‘Masters Of The Air’ Episode 5 Recap & Ending Explained: What Happened Over Munster?


A huge chunk of the running time of Masters of the Air, episode four, was dedicated to Quinn and Bailey traveling from Belgium to France with the help of some rebels. And over the course of that journey, Quinn stopped lying about his part in Baby Face’s death, and Bailey lifted the weight of his colleague’s loss off his shoulders. Bucky decided to take a short vacation, where he met a woman named Paulina and fornicated with her while the war lit up the night sky. Buck decided to go for the second attempt at bombing the U-boat pens in Bremen. While the attack turned out to be a huge success, it was reported that Buck, as well as many other members of the team, didn’t make it out of there alive. Bucky decided to cut his vacation short and resume active duty for Buck’s sake. Let’s find out how that goes, because the 100th aren’t the luckiest in the business.

Spoiler Alert

Bucky Talks About the Ethics of War

Episode 5 of Masters of the Air opens with Bucky sulking in a plane, probably mourning Buck’s alleged death. Crosby, Douglass, and Blakely make their way back to England, only to learn that everyone was under the impression that they had died. They do get a hero’s welcome when they get to the bar. Crosby reunites with Bubbles, and the latter says that he was about to mail the letter to Crosby’s wife, informing her about his death, but he is thankful that he didn’t have to. The joyous mood is dampened by Bucky as he informs him that the Air Force isn’t giving anyone any time to rest. They are flying back-to-back missions, and that’s giving the engineers no time to repair the damaged ships. Amidst all this chaos, Crosby learns that he has been promoted to the post of “group navigator,” which means he doesn’t have to fly anymore, and he’ll be overseeing things from the ground. One thing that I have noticed is that promotions, in this case, can be a blessing and a curse. It can safeguard one from death, and it can prevent them from being by their friends’ side when they are in the warzone.

The 100th are informed that their latest target is Munster. Apparently, it’s a railroad marshaling yard that lies very near the city’s center. The neighborhoods are packed with railroad workers. So, if they are dead, then Germany’s railroads will be hurt, and if the Germans can’t use the trains to mobilize or transport weaponry, then they’ll slow down. By the time they find any alternatives, the Allied Forces will be able to defeat the Nazis, ideally. But that seems unlikely because the number of planes available for the bombing run is pretty low. In addition to that, the crew is concerned about bombing areas that are filled with civilians and not soldiers. Bucky doesn’t seem to care about the ethics of war. He thinks that all Germans are Nazis, and they should all die. It sounds patriotic to Bucky and to the loons who love war, but it’s not patriotic to kill innocent people, period. If men want to wage their petty wars and see who is better than whom, they should choose a battlefield located at a neutral spot, take their “warriors” out there, and duke it out. Hitting civilian areas isn’t a sign of being macho and whatnot.

The 100th Faces A Lot Of Nazi Resistance Over Munster

Crosby returns Bubbles’ snow globe to him because he’ll be needing all the luck in the world while attacking Munster. Bucky exchanges his jacket with Jack because Buck used to hate Bucky’s yellow jacket. Then, the episode dedicates an unnecessary amount of its running time to showing the names of the planes and then showing them taking off. I don’t understand the purpose of this other than padding the running time. I guess this is for history nerds who also love planes and want to see them in great detail and in motion. Guess what? There are several documentaries on that. This is supposed to be a show that is mostly fictional in nature while being based on real-life events. It should have a narrative, memorable dialogues, and personal stakes on top of the world-ending stuff—you know, things that are synonymous with serialized TV. Right now, it just seems like a string of random events happening one after another, with the expendable nature of the characters being glossed over instead of being the point of Masters of the Air. If this is what the folks want from their American propaganda, well, good for them. 

Anyway, the trip to Munster ends up being a harrowing one. The direction, cinematography, editing, sound design, VFX, CGI, SFX, and acting work in synergy with each other for quite a while. However, after a point, the scene begins to overstay its welcome and becomes uninteresting. If you are a fan of constant gunfire, you’ll be entertained. I am not a fan of dull action, so this didn’t entertain me at all. To be clear, I am sure dog fights can be entertaining. I have seen entertaining dog fights in movies. But whatever is happening in this show is not good, quality-wise. It’s not realistic enough to be horrifying, and it’s not dynamic enough to be intriguing. With the exception of those few seconds where it seems like some stunt experts have performed an actual HALO jump, it’s just a bunch of loud noises and forgettable visuals. The only thing that is worth remembering until the next episode arrives is that, when Bucky’s plane takes a hit, he and his team jump out, and Bucky lands somewhere in Westphalia, Germany.

What Happened Over Munster?

Technically speaking, the bombing run over Munster is a success. The 100th manages to hit its target. But given how only two planes return to England, with one of them not even being a part of the bombing run, it’s evident that success has come at a great cost. Rosie does show a lot of bravery by maneuvering his plane expertly in order to kill a few Nazis, but his heroism is overshadowed by the deaths of his crew and the injuries sustained by the survivors, some of which are psychological in nature.

At the end of Masters of the Air, episode 5, Crosby is seen reading the letter that Bubbles had written for Crosby’s wife. Given how it’s a piece of Bubbles’ soul poured onto a piece of paper, Crosby gets emotional and is reduced to tears. And, yes, that’s where the showrunners choose to end the episode. The abrupt nature with which each of the episodes ends is something that should be studied. There’s no sense of anticipation. There’s no feeling of closure. It’s just like a history teacher reading a chapter from a history book despite having no interest in history as a subject. Fascinating stuff. There are four more chapters like this. The show has gone past the halfway mark. Is it going to get a little interesting from now on? Well let’s see.

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Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit loves to write about movies, television shows, short films, and basically anything that emerges from the world of entertainment. He occasionally talks to people, and judges them on the basis of their love for Edgar Wright, Ryan Gosling, Keanu Reeves, and the best television series ever made, Dark.

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