TODAY'S SUBJECT:  Speaking of bravado...

I don't think much of Croder's rather machismo statement to Quiller, justifying his taking over the mission from Bracken's direction:  "If you think your services can be of any further value, I'd appreciate your staying in.  If there's anything unpleasant to be done, I shall do it myself.  That is why I'm here." [17:137]

This over-inflated bravado is most disingenuous of the Chief of Base Directorate.  For one thing, the Bureau would be ill-served by exposing a man of Croder's rank to the threats attendant upon taking executive action in a field as dangerous as Moscow.  Does Croder (who, remember, is so ill-trained that Q has to check him for tags at Tempelhof) imagine Schrenk is going to allow himself to be trussed up so he can piddle on over to deliver the coup de grace, particularly after he knows that Q *wasn't* able to do it?

You see, I don't think "doing unpleasant things" *is* why Croder came to Moscow.  I think Scorpion was a screwed-up mission from the get-go.  It was thrown together with fragments of dicey access, incomplete information delivered piecemeal to the DiF, and reliance on emotion and shame as tools of motivation.  This is hardly a classic operation design (as was "Slingshot" in TSE), and Croder ought to acknowledge that rather than pretend that only he can set aright things botched by others.

-- IM