Early in the morning of July 2, Brody receives a call from Deputy Hendricks that someone has washed up on the beach. He goes to investigate, and there finds Tom Cassidy, who would’ve been Chrissie Watkins’ swim partner the night before had he not passed out.
Brody is allowed to drive from his home only after promising his wife he will return her coffee mug.
Brody and Cassidy (played by Jonathan Filley, now a successful Hollywood producer and unit production manager) conduct what seems to be an amicable information-gathering conversation as they walk toward Chrissie’s remains.
And nobody saw her go into the water?
Somebody could have. I was sort of passed out.
You mean she ran out on you?
No sir! She must’ve drowned.
(Here, for no apparent reason, Tom snaps a stick he has been carrying in both hands in two.)
Look, I reported it to you, didn’t I?
It is clear that Tom carried that stick only so he could break it in two, but it wasn’t like Brody was interrogating him. If, in everyday conversation, you or I chose to break a stick in two in the face of such questions, the person we were talking to would think we were up to something.
In fact, in the book Brody didn’t even care if Tom joined him on the beach, having figured out everything he needed to know about Chrissie earlier.
But in Brody’s long road to assert his manhood in the movie, especially dealing with his fear of water in the shadows of the more masterful Quint and Hooper, here at least is an early sign that at least Tom submitted to Brody’s maleness.