As often happens with films I have watched many times, I saw the film somewhat differently this time around. It began with my wondering what I might have done if I snuck out to lunch only to find, when I returned, that six of my co-workers had been brutally shot to death. Even that first question, however, posed further dilemmas. I realized that, although we are meant throughout to sympathize with the “hero,” I personally would never have joined up with an organization such as the C.I.A. in the first place. Turner, when queried by his superior, Dr. Lappe (Don McHenry) about his ability to fit into the organization, responds with extreme naiveté, suggesting he would like to be able to tell close friends what he does at his job. It is almost as if Turner had never considered the implications of signing up with the government agency. And when he calls the FBI to report the murders, he can hardly even recall his code name. Told not to go home, he does precisely that, almost being caught in the trap which would surely have meant his death. While movies such as Three Days of the Condor, as well as the Watergate affair and numerous news articles, have taught me to be highly suspicious of anything a C.I.A. agent might tell me, Turner believes he can be “brought in” to safety by meeting up with an old friend in all alley. It is, of course, a trap, and his friend is killed as he attempts to save Turner from the shooter.
but precisely because he is lost, doesn’t know what to do.