The Yellow Birds (2017) Movie Script

[soft dramatic music]
[soft instrumental music]
[soft dramatic music]
[Bartle] The war tried
to kill us in the spring.
And the summer.
It tried to kill us every day.
It didn't explain itself.
It didn't tell us why
it brought us there
or what it wanted.
It just took.
[distinct radio chatter]
It killed some of us before
we knew we were dead.
Pretty soon it was hard
to tell who was alive
and who was just a ghost.
We lost Murph
somewhere in there.
Not really sure when.
Even before we lost
him, he was gone.
I wish the truth were different
than what I remembered.
I wish I could find an
order that made sense.
[upbeat music]
Conceal and carry, baby.
Conceal and carry.
It's gonna take courage
to win this war.
[Soldier] Definitely.
[upbeat music]
She's into you, Murph.
- [Bartle] You like her?
- No.
Go dance with her.
I can't.
I'm not a good dancer.
So just dance.
Hi! Where you going?
Hi, sorry.
He'll get to it.
He's shy.
You're embarrassing me.
You're embarrassing
yourself, dude.
Come on.
Come on!
[Soldier] Yeah, baby.
[Soldier] Fucking move!
Now move! Move!
- [Soldier] Incoming!
- Move!
Fucking move, go!
[gun firing]
[Soldier] Oh, shit!
All right, let's go!
[bombs exploding]
Guys, guys...
[bombs exploding]
That was pretty close, huh?
[Officer in cadence] Yellow
bird on a window sill.
[Group of soldiers] Yellow
bird on a window sill.
[Officer] Pretty little
beak and a pretty little tail.
[Group of soldiers]
Pretty little beak
and a pretty little tail.
[guns firing]
[Man] Check your racks.
There you go, Morgan!
Hey, man.
You from Virginia?
I'm from Richmond.
Well, just outside Richmond.
[guns firing]
My name's Murphy.
Yeah, I know.
Oh, yeah.
Somebody told me
you're from Virginia.
Then why'd you ask?
Get your asses up here.
[guns firing]
Now, you boys seriously
need to unfuck yourselves.
You hear me?
None of you people get it.
Now, Murphy, show me something.
[Man] Firing mine, rapidly
[gun firing]
Your turn, Private.
How tall are you?
5'7" what?
- Just 5'7".
- 5'7", Sergeant.
5'7", Sergeant, sir.
You fast?
Yes, Sergeant.
All right, little man.
When the time comes I need
somebody to run for me,
I'm gonna ask you.
Till then, I want you to get
in Bartle here's back pocket
and I want you to stay there.
[gun firing]
[Murph] Yes, sir.
Get your shit, get
a rack near Bartle.
- You got that, Bartle?
- What, sir?
[Sterling] You got a new
girlfriend to keep you company.
[Officer in cadence] Then I
crushed his pretty yellow head.
- [Bartle] Is that your mom?
- Huh?
Oh, yeah.
You jumped right
in, didn't you?
[Murph] Into what?
Oh, yeah.
Well, it's just
something I'm getting
under my belt, you know?
My dad was in the Marines
before he went to college.
I don't know if he, like
wanted me to join up
- or anything, but...
- Mm-hm.
I guess I just wanted
to do something good
before I do whatever
else it is I'm gonna do.
I think I'm gonna go to UVA
after this and study history.
[Bartle] History of what?
I don't know.
I just like history.
What about you?
Uhh, I almost
went to school.
But then...
I didn't.
I just wound up
fucking around and...
And not really doing
much of anything.
So why'd you join up?
Thing to do. I don't
know if it felt like
a good thing, but...
It felt like a thing.
[soldiers chatting]
Is it too late to, I
don't know, take it back?
- Come home?
- Ma.
Ma, it's done.
It's done. Okay?
Let's just have a nice talk.
- Which base is it, again? Can I come see you?
- I don't know.
I don't know if they let us
have visitors at the base,
so I gotta find out.
- Well, I'd love to come.
- Yeah.
Oh, and your friends
have been asking after you.
Especially that uh...
What's-her-name? You know,
the one I never liked?
[Murph] Hey, man, look.
It's just me.
Come check this out.
I gotta go, Ma.
I'll write, okay?
[Amy] Okay, we'll...
[soldiers chatting]
Hey, Sarge, you
got an extra razor?
You don't got your own?
I never needed one before.
So how come you need one now?
I think I wanna shave my head.
Go get some clippers before
you waste one of my razors.
[Bartle] That's
what I told him.
[Sterling] You seriously
never shaved before?
No, sir.
[Sterling] How old are you?
[Murph] 18.
Just turned last week.
And you?
[Bartle] 20.
Look, you guys are
my guys, right?
I ain't supposed to be
telling anyone this,
but our AO just came down
this morning from on high.
We're gonna be shipping out.
All right, you guys are gonna
be seeing some shit real soon.
It's gonna be a goat-fuck.
A what?
[Sterling] A goat-fuck.
So starting now, you guys have
to promise to do what I say.
[Murph] Yeah,
sure thing, Sarge.
No, fuck that.
Don't give me that shit.
No sure thing this time.
Promise you'll do what I
say every fucking time.
- Yes, sir, we'll do what you say.
- I promise.
All right now. Look, there's
some folks who go to this war
and never pull a trigger.
That ain't gonna be you guys.
They're gonna kill the
fuck out of some of us.
We're gonna kill the
fuck out of some of them.
That's just the
way it's gonna go.
Now listen, you stick with
me, you do what I say,
I'll take care of you.
All right?
Yes, sir.
[Sterling] I always
take care of my guys.
Hey, Bartle?
Why do you think Sarge
treats us like he does?
[Bartle] Like what?
You know, like...
Like special.
It's not special, it's just...
He knows he can count on us.
How's he know a
thing like that?
Look, man, we're
gonna be fine.
We just gotta watch each
other's backs, that's all.
Yeah, I got your back.
Okay, good.
Now go to fucking sleep
or I'm gonna kick the shit
out of you.
[distant drum sounds]
[bomb exploding]
[Murph] Shit,
Bartle, you okay?
Yeah, I'm good.
- Were you asleep?
- No.
Roger that. I'm coming up.
Third Platoon, on your feet!
Off and on, people,
we're going up.
[soldier shouting]
Come on, let's move!
[dramatic music]
[guns firing]
[soldiers shouting]
[soldier] We need eyes on that
second floor window, now!
[Lieutenant] Move!
Second floor! Second floor!
[guns firing]
[soldier shouting]
[guns firing]
- Come on, boy,
- I have incoming! Get down!
[bomb exploding]
- [panting]
- [Soldier] Everybody clear?
Get him out of here!
[guns firing]
- You up?
- [Soldier] We need more 2-40's!
Let's kill these Hajji fucks!
[gun firing]
Come on, fuck you!
[guns firing]
[distant shouting]
[guns firing]
Fuck you!
Fuck you!
[guns firing]
Come on.
Come on, come on.
No, no, no, no, no.
[Man] Sid, come on!
Come on.
Come on.
[gun firing]
You didn't think you'd make
it that far, did you, buddy?
[gun firing]
[men shouting in
foreign language]
[Crockett] Oh, we
got a vehicle, Sarge!
One o'clock.
Come on, you fucks!
[car engine roaring]
Wait, wait, wait, wait!
[gun firing]
It's a woman.
Wait, it's a fucking woman!
[guns firing]
Hold off!
[guns firing]
[Soldier] Clear!
- Shit.
- [woman screaming]
That bitch just got murdered.
[people murmuring]
[folk music]
I found a bird
with a broken wing
And cared for that
small, tiny thing
Hey, Bartle!
Hey, come over here.
Hey, man, come over here.
Meet my parents.
My mom and dad.
- Brandon Bartle.
- Pleased to meet you, ma'am.
- It's so nice to meet you.
- Pleased to meet you, sir.
Proud of you, boys.
Very proud of you.
Did Murph tell you
I was in your shoes?
[Bartle] Yes, sir.
Well, it's very brave
what you guys are doing.
- Yes, sir.
- Where are you sitting?
- Oh, no, I'm just grabbing...
- Is your family here?
Uh, no, my mom had
to work tonight, so...
Well, then, sit with us.
Sit down this instant.
- Yeah, take a seat, man.
- Come on.
I just think this is so
nice that they do this
for the families,
don't you think?
- Yeah.
- Yes, ma'am.
So, you and Daniel,
will you be bunking
over there together, too?
Uh, I don't know what the
situation will be actually
when we get over there, but
it'd be great to stick together.
Mm, well, you
should, because my boy
will be getting more care
packages than anyone here.
I can promise you that.
So, if you need anything,
I just want you to know
you can write to me and
I'll send it right over.
- Okay?
- Yes, ma'am.
- Okay?
- Okay.
Oh, hi.
It was so nice to
finally meet you.
Nice to meet you, too.
So he's doing a good job?
Yes, ma'am, very good.
That's so good.
Thanks for looking out for him.
You bet.
We look out for each other.
Promise me you'll take
care of him over there?
Yeah, of course.
And listen, God forbid
something were to happen and...
But if it does, I really
would like to hear that
from you first.
You bet, ma'am.
Thank you.
Okay, be safe, okay?
I will.
You too.
[Maureen] Yeah.
[dramatic music]
[helicopter humming]
[weapon firing]
[bomb exploding]
[men chatting]
[men laughing]
[engine roaring]
[gun firing]
How many times we been
through that orchard, sir?
Writing a history
book, Corporal?
- No, sir.
- [Lieutenant] Then quit counting.
[guns firing]
What is this?
A letter?
- Hey, give it back.
- Oh, it's from Mama.
- Come on, Bartle, give it back.
- "Dear Daniel..."
It's so weird she
calls you Daniel.
"We just got home.
"Your dad took me out
for Valentine's Day.
"It was nice, but don't worry,
"he knows you're
my real Valentine."
Is that supposed to
be for me, though?
Because I think
- I'm her real Valentine.
- Asshole.
You wish.
[man on radio murmuring]
Some people ain't
cut out for this shit.
[Bartle] What,
do you mean Murph?
No, sir, Murph's
got his shit together.
Murph's solid.
[engines roaring]
Lieutenant Bellington.
[Sterling] Carry
on, Lieutenant.
How's the war, gentlemen?
[Lieutenant] Sir...
You tell me.
Your mic's on, so
whenever you're ready, sir.
Gentlemen, this
is the final push.
We're gonna drop
fire in this rat hole
for the next two
hours until dawn.
We'll still be shredding
those palm trees
when you get to them.
We'll take this city.
Once we do, the insurgency
will die on the vine.
I know not all of you read the
Bible, but those that do...
You know, this is the land
where Jonah was buried,
where he begged God's
justice to come.
And we are...
We are that justice.
Right now, as of this moment...
This is the most important
day of your lives.
[guns firing]
You really think this is
the most important thing
you'll ever do?
I don't know.
[Cameraman] You really think
this is the most important
day of your life?
I fucking hope not.
[Cameraman] You have anybody
waiting for you back home?
[soft instrumental music]
Oh, wait, wait, wait.
[Bartle] What? What?
[Tess] I have a leg cramp.
You okay?
I'm good.
[Bartle] Tess, Tess, Tess,
Tess, Tess, Tess, Tess, Tess...
[Tess] Stop that.
[Bartle] Tess, Tess, Tess,
Tess, Tess, Tess, Tess, Tess...
Shut up!
[Bartle] What?
[Tess] I hate that.
[Bartle] You hate your name?
[Tess] I hate
when you do that.
[Bartle] You know,
if I say it enough,
it stops meaning anything.
All I've got left is you.
Same thing with your name.
[Bartle] No, I got syllables.
Mm, Bartle, Bartle, Bartle,
Bartle, Bartle, Bartle,
Bartle, Bartle, Bartle...
[tank engine roaring]
[distinct radio chatter]
"He changes rivers
into wilderness
"and springs of water
into thirsty ground,
"fruitful land into salt waste,
"because of the wickedness
of those who dwell in it."
Look at the ground.
Salt the ground, the
earth will bear no fruit.
There'll be nothing to eat.
These people will be no more.
Their spirits will not
come back to haunt us.
What you doing, Sarge?
[Sterling] It's from Judges.
I will not see their eyes.
I will not see their bodies.
I will not feel their flesh.
What the fuck is Judges, man?
Dude, I think Sarge
is losing his shit.
[dramatic music]
[birds chirping]
[frogs croaking]
[distinct radio chatter]
[soldier humming]
[crickets chirping]
[birds chirping]
[fly buzzing]
One o'clock, one o'clock,
one o'fucking clock!
Get down, move!
[guns firing]
I fell asleep.
I fucking fell asleep!
[guns firing]
[Soldier] Watch your right!
Let's go.
[soldier shouting]
[guns firing]
The windows.
Eyes on the windows.
[man shouting]
[guns firing]
Two shooters.
Top windows.
[guns firing]
I got him!
One shooter.
[guns firing]
[man shouting]
You got him?
[Bartle] Hold on.
You see him?
Wait, shut up.
[gun firing]
Where are you hit?
- Where are you hit?
- I don't know.
- We need a medic!
- [Sterling] Cover!
[Murph] Sarge!
[gun firing]
Hey, move, that's it.
Let's get this off.
Come on.
[Bartle] You're
doing good, man.
You're good.
[Vasquez coughs]
Come on, take it easy.
All right.
All right, now look at me.
Oh, fuck.
Come on, buddy.
Vasquez, come on.
Oh, shit.
Oh, shit.
[men murmuring]
Ah, fuck.
But he's dead.
Well, you can't
leave him here.
[bomb exploding]
What you looking at, Private?
I thought he was
gonna say something.
Well, they usually don't.
This one guy said something
once just before he went.
What'd he say?
He just grabbed my
hand and he goes...
"Hey, man, check if
I shit my pants."
That's it?
Yeah, that's it.
[dramatic music]
Come on.
First squad, move out!
[dramatic music]
Man, I feel fucking
crazy right now.
You know, I was just
happy it wasn't me,
that's the first
thing I thought.
That's fucking crazy, isn't it?
No, man, what's crazy
is not thinking that shit.
You know?
[distinct radio chatter]
[Lieutenant] Third
platoon, on your feet!
We're moving!
[birds chirping]
[bird cawing]
[dramatic music]
[plane turbine humming]
[dramatic music]
[man murmuring]
[dramatic music]
Thank you.
Oh, no, no, it's on me.
You just got back?
How was it out there?
[dramatic music]
[door creaking]
[man on TV talking]
Where were you?
I was waiting.
Let me look at you.
Are you in one piece?
No, I'm fine, I'm just tired.
Okay, Ma.
[Amy] Ah!
[car door slamming shut]
[wind chimes]
[Anderson] Ms. Bartle?
Is Brandon home?
- He's out.
- Oh, that's too bad.
Any idea where?
I know the area pretty well.
Listen, whatever you're selling,
mister, we don't want any.
- No, pardon, uh...
- You had him all ready.
You don't get to take him
again, you understand?
Oh, I'm not a recruiter or
anything like that, Ms. Bartle.
I'm one of the good guys.
Says who?
I'm just following
up on a few things
from Brandon's last post.
I have a few questions for him.
It's routine, more or less.
Well, he's not here.
Yeah, you said that.
[Amy] Mm-hm.
Would you mind if I
ask you a few things?
Has your son ever mentioned
the name Daniel Murphy?
Garrett Sterling, perhaps?
We haven't talked much.
When you do see Brandon, will
you give him this for me?
Thank you, ma'am.
And what'd you
people do to him?
He won't get out of bed.
He don't care about nothing.
It's like he doesn't know
where he is half the time.
- [Anderson] I understand.
- Do you?!
You got kids?!
About half a million.
That's not even
counting reserves.
Well, I've just got the one.
[Bartle] Thanks, Ma.
CID, what is that?
Investigation Division.
What happened over there?
[phone bleeping]
[woman talking on phone]
[Bartle] Yeah, I'm trying
to reach Staff
Sergeant Sterling.
[woman talking on phone]
[Bartle] Right, yeah.
[woman talking on phone]
No, no, no, I'm
just a friend of him,
just served with him,
I was just wondering
what he's up to, is all.
No, I can...
Yeah, thank you.
No, I...
I might call back sometime.
Yeah, thanks.
[wind howling]
The moon looks different here.
[dramatic music]
Not like home.
[Sterling] Fuck home.
Keep thinking about
home, you end up there
with a flag shoved up your ass.
Jesus Christ, get your mind out
of your girlfriend's
pussy, Bartle.
Don't have a
girlfriend, Sarge.
[Sterling] Yeah, sure you do,
or you wouldn't
say it like that.
I don't, or at least
I don't think I do.
She's going to school, so I
figured the best thing was...
Well, you know.
[Sterling] She
dropped you then?
[Bartle] What?
[Sterling] I'd kill the bitch.
[Murph laughs]
What the heck you
cackling about, Murphy?
Everything's just
so goddamn funny, sir.
Phone for you.
[Bartle] Who?
[Amy] It's Tess.
[Bartle] I'm not here.
She and Luke and
the gang are going
to the river on the weekend.
They want you to go.
[Bartle] Okay.
What should I tell her then?
[Bartle] That
I'll call her back.
So should I tell
her you're not coming?
Just tell her
whatever you want.
Your friends wanna see you.
[Bartle] I'm not the one
who told them I was back, Ma.
It's not like it's
a secret, honey.
Everyone knows you're home.
It'll be good for you.
Ma, please, just get
the fuck out of my room.
- What the fuck?!
- [Amy] Get up!
- What the fuck are you doing?!
- You don't get to stay
in bed for another month!
- Fuck!
- I can't take this.
Who the fuck are you?!
Talk to me!
Listen to me.
Let me fucking sleep, okay?!
[train honking]
[train rumbling]
[Clerk] What's up, hero?
Same old, same old?
[Bartle] Yup.
[female reporter on TV]
[Female reporter] Deeply
troubled by the military's
handling of the situation.
They might be
covering something up.
They might not be
covering something up.
I don't know why.
I don't know anything.
No one will talk to me, and
all I have are questions.
I'm not accusing the
Army of anything.
I just wanna know
where my son is.
[Female reporter]
Specialist Murphy was part
of the Third Armored
Cavalry Regiment
operating out of
Camp Tiller in...
[railroad crossing bell ringing]
[train honking]
[Female reporter on TV]
[Sterling] I wanna talk
to Captain Anderson, CID.
[Anderson] This is Anderson.
[Sterling] I ain't a coward.
[Anderson] Sergeant Sterling?
[Sterling] You
hear what I said?
[Anderson] Nobody
said you were, son.
People who use that word tend
to not know what it means.
Yeah, I'm just saying...
I ain't running.
[Anderson] Then
what are you doing?
[Sterling] Thinking.
[Anderson] So why
don't you come in?
You tell us your side
of things, Sergeant.
[Sterling] Ah, shit, sir. I
think we both know I ain't
nobody's sergeant no more.
[car engine roaring]
[dramatic music]
[birds chirping]
[fire crackling]
[car engines roaring]
[heavy metal music]
We're still at work, people.
Keep the channel clear.
Come on, LT,
it's driving music.
That's cold, sir.
[over radio] Hey, I'm
taking requests.
What you wanna hear, sir?
[Lieutenant] You're requesting
to get your ass sent home.
[Crockett] You're
gonna send us home
for playing music, sir?
Personally, I wouldn't waste...
[bomb explodes]
Stop, stop, here.
Come on, let's move!
[soldier shouting]
My 12, on the roof!
[guns firing]
[soldiers talking]
[guns firing]
Oh, shit!
[Soldier] Man is down!
[fire crackling]
[dramatic music]
You're doing great,
just stay still.
You okay?
Lay back for me.
Lay back for me.
Just lay back.
Ooh, it's almost over.
Okay, you're almost done.
[Murph sobs]
Hey, calm down.
Breathe, just breathe.
[Murph sobs]
You're okay,
soldier, you're okay.
[Murph sobs]
[helicopter humming]
[Man] We got Woodward.
[Woodward] Yes, sir.
[Man] We got Scotts.
Private Murphy!
- Murphy, no Murphy?
- Just to come on back.
[helicopter humming]
And as John did for Jesus...
Let us wash it
away, wash it away.
For unless you are born of
the water and the Spirit,
you cannot enter
the kingdom of God.
Private Whitaker, do you
take the Lord Jesus Christ
as your savior?
[Whitaker] Yes, sir!
Then I baptize you in
the name of the Father
and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Amen, amen.
[Group of Soldiers] Amen!
[helicopter humming]
Hey, Bartle.
[Bartle] Hey, man.
Where you been?
I've been here.
Your mom wrote.
You okay, man?
[helicopter humming]
[people murmuring]
You looking at that girl?
[helicopter humming]
For how long?
I've been coming
up here every day.
Every day?
She know you're stalking her?
[helicopter humming]
[Bartle] You talk to her yet?
I just watch.
See how she talks to them
on the way in like that?
She always does that.
Yeah? Just get yourself
like a fucking
whooping cough or something
and get her to take
another look at you.
Hey, what's it called
when the doctor
makes you take your pants
down and asks you to cough?
You know what I mean?
Fuck, dude, they could
send you home maybe.
[helicopter humming]
They should just bomb
this place off the face
of the earth.
I hate it so much.
Yeah. Some fucking garden
of Eden, right?
I'm never gonna tell anybody
I was here when I get back.
When I get back, I just...
I'm gonna get a place to myself.
I'm not gonna go no place
and not talk to anybody.
Wake up every morning
and go run, eat right...
And let my fucking
hair grow back out.
[deep breath]
I might show up, and
if somebody says,
"Hey, Murph, didn't
you used to be
"in the Army or something?"
And I'll just say, "That
was something I did
"for a little while."
Or maybe I won't even say that.
I don't want this
to be a part of me.
[soft instrumental music]
All right, dude, let's
fucking get outta here.
Come on.
Come on.
I'm gonna stay here, man.
No, come on, there...
Dude, let's go, seriously.
Come on.
[soft instrumental music]
[bomb exploding]
[bombs exploding]
[bombs exploding]
[dramatic music]
[knocking on door]
[birds chirping]
Are you Brandon's mom?
Amy, right?
And who are you?
My name's Maureen Murphy.
My son served with your son.
Did he?
[Maureen] Mm-hm.
Let me ask you, did your
boy come back an asshole, too?
He didn't come back.
- Oh, oh, my God.
- He's missing.
They don't know yet.
I am so sorry.
Why don't you come in?
[Maureen] Thank you.
[Amy] Is there
something I can get you?
No, I'm fine.
I just wanna talk to Brandon.
It'd be nice to see him again.
You met him before?
Once, yeah, I did.
There was a party at the base.
Well, I don't know when
Bran's gonna be home.
Well, would you mind
if I just wait a while?
I just have some...
I wanna ask him some things.
I just wanna know what happened.
These people, they're
not telling me anything,
and I'm just sorting
it all out myself.
You know, I don't know how
somebody just goes missing.
I just don't.
And I just wanna know if was...
[glass breaking]
- Oh, my, I'm so sorry!
- I'll get that, it's okay.
[Maureen] Please, will you...
Oh, gosh!
[Amy] Oh, oh, okay, hold on.
Oh, God.
[Maureen] Here.
I'm just a mess, I'm just...
I really just wish
I didn't let him go.
- I know. Come here.
- [moaning]
I know.
[people talking]
[folk music]
[Luke] Ooh!
[Tess] Send it down.
[people murmuring]
[train rumbling]
[people murmuring]
[train rumbling]
[dramatic music]
[train rumbling]
[Tess] Shit!
[Luke] Jesus! Set him down.
- [Tess] No, I don't know.
- Bartle!
Hey, Bartle!
[Tess] No, we just pulled
him out of the water.
- Come on, buddy!
- Off the road. By the underpass.
[Luke] Wake up, buddy!
I think he's waking up now.
[Luke] He's up.
You all right?
Yeah, no, I'm good.
- Come on.
- I'm good.
We heard a noise.
So we ran over.
It was Brandon Bartle.
[man on radio]
[indistinct radio chatter]
[dramatic music]
[Police Officer] Try to
keep it together, buddy.
[Amy] People just
like to say stuff.
My friend told me
something the other day.
She said, "Maureen, you gotta
find your truth in all this."
Your truth.
What the hell does that mean?
"Your truth"?
Like mine's
different than yours,
or you got one and
I've got another?
I was watching this show
the other day, about birds.
They always said that if
you touch a baby bird,
the mother'll, you
know, smell you on it
and then she wouldn't
take her baby back.
Turns out it isn't true.
Birds can't even smell, really.
Besides, that's her babies.
Where they get these
stupid ideas, I don't know.
[floorboard creaks]
[dramatic music]
[helicopter humming]
Let us wash it
away, wash it away,
for unless you are born of
the water and the Spirit,
you cannot enter
the kingdom of God.
[distinct radio chatter]
[siren blaring]
The usual?
Yeah, yeah.
- Hey.
- Hey.
How you doing?
Good. You?
Good, you've got like a
back room back there, right?
[Clerk] Yeah, why?
I could really use the
place to crash for the night.
Yeah, I mean, it's just
fucking for one night, you know?
No, man, I can't...
You fuck, I've...
Come on!
- Private.
- Fuck!
Hands where I can see them.
I'm Captain Anderson, CID.
I've been looking for you.
Easy now.
Are you armed?
[Bartle] No.
[Anderson] Sober?
Wishing I wasn't, sir.
Is that what the Army doctors
prescribed before you left?
Disappear from sight?
Drink yourself
into a black hole?
As I recall, that's pretty
much what they said.
You ready to take a
ride to the base with me?
It's time, son.
Who do you think you're
helping by keeping quiet?
Why don't you ask Sterling?
[Anderson] Sergeant
Sterling's gone.
He took himself
out of the game.
It's just you now.
[dramatic music]
[man on radio]
[gun firing]
[dramatic music]
[Amy] Okay, so, where are you?
[Bartle] A stockade.
Army jail.
Are they gonna
let you come home?
[Bartle] I think
this is gonna be home
for me for a while, Ma.
Oh, God, Bran.
Ma, I need you to know...
You don't have to
say you're sorry, okay?
I know you are.
Or that it's gonna be okay.
Or you wish things
were different.
You don't have to
say any of that.
And I know you love me
the same way I love you,
so you don't have to
say any of that, either.
I know, Ma.
I know.
Are you gonna let me
visit you this time?
Sure, Ma.
[snapping fingers]
All right. I gotta...
I gotta go, Ma.
Thanks for that.
They have an old saying
about situations like this.
I don't know. What's that?
You're only as
sick as your secrets.
They've got an old saying
about everything, don't they?
[Anderson] Just about.
[dramatic music]
Help me.
What just happened?
[Bartle] Murph!
Murph, listen to me!
On here!
[dramatic music]
[Bartle] Hey, we
need help over here!
[dramatic music]
[Guard] Bartle.
Your visitor's here.
[Maureen] Hi, Brandon.
[Bartle] Mrs. Murphy.
You look so thin.
They said that you only
wanted to talk to me.
Is that right?
You said you wanted to
hear it from me first.
Here I am.
The day Murph, uh...
We were on a morning patrol
a few days after the...
Camp got attacked
by mortar fire.
Murph was in bad shape.
We all were, but they
sent us back out anyway.
I guess they didn't want
it to look like we got hurt
as bad as we did.
Murph was with us, but...
He wouldn't talk to anybody.
[intense music]
Hold up!
All right, pull back.
That what I think it is?
Yeah, maybe.
Goddamn Hajji motherfuckers!
So we need to move?
Motherfucking animals.
Murph, what's up, you think?
Move back, move the vics
back! Move the vics back!
Move back!
Savior Six, this
is Three Agile, over.
I need a EOD team
to my location.
[Sterling] All the way!
Sarge, what is it?
Body bomb.
All right, listen up!
EOD's on the way.
I want a clean sweep.
No surprises.
Clear. Two coming out.
[people talking in
foreign language]
All right, come on.
Let's go, bud.
Let's go.
You can see her, too, right?
Yeah, I see her.
Come on.
We're all clear in here.
Let's go. Grab your weapon.
[Lieutenant on radio] Savior
Six, this is Three Agile, over.
Savior Three, pull
back, pull back.
Meet the vics at the
intersection, over.
Stand by to copy, over.
[EOD commander on radio] Hang
tight, we are almost there.
Copy that.
Get safe, people.
We making a hole!
All Savior Three elements,
pull back to the hard ball.
I say again, pull back
to the hard ball, over.
[dramatic music]
I'll do the countdown.
Yo, whoa, whoa, where's Murph?
Where's Murph?
I don't know.
[Bartle] Francazino,
where's Murph?
In five,
four, three...
[Lieutenant] Two,
[bomb exploding]
Private Murphy,
speak the fuck up!
Hey, where's your boy?
I don't know.
I don't know, sir.
Well, when's the last
time you saw him?
When we were checking
that building back there.
[Sterling] Jesus.
What was he doing?
I don't know, he was
fucking hanging back,
but we left together.
Ah, fuck.
We lost Murphy.
I'm gonna take a
team, go look for him.
Take off and sweep every
building east to west.
[distinct radio chatter]
[Bartle] He was
sitting right here.
He say anything to you?
Anything funny?
- Look at me, anything?
- No.
[Whitaker] Over here!
That don't mean shit.
Christ, a drop of
blood in this city
don't mean a
motherfucking thing.
So what do we do now, Sarge?
Let's get going.
Sun'll be down soon.
[Bartle] We searched for
I don't know how many hours.
Second Platoon
formed a perimeter
in case some dude nabbed him
and was trying to
get him out of town.
The rest of us worked
our way through the city,
block by block.
Our squad took point.
[children talking]
[dog barking]
Hold up!
She was out earlier.
[Sterling] You sure?
[speaking in foreign language]
[speaking in foreign language]
[speaking in foreign language]
What's up?
[Sterling] Alpha, sweep left.
Bravo, 360 perimeter, hold here.
[Bartle] The
woman told Sterling
that she'd seen an
American walking
toward the edge of the city.
With no shoes on.
Bartle, with me.
He looked lost, she said.
Sergeant knew it
had to be Murph,
but he didn't tell anybody.
Whatever we were gonna find,
Sterling didn't
want any witnesses.
He wanted it just to be us.
In our report, we, um...
We wrote that we returned
to base that night
without finding Murph.
But that's not true.
No, ma'am.
It wasn't.
[Sterling] Hey.
[speaking in foreign language]
[Bartle] What's he saying?
He said he saw a boy.
[Bartle] What boy? Murph?
That's all he
said, he saw a boy.
He's gonna show us.
[man speaks in foreign language]
[man speaks foreign language]
Something ain't right, Sarge.
This feels like
a fucking set-up.
Ah, fuck it.
One way to find out.
[dramatic music]
[flies buzzing]
[dramatic music]
Help me get him out.
[Sterling] Fuck!
Motherfuckers tried
to castrate him.
[dramatic music]
I'm so sorry.
[dramatic music]
Best I can tell,
Murph slipped away
as soon as we stepped outside.
Who knows what he was thinking?
If he was even thinking at all.
[dramatic music]
Oh, God!
Who the fuck did that?
Goddamn it.
What do we do with him?
We do what we came here to do.
Fuck, we take him back.
We can't take him back.
Not like this.
Like what don't matter.
We got a job to do.
[Bartle] Look at him.
I did.
Look at him.
Ah, fuck.
All right, fine.
What, then?
I don't know.
Let me think.
You go get the Hajji with the
cart, bring him over here.
Go fucking get the
Hajji with the cart.
Anyone hears about this...
We need to fix it like
it never happened.
[Bartle] "Fix it like
it never happened."
That's what Murph wanted
more than anything.
Getting separated,
wandering off...
None of that was an accident.
Murph was looking for
a way to disappear.
And he finally found one.
I didn't wanna take
that away from him.
I figured if Murph couldn't
forget, then maybe...
Maybe he could be forgotten.
[dramatic music]
[dramatic music]
Like it never happened.
[gun firing]
[dramatic music]
You didn't think that
I would wanna see my son?
Not like he was.
I didn't want you to remember
him the way that I do.
That's not your
decision to make.
This is probably gonna
seem silly now, but...
Will you...
Just tell me where it happened
just so I kind of have an idea?
No, that's not silly at all.
We found him here.
Right about...
And we carried him
to the water here.
And then we just let him go.
Right about here it
opens up into the gulf,
and I guess that's
where he stopped.
Or kept going, you know.
There's nothing to
stop you out there, no.
Nothing to get in your way
when you look out at it all.
No trees, just...
Sky and water, and
after a while you...
Can't tell one from the other.
There's nothing to shield you.
There's nothing to keep you
from just taking it all in.
That's where he is now.
[dramatic music]
Was he ever happy over there?
Why don't you
tell me about that?
There was this girl he liked.
And, um...
I don't know if she
ever even knew his name,
but he liked her.
One time, this wasn't that
long ago, there was a party.
It was a Christmas party.
And, um...
And that girl was there...
And he was too shy
to go dance with her.
And I kept trying to get
him to go talk to her.
He kept saying, "No, no, no."
And then she came up to him.
And she made him get out
there and start moving.
And he wasn't that good.
But he wasn't that bad, either.
And he was laughing
and smiling...
And having a real good time.
[soft instrumental music]
And I just watched
and I could tell...
He was real happy then.
Wake from your sleep
[Bartle] That's
what I remember.
The drying of your tears
Today we escape
We escape
Sing us a song
A song to keep us warm
There's such a chill
Such a chill
And you can laugh
A spineless laugh
We hope your rules
And wisdom
Choke you
Now we are one
In everlasting peace
We hope
That you choke
That you choke
We hope
That you choke
That you choke
We hope
That you choke
That you choke
[folk music]
With my wings
spread out forever
God bless me in the air
It's a long way from heaven
But I feel I'm almost there
If I can't get up to Jesus
And I can't find
no place to land
I will keep my
secrets to myself
There's no-one but me
who could understand
When all the other birds
have fallen from the sky
How will we ever
get back home again?
Almost to heaven
I can hear the angels sing
Almost to heaven
Fly me up there love
on these wings
Take this fighting
Make it forgiveness
Is there honor in
what we've done?
Flow my soul
up to the ocean
Sing my better
song with that gun
When all the other birds
have fallen from the sky
How will we ever
get back home again?
When all the other birds
have fallen from the sky
How will we ever
get back home again?
How will we ever
get back home again?