South of Saint-Malo, a German car of soldiers is blown up. Germans in Saint-Malo demand that the men of the town do a day’s work as penance for the soldiers’ deaths. In the meantime, Marie-Laure continues delivering bread. Etienne is surprised that the resistance fighters are still sending messages—he mutters, “I thought they might take a break.”
Etienne now shows some signs of being weary of his role as a warrior in the French Resistance. It’s exhausting to live in a constant state of tension and fear of being caught.
Etienne tries to explain the resistance to Marie-Laure. He says that World War I killed sixteen million people. The war that France is currently involved in will kill many more people. As part of the resistance, he and Marie-Laure are taking lives. Marie-Laure asks Etienne if they’re “the good guys,” and Etienne confesses that he doesn’t know.
It seems that Etienne’s insecurities have changed—he’s no longer worried about whether his actions accomplish anything—rather, he knows that he is accomplishing a great deal. Now, however, he’s not sure if fighting against the Germans is even the moral thing to do. While it may seem obvious to us that fighting Nazis is a good thing, many German civilians—people who didn’t support Hitler at all—were murdered during the French Resistance. It seems that here Etienne is thinking of the unintended consequences of his actions.