Ben Randall
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Quotes for
Ben Randall (Character)
from The Guardian (2006/I)

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The Guardian (2006/I)
Jake Fischer: I won't let go!
Ben Randall: I know.

Ben Randall: [refering the the accident that killed Jake's friends] I've read the report Jake. Your blood alcohol level was zip that night. I'm guessing there was a flip for designated driver, you lost.
Jake Fischer: I guess that just makes it all go away, huh?
Ben Randall: No, it doesn't make it all right, it just makes it an accident. At least that's how it reads. You were 16 years old Jake. I'm not your priest, but if I was I think maybe you deserve a pass.
Jake Fischer: You're giving me a pass. You think you know everything, with your psychobabble bullshit. Why am I here? Why are you here, huh? Your too old to be doing this, you washed up here. You don't want to be teaching a bunch of kids in a pool, am I right? I don't give an eff what you read or who you talked to. You don't know about me.
[now yelling]
Jake Fischer: I have me under control.
Ben Randall: I can see that. The only difference between you and me is that I don't wear the ones I lost on my arm. I know where your at Jake. I'm there myself. I ask myself everyday why I was the one who survived.
Jake Fischer: And?
Ben Randall: And if I can't answer that for me, I'm certainly not going to try to answer that for you. Have a seat. I want you to start being a member of this team. The team you have now. You have a gift Jake. You're the best swimmer to come through this program, hands down, by far, and you've got a whole record board to prove it. But you know what I see when I look at it? I see someone fast enough who's going to get there first. I see someone strong enough who's going to last. I see someone who can save a life maybe no one else could. You really want to honor then initials on your arm? Then honor your gift. Save the ones you can Jake. The rest, you've got to let go.

Ben Randall: Save the ones you can Jake. The rest, you've got to let go.

Ben Randall: There will come a time when you might have to decide who lives and dies out there. It's a terrible responsibility but it's one you will have to make as a rescue swimmer. The bigger reality is, its also something you are going to have to live with as a human being. There will come a time when you will have to say no. The most important person to keep alive is yourself. You'll be facing crews from 5 to 20 all saying 'save me, save me.' They're looking for a miracle. How old are you Hodge?
Billy Hodge: 24.
Ben Randall: At 24 years old you have to become that miracle. You have to find a way to be that miracle.

Jake Fischer: You're going to kick me out for defending the Coast Guard?
Ben Randall: The Coast Guard has been around for 200 years. I doubt a couple of knuckleheads like yourself are going to defend it.

Ben Randall: I've been trying to peel the layers back for a while now and I, I just don't get it. I mean this kind of work seems a little remedial for someone like yourself. A big swim champ offered to every Ivy League, you give it up to be here with us. Why?
Jake Fischer: I'm here to save lives Senior Chief.
Ben Randall: I spoke to your coach Jake.
Jake Fischer: You spoke to my coach?
Ben Randall: Yeah I spoke with your coach. Something in your file just kept hanging me up. You will the state championship your freshman and sophomore years then you don't swim the next two. I'm just a public school guy, so uh pardon me, but it didn't add up until now.
[shows a newspaper with a headline of "swim team killed in fiery crash - one survivor"]
Ben Randall: Kick Holloway, 100 medley winner, thrown through the passenger window. Abe Ikeman, first team All-American, lungs crushed. Carl Sandables, 50 meter freestyle champ, made it all the way to the hospital, died of internal bleeding.
Jake Fischer: I guess you just know everything then.
Ben Randall: I know what it's like to lose a team.
Jake Fischer: Yeah, what about living in a small town where everyone thinks you killed their brother, or their son, or their best friend? You know about that?
Ben Randall: The kind of small town where everyone waves at each other, just not to you.

Jake Fischer: Does this mean you're not going to fail me.
Ben Randall: For what? Backing up a buddy at a bar? Then I've got to bigger problems than you.

Jake Fischer: Hey, there was a question I wanted to ask you back as school, but I didn't. When you can't save 'em all, how do you choose who lives?
Ben Randall: It's probably different for everybody Jake. Its kind of simple for me though. I just, I take the first one I come to or the weakest one in the group and then I swim as fast and as hard as I can for as long as I can. And the sea takes the rest.
Jake Fischer: Do you think I'm ready?
Ben Randall: I'm not your teacher anymore Jake. I'm just your fellow swimmer.
Jake Fischer: That's not exactly the answer I was looking for there.
Ben Randall: If I did not think you were ready, I would not put you in the Bering Sea

Ben Randall: I can't sleep.
Maggie McGlone: Of course you can't. Your wife left you, your best friend died; you sound like a damn country song. If you had a dog, he'd be run over by now.

Ben Randall: Ya know, there never was anyone else Mag's.
Maggie McGlone: Like hell, Ben, you're a bigamist. You've been married to the coast guard all along. Now gimme that shoulder. Prolly swum it out of socket tryin to prove you was still nineteen.
Ben Randall: When the heck did we get old?
Maggie McGlone: Hell, I've always been old Ben. Ya' know what though, I don't mind. I mean if my muscles ache, it's because I've used 'em. It's hard for me to walk up them steps now, its 'cuz I walked up 'em every night to lay next to a man who loved me. I got a few wrinkles here and there, but I've layed under thousands of skies with sunny days. I look and feel this way, well cuz I drank and I smoked. I lived and I loved, danced, sang, sweat and screwed my way thorough a pretty damn good life if you ask me. Getting old ain't bad Ben. Getting old, that's earned.

Jake Fischer: How do you choose who to save?
Ben Randall: I swim as fast and as hard as I can, for as long as I can. And the sea takes the rest.

Ben Randall: [as Jake is supposed to be performing CPR on a dummy] Why aren't you breathing, Fischer?
Jake Fischer: I wasn't aware it was possible for someone to still be alive and hold their breath for fifteen minutes, Senior Chief.
Ben Randall: Are you a coroner? I didn't think so. It isn't our job to decide if they're dead. Keep breathing.

Jake Fischer: What's your real number?
Ben Randall: 22.
Jake Fischer: 22? That's not bad. It's not 200 but...
Ben Randall: 22 is the number of people I lost, Jake. The only number I kept track of.

Jake Fischer: Hey, I wanted to apologize for what I said earlier about you being old and washed up.
[Ben nods]
Jake Fischer: ...Is there anything you'd like to say to me?
Ben Randall: Like what?
Jake Fischer: I don't know, I apologized to you, I just thought that, you know, there might be something you've said or done that you'd like to apologize to me for...
Ben Randall: Why?
Jake Fischer: Cause... that's how's it's done, I... you suck at apologizes.

Ben Randall: There will come a time when you have to decide who lives and who dies.

Ben Randall: [reading off his class roster] Fischer. Why are you here, Fischer?
Jake Fischer: I'm here to exceed your expectations, Senior Chief. I'm a rescue swimmer at heart, born, bred, and water-fed. Hoorah!
Ben Randall: [dryly] Wow. I bet you practiced that all morning.

Ben Randall: [to his class] Can someone tell me the Rescue Swimmer's Motto?
Jake Fischer: So others may live, Senior Chief!
Ben Randall: Ooohhh, I feel safer already.

Jack Skinner: Mr. Fischer is our high school swim champ. He's had scholarships to every Ivy League.
Ben Randall: [*very* sarcastically] Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize that he was so qualified. I mean, you set records in a pool? That's amazing. I'll bet it was like, what, eight feet deep in the deep end? What if your nose plug didn't work? What if another swimmer had cut into your lane? For the love of God, you could've been killed.

Ben Randall: Whatever decision you make, you make as a team.

Capt. Frank Larson: Out of the 39 000 men and women that make up the United States Coast Guard there are only 280 rescue swimmers. This is because we are the Coast Guard's elite. We are the best of the best. When storms shut down entire ports, we go out. When hurricanes ground the United States Navy, we go out. And when the holy Lord himself reaches down from heaven and destroys his good work with winds that rip houses off the ground, We. Go. Out.
Ben Randall: [Later in private, quoting him:] "When God rips houses off the ground?"
Capt. Frank Larson: I was rollin'.

Man in cave: I don't swim so good.
Ben Randall: You don't swim so good?
Man in cave: No, sir.
Ben Randall: It's okay. I swim pretty good.

Pilot Mitchell: We're low on fuel. The rulebook says we cut our losses. What do you think, Ben?
Ben Randall: When we go home, they die.

[Ben has just rescued Jake and they are being hoisted up to the helicopter]
Jake Fischer: I thought you were going fishing!
Ben Randall: What do you call this?
[the cable starts to fray and Ben makes a snap decision - to unhook himself and fall so Jake will get up safely]
Jake Fischer: What are you doing? Don't even think about it!
Ben Randall: It's not gonna hold us both.

Ben Randall: I don't know about you but I could use a fucking drink.
Ben Randall: [after Jake peers up at Randall] Oops.

Ben Randall: We are going to consider everything tonight off-duty and off-record...
[after Jake stares blankly at Randall]
Ben Randall: That was an invite.
Jake Fischer: [with a surprised reaction] oh.

Ben Randall: I don't care who you are, where you're from, or where your going. I care about one thing, and one thing only. That is the future victims that you will be asked to save. If i think that you will fail them. Then i will fail you. Understood?
A-School Recruits: Yes Senior Chief!

Capt. Frank Larson: Ben, come in. You work fast. Lyons? He was one of our top candidates.
Ben Randall: Sometimes you gotta shoot a hostage.
Jack Skinner: Look, we all know that you're a... legend and all, but our program has been proven to work.

[Ben takes Jake to the same Navy bar he got in a fight in earlier that night]
Jake Fischer: You gotta be kidding me.
Ben Randall: What was it they called you?
Jake Fischer: "Puddle pirates", but it's not - I'm way over it.

Ben Randall: Class 5506, will you come find me if I am lost?
Cadets: Yes, Senior Chief!
Ben Randall: Will you come save me if I am drowning?
Cadets: Yes, Senior Chief!
Ben Randall: I believe you would.

[to Helen]
Ben Randall: I had a case a while back, a couple was drowning. By the time I got there, the husband was dragging his wife under, just trying to stay afloat. Pure survival instinct. It took me a long time to understand that that man was me.