'World on Fire' Recap: Episode 7
May 17, 2020
Harry has a new mission to give him purpose, but he might not survive it. While training to be airdropped onto the continent in order to bring gear to members of the Polish resistance and then shepherd some of them out of the country to safety, he is told by his overseeing officer to put his affairs in order, in case he doesn’t come back.
So Harry draws up a will, and makes Lois the sole beneficiary. When he tells her this, she is at first annoyed—she told him she doesn’t want his help—but he says that it’s for their unborn child, and she accepts it.
Soon after, Lois goes into labor while performing. She gives birth to a daughter backstage, and both she and Douglas are overjoyed. He tells Robina, who is still distressed by the news later, when Harry walks in. She is concerned for the baby, who will grow up with a working-class single mother. She and Harry get into an argument over the complicated situation Harry has put them in, and he accuses her of not having a heart before storming out.
Harry drives to Lois’s house and sits outside, brooding. Douglas spots him and comes to speak with him. “You got this so wrong,” Douglas says. He even feels sorry for Harry, since he will miss out on the love of Lois and his daughter.
Herr Rossler feels the loss of a wife and daughter keenly. His son, Klaus, is home from the front to attend the funeral. Klaus walks out in the middle of the service, and Nancy follows. He sobs that he knows what the Nazis are capable of—that they kill people like his epileptic sister—and yet he is still fighting for them. Nancy comforts him by saying he doesn’t have a choice. Later, she also comforts Herr Rossler, and tells him that she, too, has a son, so she knows what it’s like to care for one.
She also has a nephew who needs help. In Paris with German officers on press duty, she goes to visit Webster, who tells her about Albert’s imprisonment and asks for help. She promises to try to use her influence to free him.
In Poland, Kasia has also been imprisoned. While trying to lead another German officer to his death, she and her comrade were caught. She is put in a prison cell where she can see her comrade hanging from a noose, with a sign labeling him a “Jew and traitor.”
Kasia is to suffer the same fate. She and other prisoners are led to a public square with placards naming their crime hung around their neck. As they are brought to a gallows, there is an explosion. Men rush out to attack the German soldiers and spirit Kasia away.
Back in England, Harry apologizes to Robina. He is about to leave the country, and he doesn’t want to part on bad terms. Robina admits that she has always felt ashamed of her late husband, who committed suicide after the war. Harry says he now understands how battle could lead his father to do such a thing, but Robina has never been able to accept that her husband was weak.
Douglas knows that struggling with shell-shock does not mean someone is weak. Robina has received a letter—addressed to Jan—that Jan’s brother Gregor is in England, at a hospital near her home. She asks Douglas to bring Jan to visit.
The hospital is the same one that Douglas was “treated” at after World War I. He confronts a doctor there who used to call him “scrimshanker”—coward—standing up to him now that he has more peace of mind.
Jan is excited to see Gregor, and wants him to go back and fight more once he is recovered. But Gregor admits to Douglas that he doesn’t think he can experience more battle—he’s traumatized by his experiences. Jan is disappointed that the reunion is not happier.
Robina thanks Douglas for helping Jan—it can’t have been easy. Douglas in turn thanks Robina: she has visited Lois and the new baby, asking Lois not to stop visiting (Jan would miss her, she says) and convincing Lois to accept some money. That can’t have been easy for Robina, Douglas says.
Lois may not need much financial help. Vernon has come to her home—panicking Douglas, who saw a man in uniform and assumed he was there to give news of Tom’s death—and asked Lois to marry him, so that he can provide for her and her daughter. But Lois can’t say yes; they barely know each other and she doesn’t know if she loves him. Vernon says she doesn’t have to love him; she just has to let him love her. He leaves her to consider.
Nancy is also given an offer—really, a demand—by a man. Asking her German censor to help Albert on behalf of Webster, the censor insinuates that he could help if Nancy would become his lover. As he grabs her hand, she insults him. He changes his offer to a threat; she threatens him back, holding a steak knife to him under the dinner table, before getting up to leave.
Webster is upset that Nancy has failed to help his friend, but Nancy yells back that she tried. She starts to cry. On her first trip to Europe, she tells Webster, she was raped. That’s all he needs to know, and she doesn’t need his pity, but she wanted to tell him. She gets up and leaves; she is going back to Berlin.
Lois visits Vernon’s airbase to tell him once and for all that she can’t marry him. She knows what it’s like to love someone who doesn’t love you back, and she can’t do that to Vernon. But as the pilots return from a raid, Vernon is nowhere in sight—he may have been shot down. Lois nervously waits.
Suddenly, Vernon rides up to the base on a bicycle. Seeing Lois, he makes a beeline towards her as he explains that he had to land in a field. Lois is relieved that he’s alive—so much so that she realizes she does love him. She will marry him, she says excitedly.
Having been airdropped onto the continent, Harry makes his way to his rendezvous point, a Polish farmhouse. On the way, he kills two German soldiers at a checkpoint who ask what’s in his bulging backpack. After several days at the farmhouse with some resistance members, the person he is supposed to shepherd to safety arrives: Kasia.
Neither of them can believe it. Harry takes it as a sign that their romance is predestined, but Kasia has lost any sense of sentimentality. The old Kasia is dead, she tells Harry, now that she has chosen to kill. And love is not enough to redeem her.
When the covered truck meant to bring Harry and Kasia out of Poland arrives at the farmhouse, the resistance members go out to meet it. The covers are thrown back, and German soldiers gun them down. Harry and Kasia flee the farmhouse. He trips, and she turns back and shoots a German soldier, saving Harry’s life.
Harry and Kasia split up: they’ll meet at the top of the hill. Harry makes it to the crest. Kasia, pausing for breath by a tree, looks up and sees him. She hesitates.