Tour of Duty: Season 1, Episode 8

The Good, the Bad, and the Dead (19 Nov. 1987)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Drama | War
8.6
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 30 users  
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When a drunken Sgt is arrested for stealing a jeep, Anderson recognizes the soldier as his old sergeant. After recommending him to the Lt, he organizes to have him drafted to the platoon. ... See full summary »

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Title: The Good, the Bad, and the Dead (19 Nov 1987)

The Good, the Bad, and the Dead (19 Nov 1987) on IMDb 8.6/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
Stephen Caffrey ...
Joshua D. Maurer ...
Pvt. Roger Horn (as Joshua Maurer)
Steve Akahoshi ...
...
...
Stan Foster ...
Spc. Marvin Johnson
...
Pvt. Alberto Ruiz (as Ramon Franco)
...
Pvt. Marcus Taylor (as Miguel A. Nunez Jr.)
...
Capt. Rusty Wallace (credit only)
...
Sgt. Aubrey Decker
David VandeBrake ...
First MP (as David Vanderbrke)
Stephanie Thi ...
Rita Mae
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Storyline

When a drunken Sgt is arrested for stealing a jeep, Anderson recognizes the soldier as his old sergeant. After recommending him to the Lt, he organizes to have him drafted to the platoon. Anderson's new addition soon creates problems for the whole group on their first patrol due to his willful disobedience and lax attention to regulations. Written by Queenslander

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Action | Drama | War

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Release Date:

19 November 1987 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
When heroes burn out... More heartbreak for Sgt. Anderson
23 December 2011 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

The alcoholic, unhinged Sgt. Decker steals the Chaplin's jeep and drives through an MP checkpoint with a prostitute. His is apprehended and sent to the stockade. Watching the action taking place, Anderson recognises Decker as his old drill sergeant from when he was in basic training. He meets Decker upon his release and signs him over into his platoon. Lt. Goldman is reluctant to have this man in his platoon, because of his bad track record of being drunk on duty and other insubordinate charges. But Anderson has great faith in the man and persuades Goldman to give him a chance, because he feels that Decker is now willing to leave all that behind him. Decker is considerable old for a grunt, and has served eighteen years in the army - a Korean war hero with medals. He comes along with the platoon on a mission to locate and destroy an NVA radio station deep in the jungle, and he is one of the squad leaders. He's an instant hit among the men, who see him as a hero and after his good eye keeps Johnson from walking into a pitfall trap, Johnson feels that he owes the man his life. But when he starts drinking, and falls asleep on his guard shift, Horn is stabbed by an NVA soldier, and now the entire NVA regiment in the area is alert to the GI's presence. Goldman is furious, and must now make a decision on whether to call in a chopper for Horn and jeopardizes the situation even further.... or continue on with the mission.

Tim Thomerson provides a brilliant guest appearance in this episode, which is a huge improvement after the previous dull outing in "Brother's, Father's and Son's". Despite Decker's insubordination which leads to Horn being nearly killed, I couldn't help but feel some real sympathy for the man at the end, when he takes Ruiz's M60 and together with Anderson flanks the NVA position and in doing so, he saves the rest of the men before taking a few bullets to the chest. He dies, leaving Anderson to carry him out of the jungle, before getting him to the chopper and yet again, the episode ends with Anderson heartbroken (In "Brother's, Father's and Son's" it had been because of the death of the baby), screaming "He was a damn good soldier!". Anderson earlier had told Decker that he was the best, and had it not been for his training, he wouldn't have survived two tours already in Vietnam. In this episode we see in the flesh what made Anderson the fine, strong soldier and leader he is.


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