Catch-22 season 1 episode 2 recap: How many more missions?


The second episode of Catch-22 puts Yossarian within spitting distance of going home before ripping his hope (and a friend) away from him.

The first episode of Catch-22 introduced all of the major characters and highlighted the biggest  issue facing Yossarian: how to get out of flying more missions. Every time he gets close, missions are raised and with every additional mission, the chance of him dying go up as well.

Yossarian reluctantly continues to fly and serve his country. But that doesn’t stop him from still trying to find ways out of his duties in episode two of Catch-22.

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Maj. Major M. Major

A mixup because of Sergeant Major Major Major’s name leads to Colonel Cathcart promoting Major Major to a Major simply to avoid updating and redoing paperwork that had been processed saying that Major Major was already a Major.

So, now Sgt. Major Major Major is Maj. Major Major Major. Following? Good.

Major is reluctant to take this promotion because, you know, he didn’t actually earn it. But, this winds up being a perfect situation for Yossarian.

Yossarian learns that Col. Cathcart is raising the mission count again from 30 to 35. This, when Yossarian was only two missions away from hitting 30. Now, he has seven missions left.

So, Yossarian begs Major to use his newly granted powers to find a way to get him (Yossarian) out of having to fly more missions. In the meantime, Yossarian goes to hide in the infirmary.

light. More. Catch-22 season 1 premiere recap

Yossarian manages to sweet talk the nurse in the infirmary into allowing him to just chill in an empty bed. He promises he’ll leave as soon as she needs it.

Things are going great, with Yossarian getting time to sleep and read, until a very talkative soldier starts coming in to talk to his friend who is in a full body cast.

With his peace and quiet disturbed by this incessantly wordy soldier, Yossarian picks a fight with him and is promptly thrown out of the infirmary. Back to the skies he goes.

Holding on to sanity

Thankfully, for his sanity, there’s a trip planned by Maj. de Coverley to give some of the soldiers a few days of rest and relaxation in Rome. Of course, many of the men spend that time utilizing the advertised functions of a brothel. However, Yossarian spends his time talking to the owner—a man who explains that his (and Italy’s) willingness to go with the flow and support whatever side is defending them is why Italy will last and he can live an easy life.

Clevinger takes offense to the idea of not standing by certain morals, but Yossarian seems to like the idea of this man (and country) doing whatever they need to to preserve their peace and way of life.

Yossarian’s relaxation is ended when he finds out that Col. Cathcart raised the mission count yet again: 40 missions. Now, 11 left for Yossarian.

Back at the base, Yossarian argues with Clevinger because Clevinger is defending Col. Cathcart’s decision to raise the mission count. Yossarian asserts that Cathcart doesn’t have the right to keep raising the mission count, thus raising Yossarian’s chances of dying. Clevinger reasons that Cathcart has to do what is necessary to win the war, even if that means some men wind up dying.

Country before self—an idea Yossarian just can’t get behind when he knows he’s done his part and there are other men who can fly missions instead of him.

Milo the mess officer

Meanwhile, Milo managed to become mess officer, thanks to his conversations with Maj. de Coverley, and now he’s started bringing in truckloads of food like watermelons and fresh tomatoes (things the previous mess officer never would have allowed).

Milo clearly has big plans for his operation that will make him some money. These plans include tricking and manipulating Col. Cathcart.

It’s a complex scheme that needs Col. Cathcart to lend planes to Milo to make some trips to other countries where he can get good food cheaper. Milo intentionally explains his plan quickly, leaving Col. Cathcart a bit dazed. Though, he emphasizes the fact that his plan can deliver better food to Cathcart for less money than what he’d pay normally.

A concerning end

This episode of Catch-22 winds down with Yossarian flying another mission. In the plane next to him is Clevinger.

After they drop their bombs, the two planes fly through a cloud. When Yossarian’s plane emerges, Clevinger’s plane has disappeared. No one heard an explosion and there’s absolutely no sign of the plane.

Back on the ground, Yossarian frantically asks around, but no one has heard from the plane.

Thirty-six hours later, Clevinger has been placed on the Missing In Action list and Yossarian is clearly devastated to lose another friend.

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Catch-22 then jumps to a mission briefing where Col. Cathcart bluntly tells the men that some may not return from the mission, but any sacrifice they make will not have been in vain.

The final shot is of a terrified Yossarian running.

What did you think of this episode of Catch-22? Let us know all of your thoughts on this adaptation in the comments!