'Project Blue Book' episode 8: 'War Games' further explores Captain Quinn's bitter realization about war trauma
This week we get to see glimpses of what communist propagator Rizzuto was talking about when he hinted at the effects of war on Captain Quinn, both physical and emotional
The promo for History's 'Project Blue Book's episode eight is out and by the looks of it, it's going to be one dark, extended detailing of instances we came across in the last and seventh episode, 'The Scoutmaster'. The previous episode that aired this Monday showed us the first streaks of vulnerability in the character of Michael Quinn (Michael Malarkey), the US Air Force captain onboard the titular investigation alongside the real-life astrophysicist Dr. J Allen Hynek, played by Aidan Gillen. And almost as if continuing along the lines where communist propagator Edward Rizzuto (Michael Imperioli) reminded Quinn of the war trauma that he underwent, this week we get to see glimpses of what Rizzuto was talking about — both in terms of physical impact and emotional distress.
Titled 'War Games', the eighth installment of this season of 'Project Blue Book' will see "Hynek and Quinn investigate when a film of an Army platoon under UFO attack emerges, and find the soldiers suffering from both physical and psychological effects of war," according to the official synopsis. The newly released promo entails exactly the same, as we find General Harding showing both Hynek and Quinn a clip of the soldiers trying to fight what looks like mysterious flying lights attacking them from the sky.
The premise of all the action unfolding is also significant in this scenario because it explains the widespread panic in the 50s, owing to the preceding World War and the budding Cold War where the setting of these alien and UFO sightings meant that the USA did not hold Russia's intent positively at all. As Harding shows the two main characters what their soldiers have to deal with, whether those harmful lights are weapons from the opposition or not isn't clearly mentioned. But it's a clear indication of the threat that they are being fronted with, and this is exactly what Rizzuto was referring to when he hinted at Quinn knowing full well the torture he was being put through by the people he was working for.
However, Harding's words no matter how in solidarity with their soldiers are, prove to be somewhat dubious when he and his superior discuss their combat propaganda. In one scene we see a recently slammed by reality Quinn asking Hynek if the authorities are telling them the whole story, and in the very next scene we find Harding and his superior discussing their "own weapon" that they can "fight back with", and they arrive at a conclusion where they decide to use the weapon.
Next, we are greeted with the sight of one soldier deeply impacted by the war, who gets brought to headquarters "to make contact". The volatile state of the man is a brilliant depiction of what war does to an individual, as he can see and hear those lights even at a location far away from the setting of the attack and seems near breaking point. All of this only leads us to believe that maybe Rizzuto's communist ideals are the only remaining hope for survival at the time; but then again, he and Harding were carrying out the entire farce just to trick Quinn into divulging what he and Hynek think about the entire investigation.
So at this time — owing to the title of the episode — it's quite possible that this 'weapon' is just another war-related game the investigation authorities are playing on the curious minds of Hynek and Quinn. To find out more, tune into 'Project Blue Book' as it returns with its eighth episode on Tuesday, February 26, at 10/9c only on the History Channel.