Pilot Lt. McKay says rock 'n roll is here to stay and blasts it from his chopper. He flies back to where Bravo Company is pinned down by VC and joins the fight from the air, playing rock 'n roll the whole time. Alex Devlin, a reporter, is working a drug story but learns from Jake Bridger, the owner of a hotel in Saigon, that there has been a big increase in VC activity all around with the Tet coming. Taylor and Johnson want to invest in a hotel chain with Bridger, even though Anderson warns them that Bridger is a hustler. Anderson meets with his ex-wife in Saigon.
Carol Anderson informs Zeke that she is marrying a nice guy; he wants her to be happy. Stacy Bridger travels to Saigon to meet her father, Sgt. Jake Bridger. He was killed by VC a week before. Except Bridger is in hiding and getting information about the VC to pass on to Command. McKay sends Goldman on a wild goose chase down the Fu Loc Highway so that he could be alone with Alex; McKay didn't know VC were all over the area. He flew to the rescue. That night, the VC launch a coordinated attack in Saigon, on Tan Son Nhut (the American base), and in cities throughout ...
Soldiers need someone to talk to regarding the horrors they experience. Tan Son Nhut has a priest who is there to listen. The Army also has a contract with a psychologist, Dr. Jennifer Seymour. A fragger kills the priest, making the base paranoid. Anderson listens to tapes of Dr. Seymour's notes about her patients and figures out who the fragger is, saving lives by doing so. Yet Dr. Seymour is angry that he violated her patients' privacy.
Battle fatigue can be totally enervating. McKay verbally abuses a soldier in the field who could not let go of a tree and get into the helicopter; they manage to get him into the chopper and back to base where Dr. Seymour deals with him. The policy is to get men without casualties back in to the field as soon as possible, but Anderson requests that Dr. Seymour find a way not to send Martsen back to the field. The major in the psych ward orders Martsen back to active duty, and he is shot in the next skirmish. Ruiz finally goes to see Dr. Seymour about his view that he ...
Bravo Company gets a new lieutenant, as Lt. Goldman is the new press officer for Major Darling. Lt. Escobar is shot and brought back by Ruiz. Lt. Escobar comes from a family with connections, and his father arranges for an early out for Escobar - and Ruiz. Ruiz turns him down. McKay and Bravo Company pick up two additional injured soldiers who had items for Major Darling apparently looted from a temple. Major Darling grounds McKay for doing this. Devlin picks up the story about the artifacts and offers a deal to Darling: he is to quit looting and he is to put Goldman ...
Sgt. Block is a sniper who has gone off the deep end. Anderson tries to help him by seeking a promotion for him that will take him out of the jungle. Sgt. Major Toliver stand in the way, and Block kills him. Anderson goes into the jungle for Block.
The U.S. Army is training South Vietnamese soldiers. They prove resourceful and reliable. Dr. Seymour shoots a VC and has trouble with her feelings. Alex chases a story about orphans and survives a VC attack on their compound.
Dr. Seymour is offered a direct commission as a major and a posting at Fort Sam Houston to teach her methodologies. PFC Thayer admits to Dr. Seymour that he is a homosexual. The Army doesn't allow homosexuals and it doesn't allow officers to fraternize with non-officers. To take the men's attention away from Thayer's attempted suicide, they set up a boxing match. Taylor promotes Woods to box. Woods, though, is hesitant because he will lose his amateur status, as the fight is not sanctioned. Taylor's conscience bothers him, but Woods proceeds with the match. When Woods...
In a VC village, Purcell shoots a VC and Bravo Company rescues a Quaker woman who is providing care for children in the village. She takes a little girl back to Saigon to find her mother. There, Purcell interrupts two Vietnamese trying to rape the Quaker woman. In his struggle with one of the men, the Vietnamese man is killed with his own gun, but the Quaker woman will not testify that Purcell was acting in self defense. The little girl's mother witnessed the fight, however, and Anderson, with the help of the widow of his friend who was killed in action, persuades the...
Anderson has to bring the body of a (black) soldier to the U.S. and meet with his family. And it all coincides with the recent assassination of Martin Luther King. At the same time several of the black soldiers are reeling from it and the Lieutenant in charge of these men who is black, tries to get them to go on. When they disobey his orders, he considers action but Goldman tries to talk him out of it.
The platoon must find a leak in a top secret operation. The only lead Sgt Jackson turns up dead. A Vietnamese boy is shot by VC while leading the team to Jackson and later accused of being the informant for the VC. Anderson and Goldman must find the true leak.
Zeke has to do some soul-searching after he kills a female sniper in self-defense. Someone is killing Saigon prostitutes and Alex is determined to get to the bottom of the story, contrary to Goldman's feelings.
Zeke is being recruited for private mercenary work. Alex investigates Pentagon waste. She's desperate for Myron to take a desk job but he's scheduled to lead his men on a joint operation with the SEALs.
The platoon is on patrol when they encounter CIA operative Jim Doyle in the Free Fire Zone. He conscripts them to carry back a new Russian rifle. Lt. Goldman suspects that he's in business for himself after two men are killed by an ambush.
Anderson and Goldman are listed MIA in the aftermath of an artillery strike. The platoon, McKay, and Alex Devlin deal with the loss in different ways. Johnson gets promoted to sergeant and has to fill in the shoes of Zeke. Alex Devlin wants to put Vietnam and Myron behind her and accepts a position as correspondent in Paris. Anderson and Goldman in fact have been taken POW. In a stopover village they figure out where they are and realize that they are ferried northwards. They need to escape because their chances to make it back to their own lines are dwindling.
With Goldman recovering and transferring to Intelligence, Anderson meets the replacement Lieutenant Miller, who is keen on appearance by the book, which is something the new medic, Francis Hockenbury, takes lightly. Alex Devlin gets the rare opportunity to interview NVA General Thoc in the tunnels. After surviving a B-52 strike on the complex, she is happy to be back in Saigon and spend her last night with Myron.
The platoon is transferred to Camp Barnett MACV-SOG from where they will conduct unconventional warfare and counter-insurgency operations. Zeke Anderson is not extending his tour and uses his saved up free time to return to the US earlier to go see his daughter Katie for the first time in 2 years. The squads' first assignment is to snatch a VC tax collector. Myron, mourning the loss of Alex, is distracted, and Johnson is trying to adjust to his role as the new "sarge".
The platoon is searching for a recon-squad that disappeared. During the various patrols Johnson's leadership abilities are severely put to the test and he has doubts whether he still got the edge. Zeke meets up with Jennifer Seymour and proposes to marry her. She says yes to share her life with Zeke, but she also senses that Anderson isn't ready yet to end the life he shared with his men in Vietnam.
Lt Beller -a friend of Goldman- and his platoon function as a blocking force, while Goldman's squad searches for weapons and the enemy in several villages. Beller is disillusioned and his platoon is war weary, due to time in combat, casualties, and not getting results. During a search Anderson and Goldman hear gunfire, then run into Beller, in the nearby village of Phu An. Percell is strung out from the war and the drugs he is taking affect his mood and fighting ability.
The squad is deep in enemy territory kidnapping a high-ranking NVA officer. Percell is not with them, after spending the night in jail. He is fed up with the military and, despite Ruiz's efforts, deserts. McKay helps out an orphanage run by nuns. He is happy being useful in a different way for a change, until he witnesses a Buddhist commits suicide in the streets. The Army wants to keep the Phu An massacre quiet; Beller's platoon is dissolved and Beller and his men are transferred to other units.
The guys yank Percell out of Cholon. Although safe from being branded a deserter, he now has to face drug withdrawal symptoms for the next days. The platoon is tasked in finding out how the NVA is getting truckloads of supplies into an area without roads. Colonel Brewster learns that the Army isn't doing anything regarding the massacre at Phu An and has no other option then to go to the press.
With Thanksgiving as a backdrop; Colonel Brewster's decision to go to the press about the Phu An massacre lands him a lot of trouble with the higher echelon, especially when he goes on the record with journalist Sid Boyle. Percell -after his cold turkey- is physically fine, but psychologically still shaken. Goldman, Zeke and the squad are gathering evidence for Colonel Brewster's theory that the NVA must have fuel storage dumps at regular intervals along the Ho Chi Minh trail.
Goldman's father shows up and after telling him he doesn't have long to live, they start talking and get to know each other for the first time in years. Johnson becomes a short-timer, and his friends in the platoon want to know his plans. Ruiz gets acquainted with Susana, an OR-assistant. The squad tries to get an enemy helicopter in order to destroy it or possibly fly it back. Percell goes along but keeps a low profile, but proves he hasn't lost his edge after encouragement by "Doc" Hockenbury.
An elusive NVA sniper makes life hard for everybody, but particular for McKay as the sniper targets helicopters. The squad assists ruthless CIA-operative Duke Fontaine in removing an important VC official from the ranks. The mission becomes complicated when Taylor and Johnson are captured by the VC.
As Bravo Company returns from a mission, they are interviewed by a television reporter. Sgt. Hannagan has received a pile of wrapped presents from groups back home. Bravo Company decides that the presents should go to the orphanage as Hannagan had told the television reporter. Hannagan tries to prevent that from actually happening, but Percell, Ruiz, and Taylor take the presents and load them onto a truck. Nurse Susanna Lozada is grieving a soldier they lost on the operating table. Ruiz comforts her and invites her to the Christmas party at the orphanage. She and ...