‘Masters Of The Air’ Episode 5 Recap Summary: Is Egan Dead Or Alive?

The fifth episode of Masters of the Air was one of the most intense chapters in the tapestry of the whole show. Egan was back and willing to go on another mission, and it was clear he didn’t care if he survived. He just wanted to drop another bomb and make the Germans pay, partly because they had taken his dear friend Cleven away. The change in attitude was the most striking, as Egan went from something of an idealistic man to a reckless figure who just wanted to deal damage, irrespective of what he was damaging. The newbies also got a taste of the missions; there was a panic, and Rosenthal, one of the newest recruits, saw what he had signed up for. 


Spoilers Ahead

Why Had Egan Returned?

Egan’s return implied that another mission had been planned, and while Blakely was on his way back from the Bremen mission, Harding had planned another mission for the boys. Egan was to accompany Brady on the next mission, which had something to do with bombing the railroad men. There was an uneasy atmosphere as the back-to-back missions were like someone wanted the men to not survive. But it was an important mission, so the boys were ready. Crosby, Blakely, and a few others who had miraculously survived returned to base and were taken aback to see that their bunk beds had been allotted to some new recruits. There was news that no one had survived, which is why the mishap had occurred. Egan was to be Brady’s co-pilot, but Crosby was given a different detail, one that was more like a desk job, and he didn’t mind. 


Why Was Cruikshank Taken Aback By Egan’s Attitude?

The details of the mission were given to the airmen, and some people had doubts about whether or not this next mission was in line with American policy to drop bombs only at those places where civilian casualties could be kept to a minimum. The bomb site was near a church, and Crank was of the opinion that the mission was more an act of revenge than actual warfare. This irked Egan, who reacted as if in a way to suggest Cruikshank leave his naive thinking behind before he stepped into his plane. This was a war, and such thoughts could be the difference between winning and losing. The site, if bombed, would hurt the Germans the most. All ethics aside, the only thing Egan seemed to care about was dropping the bomb. Cruikshank was in no position to argue with Egan and had to go anyway.

How Did Rosenthal Keep His Spirit Up?

The flak turned out to be deadly, taking out Clanton and Harry. The planes belonging to the 100th bomber group went down like flies. It was Rosenthal who kept up his spirits and took his plane near the bombing site. In a dramatic moment, he asked his navigators to look around to see if they could see any other plane from the 100th around, but they couldn’t. All had gone down, and there were some sightings of the parachutes opening, which meant some had bailed. Rosenthal must have felt quite isolated, and the responsibility on his ‘new-recruit’ shoulders was immense. Yet he managed to keep a steady head and make the mission a success. 


When the others in his plane were panicking, seeing all the seniors had either perished or had bailed out, Rosenthal started humming the tune of a heroic ballad and diverted everybody’s attention for a second. It was enough to snap them out of their panic, and soon the whole squad was singing the tune. It showed how great a leader Rosenthal was that he not only managed to complete the mission but also kept his spirits up by helping the others do the same. 

How Did The Interrogations Go?

Harding was surprised to see a plane from the 309th Bomber Squad land in their backyard. They might not have had enough fuel, or perhaps they were hit badly, which is why they chose to land there. As far as seeing any planes from the 100th surviving, they had little idea. The latest news was that nobody had survived, after which an air of dread aura filled up the station. Everybody’s hearts sank, and it seemed the back-to-back missions were a terrible idea. There was some respite when Rosenthal arrived, but it wasn’t enough to turn dread into joy. 


The interrogations were to be held to ascertain the status of the other men who were dead or missing in action. Rosenthal saw that his crew had suffered a lot, and there were talks of never flying another mission again. At the interrogations, Harding and Bowman inquired about what Rosenthal’s crew knew about the fate of Egan and the rest. They had seen some parachutes but couldn’t say for sure who had really survived. 

Was Egan Caught? Why Did Crosby Cry?

Egan was with Brady at the time his plane was hit. Egan wouldn’t have bailed if there was even a single ray of hope that the plane could stay in the air. But it was hit so badly that it was going down, and there was no doubt about it. Egan had to bail, and he landed in Germany on a farm in Westphalia. He tried his best to hide, but he wasn’t sure that he would not be caught. It was an open field, with a real possibility that he could be spotted from a mile away. The fact that he jumped showed that he wasn’t suicidal, but there was a chance he would become a prisoner of war.

Crosby was at the station, and the episode that began with showing him and Bubbles embracing ended on a terribly sad note. Bubbles had written a letter to Crosby’s wife earlier, thinking that he had died on the Bremen mission. But he later returned, and the letter was never posted. Now Bubbles was missing, and Crosby read Bubbles’ letter only to realize that he would have to make the same gesture for Bubbles. It was the cruelty of fate on full display and it was enough to make Crosby sob in pain. There is still hope for Egan and the few others who have made a drop in Germany, but the situation is bleak and everybody knows it. 

Ayush Awasthi
Ayush Awasthi
Ayush is a perpetual dreamer, constantly dreaming of perfect cinematic shots and hoping he can create one of his own someday.

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