Trace Malone is brought home by the police, who explain to his mother that Trace “borrowed” a neighbor’s car. His mom is worried about his recent record of truancy, bad grades, and now petty crime. Trace is angry that his father, a military officer, is never there. The doorbell rings and Trace’s mother goes to the door. An officer informs her that her husband Robert has been reported missing in northern Iran. A stunned Mrs. Malone says that their anniversary in a week.
Later, Trace tells his mother that his father is gone just like he’s always been gone and nothing has changed. He goes out to the kitchen and comes face to face with… his father. Rob apologizes for scaring him and is happily reunited with his wife. He says that Trace should stay home and says that the military was mistaken in reporting him MIA. However, Trace is unimpressed and tells his father about the auto theft.
Later, Trace is in his room on the phone talking to his friend Lance about an upcoming robbery they have planned. His mother comes in and asks Trace to try and get along with his father, but Trace thinks something is wrong with the entire situation. They hear Rob working on his car in the garage and Trace goes to see. Rob gets him to help and Trace notes that he brought the car back home two years ago and never worked on it with him. Rob admits he was wrong and Trace reluctantly pitches in.
Later, Rob and his wife are going through their photo album and reminiscing about old times. She comments that he used to hate looking at old photos, but Rob wants to see everything that he missed. Mrs. Malone explains how Trace has been lost and angry. They put on the music and start dancing. Trace comes down, staring in surprise. He leaves them alone, happy that they’re happy together.
Later, Trace wakes up and sees his father outside with three soldiers. Rob insists he needs more time and orders them to go on, but his fellow soldiers say he’s done taking orders. They warn that none of them are supposed to be there. Trace comes out as the other soldiers walk away into a glowing light… and fade away. Rob sees his son, who realizes that Rob is dead.
Inside, Rob explains that he died during a rescue operation along with the rest of his platoon. Trace tells his father to go to hell, figuring he’s there for forgiveness and refusing to give it to him. Rob insists that he isn’t there to hurt them but admits he hasn’t told his wife that he’s dead. Trace goes to tell her, but she says that she knows. She insists that Rob has never hurt her and she doesn’t need to forgive him. Trace refuses to forgive and calls his friend Lance, saying they’re going to go ahead with the robbery. As he looks outside, he sees Rob’s fellow platoon soldiers outside.
As Trace leaves, he hears Rob start the car. Rob invites him for a ride and Trace refuses, saying he’s going out with a friend. He meets with Lance but looks outside and sees Rob with his other soldiers. He tells Lance that he’s out and goes outside. He tells his father that he’s ready to take a ride with him. As they leave, Rob kisses his wife goodbye and promises to send Trace back in one piece.
Father and son go to the baseball field and Trace admits that he got drunk one night. Rob admits that he liked watching Trace play because he didn’t have to talk to him. He insists that Trace is a good kid and he shouldn’t use his father as an excuse to screw up his life. Trace wishes Rob had talked to him before and Rob admits he didn’t have the words, but he did have the feelings. On the field, the members of his platoon have assembled and Rob says that the code is to leave no man behind. Rob tells Trace to kiss his mother for him every day and they share one last hug. Rob and his men walk off into the shadows. Trace goes home to hug his mother as they go inside. Share this article with your friends