Catch-22 season 1 premiere recap: Introducing the Catch-22

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Catch-22 — Episode 101 — Yossarian and his friends train to be flyers in California before being shipped to an Army Air Force base on the Italian island of Pianosa. Nineteen perilous missions later, YossarianÕs only hope is to meet the mission quota Ð twenty-five Ð and be sent home before heÕs shot down. But a new Colonel (Cathcart) takes command and immediately raises the mission quota. Yossarian realizes he has to get himself grounded or sent home by any means necessary. Major de Coverley (Hugh Laurie), Milo (Daniel David Stewart) shown. (Photo by: Philipe Antonello / Hulu)

The Catch

Catch-22 then cuts to Yossarian telling a nurse that there’s a problem with his liver. It’s not very convincing considering he can’t even point out where the pain would be to the nurse.

Just then, Doc Daneeka comes up, a welcome surprise for Yossarian. Yossarian tells him his plan to wait out the war in the infirmary. Daneeka warns him against that, saying that once their done in Italy, he’ll just be shipped to the Pacific to keep fighting over there.

Elsewhere, Milo, a friend of Yossarian and pro food smuggler, sucks up to Major de Coverley (Hugh Laurie) by giving him lamb chops he had stunk on to the base. He wants de Coverley to give him control of the food manifests. (Earlier he had been selling Hershey bars out of a briefcase, he has some definite plans for when he has control of the food.)

Back to Yossarian: He’s on another mission and things are going well right up until they’re just about to drop the bombs. Right then, they start getting shot at.

Just like last mission, Yossarian looks over to Dunbar. But this time, he see’s Dunbar’s plane get hit and Dunbar is flung against Yossarian’s window. Yossarian will later tell the other guys that, in that moment, he didn’t see Dunbar’s life flashing before his eyes. He only saw terror.

Still, Yossarian is able to gather himself just long enough to get the bombs dropped. As soon as they’re away, he yells for the pilot to get them out of there.

The deadly nature of their missions has never hit closer to home for Yossarian. Things only get worse when Colonel Cathcart (Kyle Chandler) shows up to the base to take over. He doesn’t like what he’s seen, so he plans to toughen everyone at the base up.

To do that, he’s raising the mission count from 25 to 30.

Yossarian is horrified and scampers to the medical tent. He begs Doc Daneeka to ground him, since Daneeka has to ground anyone who is crazy. The catch is, Daneeka explains, to be grounded for being crazy, you have to ask to be grounded. But by asking to be grounded, you prove that you’re sane enough to realize that combat duty is insane.

If you have concern for your own safety, then you’re sane—sane enough to keep flying. A catch-22.

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This episode of Catch-22 ends with Yossarian on another mission, 30 seconds to drop. He looks out the window and sees some blood still on it from where Dunbar had hit. He reaches his hand out to try to scrub it off.

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