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Route 66: 1x16 Fly Away Home (Part One) 1/3
US Soccer Ball

Brrrrrrrr, vrrrrrrrrr, fwooo, vrrrrrr!  (The sound a plane makes.)  A crop duster is dusting crops.

The pilot looks out over his kingdom of clouds and chemical dispersant, and is gratified.

Tod and Buz are driving by the field.

The plane zooms overhead and the boys look at each other, because it's kind of fun and exciting!  And... chemical-y!

Buz puts on a really bad British accent and starts talking about World War I and piloting a dogfighter. 

Tod thinks this is the funniest thing ever.

Ha ha!  Ah, we have good times.

A tiny model plane crashes into a tree!  The humanity!

Then it transports itself a few feet out of the trees and turns into a life-sized collection of pieces.

One of the farm hands, driving by, pulls over and gapes in horror.

The farm hand helps drag the pilot from the wreck.

Close call!

Then the plane blows up.

The pilot lights up smooth as silk, thinking, "Yep, I'm a badass."  He makes a point about always lighting his own cigarettes when the poor shaken farm hand tries to offer him a lit match.  This is, no doubt, indicative of a fault in the facade of cool that he is projecting. 

"Whelp," thinks the badass pilot, "Time to get back to it.  Can't hang around here all day - awesome won't be itself, after all."

The farm hand straightens his hat and looks on in awe.

Tod and Buz pull up to the Windus ... uh... what would you call it? An airfield?

The camera is mounted to the hood, so we see the car pull in... from the car's POV.  EXtr33m!

Inside the office, this woman, named Dora, is on the radio with a farmer who is telling her about some disease or vermin afflicting his crops.  He wants to dust the crops with sulfur but Dora says no, she'll never, ever dust with sulfur.

The two likely lads enter the scene.  Tod is smiling in fond recognition, Buz is... looking like you wouldn't want to meet him in a dark alley.

The man on the radio insists that Dora can't afford to skip his contract.  Dora mentions that a plane has just crashed and she's waiting on word about Summers, the pilot, and she hopes to God he's all right.

They've come at a bad time and are graciously looking a bit sad on Summers's behalf.

More concerned faces.  Sort of.  Tod wants her to get off the radio and acknowledge him already.  This is possibly not a fair reading, but by the way he acts in this next bit, it's not a completely baseless one.

The man on the radio, let's call him Mr. Exposition-Enabler, apologizes for being so pushy.   Dora hangs up.  Disconnects.  Whatever you do with radios.  Signs off!  That's it. 

She sees the two gentlemen. 

They're expecting to be greeted, but no!  She blanks them.  She walks by without a word.

Tod says he thought the pilot in the duster was her husband, Mr. Windus, but he now guesses it was Summers!  Dora is almost catatonic with worry, but Tod doesn't care, not really.  He asks if her husband is around. 

He gets no response.  So Tod asks if Dora remembers him.  He goes on for a bit about how she came to the house a few times when her husband worked for his dad, and how her husband taught Tod to fly! 

He continues talking about himself.  "Fourteen hours instruction, and off I flew!"  She doesn't respond.  (I didn't even need to cap it. They stand in the same positions and she keeps staring and he keeps talking.

He's too well-bred to show it, but he's annoyed by her behavior.  You can tell not by his tone of voice, again, because he's well-mannered, but because he starts talking himself up: "I was pretty proud of that; some guys, need eighteen, twenty hours before they fly solo."  Translation: I was so great.  I'm offended that you don't remember how impressive I was.

Does it look like she cares, Tod?  Dora continues to stare, terrified, into the distance, where I'm sure there's a plume of smoke and someone may have just died.  We know he didn't, but Dora doesn't, and Tod doesn't, and Tod just blathers on about himself regardless.

Now, let's be charitable.  Maybe he wants to distract her from her obvious anxiety.  But he doesn't even ask "Who's Summers?" because Summers must just be one of the help, and the help are such interchangeable little people to big shots like Tod and his dad and the almighty Mr. and Mrs. Windus. 

Someone else pulls in.

This pretty lady runs up and wants to know where they're taking Summers, because she just heard on the radio about the crash!  She was apparently already on her way here, because the Windus airfield isn't exactly downtown, and the crash was like ten minutes ago. 

Dora says she doesn't know.  She doesn't know if they're taking him anywhere.  (It might be a clean-up job.)  Tod looks at her like "Hey, I was talking about me!  I was here first!" 

Dora asks who this woman is.  She's Christina Summers, Mr. Summers's wife.  Or ex-wife, rather. 

We get a reaction shot of Buz.  I don't know why.  This has nothing to do with him.  He's taking note of it for later, presumably.  Edit upon rewatching: Ah, I see.  Cupid's arrow has just hit him!

Which means that when the script gives a note like "Buz feels an instantaneous connection, a sudden heave of the passions and an animal-like immediacy as this woman ascends the throne of his heart", this is the expression Maharis puts to it.  He's either fallen suddenly and hopelessly in love, or he's just seen something kind of icky on the floor. 

Tod apologizes.  "I guess we came busting in at a bad time.  And then I got all annoyed because you didn't immediately light up with recognition and worship my flying skillz, because you're terrified that someone you care about might be dead."

Mrs. Summers wants a telephone.  Dora says they'll hear faster, because the man they sent out should be back soon.  "It wasn't far.  We heard it from here."  Tod and Buz didn't take any notice, apparently, but they're strangers.  Maybe random crashing and explosions are par for the course 'round these parts. 

Mrs. Summers might also be seeing Buz, because he's...  well:

He's staring, uh, kinda blankly.  Shh, he's distracted by the sweet symphony in the seat of his soul.  Either that, or someone's handed him an organic chemistry textbook.  That's the look I had on my face, anyway, when I paged through my housemate's.

Tod now realizes that he's been assuming and self-centered and backpedals.  He asks if Dora would tell her husband they were there about a job, and they'll come back later when she's in a frame of mind to worship him properly.  "I hope Mr. Summers is all right."

A little late, but whatever.  He leaves Dora and the ex Mrs. Summers and goes back to Buz, who is still staring at Christina.  You're veering into "creepy man in the corner of the bar who follows you out the door" territory, Buz.

But then!  What light through yonder pickup breaks!

Dora is well pleased that Summers isn't dead. 

He says he has another hundred aces to do today, so they better load up one of the other planes.

Dora insists they can call another pilot! 

Summers holds out his awesome hand to demonstrate that he's " as steady as Gibraltar." 

But something shakes him - he sees Christina and stops short.

He doesn't give her a very warm greeting!  He asks if she wants money.

They have a cryptic conversation.  She denies that she's looking for money, he says there are no answers here or anywhere, and she ends with something like "You only taught me the questions, not the answers"  and Summers says there are no answers anywhere.  He's one of those "I've lived life and I recognize the hollowness of it all" types, a brooding, intellectual action-man. 

Meanwhile, Dora is at the Corvette.  She says the boys asked for a job - what kind of job?

Tod says "I'm happy to be recognized!  Frankly I didn't know what was going on, your not even remembering me."  Translation:  Somehow I missed that you were emotionally caught up in a potential tragedy.  I'm sore that you didn't pay attention to me when I wanted it.  Me me me.

Dora says, rather coolly, "I remember my first hair ribbon.  I was four."  Translation: I remembered you.  I was busy, you brat. "What kind of job?"

Tod says he wants to dust crops. Since Windus taught him to fly, surely he could teach him to dust crops too. 

Dora says it's fifty hours of training and a year-long apprenticeship. They're in no hurry! "This is Buz Murdock."

Tod asks if they could find something for Buz to do.  Dora says he could be a swamper. 

Buz makes a joke about alligators, and Dora, looking very stern, tells him "The pay is sixty-five dollars a week."

This shuts Buz down.  He says he'll take it.

Dora walks away.  Buz says "So much for old family friends."  Tod says that Dora has changed, and he wonders if Vicky has changed too in the four years since he's known them. 

Buz asks who Vicky is! 
"Their daughter.  I didn't pay much too attention to her.  She was fifteen and a barber pole."

Buz says "Four years ago?  She's changed."  Translation: She might have a nice rack!

Tod laughs and looks at Buz and his dirty mind fondly.

Tod pulls up to watch Summers take off. 

A trendy night spot!  Tod and Buz are interested in Paul Shank's Gracious Dining and cocktails at the French Quarter.

Christina is singing here nightly.

Buz is very excited, but Tod says she's out of their league.

"Out of your league, maybe."

"I mean she's older than us."

Buz doesn't care, though.  He digs it.

But Tod thinks she's still involved with Summers, because of how concerned she was.   He's trying to warn Buz off his quest for a replacement mother!  Not in those words, of course, but Tod's down with Freud.  He can read Buz like a book.  He tells Buz that watching her sing isn't going to help, but Buz won't be dissuaded.

So we get to watch her sing for a while.

Tod looks askance.

Buz is entranced.

Once again, amused resignation, as Tod realizes his life is forever at the mercy of Buz's infatuations. 

Next Part: Fly Away Home (Part One) 2/3