.
  • Tex has been hit, and won't stop screaming. Gardner (Bob Orwig) has also been hit, and so has Taylor.
  • One of the guys is yelling at Taylor, accusing him of falling asleep on his shift.
  • Barnes goes over to Tex, covers his mouth, and yells at him to "take the pain." Tex quiets down.
  • Elias, Barnes, and a few others are searching the area near the camp. Barnes finds a dying enemy soldier and dispatches him.
  • Big Harold (Forest Whitaker) is comforting Taylor, who is convinced he's going to die. Big Harold tells him about what is awaiting him in the hospital (good meals, pretty nurses).
  • The guys are trying to save Gardner, who is close to death. They try to get his heart started, but it's no use: he dies.
  • The camera scans the faces of the guys, who all quietly look around.
  • Barnes is unhappy, and gives them a pep talk about screwing up in a firefight: "Y'all take a good look at this lump of s***. Remember what it looks like."
  • He scolds Junior and Taylor about falling asleep on ambush. Barnes will take a personal interest in making sure the next guy who screws up suffers.
  • Taylor says he didn't fall asleep. O'Neill isn't buying, and neither is Bunny (Kevin Dillon).
  • Elias comes up, and orders them to get moving. While leaving, he makes a comment to Barnes about how Gardner would be alive if he had had a few more days to learn something before going out on ambush.

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