Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Episode 3 - Requiem For A Lightweight

Season 1, Episode 3: Requiem For A Lightweight
Original Air Date: 10/1/72
Written by: Robert Klane
Directed by: Hy Averback

Hawkeye and Trapper are delighted to meet a new nurse, the beautiful Margie Cutler (Marcia Strassman, Mrs. Kotter from Welcome Back, Kotter). But that quickly goes sour with Hot Lips has her transferred, because she is such a distraction for the doctors. The doctors don't argue with that conclusion, but they welcome a distraction like Nurse Cutler!

Henry agrees to have Cutler reassigned back to the 4077th if one of them will volunteer to fight in the inter-camp boxing tournament, sponsored by General Barker (Sorrell Booke, Boss Hogg from The Dukes of Hazzard). After some cajoling, Hawkeye talks Trapper--who did some boxing in school--into it.

Trapper goes intro training, using Frank's duffel as a punching bag.

Once they meet Barker's boxer, though, they realize they are way out of their league--Trapper's opponent is a giant, monosyllabic tower of a man, who once punched out a jeep. So, of course, they decide to cheat.

With the help of anesthetist Ugly John (John Orchard), they plan on smothering Trapper's glove with ether, which will hopefully knockout the goon before he can land a punch. They share the plan with Henry, who is for it. Frank expresses his displeasure with the idea of cheating.

The fight begins, with Henry and Barker betting a tidy sum of money on the outcome. After a few moments of Trapper running around the ring trying to avoid getting decked, they discover mid-fight that Frank and Hot Lips have switched the ether out and replaced it with water. Trapper is in real trouble!

Hawkeye runs off to grab the ether, while Trapper fights for his life. After Trapper gets decked at least once and sent to the mat, Hawkeye manages to get the correct stuff on the glove. In the next round, Trapper sticks it in the goon's face.

The plan works, sending the giant plummeting over the side of the ring, right on to Frank and Hot Lips!
Henry lives up to his part of the bargain, and delivers Nurse Cutler. Both doctors make their move, but Hawkeye--in a rare moment--is pushed aside once she learns that Trapper actually fought for her.

Fun Facts: William Christopher makes his debut as Father Mulcahy. Christopher is listed as a guest-actor on the end credits, but of course would soon become a vital part of the show.

Despite this episode's conclusion, Nurse Cutler eventually becomes Hawkeye's regular girlfriend. She would appear off and on through the entire first season.

General Hammond (as played by G.Wood, who also appeared in the movie) is replaced by General Barker, who would reappear once more, before being replaced by yet another general character, General Hammond.

Favorite Line: After Henry brings Nurse Cutler back to the 4077th, he leaves her in The Swamp with Hawkeye and Trapper. His one piece of advice to her?

Henry: "Keep moving or you're dead."


Anonymous said...

I remember this episode as one of the few that featured Trapper John prominently. I think at the beginning the show leaned too much in Hawkeye's direction...and although it did in fact warp into The Alan Alda Show, it did get better in featuring more of the background cast and co-stars after the first years, IMHO. Poor Trapper, we hardly knew ye...

Rob As Well said...

Good lord, General Barker is Boss Hogg?!?!! I am so glad I found this blog. I'm 33 years old, and all my fav sitcoms have actors making guest appearances on M*A*S*H. Oh 80's, how I love thee.

Taylor C said...

If we're being technical here, 'Henry, Please Come Home' is William Christopher's first episode, since its second in the season's production code, ahead of 'Requiem for a Lightweight.'

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