The fine line between protection and cowardice becomes much clearer.
On Catch-22 Season 1 Episode 3 Yossarian is trying to do the right thing.
He’s driven by survival in a war full of death and can’t catch a break when all of his plans blows up in his face.
Cowardice charges are rampant, as Yossarian blurs the line between doing the right thing and self-preservation.
His acts o stay alive are rising toward obstruction, from moving the bombing line to pulling the wires out of the plane.
That moving a piece of string could be the way to cancel the mission is utterly ridiculous but very fitting to Catch-22.
Yossarian hoped to make that simple act a way to save himself and the men, but it merely led to even larger problems.
Yossarian’s actions are starting to have larger ramifications on others, placing too much risk on them.
Major de Coverley’s disappearance and the deaths of Kid Sampson and McWatt are essentially on his head, having happened due to his choices.
He’s getting inside other people’s heads now, leading them down roads they normally would not take if it were not for him.
It’s becoming a theme that someone sees Yossarian for what he’s doing, and then disappears ro dies.
On Catch-22 Season 1 Episode 2, Clevinger confronted him for no longer seeing the war in the right way. Here, it’s McWatt calling him out for cowardice.
Every time someone starts to notice his behavior, they come undone in some way, so Yossarian can continue on untouched.
Yossarian has been lucky so far, but it does make you wonder how long his luck will hold.
He’s not making it difficult for people to begin piecing together his actions, since he’s talking freely about his intentions and not mincing much of his words defending the string incident.
Meanwhile, Cathcart’s anger brews to a boiling point.
His views on sabotage and cowardice are quite clear by the end of the hour.
Humiliating Yossarian’s crew in front of the others and raising the mission count even higher are acts of aggression on his men, breaking morale and leaving them even more disillusioned.
It’s felt even by the Chaplain during his conversation with Yossarian. He feels the punishment is too severe, and it’s not hard to blame him.
There’s a level of cruelty in how Cathcart is punishing the men as a whole for one person’s choices.
It’s because Cathcart views them as a whole, rather than as individuals.
They’re a team, and with what he sees as a bad apple needing to be sussed out, he’ll likely keep punishing them as a whole until he finds the rotten apple.
One thing is for certain: Kyle Chandler plays Cathcart with impressive redness and bubbling rage.
Elsewhere on the base, Milo continues to build his freight empire at dizzying speed. He’s even starting to enlist some of the enemy in the process, showing his great business acumen.
On a show with strong convictions in its characters, Milo’s offense at Yossarian’s spiking of the tomato soup is a nice touch.
He takes a great pride in what he’s creating, to the point it blurs the line and it’s hard tell if he’s doing it for the love of it or for the profit.
The way the soup scene plays, Milo certainly appears to do all of it for the love.
What happens to Kid Sampson and McWatt is a tragic way to end the episode.
It’s becoming apparent that even having fun has consequences now, with letting off a little steam taking a dark turn.
The distraught breakdown McWatt experienced after the death of Sampson shows even the most steadfast of characters have a breaking point.
Its suddenness and the loss of both characters is a sad way to end things. The event is likely going to play on Yossarian’s mind. Perhaps he’ll even feel responsible in some way for it.
McWatt’s expression of darkness and humiliation after Cathcart’s attack in the mess hall shows it changed him. Accidentally killing Sampson, too, shows how even some fun can lead to carnage in the world of Catch-22.
No one is safe from death.
Even Major de Coverley isn’t immune from Yossarian’s actions. His disappearance in Bologna makes it a wonder if he will ever return.
Strolling into a Nazi briefing room and tossing their flag on the ground likely didn’t offer him a warm welcome.
(At least it was a very funny visual on which end his character!)
Catch-22 Season 1 Episode 3 shows how actions can snowball into horrible choices which affect the group.
Yossarian faces trauma after trauma, death after death, but is still right where he doesn’t want to be.
It makes you wonder how much more he can take before he is finally insane, as he originally wanted to use as an excuse to get out.
What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments!
Kevin Lever is a staff writer at TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.