The White Feather - various musings

3: The French Drop(Feb '41);Enemy Fire(Feb '41);They Fought In the Fields(April '41); War of Nerves(June '41)

2: Fifty Ships (Sept '40); Among the Few (Sept '40); War Games (Oct '40); The Funk Hole (Oct '40)

1: The German Woman(May '40);The White Feather(May '40);A Lesson in Murder(June '40);Eagle Day(Aug '40)

The White Feather - various musings

Postby TwiningsGirl64 » Sat Sep 03, 2016 5:09 am

Not sure who I disliked more in this episode.
Margaret Ellis? for terrorizing poor Edith Johnson into committing an act of sabotage
The Traitorous Guy Spencer for having the audacity to ask Foyle if he was by any chance Jewish and for using the vulnerable and unsuspecting Paul Milner to help him smuggle that stolen letter to Germany
or Jane Milner for being a beastly wife! :rantblue:

I wanted to throttle Jane. How could she be so cold and heartless and completely disrespectful of her marriage vows? (having agreed to take Paul, in both sickness and in health?)
To no longer value Paul at all, as a man, or as a husband?
The hurt that poor Milner must have felt (knowing his wife could no longer bare him or the sight of his prosthetic) not to mention the shame/embarrassment he had to endure when outside the Church with CF and Sam where Jane thanked CF for 'taking him in'
If only Sam had a dustbin lid handy at that moment! By the scornful look she gave Jane, I think she just may have been tempted to use it! And if not, I certainly would have.
But Sam instead, threw Milner a bit of a lifeline, stating in that clever subtle way of hers, that all was not lost, simply because Milner had lost his leg. He could still be a more than useful Policeman, and if that didnt work out, he could try a different career path. Just as Sam had done. Bless her :hug:

On a happier note, I loved the tea scene at the Crescent Hotel. :pleased: :biggrin:
Sam was pleased as punch at having been invited and I love that she was able to break through the chamber maids defenses and help Foyle get the necessary information about Edith Johnson's boyfriend.
And when she tucked into a lemon curd sandwich and then proclaimed to DCS Foyle that she's never been particularly fond of sandwiches :lol:

I also liked Foyles treatment of Edith Johnson. He sensed her innocence from the very start and was very gentle and kind with her I was glad that he was able to have the charges against her dropped and then saw to her release :pleased:

And that final heart-breaking scene between Foyle and Milner
Foyle was so conflicted and felt so deeply betrayed by Paul that I actually thought Foyle was going to show Milner the door and send him on his way.
But he instead give Milner the most valuable lesson,
A lesson in Trust and true friendship. :hug:
"Well... things the way they are... good for the time being's perhaps enough." (CF to BH: They fought in the fields)
"MK...never less than a joy to watch." (Jaci Stephen)
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Re: The White Feather - various musings

Postby HarrietVane » Sat Sep 03, 2016 12:58 pm

That final scene between Foyle and Milner is one of my all-time favorites. Poor Milner's broken little "do you want my resignation" and Foyle's powerful "that's the last thing I want. I can't do this bloody godforsaken job all on my own. No, what I want, starting now, is for you to be with me a hundred percent." And THE HANDSHAKE.
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Re: The White Feather - various musings

Postby starlight » Sat Sep 03, 2016 1:24 pm

HarrietVane wrote:That final scene between Foyle and Milner is one of my all-time favorites. Poor Milner's broken little "do you want my resignation" and Foyle's powerful "that's the last thing I want. I can't do this bloody godforsaken job all on my own. No, what I want, starting now, is for you to be with me a hundred percent." And THE HANDSHAKE.

Milner's a bit of a problem child, if you look at the arc of their relationship. Initially, we learn that he refused to work with Foyle the first time he was asked, then there's the episode of Guy Spencer seducing him, and finally, in The Russian House he's sniffy when Foyle turns up "on his patch", is unfriendly to Sam, and fails to keep his Perkins on a lead. :foyle4:
Do I need to remind you...how much you can trust me?
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Re: The White Feather - various musings

Postby Sunshine » Sat Sep 03, 2016 4:35 pm

Guy Spencer is a hated character in this episode; the look of utter contempt Foyle gives Spencer when he asks if Foyle is Jewish is matched by the Foyle look of grim satisfaction at the end of the episode as Spencer is arrested. :foyle4:

And yes, the Foyle-Milner scene at the end is also one of my favorites. Yes, Milner could be a problem, but I still missed him terribly in the final episodes.
Just looked over the chapter on "Horse Racing and Illegal Rambling."

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Re: The White Feather - various musings

Postby Lynette » Sun Sep 25, 2016 12:30 am

Guy Spencer is indeed despicable in this episode, no more so than when he's being nice to Milner at the beginning, trying to lure him to his cause. And I have to say -- didn't Charles Dance play him brilliantly? Not sure any actor alive could have done it better.

The White Feather, I've decided, is my all-time favorite FW episode.
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Re: The White Feather - various musings

Postby TwiningsGirl64 » Sun Sep 25, 2016 9:47 am

HarrietVane wrote:That final scene between Foyle and Milner is one of my all-time favorites. Poor Milner's broken little "do you want my resignation" and Foyle's powerful "that's the last thing I want. I can't do this bloody godforsaken job all on my own. No, what I want, starting now, is for you to be with me a hundred percent." And THE HANDSHAKE.


Apologies for not replying to your post sooner HV. Seems I keep forgetting to tick the box that says Notify me when a reply is posted and as I posted quite a few new topics when I first signed up to QE, I just lost track. :oops:

Yeah Milner looked completely shattered by the time Foyle had finished giving him that thorough dressing down. :oops: :sad:
He would have felt like a complete imbecile for standing in Spencers corner as it were, only to discover he was a poor gullible fool and Spencer had simply 'used' him.
I imagine Pauls hands, neck and back would have been dripping with nervous sweat after such an interrogation. :oops:
He knew he had some explaining to do to justify his actions to CF. And while he clearly didnt do anything intentionally to hurt Foyle, it was still a complete lack of judgement by him to have associated with Spencer in the first place! He really should have known better!
MK acted his boots off in this scene. Milners betrayal (after Foyle had put all his faith and trust and time into helping the man) totally ripped Foyles heart out of his chest and left a gaping bleeding wound, and that "HANDSHAKE" was the pressure bandage needed to stop him from bleeding out completely. The freaking best and most meaningful handshake in Television drama History! :thumbsup: :hug:
"Well... things the way they are... good for the time being's perhaps enough." (CF to BH: They fought in the fields)
"MK...never less than a joy to watch." (Jaci Stephen)
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Re: The White Feather - various musings

Postby TwiningsGirl64 » Sun Sep 25, 2016 2:07 pm

starlight wrote:Milner's a bit of a problem child, if you look at the arc of their relationship. Initially, we learn that he refused to work with Foyle the first time he was asked, then there's the episode of Guy Spencer seducing him, and finally, in The Russian House he's sniffy when Foyle turns up "on his patch", is unfriendly to Sam, and fails to keep his Perkins on a lead. :foyle4:


Yeah, he's a bit of a chameleon. The early Milner was likeable. The later Milner :huh: not so likeable. Why did they have to go and change him and spoil the happy trio. Grrrr

1/ We never learn why Milner said No to working for Foyle the first time he was asked.
It could have been immaturity on Milners part, or arrogance? Or a simple fear of change? Or as Jane clearly ruled the roost in their relationship, she quite possibly played an integral part in the decision making process?

2/ I put the whole Guy Spencer event down to Milners frailty as an amputee and his general submissiveness as a whole.
Sgt Milners a very sensitive man, a once proud man, now damaged not only physically by the War but its turned him into an emotional cripple as well as his wife cant handle his disability and sees him no longer worthy as a husband. So he's understandably developed a sizeable chip on his shoulder and needs answers as to why his life turned out the way it did. And that weakness and vulnerability and desperation makes him open and susceptible to suave manipulators like Guy Spencer.

3/ I seriously disliked Milner in the Russian House. He irked me no end the way he treated both Foyle and Sam and he went right down in my estimations. There was simply no justifiable reason whatsoever for his behaviour, and Im surprised Foyle didnt drop him on his backside and make an example of him in front of everyone :foyle2: Lord knows he certainly deserved it! I totally agreed with Foyles remark that it was a poor return for the five years they spent together and wouldnt blame him if he never shook the mans hand again!
"Well... things the way they are... good for the time being's perhaps enough." (CF to BH: They fought in the fields)
"MK...never less than a joy to watch." (Jaci Stephen)
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Re: The White Feather - various musings

Postby TwiningsGirl64 » Sun Sep 25, 2016 2:20 pm

Lynette wrote:Guy Spencer is indeed despicable in this episode, no more so than when he's being nice to Milner at the beginning, trying to lure him to his cause. And I have to say -- didn't Charles Dance play him brilliantly? Not sure any actor alive could have done it better.

The White Feather, I've decided, is my all-time favorite FW episode.


Agreed! Charles Dance was superb. Very authoritarian. Oozing smugness. Total snake in the grass
and that voice....

Sent real shivers up my spine.
"Well... things the way they are... good for the time being's perhaps enough." (CF to BH: They fought in the fields)
"MK...never less than a joy to watch." (Jaci Stephen)
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Re: The White Feather - various musings

Postby Lynette » Sun Sep 25, 2016 3:32 pm

TwiningsGirl wrote:
1/ We never learn why Milner said No to working for Foyle the first time he was asked.
It could have been immaturity on Milners part, or arrogance? ...


I've never felt like Milner's pre-show refusal of Foyle's job offer should be chalked up to arrogance or immaturity. People turn down jobs for all sorts of reasons, don't they?

I don't think it ever made it onto the screen, but I seem to recall the publicity material saying Milner grew up in Brighton and joined the police force there. I've always assumed that he and Jane met and married in Brighton and were living there when the war started and he joined up. He may have refused Foyle's offer because he was newly married and settled in Brighton and didn't want to move.

He might also have only recently accepted a DS position there and would have felt that it would look bad to quit to move to Hastings right away. Either or both of these explanations could account for it, with no disrespect to DCS Foyle.

2/ I put the whole Guy Spencer event down to Milners frailty as an amputee and his general submissiveness as a whole ...


In complete agreement with you here. Milner would be suffering greatly from the shock of his disability even if his wife had been completely supportive. Although I'm not sure I'd characterize him as "submissive" later on in the series -- he has no problem ordering the constables about -- the man we see in the first season is reeling from his injuries. He's in no shape to go back to work so soon, either physically or emotionally.

It's worth point out that the script completely fudged the recovery time necessary after an amputation -- we see Milner back at work in May after losing the leg at Trondheim in April. Ridiculous! He'd have been in hospital for months while the wound healed, and then he'd need more months to learn to walk on the prosthetic. Horowitz even admitted in an interview that he ignored these facts in favor of advancing his story.

3/ I seriously disliked Milner in the Russian House. He irked me no end the way he treated both Foyle and Sam and he went right down in my estimations. There was simply no justifiable reason whatsoever for his behaviour ...


I think nearly everyone would agree with you here. Horowitz thought the series was ending with V-E Day, and I get the feeling that when he was asked to write more scripts he was scrambling a bit to find conflict to his story. His solution was to write a Paul Milner who was completely out of character with the man we'd come to know over the past six seasons. Why he found this necessary is beyond me, frankly; he could have showed Milner struggling to assume his authority as an Inspector without having him be rude to his mentor.

This is one of the many reasons why I think Foyle's War should have ended with All Clear. Nothing seemed quite right in those last three seasons.
Last edited by Lynette on Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The White Feather - various musings

Postby Sunshine » Mon Sep 26, 2016 4:29 pm

I agree with what you say about the later episodes and the portrayal of Milner, Lynette. I kind of view "All Clear" as the "official" end of the series as we know it. :foyle4:

I have been working on a fanfic, "Searching for a Sergeant," that will eventually focus on my theory of why Milner turns Foyle down. :foyle4:
Just looked over the chapter on "Horse Racing and Illegal Rambling."

I haven't got the requisite capacity for deceit.
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Re: The White Feather - various musings

Postby kitchenwonder » Tue Sep 27, 2016 5:58 am

Sunshine wrote:I have been working on a fanfic, "Searching for a Sergeant," that will eventually focus on my theory of why Milner turns Foyle down. :foyle4:

I am looking forward to your fanfic. :thumbsup:
"Well...The Foyles, you know, always have been hard to resist." (Enemy Fire S3E2)
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