Send [someone] back across enemy lines


Español - Venezuela
I looked for similar threads but I'm not fully satisfied.

Context: Mommy and Daddy have a 14 years old son but they are divorsed, the son is visiting his daddy(and his step-mother) in Italy but tat the moment he was leaving to the U.S, They dropped him off at the airport and left. The son calls the step-mother to let her know that the plane was about to take off. They hanged up and the father(who was driving) started to feel upset. Guilty feelings started to kick in because he felt he needed to be by his son's side at that moment in life. So the lines were:

Dad: It wouldn't be so bad if we were sending him to boarding school or just... I dont know
if his mom and I got alonng a little bit better.

Step-mother: I know, it's like we're sending him back across enemy lines.

Why not just say "sending him back to enemy lines" ?

By the way this is from a movie called "Before Midnight"
  • Scott AM

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    It's because they are sending him across enemy lines, back to the enemy (figuratively speaking). He's not just going to the line, he's going across it, into enemy territory.


    Español - Venezuela
    I still don't get it. This is what i'm so insecure about when speaking english. I would' have sworn that only "send him back to" was correct. And by "no idiomatic" you mean like it's not english?


    Senior Member
    English - US
    To the line:
    He's still on the friendly side of the line.

    Across the line
    He's now in enemy territory.
    < Previous | Next >